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2 San Diego Uptown News | April 29–May 12, 2011


NEWS


Community members at the North Park Community Plan Update Advisory Committee Meeting, April 20. FROM PAGE 1


parking PLANNING


a commercial district since the 1930s; the residential areas grew up around it. But there was little hospi- tality industry,” she said. North Park residents at the meeting, however, expressed con- cern—proposing increasing late- night private transit services and extending food-serving hours to offset detrimental effects of the area’s night life, along with turning a designated area into an arts and entertainment district.


David Cohen, owner of West


Coast Tavern on University Avenue and North Park Main Street board member, suggested that turning University Avenue and 30th Street into an arts and entertainment dis- trict concentrated in a four-block square would be the most effec- tive way of managing the influx of people who visit North Park for en- tertainment purposes. He empha- sized the need to “focus efforts on making [an arts and entertainment district] clean, safe and pedestrian friendly


in the evening,” citing


Little Italy as an example of what North Park could be if its services were “upped.” Participants also discussed free


and using the parking


garage on 29th Street. However, Susan Tinsky, executive director of the San Diego Housing Federa- tion, expressed the importance of turning North Park into a car-free community. Calling cars a “detri- ment to our quality of life,” Tinsky proposed incentives to “get people out of their cars,” thus reducing the strain on parking availability. While agreeing that reducing car use in North Park would ben- efit the community, however, one participant noted that people who drive from outside the area would still need a place to park. Still anoth- er attendee furthered the discus- sion by saying that, as technology advances, cars will need a place to “plug in.” The permit process also arose for discussion. No matter how the area’s night life evolves, the adviso- ry committee acknowledged it is in the city’s best interests to enforce the permit process for businesses. “The laws exist,” committee chair Vicki Granowitz said, “but they aren’t being enforced.”


Fast-food establishments with


drive-thrus, the growing popularity of food trucks and the “unsightli- ness” of utility boxes were next on the agenda, the main complaints about the


latter including: their


“unsightliness,” “dangers posed to pedestrians” and “negative effect on property values.” As an alternative to utility boxes,


Cheryl Dye, principal of Dye & As- sociates, proposed underground vaults. She cited goals of reducing the ratio of units to homes, eliminat- ing transformers in front of proper- ties, identifying placing options for underground vaults, reviewing progress on new technology and design standards, expanding ease- ments so as to maintain adequate pedestrian walkways and running SDG&E lateral conduits under- ground to electrical service panels. Earlier this week, on April 27,


concerned residents presented a series of steps to resolve the utility box issue, including creating a task force with the city, to the Commu- nity Planning Committee. Also on April 27, the North Park Community Association Board of Directors meeting discussed a vari- ety of topics, including: this year’s Summer Concert Series (volun- teers are needed); the ALBA/Com- munity Park Security Camera and infrastructure improvements, elec- tions of a new board of directors and president.


meetings


For a schedule of community in


North Park, northparkmainstreet.com.u Bank robberies jump, 2010


It’s Mother’s Day weekend! Spoil mom at San Diego’s Garden Party! Highlights for this festive, all-day event include


• House & Garden special tours included


• Art Show with San Diego’s foremost plein-air artists


• Musical performances throughout the day with finale concert


• Refreshments garden inclusive with entry


• Wine garden (extra fee, over 21 only)


Overall crime rates continue to steadily decline


A report released April 28 by the San Diego Asso- ciation of Governments (SANDAG) shows that while crime in the region continued to drop across the board during 2010, the number of bank robberies jumped way up.


Overall, robberies—like almost all other crimes— declined during 2010, decreasing by 17 percent from 2009 to 2010. There were a total of 3,350 robberies in 2010, down from 4,033 in 2009. However, bank robber- ies jumped by 73 percent, from 92 in 2009 to 159 last year.


“Overall, the good news continues in the San Diego


region,” said Dr. Cynthia Burke, SANDAG director of criminal justice research. “Crime continued to de- crease in the region in spite of concerns that troubles with the economy would result in increased property crime.”


The Thirty Years of Crime in the San Diego Region: n 1972 sdgeranium.org


1981 through 2010 report released by SANDAG yes- terday details crimes for all 18 cities and the unincor- porated area of the county. It serves as a tool for local law enforcement agencies in gauging the success of en- forcement strategies and crime prevention programs. There were 3.61 violent crimes per 1,000 residents in the county during 2009, a 10 percent decrease from


the year before and a 30-year low. (Violent crimes in- clude homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.) Homicides in the region saw a solid decrease for the


fifth year running, dropping from 75 in 2009 to 67 in 2010. The number of homicides peaked at 278 in 1991. With the seventh consecutive annual decrease, the


property crime rate also hit its lowest point in the past 30 years, at 21.04 incidents per 1,000 residents despite speculation that it might increase with the downturn in economic conditions. Property crimes hit a 30-year high in 1988, with 67.26 incidents per 1,000 residents. (Property crimes include burglary, larceny theft, and motor vehicle theft.) Other interesting facts in this year’s report include: The number of burglaries and larcenies were at 30-


year lows.


Motor vehicle thefts decreased by 10 percent from 2009 to 2010, the greatest one-year decrease for prop- erty-related crime. There were 133 hate crime events reported to local


law enforcement in 2010, compared to 108 in 2009 – an increase of 23 percent.


The City of San Diego compared favorably to


other large cities in the United States in 2009 (the most recent statistics available). Of the 32 cities (rather than counties or regions) with populations of 500,000 or more, San Diego had the third lowest violent crime rate and the second lowest property crime rate.u


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