Museum Curator Asks About San Diego’s Park Boulevard Redesign – NBC 7 San Diego
The curator of one of San Diego’s oldest museums doesn’t think her museum can survive a new bike lane and fewer parking spaces on Park Boulevard.
The city of San Diego said it was installing a protected bike path and floating boardwalk along parts of the park, including the stretch in front of the JA Cooley Museum, which has stood in University Heights for 80 years. However, curator Carmen Cooley told NBC 7 that no one in town has explained the plans with business owners on the block, which includes stylists, groomers, laundry facilities and a restaurant.
“What’s going on? That’s my question. What’s going on? I can’t get an answer from the city,” Cooley exclaimed.
Cooley started an online petition asking the city to meet with local landlords and businesses about the changes.
“They haven’t communicated to us. What are they doing?” she says.
Cooley’s biggest worry is that the new design will deter people from visiting him. museumwhich contains 30 collections including vintage cars, cameras and trains.
“We focus a lot on tourism and so, I’m sorry, but tourists don’t ride bikes,” she shrugged. “We’re all for cycle lanes, but when it has an impact on businesses and the fact that they don’t communicate with us.”
Cooley cited the city’s recent redesign of Gold Coast Drive in Mira Mesa, where the city failed to properly notify the community of the changes that changed the two-lane road to a one-lane road with two bike lanes.
“People are angry. They’re frustrated,” Cooley said.
“The street parking in front of the Cooley Museum will be converted to a floating parking lot but will still remain in front of the museum,” a City of San Diego spokesperson said. “City plans and policies support these safety changes for Park Blvd and we will continue to engage with the community as we present the project to the University Heights Community Association on May 5.”
The same spokesperson said the city’s transportation department attempted to contact Cooley last week, but was unable to reach her or leave a message.