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Friday, Nov. 30, 2007 | San Diego desperately needs new fire stations. In University City, the mayor and Councilman Scott Peters have acquiesced to the interests of a local developer who wants to extend Regents Road through Rose Canyon Park and build a bridge over the railroad tracks. The city’s own traffic studies have shown for years that this bridge would do little to relieve local traffic congestion. It would do more to draw freeway trips from I-5 through local communities. Fire Chief Jarman was trotted out at an Aug. 1, 2006, City Council meeting to support the project, claiming that it would reduce emergency response times, but all her route length numbers were shown to be wrong, and she later retracted them. Was she told to lie by the mayor and Scott Peters, so that their developer friends could be satisfied?
In the meantime, the cost of this project keeps increasing. It was estimated at $36 million in early 2006. Today it is probably significantly over $40 million. The money comes from developer fees in the North University City FBA. Rather than wasting the money on a road and bridge that will do little for congestion relief and even less for emergency services, this money could be used to build much needed fire stations. North UC has grown significantly during the past 20 years, and Station 35 simply cannot cover the entire area. In South UC, a station somewhere along Governor Drive would provide much more in the way of emergency preparedness than a steep road through a canyon, which would only add a poor alternative access route for an already over-taxed Station 35.