FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
SAN DIEGO – Today, City Councilmember Vivian Moreno’s (District 8) proposal to allow paving of dirt streets and alleys was approved by the City Council in a unanimous vote.
This policy proposal focuses on paving and maintenance on unimproved streets and alleys, which are dirt roads that have not been previously maintained by the City. The current policy precludes the City from improving or working on unimproved streets. There are approximately 33 miles of unimproved streets and 28 miles of unimproved alleys throughout San Diego.
“Dirt roads and alleys have no place in America’s Finest City – or any neighborhood,” Moreno said.
“This will signal that the City is truly committed to equity across all neighborhoods. These dirt streets are vestiges of the past, maintained by policies that are over six decades old. This is the first step to addressing this equity issue, as the communities most greatly affected by unimproved streets are those made up of low-income residents of color.”
As other parts of the city see regular maintenance and improvements to their local network of streets, residents who live along unimproved streets and alleys continue to deal with the consequences of inadequate infrastructure. Mudslides, dirt pollution, and increased risk of flooding are perennial issues for these residents. Current city policy places the financial burden of these problems on abutting property owners, and not the city.
In this amended proposal, the City Council will have the opportunity to prioritize and select which unimproved streets, if any, to improve during the annual budget process, based on the availability of funding. “We have crafted a proposal that accomplishes my goal of providing equity, while at the same time protecting the City and its taxpayers,” concluded Councilmember Moreno.