On October 30th, 2017 San Diego City Council approved a 4-lane, 55-mph freeway connector that will direct traffic through Serra Mesa and half-mile stretches of Via Alta and Franklin Ridge roads in Civita, a dense residential community.
Based on the City’s final environmental impact report, on the connector’s opening day the average daily vehicle trips will be 23,217 (16 cars every minute) and by 2035 they will be 34,117 (24 cars every minute).
These roads are permanently flawed because the steep slope and the curves of the roads prevent crosswalks or traffic calming from ever being installed.
If the speedway connector is completed, lives will be at risk. Because of the permanent flaws, these roadway segments are “unsafe at any speed”.
A May 2018 report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) validates Save Civita’s concerns. Available at iihs.org, the report describes a scenario strikingly similar to: half-mile stretches of roads in a dense residential area with no crosswalks or traffic calming, where the City plans to use the roads to funnel traffic to and from freeways.
The City, politicians, and large developers in Mission Valley argue this sacrifice needs to be made for the “Greater Good,” stating the rest of the City will benefit from the connector by allowing more homes to be built in Mission Valley, a flow of regional traffic between I-805 and Mission Valley’s Friars Road, and a GPS short-cut for commuters.
Why we are going to court
“Save Civita Because Sudberry Won’t” filed a lawsuit on Nov. 17, 2017, in San Diego County Superior Court.
The lawsuit was filed based on the belief that the connector project does not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the City of San Diego General Plan, and all applicable laws, for example, the Planning and Zoning Laws (“PZL”).
Also, the roadway segments were not designed in accordance with walkable, mixed-use, industry-standard practices for the accommodation of pedestrians and regional freeway traffic and is not compliant with the City’s Council Policy 200-07 and the City’s street design manual.
The goal of the lawsuit is to stop the construction of the 4-lane freeway connector and in doing so prevent pedestrian fatalities. For more information on the lawsuit and issues with The City of San Diego and Sudberry Properties, go to the background page.
As of October 2018 work is centering on preparing the Administrative Record for the lawsuit. This record includes all of the evidence that was presented to the City Council. The judge, who makes the final legal decision, uses this record to determine if there’s sufficient evidence to support the findings and decision of the City Council.
Lawsuit Timeline Update 9-04-2019:
The Court Date for the Save Civita Because Sudberry Won’t trial has moved to December 5th.
Lawsuit Timeline Update 5-11-2019:
The trial did not occur on the originally scheduled date of April 23, 2019. Judge Joel Wohlfeil moved the Save Civita Because Sudberry Won’t trial to Thursday, September 19, at 1:30 p.m. because the parties needed more time to finish the administrative record.
The new Briefing and Hearing Schedule is as follows:
Petitioner (Save Civita) provides the City of San Diego with the draft Amended Administrative Record (AR) on or before May 10, 2019.
The City reviews and certifies the Amended AR on or before May 31, 2019.
Petitioner’s Opening Brief will be filed and served on or before July 5, 2019.
The City’s Response Brief will be filed and served on or before August 5, 2019.
Petitioner’s Reply Brief will be filed and served on or before August 26, 2019.
The writ hearing shall take place on September 19, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. in Department 73.
The complaint was filed on November 27, 2017.