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ABC 10 News KGTV

San Diego residents voice frustrations about condition of Guy Street

By Adam Racusin,


SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Residents in a San Diego neighborhood say they are fed up with the condition of their street, and they claim years of run-off from a city stormwater system caused the road to crumble.

Now that the road has become a problem, they say the city will not help fix it.

“It’s just bumpy everywhere,” said resident Kristin Chapin.

A portion of Guy Street near the airport has become a problem for almost everyone living on it.

"Every time it rains it deteriorates and breaks apart and all comes out,” said resident Scott McCloskey.

Residents say getting in and out of the street at times can be dangerous, and not all of their vehicles can make it up the steep street in its current condition.

Despite the almost constant requests for the City of San Diego to fix the street, the current answer is no.

"They used to come in and we'd be able to use the Get It Done app and get patchwork and other areas fixed. Now we are on deaf ears,” Chapin said.

Chapin says the street is just one of the issues the neighborhood is dealing with. She points to stormwater infrastructure on the street above as the underlying problem.

"There's a street directly above us here, and the street has a gutter behind all the shrubbery here. That gutter drains into a large rock pit and that rock pit drains down. Then it comes over the surface of the street,” she said.

Chapin says the stormwater system at the top of Guy Street should be maintained by the City of San Diego.

"They're supposed to keep up the maintenance with it, the upkeep of it, the follow-through that it's not full of plants,” she said.

Chapin says the drainage area should make it for water to easily and smoothly run off. Instead, she points to years of overgrowth and crumbling infrastructure that send water everywhere other than the middle of the street.

Neighbors tell Team 10 that water, cracks, and time have created a street full of feet-wide potholes. A spokesperson for the City of San Diego told ABC 10News that city officials have met with people who live on the street.

“Construction begins this summer (2023) on the repair and replacement of stormwater pipes and infrastructure including the building of a retaining wall," said the spokesperson.

"Stormwater staff met with the concerned residents in both September 2022 and January 2023. Staff reiterated that repairs will begin this year and would not include roadway repairs except for any damage vehicles or heavy equipment could possibly make to the street.”

The fixes don't impress Chapin.

"Stormwater and [other city] divisions will only show that they have funding for the gutter to do exactly the same design that we currently have, which is to remove all of this, put a new retaining wall, and put a new gutter system in there, but still run the water over the surface of the street,” said Chapin.

The stormwater repairs also don't include any fixes to the street. The city spokesperson says this segment of Guy Street is what's known as an "unimproved" street.

According to the City of San Diego policy, it’s a street that is part of the city’s official streets system but is paved with less than two inches of hot mix asphalt, not graded or paved for drainage and lacks sufficient underlying base.

The city spokesperson told ABC 10News, “In meetings with concerned residents in September and January between City staff, Mayor's office community engagement staff and Council District office, it was communicated that this segment of Guy St. is an ‘unimproved’ street and any improvement proposed is the responsibility of the abutting property owners. Once the street has been improved and built to standards, the City would maintain it in kind. The City does not currently have funding or budget item devoted to rebuilding unimproved streets.”

"When I moved here 30 years ago this was all brand new and nice looking,” Scott McCloskey said.

With the requests for repairs denied, it leaves neighbors without much of a choice. Fix it themselves or risk their safety.

So, they've grabbed their tools, dug out the worst spots, and paid a contractor to fill them with concrete. What they'd like is a new stormwater design and a new road.

"It's the city's job and they gave us the 12-to-15-year runaround,” McCloskey said.

Guy Street falls in San Diego City Councilmember Stephen Whitburn’s district. In a statement, the councilmember told ABC 10News, “I share the frustration of our residents. I have asked that long-awaited improvements on Guy Street be a priority in the upcoming city budget, as outlined in my Budget Priority Memo. Our District 3 office has diligently organized meetings with residents and city staff to provide updates on stormwater upgrades to address the ongoing issue. We will continue to work with the neighbors and city staff to improve conditions on Guy Street.”

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