A Call for the Resignation of Uptown Planners Chair, Leo Wilson

Posted on: August 7, 2014 Posted by: Sam Ollinger Comments: 5

A Call for the Resignation of Uptown Planners Chair, Leo Wilson

Leo Wilson, Chair of Uptown Planners, doesn't consider the voice of his bicycle riding community worth listening to.
Leo Wilson, Chair of Uptown Planners, doesn’t consider the voice of his bicycle riding community worth listening to. Screenshot from Land Use and Housing Subcommittee hearing.

Sign the petition calling on Leo Wilson to resign from Uptown Planners.

Last month on July 8th, I sent an email to Leo Wilson, current chair of Uptown Planners Community Planning Group. The emailed called for him to resign from the Uptown Planners Community Planning Group.

Uptown Planners is the city recognized Community Planning Group that serves as an advisory board to the City of San Diego regarding land use and development projects in the neighborhoods of Bankers Hill, Hillcrest, Mission Hills and University Heights. In 2010 under Wilson’s leadership, Uptown Planners rejected the city’s plans to install bike lanes (stripes of paint) on India Street and Kettner Boulevard. Wilson stated (with zero evidence to back up his claims) that “the plan’s impact [was] extreme to small businesses,”. I have yet to find evidence anywhere in the country that dedicated bike infrastructure negatively impacts businesses. Today, we have sharrows on India street where someone on a bicycle is expected to “share” road space with a multi-ton vehicle that could kill them in an instant.

More recently, Uptown Planners, under Wilson’s leadership, opposed the implementation of the buffered bike lanes on 4th and 5th Avenues.

Despite giving Wilson the benefit of the doubt and the time to demonstrate that he simply didn’t have a bias against bicyclists, he has demonstrated time and time again that the only perspective he cares about are some of the out of date views on driving, while simultaneously advocating for the storage of private vehicles on public space – our city streets.

Our petition calling on Leo Wilson to resign from the Uptown Planners Community Planning Board was covered by Uptown News yesterday. The story included this response from Wilson,

It’s interesting because Ollinger attacked me for the [2011 India Street bike lane proposal], but that would have taken out over 100 parking spaces. That would have been devastating to businesses

A community leader needs to be both reasonable and open to perspectives from everyone. Wilson has demonstrated, as recently as yesterday, that the only perspective he cares about are drivers while voicing opinions with no basis in fact.

For more than nine years, Wilson as the head of Uptown Planners has shown no initiative or leadership to accommodate anyone by drivers. It’s time he steps down so that someone who is a true community leader can actually lead Uptown to the future.

Elderly gentleman riding in Uptown on University Avenue. Wilson doesn’t think this gentleman’s needs are important.
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