On 30th Street, one hears a lot of talk about all the changes that happened in the neighborhood in the last few years -- whether it's seen as revitalization or regentrification or whatever. It seems clear to me that a lot of people, including residents, homebuyers, and businesspeople, saw this area's potential for being a lively, human-scale neighborhood, and they put their money and effort into making it happen.
This neighborhood's future as a vital neighborhood is rooted very specifically in its history as a "streetcar" neighborhood. That's why is 30th street corridor is so bikeable and walkable now, why most of the buildings make sense as independent businesses serving the community, and why the 2 is such a great bus -- it's actually still running the route the #2 trolley ran in the early 1900s.
When you exit the #7 bus from downtown, at the corner of 30th and University, you see the above-pictured (slightly faded) inscription on the sidewalk.
It's a little hard to read it all, but it explains how North Park came to be San Diego's "second downtown". In 1911, when the #2 streetcar line was extended up to University ave and met the #7, the intersection of 30th and University became a major hub, even though it was pretty far from the center of the city.
Now, of course, all the new enterprises around this corner, inhabiting buildings built in the 20s and 30s, are returning the intersection back into what it was. Even though it will probably take rebuilding the trolley tracks before most people ride public trasport to get here.
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