Proposed Changes to Balboa Park To Make It Car Free
That is not a spelling error. Balboa Park's central Plaza de Panama is to have it's parking lot removed. A new parking structure that is being proposed in a private fund raising effort, would allow the grand Plaze de Panama to be restored to its original central square theme as it was designed for the 1915 Panama California Exposition.
There is a private fund raising effort championed by a well known San Diego philanthropist. The proposed plan to remove the small central parking lot and construct a 2 level parking facility in a more out of the way location in the park. The new parking structure would be designed in such a way as to be able to convert the roof top to landscaped green space and usable by visitors to the park.
As part of the proposed plan, various changes would take place to restore the grand plaza as pedestrian mall area and would include removing any other existing structure including relocating a gifted fountain to another location in the park. The original fountain design that was in existence for the Expo would be re-created ,replicating a similar design to the original fountain.
The above is a photograph I took of the illustration that appeared in our Union Tribune newspaper.
Re-routing traffic away from the grand plaza would be accommodated with a new ramp that leads to the proposed new parking structure off the Cabrillo Bridge which is considered the main entrance to Balboa Park.
The proposed cost of all the modifications would be in the range of 33 million and if the funds are raised, construction would be scheduled to begin in 2012 with the goal of having the changes completed in time for the Centennial of the Exposition in 2015.
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