Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mayor Sanders Wants Balboa Park Plaza to be Car-free

Mayor Jerry Sanders announced last week that he wants to restrict automobile access from the center of historic Balboa Park. Sanders said the park should be reclaimed for 'ourselves and posterity' in time for the park's 2015 centennial.

(A postcard depicts Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama, originally designed for pedestrian-use in 1915; David Marshall collection via SD Union-Tribune).

The central plaza, which was designed and built for pedestrians in 1915 in lieu of the Panama-California Exposition ceremony, has since become a 'ceremonial parking lot for cars,' the mayor said in his State of the City address.

Balboa Park boosters and museum representatives are thrilled. Rob Sidener, Director of the Balboa Park-based Mingei International Museum, supported Mayor Sanders '
“Because the plaza is for people and not for cars.”

Mayor Sanders did not specify whether the re-modeled plaza would completely restrict cars from entering the area or whether it would simply remove the existing parking lot.

Either way, we applaud the mayor for his pedestrian-friendly vision of our city's historic center.

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