My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Fri
    22
  • Sat
    23
  • Sun
    24
  • Mon
    25
  • Tue
    26
  • Wed
    27
  • Thu
    28
TikiBeat May 22, 2015 CityBeat's annual start of summer kick-off party featuring DJs spinning tiki tunes, Polynesian dancers, a fashion show, burlesque performances from Roots Covenants plus Desi Realtor and Old Man Johnson. 74 other events on Friday, May 22
 
From the Editor
The taxpaying citizens of San Diego should not pay for a new stadium
Music feature
Providence duo are busting eardrums for the long haul
Seen Local
The media artist/designer wants women to challenge the idea of what’s expected of them
News
Lawsuit challenges city-funded nonprofit’s authority to make land-use decisions
Beer & Chees
The Lost Abbey opens a satellite tasting room in Cardiff-by-the-Sea

 

 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
 
Home / Articles / Opinion / Editorial /  Balboa Park’s done deal
. . . .
Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012

Balboa Park’s done deal

We don’t like it, but we’ll get over it

By CityBeat Staff
editorial Irwin Jacobs
- Photo courtesy of The National Academy of Sciences

Thanks to a 6-1 vote of the San Diego City Council on Monday—with Sherri Lightner opposed—Balboa Park will get a major makeover before the park’s big centennial celebration in 2015. The plan features precisely one fantastic element: the elimination of parking and vehicle traffic from the Plaza de Panama, the central area in front of the San Diego Museum of Art, where cars currently circle a lost and lonely fountain, bookended by unsightly parking spaces, on their way to and from the Cabrillo Bridge and the park’s southern attractions.

No question about it, the new plaza will be glorious. Everyone will love it. Yay. The rest of the plan? Not so much.

The worst of it is a new elevated ramp and road that diverts cars heading east across the Cabrillo Bridge through a parking lot behind the Museum of Man and into a new parking garage in the middle of the park, behind the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The hideousness of the garage will be masked by a new rooftop park, the character and design of which we hope will match the existing, venerable surroundings.

The new bypass road funneling cars away from the plaza is intrusive and, we believe, unnecessary, a major disruption of part of a historic park. And the garage unfortunately sets in stone—literally—a car culture in the center of what should be a purely pedestrian environment (notwithstanding trams for people who are elderly or disabled).

In the end, we’ll celebrate the new Plaza de Panama, and we’ll sigh at the missed opportunity that the new ramp and parking structure will forever represent. But we’ll get over it.

Still, the project was based on a flawed premise and process. Rich guy Irwin Jacobs and Mayor Jerry Sanders cooked up a plan whereby Jacobs would hand over tens of millions of dollars and, in exchange, get to call all the shots. A better way would have been for Jacobs to pledge money for a project to eliminate cars from the plaza and let a public process determine how it should be done. That would have engendered the adoration that Sanders and others have asked the public to lavish upon Jacobs and his wife Joan for their philanthropy.

Jacobs’ critics booed him at the council hearing— that was an obnoxious and immature display. But pardon us if we don’t pledge fealty to the Jacobses just because they have the money to buy us a better plaza. There’s plenty of bad to go with the good, and Jacobs was never interested in a more holistic process, so criticism was warranted, and his supporters should stop whining about it. They should also try to minimize the outrage that they’ll surely express when opponents exercise their right to seek relief through the courts.


What do you think? Write to editor@sdcitybeat.com



 
 
 
 
 
 
Close
Close
Close