KPBS recently ran a story mostly lamenting the lack of parking for vehicles at Balboa Park in San Diego. I strongly disagree with this premise, particularly because of the lack of parking studies to support this viewpoint. I posted a bit on my Facebook page (re-posted below) and was surprised and grateful to see it included the next day in both the San Diego Free Press Starting Line and the Voice of San Diego Morning Report.
If you live in San Diego or like to follow news from San Diego these are my two favorite daily sources for information and viewpoints from the area. You can subscribe to both of these sources via email if you’d like to get them in your inbox.
Here are my brief thoughts on proposals to pave more of Balboa Park for parking lots, garages, and roadways. It is very sad to me that in some of our most precious locations – the beachfront, the bayfront, Balboa Park, and so many others – we actively go out of our way to spend millions to erase the natural beauty that exists here. Hopefully we can start to change our ways and live in a more sustainable, and enjoyable manner in the future.
This is so terrible it’s not even funny. In San Diego, our biggest and most well-known, and well-visited, park is Balboa Park. If you’ve been to San Diego you may have been there.
Instead of preserving our park space we are actively trying to pave more and more and more of it to accommodate vehicle parking. If parking were difficult, this might be a cause worth considering.
But facts like usage of existing parking spots won’t be found in articles like this or conversations with our “Balboa Park leaders”. Maybe a quick anecdote to note that yes, there are almost always open parking spots, but then back to visions of parking garages and multi-million dollar roadways that taxpayers will pay for.
Fresh on the heels of a huge parking garage built by the San Diego Zoo (which all San Diego property owners pay for) we have visions of parking on the East Mesa (which is already a parking lot used by city trucks), and a parking garage behind the Organ Pavilion.
More parking, more cars, more pavement. Less open space, worse air, and more congestion. Everybody clap.