Mayor Faulconer announced on Thursday the revival of a plan to remove cars from the Central Mesa of Balboa Park, with many of the plan’s former supporters getting the band back together for a second try. The plan still redirects traffic from the Cabrillo Bridge onto a bypass bridge and directly into a parking garage. There’s lots of reports about it out there today but, as is our style, Lisa Halverstadt helps you make sense of it and identifies the big questions still to be answered.
The legal issues with the plan have been settled for some time but the project sat in limbo. Nobody would tell us it would re-emerge.
Halverstadt noted that two key people were not at the mayor’s side: Councilman Todd Gloria, an early prominent backer of the original plan, and his elected successor, Chris Ward. Ward previously was opposed to bringing back the project. He was named, however, as having been at the mayor’s side in the mayor’s press release but a doctor’s appointment actually kept him away from the media frenzy.
When asked if he supported it, Ward issued a tepid statement that he was analyzing it.
Philanthropist Irwin Jacobs told Halverstadt the group will need to raise $20 million to make the project happen. (Jacobs is a major supporter of Voice of San Diego.)
• Faulconer also announced that he will ask voters in November to modify an previous ballot measure that ensured much of the revenue generated from leases in Mission Bay Park stayed there. This time, he said, he wants some of the money to flow to Balboa Park and its many maintenance needs. None of that money, he pledged, would be used for the Plaza de Panama project.