Plaza de Panama Has Potential as 'Starbucks Central' | Voice of San Diego

Balboa Park

Plaza de Panama Has Potential as 'Starbucks Central'

Reader: ‘Look what New York has done in Times Square and Herald Square — all those chairs and tables brought those previously traffic-filled logjams to vivid pedestrian life!’

The battle over the ultimate fate of Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama is still raging. Here’s one revealing exchange from our comments section:

  • Amy Roth: “What about filling up the empty space in the central plaza that now looks so bleak? Weren’t we going to have umbrella tables and chairs installed there?”
  • Eric Spoerner: “As I recall, the city will be observing how visitors actually behave in the space before they place furniture, etc.”
  • Roth: “How are people supposed to behave? There’s nothing to do there but walk away, or through it to get to the other side. Look what New York has done in Times Square and Herald Square — all those chairs and tables brought those previously traffic-filled logjams to vivid pedestrian life!”
  • Spoerner: “I don’t disagree with you that the furniture will make it umpteen times better, but to be fair I’ve seen people congregating, kids playing/running, etc., here every time that I’ve visited since the fix was made.”
  • Roth: “That’s great, but let’s get with the furniture! Then kids can be playing and their parents can be sitting and having a drink and reading their smartphones. It could be Starbucks Central of San Diego!!”

How do you want to see the plaza used? Let us know in the comments.

Comments have been lightly edited for clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us here

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