Car-free plazas in unlikely locations are all the rage now that Times Square has been so successful sans autos. San Diego's mayor and Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs showed off a plan yesterday to make Balboa Park's main square, the Plaza de Panama, into a landscaped pedestrian-only plaza. The Plaza has allowed cars since 1917, with breaks only for World Wars. As Streetsblog points out, the media is mostly concerned with the parking impact--the plan would remove 67 parking spaces in the Plaza but add a two-level garage slightly south. And Jacobs said it's possible that if the city doesn't raise the full $33 million needed for the project "the city might have to issue a bond and charge for parking in the garage to cover bond payments," which has the San Diego Union-Tribune clutching its pearls. All this pedestrian plaza talk has us wanting one for ourselves though. Where should Los Angeles puts its no-car zone? Westwood Village? Hollywood Boulevard? Your suggestions in the comments please, and then we'll put it to a vote.
· Plaza plan for Balboa Park unveiled [San Diego Union-Tribune]