The controversial and divisive “Jacobs Plan” for Plaza de Panama and a bypass bridge has been ruled illegal by a judge. It will not be built. GSSD opposed the plan, so good riddance.
What’s next? We can still make a Cabrillo Bridge that serves everyone, and a Plaza de Panama for people, and complete construction by 2015. Here’s how:
- Make Cabrillo Bridge and El Prado Drive a “shared space”. (See picture and explanation below)
- Allow one way vehicular traffic moving east into the Park.
- Provide ADA drop-off, free ADA valet and paid valet for businesses.
- Create a pedestrian Plaza de Panama
Cars still need access to Cabrillo Bridge.
I have an 87 year old mother who is wheelchair bound. I understand the need to get her by car to the restaurants and museums in the heart of the Prado. Getting her on a trolley is extremely hard on her and me. Pushing her in a wheelchair from 6th Avenue isn’t going to cut it.
Twice as many pedestrians use Cabrillo Bridge than cars.*
So design it for pedestrians first. Duh! Only in America would we give a small number of cars an ample expanse of pavement, and then squeeze twice as many people onto narrow sidewalks. And bicycles? They were forgotten in the original design.
Share the Space.
Cabrillo Bridge / El Prado Drive can become a Shared Space street. Not familiar with Shared Space streets? Take a look at this picture of a shared space street in England. it is exactly what it says it is … “shared” … by ALL users.
What makes a shared space street different? It has no curbs. The entire space is level and uses the same paving materials throughout. It’s designed for pedestrians first. Cars move slowly because they are sharing the space with people and bicycles. Drivers become less lazy, and more vigilant.
Won’t people be hit by cars?
When people are present, cars drive more slowly. Think parking lot — do you drive 30 mph in a parking lot? Of course not. Do you walk down the drive aisles? Of course you do. If you knew that people and bicyclist were walking down the street, wouldn’t you drive more slowly to avoid hitting them? Of course you would.
ADA drop off and free ADA valet.
We can still get mobility challenged people into the heart of the Prado. An ADA drop-off would allow those who have assistance to be dropped off. A free ADA valet would replace ADA parking on the plaza, freeing the space for people.
We are trying to attract people to the museums and restaurants – not keep them away. Some people want paid valet, and businesses benefit from it. It should be available.
That leaves a large majority of the Plaza for People!
Cafe tables, umbrellas, chairs and benches, watching your children run around the fountain … all of that will be possible on a new Plaza de Panama designed for pedestrians.
We can have it all … for a lot less money.
This plan requires very little time, and a lot less money than the 40 million Jacobs plan. It could easily be completed by the 2015 Centennial celebration
Let’s hear your plan!
San Diego is full of creative people. Let’s hear your plan! Maybe you have an idea no one had thought of yet. Send it to GSSD and we will publish the best ideas.
*Traffic studies showed 7,000 vehicles and 14,000 pedestrians used Cabrillo Bridge during peak hours.