Local planner Howard Blackson of Placemakers and architect Michael Stepner, former city architect, now with the New School of Architecture and Design, have floated a plan for the Plaza de Panama via social media sites. (click to enlarge)
The beauty of this plan is that it can be done now – we can try it out, at very little cost and no construction. Try it. See if we like it. See if it works. Get community feedback. Tweak it. Refine it. And if all goes well, then make it permanent.
Try it first on low traffic days during the week. If that works, try it out on weekends. Move a few planters around, put up some orange cones, and Voila!
The worst that could happen is that we find out that it doesn’t work, and that the only plan that will work is the Jacobs Plan. If that happens there will be a whole lot of mea culpa’s around the City, but at least we will have tried alternative plans before spending $40 million to build something permanent.
GSSD has proposed a plan that is very similar to the Blackson-Stepner plan. The only difference is creating a free ADA valet instead of ADA parking on the plaza, and making the El Prado Drive a shared space, instead of separated by different travel modes. (click to enlarge)
Trying the Blackson-Stepner Plan first can tell us if we want to refine El Prado into a shared space, or if we want ADA parking off the plaza. But if we don’t try it, we will never know. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Just Try It! Tell Balboa Park and City Hall we want to try it out – now. Time is wasting before 2015.