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Mayor Filner To Unveil Balboa Park Traffic Plan

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A new traffic management plan for the center of Balboa Park, to be unveiled late today by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, would close off vehicle traffic through the Plaza de Panama on weekends.

Photo credit: Joanne DiBona

The North Fountain in Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama.

Elements of the plan, released via a statement to the news media, also includes the removal of all parking, striping and signs from the plaza, which would be resurfaced.

Handicapped parking spots would be relocated to the lot south of Alcazar Garden and valet parking would be placed in the lot south of the Casa de Balboa.

The mayor's plan would allow vehicle traffic coming off the Cabrillo Bridge to go through the plaza on weekdays, but not weekends.

Filner opposed a plan supported by ex-Mayor Jerry Sanders and Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs to divert traffic out of the plaza by constructing a bypass bridge.

That plan was shot down in court. Preservationists who sued to stop the plan contended the bypass bridge would be unsightly and threaten the park's historic status.

The basic goal of both plans has been to make the plaza safer and more welcoming for pedestrians.

Filner is scheduled to present the plan to the Balboa Park Committee at 6 p.m. at the Balboa Park Club.

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