On March 4, Mark Johnson, the lead designer on Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama project, gave an update to the Balboa Park advisory committee.
Johnson says that his firm, Civitas, continues to conduct public outreach and plans to submit a proposal to the City in April with hopes to finish public review on the environmental-impact report by summer.
The current design, which proposes diverting traffic from the plaza by building a bypass bridge off of Cabrillo Bridge, continues to be an issue for some residents and historical preservationists.
During public comment, representatives from Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) urged Johnson to consider options other than a bypass bridge.
“It won't be good for the park,” said Jaye MacAskill, president of SOHO's board of directors. “It's disappointing to hear [Johnson] say that his firm wants to hear from the public when he evades any real discussion of alternatives.”
And while committee member Michael Singleton did express concern about the process and recommended that Johnson and his firm present more alternatives, member Mick Hager, president of the Natural History Museum, showed support for the current design.
“I would just like SOHO to know that the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, which consists of 26 cultural institutions in the park, are in favor of the Plaza de Panama project, including the extension bridge,” said Hager. “We work here every day. We love the park as much as you do. And, so far, the [plan] presented solves the most problems.”