Foto Friday: Bike Parking Infrastructure in Balboa Park

This morning #iMayor Todd Gloria dedicated the first of 20 bike corrals scheduled to be installed throughout Balboa Park. In his comments he noted, my state of the city address two weeks ago, I laid out a transportation vision for our future that really is about making bicycling more of a viable option for folks [who are] getting from A to B.  And this is a step in actually fulfilling that vision and making it a reality. I think that Bruce [Shank] and Ken and others who ride here in the park everyday know that many people like to ride their bikes through the park. But they don't necessarily stop because we don't have the infrastructure. Well that ends today. This is the first of 20 installations that we will have throughout the park so that bicyclists know they can come and safely store their bikes and go out and enjoy some of the best cultural offerings in the world right here in Balboa Park. [More] importantly it will encourage people to actually leave their [car] keys at home and hopefully ride their bikes to the park. We have a real [vehicle] parking challenge in this park. This is one of the ways to address that. It's very cost effective, its environmentally sensitive. And it's the direction we ought to be going as a city.


...this is part of a broader effort[...]. It's not just about [you getting] here, but getting here safely, comfortably and then we don't just get the spandex enthusiasts, but you get the Todd Glorias of the world who want to bike but who don't always feel comfortable doing that. And again, they can take that conveyance as taxpayers and enjoy what they are paying for: the most magnificent park in the country.

interim Mayor Todd Gloria poses next to the beautiful new bike racks installed this morning in Balboa Park.

Funds for the new bike racks were provided by the San Diego Foundation. The Foundation's President and CEO, Bob Kelly, stated,

We are honored to be able to provide funding to increase access to Balboa Park while preserving the historic character of the Park. This project aligns perfectly with The San Diego Foundation’s Opening the Outdoors initiative which seeks to provide park and outdoor access to all San Diegans,

More racks are on their way to being installed around the park
Bike corral. Photo by Grant Barrett
Bike corral. Photo by Grant Barrett

These new bike racks are indeed a fine new addition to Balboa Park. Check them out and if you snap a photo and post it to your preferred social media outlet, don't forget to tag #bikeSD.

Mayor Filner Unveils Plan to Make Balboa Park a Park: Making Parts of it Car-Free

Balboa Park's Cabrillo Bridge would have no automobile traffic on weekends under the mayor's proposed plan. Photo: BikeSD Member Michael Brennan

Yesterday evening, the mayor presented his plan to prepare San Diego for the upcoming 2015 Centennial Celebration. His plan articulates an actual park like vision that builds on a discussion begun over three years ago that initially got us excited but then quickly devolved into a series of oddities which included a proposal to build a bypass bridge with a price tag of $45 million, along with the construction of a new parking garage, a stranger proposal by the local preservationist group to build an additional road, a lawsuit and some heated (and long) city council sessions.

After all that hubub and the judicial ruling stating that the council approved plan to build a bypass bridge was a non-starter, the mayor proposed a $500,000 plan last night that takes the Blackson Stepner plan and makes it even better by making the historic Cabrillo Bridge car-free on weekends. This plan also includes a car-free Plaza de Panama that was the original vision that got us excited to begin with.

And not unlike how other city leaders around the country have received public support for similar plans, Filner's proposal largely is temporary and can be implemented with minimal investment. We hope that this plan becomes permanent and we take this as a sign that it is part of the Mayor's larger plan to make this city more bike friendly. Inviting our friends and neighbors to visualize and experience San Diego's potential will be key to ensuring this plan's success. But the challenge remains: San Diego's streets aren't truly bike-friendly unless the cars disappear and this is another one of those steps to getting our city to be more bike friendly.

According to Paul Jamason, Council President Todd Gloria, whose district includes the city's jewel that is Balboa Park stated that he wanted to hear from his district about their support for the Mayor's plan:

We're very excited about the mayor's plan and encourage you to voice your support by emailing Council President Gloria at: Do copy us at so we can track your support as well.

For more information about car-free spaces in world-class cities, watch the videos from Street Films.

Voice your support for a car-free Balboa Park Plaza tonight

Thanks to San Diego Coalition Executive Director, Kathy Keehan, for alerting us to good article in SignOnSanDiego regarding making Balboa Park Plaza a car-free zone in time for the 2015 Centennial Celebration, celebrating the Panama California Exposition.

Tonight at 6 PM there is a Balboa Park Committee meeting in the Santa Fe Room of the Balboa Park Club. Please attend to voice your support for creating a car-free Balboa Park Plaza.

Mayor Sanders Wants a Car-Free Balboa Park Plaza

The 2009 Earth Day celebration provides a glimpse of a car-free central plaza in Balboa Park. Mayor Sanders hopes to have the plaza car-free by 2015.

In his State of the City speech on Wednesday, Mayor Jerry Sanders revealed his strong support for a plan that would take the cars and parking spaces out of Balboa Park's central plaza.  Sanders said of the plaza:

It was built for the 1915 Exposition as a grand ceremonial plaza for the public. Over time it was transformed into a grand ceremonial parking lot for cars.

We will reclaim that plaza for ourselves and posterity before the park’s centennial celebration in 2015. And in doing so, we will celebrate a moment that’s a century in our past.

For what it's worth, Bike San Diego would like to join the other park supporters and institutions that have already voiced their endorsement for this project.

Read Sanders' entire speech here.

Read more about the plaza plan at SignOnSanDiego. But don't read the comments, it'll just make you mad.