I just got back from walking through CityFest in Hillcrest. Lots of cool pics are coming! But first, I saw some conceptual artwork being displayed by San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts that has renewed my enthusiasm for a proposed transportation project.
The proposal, which I read about months ago, is for an aerial tramway, or skyway, which would connect downtown San Diego to Balboa Park. It’s an idea that’s both visionary and practical!
San Diego is an extremely popular tourist destination. There are many great things to see, including beautiful, amazing, enormous Balboa Park. Balboa Park, over a mile (to its center) from downtown, is often said to be one of the two best urban parks in America, along with New York City’s Central Park. But there’s one problem. If you don’t have a rental car, you must reach it on foot, by rented bicycle, taxi, or by city or tour bus. For some tourists this might be impractical, too time consuming, or unappealing. A skyway linking downtown’s many hotels, attractions and convenient trolley network to Balboa Park, I believe, would be wildly successful.
Can you imagine all the folks who work in offices downtown, easily heading up to Balboa Park during lunchtime? Can you imagine how visually unique and appealing such a project, tastefully designed, might be? Forget a Ferris wheel or tower on the waterfront, I say. That’s been done elsewhere. Let’s create something that’s both fun and extremely useful!
Living atop Cortez Hill, directly between downtown and Balboa Park, I can’t tell you how often I’ve given directions to lost San Diego visitors. They drive north only to reach a dead end at Tweet Street Park. They have to navigate confusing one way streets to find their way across Interstate 5, then figure out how to enter Balboa Park and locate a parking place. An aerial tram would help solve that problem, as well!
According to some literature I picked up from Ron Roberts, the San Diego Bay to Balboa Park Skyway, powered by a 500 horsepower electric engine, could carry up to 2400 people per hour.
The views of downtown, San Diego Bay and Balboa Park would be breathtaking. The ride itself would almost certainly become one of San Diego’s top tourist attractions.
From what I’ve heard so far, the idea is awesome!