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The push to remodel Balboa Park before its centennial celebration in 2015 has stirred some of San Diego’s biggest political actors in recent months and spurred us to Fact Check a few of their bold claims. We’d like to Fact Check more.
Here’s how you can help: Visit websites for the Plaza de Panama Committee, which is pushing a proposal to completely boot cars from the plaza, and the Save Our Heritage Organisation, which is leading the charge against it. Read their arguments, find bold claims and tell us what to investigate.
You can also watch the video (or read the transcript) of a July 19 City Council meeting where the two sides laid out their positions. Did residents and City Council members respond citing accurate information? Let us know if you find something interesting.
So far, we’ve examined three claims related to the plaza debate and one that was unrelated. An editorial published by the Union-Tribune accurately cited a study showing that up to 7,000 cars pass through the plaza each day. Mayor Jerry Sanders, who supports booting cars from the plaza, overstated how many pedestrians walk through the plaza each day. Sanders claimed “hundreds of thousands.” A study counted about 12,200. Our CEO Scott Lewis also mistakenly called Balboa Park one of the largest urban parks in the world. The park actually ranks below the top 10 worldwide and several other San Diego parks are bigger.
Outside the plaza debate, County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price accurately cited a study showing that most people who visit Balboa Park do not live in San Diego.
So what claims should we Fact Check about Balboa Park next? Contact me by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 619.550.5668.
Disclosure: Irwin Jacobs, a major supporter of voiceofsandiego.org, is chairman of the Plaza de Panama Committee.
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