March 1999

Type: Municipal Park and college facility, 34 acres.
Entrance Location: Multiple access points from street parking all around. Best perhaps is from Arago St bordering the north end. Park is along San Jose Ave.
Facilities: Baseball field. Other unknown.
Fee-Hours: No fee. Probable night curfew.
Dogs: Good. Vast open lawn areas.

Balboa Park is mentioned primarily for its large size, and because any park this large is worthy of mention. But in regards to quality, Balboa Park suffers from a doom that is largely created by its location. It is in a low, flat area, sandwiched between the noise of Hwy 280, City College and busy San Jose Ave. Even heroic park development efforts would have a stiff challenge with this space and on top of it all, the neighborhood is not very good. Not surprisingly, park development efforts are dramatically less than heroic here and the result is that the vast majority of the park seems to serve City College as a sports recreational extension dedicated mostly to baseball. This is perhaps the best way to use this space. There are multi-use areas in the park, most notably a forested portion with cypress trees. But given the location, it does not feel safe to venture off into the trees. This park does not invite exploration. Its greatest quality is perhaps in its expansive lawns, comprising many square blocks of open space.