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Crown Jewel to Get Even More Crown Jeweled

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Balboa Park! It is a "jewel in BART's crown," according to a spokeswoman. Oh, right, one a them concrete jewels. Classy! And it's getting classier, with a groundbreaking for $2 million in upgrades starting this Friday. New vending machines, better cameras, nicer lighting -- it's all very impressive. Not only that, but Linton Johnson, the charismatic BART spokesman himself,has personally invited you! Show up for the festivities at 10am. Dress to impress. Obama is cutting a check for $2 million to upgrade Balboa Park -- but the BART revamps don't end there. Check out a longer list of upgrades after the jump. Clearly, this is awesome; but what's less clear is how it fits into Supervisor Avalos' Balboa Park Station Area Plan.

A couple of months ago, the city approved a plan for the Balboa Park area that is really quite lovely. (Of course, like everything in SF, the city's been twiddling its thumbs over it for years.) And separately, the SFMTA also had a plan cooked up for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit amenities.

So does this BART upgrade fit into all these? It's totally unclear. We recommend you show up on Friday and ask.

Oh and also, you might wonder what what else is BART getting. Plenty, according to Ms. Boxer:

* $10 million for preventative maintenance
* $20 million to replace essential electrical service
* $13 million to build a mainline crossover at Pleasant Hill
* $3.5 million to replace cables along the Transbay Tube
* $594,984 for new fare collection equipment, lighting, an ADA-accessible walkway and other upgrades at the Balboa Park station
* $1.17 million to upgrade BART trains with new carpet and seat cushions

· Stimulus Money for BART as expressed by Barbara Boxer [Bartrage]
· Balboa Park Station Westside Entrance and Walkway | Groundbreaking Event [SFCTA]
· Supervisor John Avalos Introduces Measures To Re-envision Balboa Park Station and Adjacent Areas
· Balboa Park Station Pedestrian and Bicycle Connection Project [SFMTA]
· Plan aims to bring transit village to Balboa Park [Blue Examiner]