UTSA Broadway project seeks crowdsourcing solutions

Community's suggestions sought for reinventing Broadway Street

SAN ANTONIO – Laid out in the center of Brick at Blue Star, a 50-foot scale model of an eight-mile stretch of Broadway from the airport to Travis Park gave guests a glimpse of what the future could hold for mass transit: a skyride.

“Our idea was to think about experience,” said UTSA College of Architecture professor Dr. Antonio Petrov. “Our idea was what would it be like to travel down Broadway and to experience the qualities of San Antonio.”

Petrov and a group of architecture students unveiled their project called “1,000 Parks and a Line in the Sky” Thursday night at Blue Star. Along with the scale model, a gigantic photo map of the same stretch covered one of the large warehouse walls. One thousand interstitial plots of land along the stretch were identified by number and attendees were encouraged to pick some of the “parks” and submit ideas for reinventing the spaces along Broadway.

“We wanted to imagine Broadway as an avenue of the future,” said Petrov. “Every important city in the world has a major street, avenue that they're proud of, and we wanted to think what that could be in San Antonio.”

“I think it's a great idea,” said lifelong San Antonio resident Ashley Jones. “We need to involve people in decisions like that because they live here, to make it more beneficial and exciting for them and to make them feel like they're a part of the community.”

The spaces vary in size from just a few square feet to large parking lots. Dr. Petrov said the feasibility of the ideas was not the driving force behind the project but to get people thinking about the possibilities.

“It's definitely something for people to start thinking and getting ideas of how Broadway could be transformed into something that belongs to San Antonio,” said senior architecture student Aaron Stone, who has worked on the project since last August.

While the hundreds of parks are expected to receive multiple suggestions, Petrov hoped his solution to mass transit is one many would agree with.

“Our idea was to think about experience,” said Petrov. “Our idea was what would it be like to travel down Broadway and to experience the qualities of San Antonio.”

“San Antonio used to have one so we're already familiar with the idea, we already really like it,” said Stone. “There's space for it, unlike having a tram or expanding the lanes of Broadway.”

“I remember being a little girl with my grandmother leaving the zoo on the high ride, and I think we should definitely bring it back,” added Jones.

Dr. Petrov expects to have the map with the listed spaces available online soon to receive even more public input.