Thursday, August 29, 2013

This Ain't No Central Park

Not a pretty sight.  I've never been a fan of those downtown horse drawn carriages.  They just don't work on our streets which combine cars, buses, and now bikes.  The carriages are a major traffic hazard, just check them out sometime at North Temple and State Streets.  What a PITA.

OK, they an be romantic.  But we don't have a huge Central Park downtown where the carriages can travel without vehicular interference.  The collapsed horse the other day was only the latest of several incidences involving the carriages.  Better to take the carriages to Liberty Park, or Wheeler Farm, or the This Is the Place Monument.

A concerned citizen has started a petition to remove the carriages from downtown and save the horses.  Sign it out here...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Historical Preservation Pt. II

During the Olympics, I wandered into a Main St. building to view exhibits by the BLM and Forest Service.  However, I was amazed by the building interior itself.  I haven't yet found much historical info about 125 S. Main, but since the Olympics it has fallen into disrepair.  Checking the new Performance Art Center web page, it looks like this building may be scheduled for demolition.

I did contact the Utah Heritage Foundation for information on the building's future, and I received this reply:

"It is one of the great historic interiors left on Main Street and I know they’ve had difficulty preserving it in place with the program for the theater. I will let you know what I find out."

I managed a couple pics through the window which may give an ideas what we may be sacrificing from our great historical past for something only those who can afford $100-$200 tickets will use.

Historic Preservation Pt. 1

While attending the Capitol Hill Community Council meeting this week, I was reminded of the old Wasatch Springs Plunge building out on Beck Street (900 N. and 300 W.).  Since the Children's Museum moved to Gateway nearly 10 years ago, this building has remained unused, and unavailable to the Capitol Hill community.  Seems the City never has any money to renovate this site.   Better to spend $100M+ on a fancy performance center of dubious need than to preserve this building on the National Register of Historic Places.  A little web search found a few interesting articles on this building:

A commissioned study on the historic structure.

A National Park Service review with pics (large file).

A geothermal review.

It is my hope that the City Council can focus on the resources already in our communities rather than engaging in some sort of edifice complex with expensive new facilities.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

Seems like dog issues are quite controversial.  I like dogs, I really do consider them (wo)man's best friend...  it's a cliche but true.  And I don't pretend to know all the pros and cons of all the issues surrounding dogs, but off leash areas in parks seem to be one major issue.

To avoid the summer heat, I've been taking to the parks early in the mornings for some exercise.  I do see several owners enjoying the parks with their dogs off leash, even though it is clearly posted that dogs must be on leash.  Questioning them, they hold up their pop bags and show that their dogs are well controlled.  By the time the kids show up for soccer, or the cricket match gets started, the dogs are gone.

Seems like a good experiment in self regulation is going on with these responsible dog owners.  And I wonder if off leash areas could be extended to more park areas during the early morning or later evening hours.  Something worth discussion, anyway.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Metering Downtown Business Success

I initiated my campaign based on the downtown parking meters and their extended hours.  Paying an extra $2 to $4 in order to dine at my favorite restaurants really irritated me and apparently many others.  My understanding from comments and emails that many small downtown businesses have suffered significantly since the meter hours increased.

So what are possible solutions?  My first choice is to roll back the metered hours to 6 PM, as they were.  Then we can all enjoy a movie, dinner, and maybe a club without worry about the meters.

But the new solar meters offer other opportunities as well.  Remember the tokens?  I've had one small business owner tell me the tokens were great for building customer loyalty.  A token for one hour free parking was a great way to increase business.  The new meters offer a high tech solution.  Simply offer 1 hour free parking during the day, 2 hours in the evening.  Or businesses could simply take the customer's parking slot number and enter it into a smart app on a phone or computer and register the customer for free parking.  

I assume the technology with the new meters could offer other solutions as well.  Instead of bagging the meters during the holiday season (and attracting all-day parkers), the new meters could be adjusted to offer extended free parking hours but limit all-day parking problems.

Of course I assume that the millions paid for the new meters included sophisticated software that could enable these free parking opportunities.  Then again, was there much vision involved in the purchasing decision?


Thursday, August 1, 2013

City Weekly Article

Thanks to City Weekly for the fine article on my campaign.  Pick up a copy of the paper or click on the logo for the online article.

Tennis, Anyone?

I used to play a fair amount of tennis and often sought out the small courts located in the Avenues.  I took a look around at those courts the other day and was appalled at the condition.  Some of the courts were "under repair" so long that the under repair signs needed repair!

From C Street:  (Click on the pics for a larger viewing size)

Then I went past Lindsey Gardens...  depressing...

Finally, up on 11th Ave, there are a couple courts in operation, but others are locked out to tennis fans.

I can't believe it is so difficult for the City Parks Dept. to cut down a few weeds and install nets.  Yes, there is some concrete work needed as well.  Well?  Aren't we paying taxes for these facilities?  Maybe the City should repair our existing facilities rather than build yet another very expensive performing arts theater.

Finally, the 11th Ave Park volleyball court with an invisible net....  So pull the concrete out and replace it with sand.  Beach volleyball!

I guess what I'm getting at...  City Government needs to maintain existing facilities before spending money on exotic parking meters and unneeded arts buildings.  When what we already have is up and running and working well, the City can look at expanding arts and sports opportunities for SLC citizens as well as new technologies.

Vote for me!  Bring some common sense back to city government.