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How about levelling everything except the courthouses and putting a mall in? The store owners could relocate to the mall, the lawyers could pool their resources and build a 30 story high rise office building (Would that be enough?), the bankers could find space in the more convenient outlying areas (Of course, they are already fleeing downtown--it's called branch banking.) and have small branches in the new mall, and the city-county offices could be relocated in the areas where the genuine need is (not downtown). Just getting an automobile license renewed is an exercise in driving in circles looking for a parking space and standing in a line (Is "Take a Number" next?) where workers eyes are somehow defying physics by being spacially glued to the top of their desk. Or, put the city-county workers in the mall where they are more easily accessable. Heck, the police department could be paired down to three or foun workers if their supervisors worked out a car rotation program for all the ticket writing, revenue enhancing hiding places they have discovered (Real pioneer spirit at work here!). Hope my ideas have been a help. They are offered in the true spirit of a concerned citizen and we all know how the conscientiously the views of concerned citizens are valued.
PS: The Public Works Department has to feel like it's their special Christmas with all the graffiti they are being allowed to spew from their spray paint cans downtown! It may actually be worth it just to watch them merrily dance as they do their work!........Naw.
It's unfortunate that people just don't seem to understand change. The downtowns die because they stay the same. Academy, WalMart, malls, etc. grow because they offer widespread variety in one location, convenience, and more reasonable prices. How many towns have we all driven through that have planted trees and shrubs, widened sidewalks, dressed up old (but small) buildings, only to continue to see businesses close and board up? I drove through four on Monday. Most end up with less parking, inconvenient access, and johnny-one-note stores who prey on the "Save Our Downtown" and "Buy Locally" themes. It's no big deal today to drive 100 miles to buy a riding lawn mower where you have 80 to choose from and the price is 20% cheaper. Downtowns are primarily for the store owners who cannot afford to move, the lawyers/judges/city-county office workers, those the courthouse cases draw and such. That is who uses them (at least some of the restaurants). These people tend to be the decision-making powers who are fighting to "upgrade" (Give me a "new sidewalks!"), beautify, etc. with any money available that does not come out of their individual pockets. The sad part is that these decision-making powers are the ones most likely to be in a position to spend tax payer dollars to personal advantage. So, the tax payer dollars get wasted and we are left to write comments like this and vote on the school district budget instead of voting incumbents out of office until we get responsible, fiscally sound people elected. Studying issues and voting is too much of a bother. It's easier to go get a McDonalds and sit home watching tv.
tear down the relics and rebuild new buildings while preserving the landmark buildings. bring residential units back into the downtown area to provide a customer base and close off a few streets to traffic and convert them into landscaped public areas.