Saturday, April 2, 2011

Shop Fair Oaks

The businesses on Fair Oaks have been seriously hurt due to the construction project. Some of them will no longer be there by the time the project is finished. What nobody has explained to me is how this plan is going to help our city. I've heard talk about how it is "necessary." (Why, exactly?) I've heard that the design will assist traffic flow. (By cutting it off?) I have heard that the business district will prosper. (By virtue of dying and going to business heaven? Because so many people will want to visit South Pas to get stuck in traffic and look at new street lamps?) I've heard that "we have to go through with the plan," which reminds me of a doctor telling a patient "we have to finish the treatment prescribed" which looks okay on paper but is, in fact, killing the patient.

Several decades-established businesses have already lost their leases. Countless employees have lost their jobs. This is not some abstract idea of economic challenge -- this is the wholesale destruction of our business district. Where is the leadership to rethink this project? At this point, the city is landscaping a yard for a house that is uncontrollably burning to the ground.

13 comments:

Judy Williams said...

I love that the businesses rallied so that the road would not be closed completely even though it was going to be a short period. If I were there I'd go and purchase something from every single one. I'm glad you are keeping this issue in the forefront. People need to remember that "progress" is often steps backward at the cost of many.

Gretchen said...

Thank you for this, Laurie.

Green Guy said...

Going to Gus's for lunch today. I am shocked at the city's lack of response to what they have created. Why not just STOP the project? Sometimes things just don't work. The traffic backing up on side streets proves this is a stupid, idiotic idea for traffic flow. It's time to scrap it and start over with some actual leadership and input from the business owners. How long until the elections?

Laurie said...

Jon and I have talked about this. Why not halt construction? The bulbouts are clearly a bad idea and we don't want to blight our entire business district for a few new streetlamps and worse gridlock. I am dumbfounded by this whole thing.

If we destroy our business sector AND make North/South through traffic worse, how exactly is that making our case AGAINST the 710 extension? Anyone?

Cafe Pasadena said...

I was gonna, go south, into SoPasa last week for pizza on FOaks.

I changed my mind and turned back home.

Not Retired said...

Have found ways to back into the Pet Store and we come from behind to get to Gus's and everytime my husband forgets what Fair Oaks is like and then ends up stuck, he quietly grinds his teeth and figures out how to back out of it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for speaking out for the merchants here and at your Patch article.

Mister Earl said...

As you know, Laurie, I too have wondered why the project isn't halted. I'm sure there are a lot of reasons that would be given - mostly, "we have contracts, we can't stop now." I don't know how it helps anyone to obstruct, for example, the ability to turn right from Fair Oaks onto Monterey, because the de facto right lane is now gone.

The bulbouts are supposed to protect pedestrians. Don't bank on it. Any truck trying to turn right onto a side street off Fair Oaks will have no room to negotiate the street and will need to run over the bulbout. Pedestrians cannot rely on them for safety.

Where is the leadership?

Anonymous said...

AMEN!

JustinM said...

I always walk to Bristol Farms, not just because it's a wonderful walk, but the last few months it's actually faster than driving. The other day before shopping I was going to stop in to Mamma's and get a slice. Except, of course, the sidewalk was completely torn up. And not in the okay-I-can-just-walk-in-the-dirt way. It was impassable.

So you can't drive and turn left into any of these businesses.. and now you can't even walk to them!

Concerned SoPas Gal said...

Justin, I had the same problem with walking. I don't understand how the businesses can be expected to just deal with this when it was created by the city their taxes support. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Laurie, thank you for using your voice in your Patch column and here to remember the merchants. We really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

It's a small price to pay for not having the 710 go through.