Successful Main Streets and Downtown Districts have a transportation hub at their core, in other words, mass transit. Something to bring people directly into the downtown area for jobs, shopping, city business, arts centers and museums. They don’t shift to the outskirts and out of sight. If they must send the primary station to the outskirts, they run free shuttles to key downtown sites (a perfect use for old fashioned trolley-style buses).
Progressive cities also don’t have car dealerships and acres of single-level church parking lots at their core. They make certain that ample handicapped accessible parking slots are available on every downtown street, that parking (garages) are both plentiful and convenient for all citizens.
In downtown Clarksville, a parking garage is admittedly needed; that is a fact. It is also a fact that the Transit Center has outgrown its location. But even if a city builds/expands said parking garage, it stil needs to provide designated handicapped slots on each of its downtown streets: Franklin Street is one example of non-handicapped acessible streets. When Strawberry Alley has a street festival, its’ handicapped slot are usually behind the boundary line for special events, off limits to vehicles, with no other provisions for handicapped access to parking. Thanks, Johnny.
I keep hearing about the relocation of the CTA transit center to a new but “undisclosed” location. Why “undisclosed?” If there is more than one possible site, why not let the people (CTA ridership and prospective transit center neighbors) know about it. The answer in one local editorial was to insure that the price of the transit center site in question doesn’t rise to unrealistic levels. Yeah, right. An asinine answer if there ever was one. The need for secrecy and behind the scenes activity on this issue is questionable. Who owns the land parcels under consideration? How many homeowners will be angered by the proximity of CTA buses to their homes?
Isn’t this, for the first time in memorable downtown history, a realistic, practical and responsible use for eminent domain? To build something in the public interest? To build something that will be used by and for the public? Isn’t it time to do the requisite planning with public input rather than presenting said public with a “fait accompli?”