Saturday, April 19, 2003

Back to square one
The idea of developing Fountain Square is a good one. I have to wonder about a few things. City Council has proposed to put money into a revised Main Street entertainment district and to build the "Banks project" in-between the new stadiums. Can we afford all of these? If most of the money comes from private sources I am confident they are financially viable. If all or most of the money comes form the city I am not sure if the value is there. I also have to wonder, will these three areas compete against each other, dooming all to failure? I also don’t want to loose the skywalk. They may take away foot traffic on the street, a big measuring stick for urban planners and marketers, but the convenience of the skywalk for pedestrians outweigh earnings potentials in this case. The skywalk in the entire down town is dependant on all sections being connected. If you take out a vital artery, you blow the whole system. It is bad enough the section was torn down in preparation for a new Nordstrom’s at Race and 5th, only resulting in a parking lot, but adding to that disaster will kill the shops around Fountain Place section of the skywalk.

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