Saturday, August 25, 2007

Can an unpopular project acheive the desired results?

Right now, the Harrison Square project is about as popular as President Bush. I certainly admire someone who is willing to stand for an unpopular cause. But I have a question. How exactly do you expect this project to acheive the desired results when most people are opposed to it? Do you hope that people who oppose the project now will shop at the retail outlets when it is completed? Are you counting on the massive influx of young professionals to keep downtown businesses in the black?

The next mayor and council will have to deal with this turkey when they take office. At that time, the debate will be "We already spent a lot of money, so let's see this all the way through" vs "Let's cut our losses." I really wish the community could have had a chance to debate this before Belmont Liquors was seized.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

People will still shop there and go to baseball games. The people who opposed the toll road buyout are still driving on the toll road.

Robert Enders said...

People drive on the tollroad out of necessity. For them, it is the most expedient route between Point and Point B. Likewise, Canadian who oppose universal health still use government run hospitals out of necessity, while Americans who support universal healthcare still go to privately owned hospitals.

But nobody has to go to a ballgame, or shop in a particular location. While I expect some HS opponents might still shop there if it's convenient for them, most of them will not go out of their way to shop in a shiny new building. People can be quite fickle on what kinds of recreation they decide to participate in.

Andrew Kaduk said...

Canadian who oppose universal health still use government run hospitals out of necessity

That's not entirely true. There are doctors in Canada who run private practices, cash-only. If you've got the cash, you can get expedient medical care from the provider of your choosing. Everybody else will sit and wait 6 weeks for their "free" appointment.

Sorry, I know that was off-topic.

To respond to your actual question, I think the popularity of the project borders on irrelevant. If there are goods, services and entertainment downtown that people desire, they'll go there.

Are you suggesting that people will independently construct some type of philosophical boycott based on their disagreement with certain portions of the HS project?

Anonymous said...

Oh and don't forget about the thousands of High School football fans that are going to drive an extra 20 miles in to town, pay $5 to park their cars (if they're lucky enough to find a space), buy $100 worth of concessions (from an out-of-town operator) to feed their family of 4, get a seat on the 50 yd line (which just happens to be behind home plate, making it the worst seat in the house)

Oh Yeah, they'll be more than happy to stay afterwards for more eating and shopping...once. - IG

Anonymous said...

20 miles, Where are they coming from, Churubusco?? I would assume the ballpark's football use will be mainly for city teams. $100 for concessions, thats laughable. Great research.

Anonymous said...

The new ballpark will be the best in the Midwest League. It will host the Midwest League All-Star game. It will receive national attention because of the project's mixed-used nature. It will drive downtown development as people begin to re-learn what it means to live in and be a part of a city.

It will not be a parking or traffic nightmare. Such concerns will be proven to be non-issues, just like they were in other cities that have undertaken similar projects.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Anonymous 7:03 PM.

You actually said one thing that I agree with. "It will not be a parking or traffic nightmare. Such concerns will be proven to be non-issues."

I agree with you. We do NOT have a parking problem downtown. To imply that we do is to reveal that you have spent little time in other Downtown's...

Mike Sylvester

Robert Enders said...

Andrew,
It won't be a philosophical boycott, but more like sour grapes. But you should also consider the reason that many folks oppose this is not because of ideological reasons, but simply because:
1. They are not Wizards fans and would not be interested in a new ballpark.
2. They are Wizards fans who live on the north side, and would resent having to drive farther to attend home games. The added inconvenience makes them less likely to attend home games.

Fr. Fozy Bear said...

I have to take issue with the parking not being an issue. We so do not have enough street or lot or garage parking in the Downtown area and not to mention the fact that it is way WAY over priced!

The fiasco of the ACPL Main Branch's Parking Garage is a case in pointe. Originally it was suppose to be that if you were a resident of Allen County and had a Library Card (access card) parking was free and then it went to a dollar for a half hour (so Ive been told) and now it has changed yet again.

Not to mention the fact that as residents of this city/county we should not have to pay for parking in a lot we already paid for building it and maintaining it through our taxes. Let alone paying 4-6 dollars depending on where the event is held and God forbid it be at Head Waters or the Coliseum.

I am glad though that they moved the fireworks to IPFW because now people are no longer parking in my yard and getting pissed off from me towing their cars away.

Fr. Fozy Bear said...

Isnt there the ability for an executive order to reverse the damage of HS fiasco or an additional ordinance next year that can modify the work done by the current City Council and Mayor?

So far how much is set in stone and how much is still flexible or can be modified?

Sort of in a reworking of the project, since they have already stripped the land and gutted the City's coffers to a certain degree.

Is there a possibility of a class action lawsuit by city citizens a/o injunction by the courts to stop and review the project for irregularities, before it continues any further.

John B. Kalb said...

fr.fozy bear - We are working on it( non-profit corporation- class action lawsuit) since our county prosecutor refused to investigate because she is one of the big supporters of the boondoggle. Stay tuned - look for info next week. John B. Kalb

Jennifer Jeffrey, Chair LPAC said...

There are plenty of schools who will no longer go to the Wizards games from the North. They will have to drive extra and they already can't see a whole game.

And those are paid tickets.

Rachel said...

Just as those people from the north who find it a real challenge to come downtown for TRF.

I'm betting those kids from Monroeville are super excited about how much shorter their bus trip will be to the new stadium.

Come on, Jennifer, get real about this one. It's 3.6 miles to drive from the Coliseum complex to the Grand Wayne Center. This additional distance for northsiders is not an undue burden for anyone who uses an internal combustion engine for transportation.

Now back to the original topic, I keep waiting for the HS opponents to come up with a better plan that had the private dollars ready to be spent as Hardball Capital and Barry Real Estate has. Those projects never surfaced because they didn't exist.

This will be a success because people like new stuff. And once it's no longer new, they will continue to come because it's now part of their lives. Repetition becomes a routine.

Robert Enders said...

It is a royal pain in the butt to drive past Headwaters Park during TRF. 3.6 miles is less than a 4 minute drive on the highway. Through downtown Fort Wayne, it can take 20 to 30 minutes depending on traffic conditions. Coliseum Blvd was specifically built to handle lots of traffic. Lafayette and Clinton Streets will look like Los Angeles right before home games, ASSUMING attendance stays at least 90% of what it is now.
Also, you need to understand that it is not how much money you invest that is important. It is how much you make in profit that is important. So it is far better to invest $100,000 and make $10,000 than it is to invest $1 million and break even.

Robert Enders said...

Also, people like new things except when it comes to baseball. People like the Cubs because they have played on the same field with the same name for over 90 years. Profesional leagues still use wooden bats.
When people want something new, they buy something that runs on batteries. Or they vote Libertarian.

John Good said...

Robert - Are you proposing that we move TRF out of the downtown area?

Coliseum Blvd was designed to handle heavy 1950's traffic - anyone who suffers that route today knows the REAL story. Traffic CAN be managed downtown as easily as on Coliseum - TRF Fireworks Finale, anyone?

When people want something new, they buy something that runs on batteries. Or they vote Libertarian.

Depending on the battery-operated toy, same result. ;)

Robert Enders said...

Traffic can be managed for one big event but not for two events taking place simultaniously. If the ballpark is built downtown, TRF may have to plan around scheduled home games.

Colisium Blvd was built to handle heavy 1950's traffic. Downtown was built to handle heavy 19th century traffic.

Rachel said...

Robert,

Downtown is laid out on a grid. There are many entry and exit points for traffic. That makes it pretty easy to move vehicles in and out. I agree with John; Coliseum Blvd is not designed very well to handle the current traffic load.

And I think that TRF officials and the Wizards can make a schedule that works for both organizations for 9 days a summer.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Robert Enders said...

Anonymous 9:08
You should not use that word for the part of town that I live in.

Rachel,
Traffic does not move as fast on a grid because of the street lights. The ideal location for a large attraction, such as a ballpark, would be along the interstate. But I'd oppose such a project if it used public funds.