Monday, August 10, 2009

Calhoun Street: The case against change

Calhoun used to be a two way street all the way through downtown. Then the city changed it at great expense. I didn't like the idea at the time but we all got used to it. Now some are pushing for it to be changed back.

Businesses have to deal with a wide variety of variables that can make it hard to plan. Demographics, supply surplus, demand shortage, the weather, etc, can all affect a business in unpredictable ways. Certain kinds of change are inevitable and even necessary, but most businessmen prefer to have as few potential contingencies as possible.

Whenever possible, municipal government should strive to be a constant factor, not a variable. Spontaneity and creativity have no place in urban planning.

I am starting to wonder if the unpredictability of downtown is starting to drive businesses away. Look at all these new and exciting projects that been pushed through over the past decade. Look at all the empty office space as well. The problem seems to be that nobody wants to build their castle in a political sandbox.

There are many pros and cons to changing Calhoun St. But with no guaranteed benefits, the city must err on the side of the status quo.

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