Leave Our Sidewalks Alone - Stop Downtown Boondoggle in Salinas
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Stop the Downtown Vibrancy Boondoggle Our downtown IS currently vibrant and is in need of ENHANCEMENTS, not a complete overhaul.
Keep Downtown Salinas quaint and historic: the current streetscape was designed by renowned local architect, Will Shaw,* and remains unique and artistic 28 years later. Retain existing sidewalks, planters and most trees. The greenest solution is to clean the sidewalks, employ a professional landscape gardener to plant and maintain the planters, and remove/replace only trees that are threatening the small planters.
We don't want random tables, chairs and umbrellas that are not associated with specific restaurants. Take out food is NOT GREEN, and most Downtown patrons do not buy take out to eat on the street, instead, the street furniture will become a magnet for the homeless people. We already have seating on the planter 'benches' which currently discourages sitting for long periods and sleeping.
Instead, fix the sidewalks throughout the City of Salinas that are in dire need of repair or replacement, some for over 15 years. Bring HOPE Services back to Downtown Salinas to clean the area. Incentivize restaurants to provide outdoor dining and property owners to convert upstairs to apartments. Steam clean the sidewalks twice a year.
One and a half to two years of construction will kill Downtown and many shops will go out of business directly from the "revitalization" process. Concentrate on beautifying the surrounding streets: Salinas, Monterey, Alisal, San Luis, Gabilan, and Central Avenue. Do not remove perfectly good sidewalks, planters, and trees to match the grey sidewalks in front of the Taylor Farms Building.
Be green and stop wasteful spending! The property owners and tax payers paid for the existing sidewalks and planters for years, and do not want to destroy them, to rip them apart! It's a boondoggle** - let's end it now.
* Will Shaw 1924-1997: A Carmel-based architect who designed, among many other beautiful structures, the Highlands Inn. He was the founder and principal of Will Shaw & Associates in 1969, Monterey, and was a Trustee at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Among many other accolades and community service, Shaw was the recipient California Governor's award in environmental design for Shell Service Station, Carmel 1964, Urban Renewal Design Award Progressive Architecture magazine 1973, President, founding member Big Sur Foundation, American Institute of Architects Honor award for Merchant Built houses 1968, and was a member of the Pacific Biological Laboratory in Monterey. https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/William-Vaughan-Shaw-3309258.php
**Boondoggle: "Work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value. To waste money or time on unnecessary or questionable projects."-Google Dictionary
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