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Dirty Words

08/16/2007
by

Why is it that in the City of Warren there are a set of “dirty words” that one does not speak in front of our City Administration.

For a long time one of those “dirty words” was diagonal parking. That has now just become a word of “inconvenient truth” for many of our leaders see, even with the design flaws that they incorporated, that it can and does work. It’s taken many years and many heated discussions to get to this point with diagonal parking. Now it needs to be “tweaked” and expanded.

In “tweaking”, the diagonal parking needs to be brought to a reasonable angle and thereby gaining more spots.

A final note about diagonal parking. In an editorial on the parking issue, in Wednesday’s Tribune Chronicle, it was pointed out that not one accident has be attributed to diagonal parking. That should stop many of the early naysayers who said it was going to be “a lawyers dream” with all the lawsuits. I’m thinking of one “naysayer”, a local lawyer in particular who has the Mayor’s “ear”, that really “pooh-poohed” those of us who championed the diagonal parking issue.

Now to the other major Dirty Word in Warren: Pedestrian Friendly. Boy watch the fur fly when you mention that one.

Slowing down traffic on Market Street by making it two lanes and adding diagonal parking is a goal on many Downtown Merchants and property owners.

Only in Warren does “Pedestrian Friendly” bring scorn from City Officials.

Last year, Shaker Heights started to revitalize the Square and the three KEY ingredients were to be diagonal parking, slow down the traffic on their major roads and (here it comes) make it “pedestrian friendly”.

Now the City of Euclid, a City of 48 thousand and similar to Warren, has embarked on a downtown revitalization, and according to last Friday’s News Herald, two major components are “slow down the traffic” and (wait for it) “pedestrian friendly.”

Both these two Cities have gone for loans and grants to accomplish what in Warren would take a couple of days of work and minimum cost.

Reroute traffic from East Market over to South Street via Chestnut; bring West Market down to two lanes and add diagonal parking; put in several pedestrian crosswalks from Courthouse Square to the shopping side of the street and encourage new businesses to locate on the Square.

The one thing the Festivals on the Square has shown everyone is that people find an alternative route around the Square when it’s needed.

I really don’t understand the Mayor’s obsession with “we need the traffic count” mentality on Market Street. Wouldn’t more pedestrians mean more shoppers and more shoppers mean more businesses or does the Mayor see a NASCAR future for Warren?


2 Comments leave one →
  1. 08/22/2007 12:45 am

    I like this post. You have got the right idea. Pedestrian friendly is the only chance Warren has got. It works all across the country. The NASCAR mentality on display all over if your mayor wants to see how well it works. In CA for example, most of those towns are dead or dying along I-5 while those along Highway 1 with diagonal parking and the highway going right through the center of town continue to thrive. If people don’t stop, they sure as hell don’t shop.

  2. 08/22/2007 9:25 pm

    Oh, see, now you have me started. ;o) I work downtown, and I agree 100% with the ‘pedestrian friendly’ mentality. Face it – parking is a disaster around courthouse square. I don’t go there unless I need to. But what if they did something similar to Youngstown’s Federal Plaza? It would *encourage* people to hang out on the “shopping side” of the square, browse a bit, potentially buy. I agree – what are the ‘traffic count’ points, when downtown businesses suffer? And downtown businesses could bring the heart back to Warren. Just my humble opinion.
    Respectfully, Rayne

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