A PLEA TO CITY COUNCIL
I’m writing you, Findlay City Council members, with a plea to vote yes on the downtown revitalization plan. I am a downtown business co-owner of 11½ years. In deciding our location, we felt the downtown was the heart of the city. We made the best decision. The growth over the years has been amazing to watch.
The new and exciting growth that the downtown plan will inspire in the downtown and the city of Findlay is wonderful.
It means that Findlay will continue on the path of growth that new developers or future business owners will take into account in deciding to “set up shop” in our great city. New business owners look to the heart of a town to see stability.
Here are a few of my thoughts on what this plan means to me:
• More parking. Yes, there will be adjustment in the new form of parking. It is the safest, as I learned from the data presented at the meeting. As a business that has heard for many, many years: “If I would have found a place to park, I would have patronized your coffee shop,” we certainly would benefit from more parking as would other businesses that have chosen to be downtown.
• Bike path. By creating a safe bike path, it would encourage college students, families, and potential patrons to come and enjoy all the activities that the downtown has to offer.
• Slow the flow. As you know, there are many drivers that don’t obey the speed limit. By having only two lanes, it will naturally slow drivers. This will lower the amount of accidents in cars and against pedestrians. Safety is very important.
Please think of the positive legacy that this downtown revitalization plan will have on our future generations. Give them a solid foundation to continue to grow. Show them forward-thinking ideas.
As in any proposal, fine-tuning is essential. I have faith that any changes that are made will be in the best interests of Findlay.
The time is now. The financial stars are aligned. We may never get this golden opportunity again. We as business owners are doing our part to draw activity to the downtown. We have faith in our city officials to do the same.
Please vote yes for the downtown revitalization plan. The citizens are counting on you to be the “heroes” and save the “heart” of the City of Findlay, Ohio.
IF IT ISN’T BROKE, DON’T TRY TO FIX IT
What is wrong with the planning and economic committee people wanting to plug up downtown Findlay for several months while they construct ways and means to confuse the citizens?
The improvements that you recommend are asinine and unfounded.
We do not need a boulevard downtown, nor one-way streets.
Main Street is the most vital, sensible access both north and south. Clogging both passageways will not only hinder traffic, but also confuse drivers as well as emergency vehicles that must travel Main Street to accomplish a mission with no obstructions, as has been done successfully since four lanes were added to Main Street many years ago. Leave it alone!
Instead, use that money to beautify what we have. There are hundreds of ways that downtown businessmen and women can improve their stores inside as well outside.
Make people want to shop in your stores downtown, not to see the sights.
If I wanted a sightseeing trip, I would go to someplace scenic like Yosemite National Park, or Niagara Falls, or Brown County, Ind. You go downtown to shop or have lunch, or meet with friends.
And although shopping downtown is pretty well limited, gift shops, banks, legal offices, pawn shops and eateries are aplenty. There’s even a used car lot.
And, you can stand on the Main Street bridge and watch the beautiful, but muddy, Blanchard River for scenery. Now how can you beat that? Findlay residents have been enjoying it for years.
Use your head, Mayor Mihalik and others. Get someone that can plan and do it economically.
BE SURE TO CONDUCT A REAL TRIAL FIRST
Needless to say, there has been a tremendous amount of response to the “Downtown Findlay Transportation Plan.” That’s the fancy name for lane changes and reverse-angle parking that is being promoted by the city administration.
Terms like, vision, vibrant, diverse, innovative engagement process (that’s one of my favorites), are certainly impressive. But if it walks like a duck, call it a duck!
I encourage everyone to Google other communities like Wheat Ridge, Colo., and Pottstown, Pa., where this same type of design has been implemented. Please notice that when you look at those illustrations, those cities only have reverse-angle parking on one side of the street, as well as two lanes remaining in operation on the side that has the reverse-angle parking. That’s a big difference from what is being proposed for the majority of the downtown Findlay design.
Also consider Victor, Idaho, where citizens are now outraged over the implementation of this same type of traffic and parking design.
If we are going to test this design, let it be a full-blown trial run conducted on Main Street with proposed lane changes in place as well as reverse-angle parking. To only offer a trial run of reverse-angle parking and have that test be done on a side street is not truly representative of the entire scope of the project, and furthermore that would really be a “controlled” atmosphere.
If we’re going to do a test or trial run of this design, let it be one that is real! Try it for 30 days on Main Street, and then see how everyone feels about the design. We all are stakeholders in this community. If the administration and/or the design team say that can’t be done or won’t work, they may as well scrap the whole plan right now. If a real test won’t work, neither would the real thing!
To the mayor and City Council, allow me to leave you with some advice. Don’t tell citizens what is best for them. Let the majority tell you, as public servants, what they want!