I was on an airplane this week, found this magazine cover in the seat pocket and immediately thought of Grant Avenue and how depressing that it is to drive down the street. From Seventh Street to Redwood Boulevard, it reminds me of a strip mall. From Redwood to Railroad Avenue, it reminds me of a depressed small town, not to mention other areas in town.
This weekend I was in St Louis Park, Minn., where the town administration is plowing ahead to approve the realignment of a freight rail route that winds through the city and passes close to two schools one of which is adjacent to a switch where trains will sit idling while another passes. The railroad plans to run 10 to 15 trains of up to 100 cars with four to six engines per day. There are only grade crossings in major streets leading to major highway. The community is furious, but the train is coming.
I thought that I was having a Yogi Berra minute and was not disappointed when I got home and found the Novato City Council plowing ahead with its plans for downtown. It was interesting to see the number of buildings that were evaluated but found wanting for several reasons. Perhaps I am naïve but it seems to me that the current worldwide, national, state and local financial situation would mitigate against spending $12 million to $15 million on Class A offices when a more conservative approach would be the more prudent course of action given the apparent community opposition.
So it appears that those of us who do not question the need for city-owned offices but oppose the location and costs are standing on the tracks with a train speeding toward us ignoring the warning lights.