Letters to the Editor for Aug 05, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Henry Ruhnke’s downtown redevelopment ideas (“Blue-ribbon committee tries to cut through red tape,” July 29-Aug. 4) are good for Henry, because they would bring him lucrative design and development contracts. His ideas are bad for Monterey, because his proposed street conversions and parking construction will cost a lot but will fail to suck tourist revenue into the downtown. Just because it becomes easier to drive up and down Alvarado Street is not a compelling enough reason to make tourists want to do it. If we really need more tourist traps, let’s keep them by the Aquarium, Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf, and other tourist havens, and leave Alvarado relatively tourist-free.
Henry also likes to use downtown San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara as examples of what Monterey should become. SLO is a college town far from the coast with relatively few tourists and generally nothing to do except go downtown (where all parking is metered), while Santa Barbara is a city three times bigger than Monterey with a main drag that is evolving into 12 blocks of chain stores. I can see where Monterey business people might drool over having that kind of future, but I think local residents would hate it.Joe Snyder | Monterey
$300,000 paid to a “consultant” to study whether Alvarado Street should be opened to two-way traffic? (“Blue-ribbon committee tries to cut through red tape,” July 29-Aug.4.) Hang on a sec, let me do the math.
OK, got it. $299,500 goes into the coffers of some nameless consulting conglomerate; $500 goes to some lackey who takes an oh-so-grueling walk of the entire four blocks of Alvarado street and concludes: “No, it’s a stupid idea.”
What a wonderful plan. We certainly wouldn’t want to overburden two city employees, the city engineer, and the city traffic engineer with such a conundrum.Tom Fern | Monterey