Friday, January 15, 2010

Downtown Thoughts After a Rail Runner Trip

Took Rail Runner downtown from Journal Center at 12:48 pm today. It has been awhile since I have left from that station. I was surprised to see not only a full main lot, but a full new lot across the street. It is pretty clear that Rail Runner is catching on. I suspect it will only become more popular once gas prices begin to rise. There is much to like about what is happening downtown (Andaluz, new green housing at home of old Greyhound Station and just to the west, and a vibrant downtown charter high school-Amy Biehl). It is also so painfully obvious that the downtown will never truly flourish until it attracts large amounts of people on a regular basis. A major opportunity to do this was missed when Isotopes Stadium was built on the site of the old Duke's stadium. That's a 25-year mistake in my opinion. I can only hope that if Rail Runner would have been in place the decision to locate downtown would have been without controversy. The latest opportunity to attract large amounts of folks downtown on a regular basis is the proposed events center. For the economic sake of the downtown and the region, lets hope this happens. I was in a peer city (Boise) not too long ago and was impressed with the vibrancy in an around their downtown events center on the evening of a minor league hockey game (packed restaurants, streets, and a well attended hockey game). I believe their NBA D-league team also plays there. We used to have a minor league hockey team and reportedly we have an NBA D-league team. The possibilities are so evident...

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