Broad Ave businesses are going to regret allowing a zoning exception for retail. It will be Strip Mall City in two years.
It's nice that people have good ecological intentions, but good heart doesn't make for smart social planning. This isn't a major metropolitan city and midtown will never be the bikers' paradise that cyclists wish for. I spoke to several upset business owners today on Madison who regret the addition of bike lanes and don't see a handful of parking spaces as a worthy trade off. We spoke about starting a petition to repave the area. In a wiser world, we'd let the business owners who are actually affected make decisions such as these instead of relying on random internet signatures and out-of-town visitors making sweeping decisions that have a negative financial impact on the community. If a mere 5 to 10 cyclists use the lanes each day, that should pale in comparison to the opinions of thousands of people who drive cars down Madison daily or the shopowners struggling to draw in that traffic to spend money. I see no issue with the new bike lanes down Maclean, since there aren't any small businesses that would be hampered by changing the traffic flow.
Cyclists had the same amount of room and freedom before the Madison lanes, only now we've exponentially increased the idling time of car traffic severely by bottlenecking the area between 3pm and 6pm. And there's certainly nothing green about that. We've also moved into a new level of legal culpability that will become apparent after the first time a cyclist sues the city for millions. All around a risky decision, but exceptionally poor for this already struggling area.
I do ride a bike. I also live and work right off Madison and I can count on one hand the number of people who use that bike lane each day. It was a huge waste of money and space, especially since it will be phased out in a few years when the trolley line extends to Overton Square. Just another example of haphazard civic planning that's driving midtown shops out of business. Here's hoping that the new Square can help revitalize things in this historic area before it all goes under! It's worth saving!
Such a great idea! Local has a nice vibe and will fit well into Overton Square. It's good to see that historic building go to a decent home. Mexican restaurants have historically brought a lot of foot traffic to that spot as well.
Now if they could only get rid of the bike lanes that nobody uses. They're strangling midtown traffic and adversely affecting Madison Ave businesses.
I'm sorry. I can't exactly sympathize with someone who spent $30 grand without checking zoning laws first. Anyone with experience running a tattoo shop or any place that creates medical waste knows that zoning laws are the very first hurdle to clear. This is a matter for the business owners on Broad to settle, not the public. Making an exception for one or two businesses would legally open the door for others to move in, and that seems to be expressly against the vision of the community these business owners have spent great sums of money to build. I'm quite sure that getting caught selling drugs out of his business was no help either. The city is full of empty shops and strip malls, just begging for a successful business to move in. Tabatabai was in no way short of options. Though I bet he is now.
By Micaela Watts
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