Your View: ‘Street diet’ fantasy creates perfect bottleneck

Jun. 03, 2014 @ 07:24 PM

One of the Uptowne group’s early goals was to increase their business by slowing traffic on their portion of Main Street.  They found an urban planner who, for a bundle of cash and tax dollars, would allow them to use his reputation in support of their cause.
Some common sense issues got lost in the shuffle.
Most folks driving on Main Street are not sightseers, but are headed toward some destination. They are not likely to change their minds due to a traffic jam on the main North/South thoroughfare. Permanently impeding all through traffic will most certainly result in less traffic as local folks find some other way around Uptowne.  Those who do brave a slower traffic pattern will have even less time to stop and shop.
City Project has provided a list of cities that have used “pedestrian friendly” areas to spark revitalization.  That frequently includes a “street diet” or a street closure.  In nearly all of those cases, the area was characterized by older, under-used or unused commercial buildings which provide charm.  Uptowne does not seem to have any of those.
In order for a “street diet” to be functional in those other cities, they frequently utilized parallel side streets on both sides of the main street to handle traffic overflow, often converting them to one-way streets.
Map Reading 101 shows the “street diet” to be the perfect bottleneck.  There is no such street on the Emerywood side of Uptowne.  And pushing all traffic congestion into the Johnson Street Historic District seems fraught with additional headaches.
City Project has developed an Alice in Wonderland fantasy that basically says if you bring all traffic to a standstill, none of the drivers will find alternate routes.  Instead, they all will forget where they were going, just get out of their cars, become pedestrians, and start shopping.
THOMAS COREY
High Point

Nation needs public and private prayers
In The High Point Enterprise on May 20, letter writer Chuck Mann asks who is wrong on public prayer — Jesus or the Supreme Court. Actually, both are right.
If one will only read what Jesus said in its context, it’s not public prayer He condemns, but that the Pharisees prayed in public “to be seen of men.” Their sole intent was to appear pious.
Considering the mess our country is in, it needs plenty of public and private prayer. By taking what the Bible says out of context, as many do, the Bible says, not once, but twice, “there is no God.” But check it out in its context in Psalms 14:1 and Psalms 53:1.
RAY ALCON
High Point

YOUR VIEW POLLS

High Point City Council voted 7-2 to revise its relationship with the City Project and restructure the city’s Core City revitalization program. Was that a wise move? In 35 words or less (no name, address required), email your thoughts to letterbox@hpe.com or go to hpe.com under Opinion and post a comment. Here are two response posted on hpe.com:
• Angel Schroeder: This town is dying and it’s up to us to do something about it. The data behind the Core City plan is sound and compelling. Look at Greensboro and Winston-Salem. This stuff doesn’t happen magically through the “invisible hand” of capitalism. This is about much more than a road diet. It’s about whether we want to increase our tax revenues (without raising rates!) and attract young people to our city.
• Tarp Hinson: I suggest that the City Project stage their sixty person revolt (tantrum) on the green at the Lindsay Street Round-A-Bout. That’s likely to be the most pedestrian traffic it will ever see.