Result of Winslow Way repairs remains unclear | Letters | April 23
April 26, 2010 · Updated 9:48 AM
It’s no surprise only six islanders showed up for a city hall rehash about Winslow Way street fixes (called “WWRECK” in some quarters). These street repair gains are no longer clear. The money capers are too tangled in “monopoly” dynamics.
It would help to learn more specifics about what these gains might be. So far, it’s all about telephone poles, sewers, and hidden pollution caches. Isn’t it still about designs for storing more shopper and commuter car tailpipes near “Main Street,” and also about downtown owner-investor options? We can see vacant shops on all sides. We can hear in the barbershop about local businesses for sale as current rents are hiked or rigidly insisted on. And this is not business as usual for many of them.
So not all or even most of this is about “keeping the local businesses we love so much.” If it is, their rescue in fact is not being played out at a thinly-financed city hall. It is time, before this repackage is complete, for Winslow Way property owners and investors to show and tell their commitments to downtown in the form of specific, 10-and 20-year business plans.
These must include whether they are going to stick around and in what form? As consumers we’re entitled to know the effect when we stretch away from the lure of Seattle shopping, or buy via our screens to Amazons and eBays, or avoid using Copper Top centers outside of downtown. This made-public business plan suggestion was made known to them more than five years ago. Even a joint-commitment long-term contract with city hall and the voters was proposed. Neither happened.
Without these, to paraphrase a famous singer, “What does a consensus of four city council votes got to do with it?”