Joyce Hoffman: City survey didn’t ask me about Mill Street
The city of Grass Valley has done it again. Again, and in a way that is similar to the recent survey conducted by Rise Gold Corp. for the acceptance of the proposed mine.
The city conducted a survey for the approval of closing Mill Street permanently. Who partook of this survey? Who was invited to participate in this survey?
I read The Union habitually, but I didn’t see anything mentioned about this survey or the possibility that Mill Street would become a pedestrian-only corridor, permanently. I did walk downtown and I did shop downtown during the apparent timing of this survey, but I did not notice any kind of invitation to partake in it.
I live in what is designated as the “historic downtown Grass Valley.” Why, I wonder, wasn’t I or other citizens who live in these neighborhoods asked to participate in this survey?
The recently approved Capital Improvement Projects Budget was forwarded to my husband and me by our request to see how street improvements are being chosen.
What do you know? The approved budget already has a large amount of money set aside to do the job of permanently making Mill Street pedestrian-only.
Apparently, the city has already decided to make Mill Street pedestrian-only. Why did they bother with the survey? Was it because most of the people who participated were probably tourists or people who live outside of these neighborhoods?
Not to denigrate their votes, but just like the Rise Gold’s survey, which was sent overwhelmingly to people who do not live in the vicinity of the proposed mine, the cards were stacked in favor of the body who initiated the survey. In my opinion, both of these surveys are invalid.
The businesses that are against making the street pedestrian-only have concerns about parking, as they should. The city should first produce a public parking lot to accommodate existing and new businesses that they are encouraging.
As it is now, employees are parking in the residential neighborhoods to allow more parking for shoppers. That, of course, means that the residents of downtown Grass Valley are having their streets occupied more and more by employees, shoppers and residents, which turns our historic, narrow, antique streets into de facto parking lots that are difficult to navigate safely.
Removing the ability to travel up and down Mill Street, and to park on Mill Street, strips our town of its historic character — the very essence that attracts visitors.
Converting Mill Street to a pedestrian-only corridor loses the vintage feel and resembles just another modern strip mall. There is no residential neighborhood-and-downtown-business group that I know of.
It would be beneficial to all who work in downtown, and live in downtown, to have a cohesive group to represent all of us. The city should listen to the residents and businesses in downtown Grass Valley before making decisions that we have to live with round the clock.
Joyce Hoffman lives in Grass Valley.
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What times we are living in! Climate change, pandemic! Social media! What else is new?