How many people do you know who live in a town with a historic Arts District?
I have lived in Arizona for 40 years and always was drawn in by the low buildings and small town feeling of Scottsdale. I was drawn to the hometown experience in Old Town with independently-owned stores, art galleries and world class restaurants.
I thought everyone here in Scottsdale saw it like I did.
Watching the early stages of the construction of the Museum Square project and seeing its impact on our shops in Old Town makes me feel angry.
The shops along the alley that back up to the first hotel construction site cannot even get garbage trucks to clear their garbage and get deliveries.
And this alone is the tip of the iceberg and the harbinger of the negative impacts of this and other large development projects that are coming to the Arts District very soon.
The density of just one of the buildings under construction should concern us all. The parking issues are nowhere close to being resolved, and genuine concern is not apparent.
Imagine Scottsdale Road with that many more cars not only driving there, but then having to park. Except that there won’t be adequate spaces to park. Think about added traffic congestion and pollution. Think about the blocked views of Camelback Mountain from Scottsdale Road.
Our galleries are part of what defines us as a unique and wonderful place. There are only a few places in this country that have a well-known Arts District like the one in our downtown.
There is not enough parking downtown as it is, and then for example, add to this, Spring Training. Visitors coming for this are not interested in fine art per se. They park all day and use bathroom facilities en route to the stadium; thus, taking the spaces from people coming to actually shop there.
Our focus should be on solving the current parking situation, not adding to it and destroying the businesses that are already there.
Why would anyone go to Old Town to eat or shop if they can’t find a place to park? We have free parking at Fashion Square, The Quarter, The Waterfront, Kierland, and just about everywhere. Now we hear talk about creating metered and paid parking downtown. It sounds just crazy to me.
Our community needs to come together to protect what is good and right about Scottsdale. To the North we support open space and the preserve.
In Central Scottsdale we have a rich suburban sector, and South Scottsdale is filled with historic neighborhoods, small town businesses, and our Arts District.
We are about nine years out of compliance without a General Plan in place. The Council has rubber stamped every developer’s wish with little concern for the look and feel of our town. We should not be captive to employees who may or may not even live in Scottsdale. Money is not everything.
I am against the Museum Square project.
Citizenship comes with a price, and it isn’t about money. If we don’t want to lose the heart and soul of our community, the Arts District, we all need to weigh in before this awful growth destroys what we love here.
I still believe that many others were drawn to our beautiful livable city for the same reasons I was. It matters to me that we citizens have at least a fighting chance against developers and money. It is necessary for each one of us have a voice in the growth of Scottsdale. If we wait to speak up it will be too late.
Museum Square is outrageous from my point of view, too many people, too many cars, too much congestion and pollution. There are huge unresolved parking overflow problems. Let’s value and take care of what we already have and love. The situation is dire and urgent.
-Laurie Coe is a Scottsdale resident.