Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Idea - Commerce Clarification

As we talked about last week, events that usually take place on Auditor's Road, should be tried to be held on Commerce Boulevard, between Auditor's Road and Shoreline Drive. In our exuberance for this idea, and the hurried fashion to write about it that morning, and as we explained it to anyone who would be interested since, we may not have been clear about a couple of points.

First clarification, we only need to shut down traffic on Commerce south of Shoreline Drive, and north of Auditor's Road. Traffic can easily be diverted around on Auditors Road. Several people suggest the near impossibility of this traffic diversion on a County Road. We are certain that the county can be made agreeable to this traffic adjustment, as long as there is a plan that is clear and easy, such as we have with Auditor's Road. If the City of Mound thought improving the businesses along Commerce was important, this traffic diversion can be managed.

Traffic is easily routed along Auditor's Rd.

Second, we, as a city and community, need to support and promote local businesses that already exist. We look at the local businesses along the old storefronts along Commerce, and it seems like they are forgotten places that are standing right in front of us. Everyone talks about the Farmer's Market, and the wonderful events like Dog Days and the Tree Lighting Ceremony. We all wait with bated breath for someone to build a new and shiny business along Auditor's Road. Look on Commerce though, we have a number of businesses right now, on that block, that sees little love from our community.
Will the City of Mound show Commerce a little love?
Third, if we were a developer examining the support Mound offers to its local businesses and if we examined this stretch of Commerce, we would hesitate to risk building a business in Mound. The lack of on-street parking would be a big turn off, as well as the lack of people, lack of connections between us, and the business opportunities on this block.

It is clear that this block is a place where everyone drives through, no one drives to it.

But what would happen if we shut down Commerce between Shoreline and Auditor's Road, and put people there. What would happen if the Mound Farmers Market was lining up it's tents and wares right on the street, next to Threshold Music, and Keystone Chiropractic? Would 3 in 1 Salon and Press Perfect enjoy seeing people actually walking by, and maybe stopping in for a visit? Would folks at the market, after picking up their Brusselsprout stalk, decided to peek in Tonka Tunes, and browse through their albums?

Hey Cal, would you enjoy seeing more foot traffic on your sidewalk Saturday mornings?

We don't know if that's what would happen, but it's definitely not happening now, and would definitely be worth a try out, don't you think?

We understand why Auditor's Road is the place for some of these events. As it was originally conceived, those events would be taking place along all the new shiny business that were going to be built. Auditor's Road was, in essence, built for those type of events. But those businesses never were built, and may not for a couple more years. Is it rational to continue to celebrate a space that is yet to realize it's full potential? Can the success of  the Auditor Road events and Farmer's Market be brought closer to the neglected stores on Commerce?

This is another easy and cheap idea that we can do to make Mound a better place... all it takes is a little gumption, creativity and persistence.

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