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Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 7:48 PM
Vicelord John Vicelord John is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Eastlake, Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 5,404
I just wrote this email to Downtown Partnership and our downtown councilman.

Good day,

I am writing you with a concern I have regarding the road closures in downtown Phoenix on Diamondbacks, Suns, and any other major stadium/arena event. As a downtown resident living at 7th Street and Monroe, I not only find it inconvenient for myself and neighbors, but also detrimental to downtown Phoenix businesses and contradictory to the revitalization plans in the city and city leaders wishes to make downtown Phoenix a vibrant city.

A fine example I will use is early September when I was at a meeting at Monroe and 1st Avenue in the US Bank Building, and the most logical way for me to get home is to travel east on Monroe to 7th Street, turn left, and my home (along with 350 other people whom live in the complex) is on the left. There was a “road closed” sign in the middle of Monroe street at 5th avenue, forcing me to turn left on 5th avenue, then a no right turn sign at Van Buren, a no right turn sign at Fillmore, and finally I was finally able to turn right at Garfield and backtrack down 7th street only to see a road closed sign southbound at 7th street at Van Buren because of the baseball game. The 5 minute drive was turned into a 25 minute fight through barricades, traffic, and police officers who didn’t seem to care that every avenue to my home was blocked off. The overall attitude is “too bad.”

After speaking with a Phoenix Police officer, I was told this is all part of a plan put in place in the mid 90’s to get people out of downtown after an event. In those days, there weren’t so many people living in the city, and there weren’t any bars, restaurants, and nightclubs people could go to afterward. Nowadays, with the added traffic of residents, bar traffic, trains, and various other activities the cow town attitude of “let’s get people out of here as quickly as possible” is no longer a positive strategy for downtown Phoenix. Not only does this encourage people to leave the city before they spend money at local businesses, but it also encourages those whom are likely intoxicated from the event to immediately enter their vehicle and drive home. With all of the recent public and private dollars pumped into the city, it makes absolutely zero sense to encourage those with discretionary dollars to spend to leave right away. Let’s take the opportunity rope them in let them spend money at local businesses.

I firmly believe that if no barricades or closures existed after events, many people would ride the train to their event, furthering the success of light rail, or wait for traffic to die down before driving, thus spending time and money at the businesses we have worked so hard to attract. If we simply “get them in, get them out” then it will further the stigma that downtown isn’t a place you want to be (we do that when we put the idea in people’s minds that they need to leave right away) and it will forever make it too difficult for people to spend money in our city. Lastly, it alienates the local residents and in many neighborhood meetings, it has been a frequent discussion that has let many homeowners to voice their wishes to move due to the inconviencence which lasts ALL winter.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply.
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