Word On The Street

Opionions on Gaines Street Revitalization What do you think about Gaines Street redevelopment?

By Jason Dehart 

{mosimage}“My dad told the commissioners that in his 50 years of following road and bridge construction, he’s never seen a county, city or state reduce the lanes of traffic from a four-lane to a two-lane. Never seen it before. Gaines Street isn’t beautiful and something needs to be done, but there needed to be a happy medium.”

– Jim Dowling, vice president, J.H. Dowling Inc.

 “It’s much easier to do a cookie-cutter development so I think the biggest challenge we have is maintaining originality and not turning it into ‘Anyplace, U.S.A.’ I think people tend to take the path of least resistance, and that takes the form of development that’s already been done – and I hate to see that happen.”

– Gaines Street property owner and Vitalization Committee member Joyce Magill

 “The city looked at one-way and two-way, but their version of a two-way plan consisted of – all they said was, with a two-way plan, we can’t have wide sidewalks. And if you want wide sidewalks, you have to go with a one-way plan. And we thought that maybe you could have both. And that’s what we came up with. Wide sidewalks and two-way traffic.”

– Ruth Wharton, chairwoman of the Gaines Street Vitalization Committee

{mosimage}“The good news about Gaines Street is nobody has made a decision to screw it up. We have a relatively rich series of alternatives. We still have the potential to do it right. That’s why so many people are excited about the possibility; it has the potential to do a lot of good for a lot of people, including us.”

– Mark Bertolami, FSU’s director of facilities planning and campus master planning

 “The rediscovery of downtowns that has been taking place over the last 10 years has been driven by a number of factors. One major element has been an increase in persons wishing to live in, or adjacent to, the downtown area. Downtown residential development has created the demand for services such as restaurants, entertainment and retail. These services also help make downtowns a ‘destination’ for visitors and residents alike.”

– Tallahassee Mayor John Marks

{mosimage}“You get people coming here and the entrepreneurs will start infilling before the street is done. They won’t wait for the city. But practically, it would be better if the street is done first.”

– Bob Bischoff, FSU Master Craftsman Program director 


Categories: Business Journal