Restoring the square
EDITOR: I urge Santa Rosa City Council members Erin Carlstrom, Julie Combs and Gary Wysocky to reconsider their opposition to reopening Exchange and Hinton avenues when Courthouse Square is reunified (“Debate reignites on plan for square,” Saturday).
The square needs traffic movement around its perimeter to bring the sense of energy that creates a core where people want to be. Crossing a street to enter the square actually enhances the experience of being in the core, of having arrived at the heart of the city.
If the historical streets are not re-established, we’ll end up with dead pedestrian zones similar to what we have now — uncomfortable places that don’t invite people to stay — only made worse by the loss of any option to get from Third to Fourth streets by car without going several blocks out of the way. Some people will just keep heading away from downtown altogether.
If the streets are reopened, my only concern is that they will be over-engineered in an attempt to limit traffic movement — making them narrow parking alleys rather than real streets. Please let them function as actual streets and return some of the charm that was erased from Santa Rosa by misguided urban planning.
For the birds
EDITOR: The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is considering raising rates in unincorporated areas of the county for street sweeping and dead animal pick-up. This vote is scheduled for today.
I live close to both rock quarries in Forestville; need I say more about street sweeping?