I was on the receiving end of one of those push polls last night. It came across more of a survey than a "did you know that John McCain has an illegitimate black baby" polls, but the agenda was still very clear.
They asked, among other things, whether I'd be more likely or less likely to favor May Town Center if I knew that:
(a) They were going to fund a multimillion dollar technology center there for TSU
(b) They were going to build a nice bridge
(c) They were going to set aside a lot of acreage (900 acres?) for parks and greenspaces
(d) they were giving $1 million to Bells Bend residents to help them keep out further development (presumably, that meant more people like May Town Center)
(e) here's the tricky one: They mentioned that the area either was or could be zoned for up to 700 homes if May Town Center is not built. This gets to the point about the hidden agenda. Is the real plan to turn the place into Subdivision City?
In the end, I told them I was against May Town Center as currently planned, but for none of the reasons they presented.
For one thing, I'm highly dubious of the claim that it will bring in the promised number of companies and tenants, at least not without cannibalizing a lot of what's currently in the downtown/Gulch areas.
Second, as I told the survey caller, if they draw anywhere in the neighborhood of the number of people they claim, the infrastructure will be completely inadequate. One bridge won't be enough, and Metro would be on the hook for the bill.
I'm not unflinchingly opposed to the IDEA of such a development in Bell's Bend. I suspect we're living in a fool's paradise if we think an area so close to the city is going to remain pastoral and undisturbed for the long term. But the plan for May Town Center is going to have to be changed, and become more credible, before I'd go for it.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
From a commenter on the PiTW blog: