Welcome to Viva-city and Downtown San Diego
Sandra Simmons

Life in the City

-by Sandra Simmons

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. - Abraham Maslow


As more people move into our Downtown neighborhoods, our most important quality of life issues become evident.

Many public entities have held recent meetings reporting information and requesting feedback on numerous quality of life issues facing Downtowners. These issues range from the quiet zone and the Old Police Headquarters transformation, to transit, parking, and connectivity.

Some of us attend these meetings to learn more about issues affecting our lives; we know our ability to become involved grows greater the more we learn. We want to be able to tend to these issues with more than just a hammer.

Others use the meetings as a vehicle for expressing opinions on issues that deeply move them. Sometimes they are so passionate that a “group think” mentality emerges around them. The fear of opposing a public solution and being criticized for presenting a “half-baked” idea shuts down the possibility for a new and creative world-class solution to be presented and heard.

We desperately need seemingly unpopular views expressed. How many silent thoughts find voice and expression when one “trouble maker” speaks out into the crowd? Voicing thoughts brings more to the table, and may give others the courage to become involved, speak their mind. It deepens the solution.

What matters the most is that we become involved. Agree, disagree, argue. Apathetic and complacent citizens are detrimental to a city’s health and growth.

Do we let the few use the hammer to mend the solution? Or, do we attend meetings to comprehend the issue and recommend creative alternatives?

I extend…Do we attend to tend?

Many Downtowners tend unexpressed thoughts about our quality of life issues.

Don Perdue (Park Place) believes the quiet zone is the solution for a good night’s sleep, but creating barriers and fencing around intersections is disruptive and unsightly. He’s confident there must be another way.

Joanna Whiteley (Treo) thinks a free shuttle would decrease congestion and overfilled parking lots by allowing tourists, workers, and Downtowners an option to move around without putting more cars on our streets.

Inaccessibility to his home is a real disadvantage for Glenn Haight (Park Row). He finds that with Broadway clogged and closures on Kettner due to construction, a one-way East-bound G Street would make getting home even more trying.

Randy Jackson
(Park Place) is excited about the upcoming changes to the Old Police Headquarters; however, he wonders if the added an entertainment venue will impact the quality of life in his established quiet neighborhood.

“ Let’s create a park set aside for the homeless who wish to live outdoors,” says Chris Bott (Bella Via).

Why are the gates and bells activated while the trolley stops at a station, wonders Sam Bozzette (Park Place). The conductor could trigger them just before pulling out.

Be brave, stand up and express those silent thoughts. Not every challenge is a nail. Let’s find other tools to tend to creative solutions. - April 2005

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