Thursday, May 29, 2014

Trucks and Apple Beats

I just heard on TV that Apple is buying BEATS head phones and they called them "high end".  WHAT? Just because something has a big price tag does not mean they are high end. This is like calling Bose high end.  Any true audiophile will laugh. Beats headphones have channels that match nicely (meaning the high and lows and middles all blend nicely) but the quality is mediocre.  There are MUCH better/cheaper headphones on the market.  During my poker days I obsessed over headphones.

--------------------------------

I spent two hours downtown yesterday with a friend who is an urban landscaper/street designer from Portland OR.  Not in any official capacity but because she had just moved to the area and had never been to Columbus.  Now she wishes she would have moved here.

Comments like "What a WONDERFUL downtown", "how beautiful",  "WHY is this downtown not vibrant" "the rents in these open store fronts are so inexpensive compared to the rest of to country!"

But what got me was the truck traffic. Not the amount but the speed and careless semi's passing on the right, and going WAY too fast.  You can go downtown and see a truck or two but spend 2 hours walking the area and you will be amazed.  And where was the Columbus Police Department?  Give me one week of speed traps and giving out tickets to trucks and I will guarantee the word will get out in trucker land! !  It's was embarrassing.

I really don't know what to do about this situation but if you want a vibrant town we need to SLOW DOWN THE TRUCKS!!   At least make them stop using the parking stalls as a passing lane.

Back to my new friend.  Lots of lots of ideas. She has worked on small towns and is currently designing a bike lane system in Sun Prairie.  She asked about our bike lanes . . . LOL . . . need I say more.  Here is a town that get's a lot of bikers from Waterloo but we don't even have bike stands downtown.

One area NOT in the downtown that she loved was Dickason Blvd which she compared to a 5 mile Blvd in Portland and how we need to better utilize this beautiful boulevard.

She also had some ideas on how to make trucks turn sharper at the four corners.  She loved the wide sidewalks and agreed with me , do NOT change the style or height of our light fixtures, they are the perfect size for our town (geez - I was right on something).
 
Trees downtown was something we talked about and I was initially talked out of trees but only because of anecdotal evidence that the downtown business owners were anti-tree (I'll find out). She will  send me before and after photos of a town like Columbus that put in trees, they slowed down traffic and made people MUCH more comfortable and safe.

Also she said there are a LOT of grants for getting all this stuff done and asked if Columbus had a good grant writer (I have no idea) because there is a TON of money out there to help!  Helping small towns  become more user friendly is a big push for the fed.

I asked why she moved from Portland.  She said . . "It was done".  I believe she will be a good resource in the coming years because this is her obsession/profession.

Corrie (her name) said she wish's she would have known about Columbus before she moved to the area. She is in Helenville (just east of Jefferson).  
-------------------------------

On a side note - since I am all about "branding" and have ideas that WERE going to be for the CDA before it was canceled YET AGAIN . . . . . . I see the 4th of July Celebration has "Rediscover Columbus".   sigh  I feel this is a negative. Yea the divination is "to discover (something) again"   But to me rediscover means we were bad enough so we had to reinvent ourselves to be better. Well, WERE we that bad?  and DID we get better?

And did people discover us the FIRST time?  Probably the most important question

Here is my idea and I'm going to push this until someone pushes something else.  WAIT

I'll keep this for tomorrow when I tell you my thoughts on the whole branding thing and how people don't understand what it really means!    

Keep'm waiting  :-)

Rod