August 26, 2007
Life Shouldn’t Be an Advertisement
At some point enough should be enough. Now I read that they want to bring corporate sponsorship to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. It makes me wonder at times if we've lost our way to the point that anything's for sale and if life's going to turn into one big commercial.
Kevin Bartram, a sponsorship consultant hired by the bridge's overseers, the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, said any sponsorship would be tastefully done.
"It will be appropriate and understated," Mr. Bartram said. "But visible."
There's always a "but" to these kinds of deals. Truth be told, the Golden Gate Bridge doesn't do much for me. I've walked on the bridge several times because I lived relatively close to it when I made my home in San Francisco. Walking on the bridge the most I experienced was a bit of shaking as cars whizzed by, and obviously a lot of wind given the size of open water the bridge covers.
As a walking destination it wasn't overly interesting but enough folks that were around commented on how interesting the view is that I can guess anything that messes with it would not be good.
Do we really need more food stands, visitor centers or anything else that increases the commercialism of yet another destination? We need to find ways to fund our public life without selling our world.
August 21, 2007
Mr. Can You Spare a Few Million?
At $2 million a mile it will certainly take loads of cash to get enough sidewalks in the greater Seattle area. This article talks about the problems in getting sidewalks in place in the area.
Forty percent of Seattle streets lack full sidewalks on both sides of the road — totaling 650 miles, the city estimates — but installing them is a staggering expense of about $2 million per mile. It's not just the cost of the pavement: When a curb is built, it changes the flow of surface water, triggering legal requirements for drainage systems, which in turn can involve buying adjacent property. Many cities can build them only as part of a major street-paving project.
It is disappointing and frustrating to see just how far we need to go to make our cities more pedestrian friendly.