If there's one thing those Georgetown folks know how to do, it's organizing community action and media campaigns.
From an email sent to Slog by Sara at Calamity Jane's:
Georgetown is under threat!
Our little business district in Georgetown along Airport way has over 40 retail shops, most all of them are new, opened in the last 3 years. There are also at least 50 other businesses that are also have started here in the last few years. We have worked hard to make this a new little thriving community in the South end of Seattle. Four years ago, there were tumbleweeds rolling down the empty streets, with very little foot traffic.
The Seattle Department of Transportation is planning to close down Airport Way South access for a year or more, starting in early 2011. They are rebuilding the bridge just north of Stellar Pizza and will route all traffic (including foot and bicycles) around this.
We merchants are worried that the traffic jams that ensue will be extra bad because there is a railroad spur in front of Georgetown Liquor Company that will block the alternate routes.We fear that a constant traffic mess will cause a loss from drive-by business and that some people will just choose to avoid Georgetown altogether.
Our business district is so new that we risk withering up from loss of a even a small percentage of business.
The SDOT is holding an open house on this next Wednesday, July 28th, 2010:
Seattle Design Center, Plaza Building
3rd floor, Conference Room 370
5701 6th Av. S.
If you love wandering down here and buying comic books (Fantagraphics Bookstore) specialty bottled beers (Full Throttle Bottles) and cool antiques (Great Stuff) please stop by the open house and tell Ken and Mirabel of the SDOT to support our business district. It will only take a few minutes!
We are asking them for parking on both sides of the street, to end the use of the railroad spur for the time of the detour (it doesn't even go anywhere and blocks 4 streets!) and money for advertising to say that we are here! And there are different bus routes, bicycle routes and ways to get here and avoid the worst of the traffic.
If the SDOT knows you value us, they are more likely to help us survive the year.
The first two requests (extra parking, end or at least reduce use of the railroad spur) sound reasonable. But I'm not sure the city has a lot of extra money to put into advertising campaigns for fledgling business districts at the moment.
If only we could take back the money spent on that stupid West Edge spin campaign ("there's nothing dull about it!") and re-spend it on Georgetown. But that campaign happened just an hour before 9/11, when the world was young and rich and dumb...