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2012-02-29 / Front Page / News

A Tale of Two Streets

Or why you should vote for initiatives #1 & #2 in the May 12th Election
Sue Samsel

This is a tale of two streets which carry the same name . . . the 100 block of Main Street.

The First Street: We all can remember the vibrant and meaningful 100 block of Main Street which hustled and bustled with business activity “back in the day,” primarily due to two important Pleasanton stores: Williams Hardware and Dowdy Clothing. These stores were cornerstones of downtown Pleasanton, providing vital goods and caring services. They were like “American Pie.” The one way block of Main Street in front of these buildings provided easy access to these stores as well as plentiful and convenient parking and the street was important to the community.

The Second Street: And then “the music died” (quoting from the song: “Bye, Bye, American Pie”). These stores ran into several insurmountable challenges and eventually Williams Hardware and Dowdy Clothing closed their doors. The deterioration of downtown Pleasanton suddenly accelerated and the 100 block of Main Street began to look lost and abandoned. Traffic on this block of Main Street diminished. When traffic on Hwy 281 in front of this part of Main Street substantially increased be cause of the Eagle Ford oil & shale boom, the traffic light at the end of the 100 block of Main Street became part of the bigger traffic flow problem. TXDOT has recently recommended to the city that the traffic light on Main and Goodwin Streets be removed to help alleviate traffic delay on Hwy 281. Note that the traffic light at Goodwin and Hwy 281 would still remain in place if this happened.



In essence, the 100 block of Main Street went from being vitally important to Pleasanton to its current status as a street whose time has come and gone.

And now a new Opportunity has been presented for the 100 block of Main Street! On May 12th, the voters of Pleasanton have the chance to bring new meaning to this street, by partially closing it in front of the Williams and Dowdy buildings in order to enhance and maximize the renovation effort of these buildings into Pleasanton’s greatly needed Community Center/Library. The project is essentially ready to go but a final challenge remains: that of partially closing the block to allow for the following:

•Selection of the best design for the Community Center/Library (CC/L) which features impressive columns, beautiful overhangs, and is very “peoplefriendly”

•Best “look” for the CC/L, resulting in the beautification and revitalization of the downtown area and the most fitting “Gateway to Pleasanton”

•Greater safety of community center patrons and library children by removing the risk of the close proximity of moving traffic right in front of Main Street side of those buildings

•Future option for expanding the existing plaza into a larger Town Plaza which could proudly reflect the Hispanic heritage of our city. An added bonus would be that it would be available 365 days a year for Town Meetings, Market Days, Arts/Crafts Shows, and maybe even a Farmer’s Market

Many of you signed the petition to bring these issues to a vote of the people. Now your help is urgently needed to shape the future of Pleasanton by voting on Saturday, May 12th, for INITIATIVES # 1 & INITIATIVE # 2. Bring back “American Pie” and let the music begin again!

 

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