COMMENTARY, MOSTLY ABOUT PFLUGERVILLE
Old Town Revitalization
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Commercial Development has been taking place in Pflugerville along much of Pecan Street from Gilleland Creek all the way west to the city limits. And most of it has taken place outside of the Old Town area. In the Old Town Pflugerville Vision process, consideration is being given to slowing traffic well below 30 mph on Pecan within the segment in Old Town where it is essentially a two-lane street. How ridiculous! This area is already a bottleneck. With more and more development occurring on Pecan and with more and more traffic, a worse bottleneck will hurt commercial activity on all of Pecan Street.
Discouraging automobile use, increasing density, erecting vertical mixed use, creating gathering places, revitalizing downtowns: all of this is in the smart-growth agenda. Smart growth is a current fad. It is not surprising that downtown revitalization is now under consideration in many cities, even where it isn't necessary and doesn't make sense.
Many rapidly growing suburbs do not have dense, well defined downtowns and yet are thriving. Read, for example, Boomburbs by Robert E. Lang and Jennifer B. LeFurby. This book is in the Pflugerville Community Library.
It would make sense to make plans for eventually widening the narrow section of Pecan Street sometime in the distant future so that it will have at least four lanes all the way from Wells Branch Parkway to SH 130.
A model for commercial success is emerging in Old Town: move away and set up a business in a space that is large enough to accomodate not only a building but also adequate parking.
Do we really need a walkable downtown? Walking is good exercise and should be encouraged as a healthful activity. It is great that Pflugerville has sidewalks, parks, and hiking trails. Nevertheless, a business that offers convenient and adequate parking on its own property will have a tremendous advantage over one that does not. It is not up to the city to provide taxpayer money to try to solve problems for businesses that may have made a poor location choice.
Also see "About Old Town Pflugerville Vision."
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