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Mayor proposes closing Plaza to all vehicles

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Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 10:50 pm | Updated: 5:39 pm, Thu Apr 10, 2014.

A surprise proposal from Mayor Javier Gonzales to close all the streets around the Santa Fe Plaza to vehicular traffic is already riling up downtown merchants, some of whom fought off similar traffic-blocking schemes instituted by City Hall in the past.

The proposal, which the administration leaked to an Albuquerque TV station Tuesday, was formally introduced by Gonzales during Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

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84 comments:

  • Kay Nixon posted at 10:50 pm on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    watergate Posts: 1

    Javier Gonzales reminds me of Marty Chavez when Marty was mayor of Albuquerque. Marty is partly responsible for the mess Albuquerque is in. Javier can forget about running for any other office than in Santa Fe, because too many Democrats in Albuquerque aren't impressed with his poor performance as the Democratic Party Chair, and we would never vote for him. I've spoken to Democrats about Javier running for any state office in Albuquerque and they will work to defeat him. He needs Albuquerque to win any state office due to our population. Good luck Santa Fe and keep an eye on any contracts that Javier makes for city services, because he just seems a lot like crooked Marty.

     
  • Eddy Placa posted at 4:00 pm on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    EPlaca Posts: 23

    Alan, there are no meters around the Plaza, just handicap spots and loading zones
    so there is no parking on the Plaza....

     
  • Jimmy Green posted at 12:05 pm on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    Evil_J Posts: 145

    remember that dirty chick a couple of summers ago whos busking gig was to dance around barely dressed while her hippy boyfriend banged on a djembe? That took talent. lol

     
  • Jimmy Green posted at 12:00 pm on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    Evil_J Posts: 145

    There is at least one segment of older males in santa fe who drive landcrusiers and still cruise the plaza on saturday nights. lol...

     
  • Jimmy Green posted at 11:59 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    Evil_J Posts: 145

    i think it's funny that a year after the city forced buskers to buy "busking licenses" that they wanted to ban busking on the plaza. that is hilarious to me. And i agree with you on the issue of the council passing new ordinances without any public input. Pretty funny isn't it? the "all inclusive" city "indifferent".

     
  • Jimmy Green posted at 11:55 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    Evil_J Posts: 145

    parking is not what this is about.

     
  • Jimmy Green posted at 11:54 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    Evil_J Posts: 145

    Remember last summer the council wanted to ban the art shows on the plaza. they really don't give a care about the downtown merchants.

     
  • Jimmy Green posted at 11:53 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    Evil_J Posts: 145

    The city council is more concerned with the bankrupt rail park to be worried about what the downtown merchants think/want/need.

    Javier wastes no time trying to make a name for himself!

     
  • Bryan M. posted at 11:53 am on Tue, Apr 15, 2014.

    InfernalStryfe Posts: 3

    I think it would be a really bad idea to close that off to the traffic down town. Especially during events like Indian Market for example. If the tourists can't be bothered to watch their kids that's on them. We ready cater a little too much to the tourists just because they have money we need for our city's economy. Don't ruin down town for the natives.

     
  • Charlene Montoya posted at 4:52 pm on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    NMLOBO1984 Posts: 12

    I think we may taking a step back. for one every summer when we bring our car out and meet up with other car enthusiests they want more car shows down on the plaza not less. use them as benifits. Usually it costs $25 for a car entry. By giving the public something free to come down and see you would be bringing more people to th plaza to shop and eat, not everyone is into art shows, there needs to be a variety of stuff going on down there. Be it a car show for a food drive, school supplies, coat drives and even toys for tots. We just drove to ABQ last weekend for a benifit for a kid that has cancer. Those car clubs are an untapped resource. Pancakes on the plaze is fun!

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 10:21 am on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    Santa Fe is a neat little town with a lot to offer. A living Plaza pulsing with local vitality is certainly a big part of that. I can imagine Plaza traffic plans that can enhance the vitality of Santa Fe's heart, and I can imagine plans that can squash it.

    I'm not sure that New York, Paris, San Francisco, or even New Orleans are really fair comparisons to little Santa Fe, but you're right to point out that those places do at least prove that pedestrian vitality can coexist with auto traffic.

     
  • Khal Spencer posted at 10:09 am on Mon, Apr 14, 2014.

    Khal Spencer Posts: 418

    My perception is as one of the visitors who goes to Santa Fe on weekends, especially since the Lensic simulcasts the Metropolitan Opera, and spends money there on parking food, and doo-dads (as well as on the Met viewing). Having a traffic calmed Plaza doesn't mean closing it to vehicles, but it sure does help when the vehicles are traveling slowly and respecting those of us walking about the old downtown. Is there a middle ground here?

    Closing city centers to traffic is not a new thing, and I suspect there is plenty of data on the economic impact elsewhere. Such change needs to be done carefully, though, lest the politics of the act overshadow any good or ill that would be done.

     
  • Staci Benni posted at 11:31 am on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    Sta Benni Posts: 172

    Mark I love your nickname for the mayor.[beam]

     
  • Staci Benni posted at 11:27 am on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    Sta Benni Posts: 172

    Thanks, Pierce. You 'd think some of these posters haven't lived here for a very long or have been preoccupied if they don't know about all the free buses in and out of Santa Fe.

     
  • Alan Bird posted at 10:22 am on Sun, Apr 13, 2014.

    Alan B Posts: 2

    When I go to the Plaza I park a block away since there is seldom an available parking meter space on the Plaza. I don't even try to park on the Plaza so blocking off the Plaza would not change anything for me, except I will be able to stroll the Plaza without loud motorcycle and car engines revving continuously interrupting conversation. There will be more room for strollers on the vacated streets and less danger to pedestrians.

     
  • Jennifer Bizzarro posted at 4:43 pm on Sat, Apr 12, 2014.

    Jennifer_Bizzarro Posts: 481

    BURLINGTON, Vermont? I'm certain that's on everyone's Bucket List!

    The Champs Elysées in Paris is open to vehicular traffic, but no free parking.

     
  • Jennifer Bizzarro posted at 4:32 pm on Sat, Apr 12, 2014.

    Jennifer_Bizzarro Posts: 481

    Good one, Mr. Knolls!!! I was hoping you'd get that one in this conversation.

    I personally do not think the Plaza should be closed to drive through traffic. If much more heavily populated, visited, higher-on-the-bucket-list places such as Times Square, the French Quarter, San Francisco's Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf can remain open to vehicular traffic and remain family friendly, tourist destinations yet cater to locals without offering free parking to anyone, what's so special about Santa Fe's plaza?

    Perhaps we're overthinking the situation, folks. We're not that special. But go ahead. Pretend we're Disneyland and make it safe for children and sanitize it beyond recognition. Packards is gone, the old Woolworths and Sears are gone, tourists write letters to the editor complaining about the Gap (or someone) being too close to the plaza. This week, Coldwater Creek announced Chapter 11. Let's continue to tighten things up so that no one wants to come downtown at all.

    After all, we're the "City Different" and that's the way we do things. In fact, that's the way we roll in New Mexico: if it hurts business, taxpayers, employment and tourism, well then, we're all for it!

    We're #50. C'mon down!

     
  • Staci Benni posted at 6:49 am on Sat, Apr 12, 2014.

    Sta Benni Posts: 172

    Duh, no, Mark. Becase I work in downown and spend a lot of time on the plaza.[cool]

     
  • Mark Ordonez posted at 1:40 pm on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    marcoordonez Posts: 659

    And you know this because you are with what car club?

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 1:19 pm on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    I hear that next up is a municipal income tax, to make those folks who work in Santa Fe but dare to live somewhere cheaper pay their fair share.

     
  • Mark Ordonez posted at 1:15 pm on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    marcoordonez Posts: 659

    To be positive, I hope he'll have some good tricks up his sleeve.

     
  • Mark Ordonez posted at 1:08 pm on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    marcoordonez Posts: 659

    "Can't wait for more Santa Fe changing proposals that were never discussed in public from the new Mayor !"
    Good one, LOL because as sure as you and I are breathe, a career politician like Javier (Mr. Secret Life) has a plethora of tricks up is sleeves.

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 10:46 am on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    [spam]

    Blaine, since there's no way to tell legitimate buskers from licensed aggressive panhandlers, I'll take a pass on the CCA art show.

    If real buskers want to be taken seriously, then they need to figure out how to drive the parasitic hobos from their ranks.

     
  • Blaine Young posted at 9:02 am on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    JCoppereye Posts: 2

    Come to the opening of the Center for Contemporary Arts Annual Art Show tonight between 6 and 8 pm. Santa Fe Buskers will be providing musical entertainment. And it's free!

     
  • Blaine Young posted at 9:01 am on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    JCoppereye Posts: 2

    Come to the opening of the Center for Contemporary Arts Annual Art Show tonight between 6 and 8 pm. Santa Fe Buskers will be providing musical entertainment.

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 8:31 am on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    Mayor Coss, where are the 4,000 parking spaces? Oh, wait a minute...

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 8:06 am on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    "The problem with buskers is that they don't have to even be bad musicians to get a permit." - I think you nailed it right there. Since no actually musical ability or skill is required to get a Busker's License, they're really just de-facto panhandling permits.

    [thumbup]

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 8:03 am on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    It already exists: http://www.santafenm.gov/santa_fe_pickup_shuttle

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 8:03 am on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    That already exists, it's called the Santa Fe Pick-Up: http://www.santafenm.gov/santa_fe_pickup_shuttle

     
  • Staci Benni posted at 7:59 am on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    Sta Benni Posts: 172

    Great idea! The drivers of the motorcycles and diesel pickups who reve their engines so someone will notice them cause hearing damage if you spend any time on the plaza. You would never know that we have a noise ordinance. As for cruising—really? The plaza hasn’t really been “the” cruising site for decades.
    Yes, do something about the buskers. No one follows the rules and no one enforces them. Some are talented; many are aggressive panhandlers in disguise

     
  • Tomas Moore posted at 1:34 am on Fri, Apr 11, 2014.

    TomasMas Posts: 28

    As a native Santa Fean who has seen the plaza change from locals to tourists, I think this is a bad idea. I don't have a problem with buskers but some are just plain sad and un-talented while others are amazing, just too many! As for more cops, there are already multiple officers as of the last two days and they seem more like they are on vacation than the tourists! Can't wait for more Santa Fe changing proposals that were never discussed in public from the new Mayor !

     
  • Pat Shackleford posted at 10:58 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Pat Shackleford Posts: 570

    "A modern streetcar to move people from the Railyard area and to the plaza and other parts of town..."
    Uh huh. Those are known as "a bus". And no need for tracks or power lines, able to go wherever needed, as needed. Good idea!

     
  • Jeff E Green posted at 10:30 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Jeff E Green Posts: 112

    [thumbup] I agree leaving San Francisco open is probably the best solution for now. Closing SF would clog traffic flow downtown and cause some crazy congestion.

     
  • Jeff E Green posted at 10:25 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Jeff E Green Posts: 112

    Great idea :-)

     
  • Donado Coviello posted at 6:28 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    I will be nice because I already see a difference (knock on wood) in the area around Fountainhead Rock. I do appreciate the invisible hand of help from people like Simon Brackley who felt betrayed and insulted be my perceived "personal" attack on him here in this Lost Souls' Room. But Santa Fe Government has used downtown business as a 'whipping boy." My wife and I have had a business downtown for almost thirty years and have felt the painful anti-small-business wounds from City Hall EVERY day. But it is a new world and as Karl Sommers called it ... I am grateful for the "breath of fresh air."

     
  • Glenn Pearsall posted at 6:06 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    ret1re Posts: 7

    Here is a thought: Keep San Francisco open. It is the busiest for vehicular traffic road and leads one to the Cathedral. Those that want to cruise can still cruise. Close Lincoln and Old Santa Fe Trail so plaza will be pedestrian -friendly. Really think that could lead to a revival of downtown in that area.

     
  • Marcos Ortega posted at 4:58 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Marcos Ortega Posts: 23

    Growing up here in Santa Fe and observing the “modification” of our plaza has been a very sad thing to see. Many of the local merchants that gave the Plaza a genuine local flavor have long since been replaced by overpriced art galleries. Events that are held on the plaza are not populated by locals any longer, perhaps not because of the economy but because we have seen our downtown die a slow death. I wonder if Mayor Gonzales bothered to consult with Gerald Peters on this new idea. After all Mr. Peters owns most of the downtown properties – just an observation.

    Buskers? Modeling our plaza like those in other states? Oh my, how we have changed.

     
  • Pam Walker posted at 4:56 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    lilbit Posts: 68

    I loved Cecil.

     
  • Glenn Pearsall posted at 4:31 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    ret1re Posts: 7

    Really like the idea. Close the plaza to traffic. Vehicular traffic detracts from the plaza and no one can really park close to the businesses there anyway. BUT also make good, reasonable parking available one or two blocks off the plaza and businesses should do even better.

     
  • Charles Strahan posted at 3:33 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    transplant Posts: 1

    A modern streetcar to move people from the Railyard area and to the plaza and other parts of town would play off the Roadrunner. It would take away the need for so much parking in the inner densest parts of the city yet people could still get around without a car.

     
  • Donado Coviello posted at 3:32 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    The problem with buskers is that they don't have to even be bad musicians to get a permit. I have a Buskers License and nowhere in the rule does it say you have to be playing music at all. I am classified as a "performing artist." What is it that I do under the rule? I sing, Dance, recite poetry and insult people then I ask then aggressively ask them for money. Buskers may not actually be selling the drug but they may only be a cover or a lookout for the crack head junkies that Patti Bushee and you seem to be defending.

     
  • Jeff E Green posted at 2:44 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Jeff E Green Posts: 112

    I would like to share this comment by a highly esteemed local musician, posted on Facebook. "Anyone who thinks about it for thirty seconds knows that all of Santa Fe, especially the Plaza, needs a robust tourist economy and that arts, culture, and nightlife are absolutely necessary to that. Nobody wants to go to a place that has been scrubbed clean of artists, musicians, and grit. Or if they do, they go to Disneyland. Santa Fe will never be hip again if people hear that our local merchants vehemently believe that all street performers and musicians are drug dealers and/or aggressive panhandlers. And who wants to perform music in a town with politically powerful, mean, and angry musician haters who equate being a musician with being a criminal? Not me! Awful. The whole sordid business makes me want to move to New Orleans."

     
  • Jeff E Green posted at 2:41 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Jeff E Green Posts: 112

    I think Daniel Chacon needs to get out and talk to more merchants!

    Zac Cox of Rainbowman, about a half-block off the Plaza, said the street closures would make the often-crowded center of downtown safer. “You see people flitting down this zone going 40 miles an hour,” he said. “In all honesty, it’s dangerous.”

    He added that he thinks it’s foot traffic, not vehicle traffic, that brings visitors to his store. (via ABQ Journal)

     
  • Jeff E Green posted at 2:41 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Jeff E Green Posts: 112

    I went by the Plaza yesterday around 3 - 3:30 pm. in fact. And later on after attending the City Council meeting, I saw a group of 3 phenomenal buskers singing and drumming last night! You might think they are poor musicians, but that doesn't make them drug dealers.

    I can't believe all you music-hating people choose to live in Santa Fe. Why not move to Fargo?

     
  • Steve Salazar posted at 2:28 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Steve Salazar Posts: 873

    We can start with you picking up the trash.

     
  • RJ Ortega posted at 1:55 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Ruby O Posts: 1

    It's wonderful to see Gonzales take a proactive stance on the Plaza. Something needs to change, as it has become unattractive. That being said, the problems on the Plaza are unfortunately community wide, but we need to start somewhere and certainly reclaiming our Plaza from the aggresive alcohol/drug users is a start!

    We are long overdue to take the traffic off the Plaza, and Frank Montano's childhood romance of crusing the Plaza has little to do with the issues we face with too much traffic. and too little space today. If it doesn't work we can always return the cars back to the Plaza, but I doubt that will happen.

    We have an enormous trash problem to deal with in Santa Fe as well. The culvert near the intersection of Cerrillos and St. Francis next to Starbucks is disgusting and when the wind blows, nearly all the time in the spring, it scatters trash throughout the entire neighborhood. Surely we can do better!

     
  • Eddy Placa posted at 1:44 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    EPlaca Posts: 23

    Jeff, when was the last time you went to the Plaza? More than 90% of buskers do not know how to hold a tune, all they know is to hide behind a "instrument" and panhandle....they cannot control themselves, follow the rules, and the police still will not enforce any current ordinance in place.

     
  • Rick Dumiak posted at 12:14 pm on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    CaptRick Posts: 35

    Closing the Plaza to traffic would be a death blow to the merchants on the plaza as well as forcing additional traffic on the surrounding streets. I am 100 % opposed to this plan.

     
  • Steve Salazar posted at 11:35 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Steve Salazar Posts: 873

    Of course, the 4000 parking spaces help.

     
  • Steve Salazar posted at 11:32 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Steve Salazar Posts: 873

    I want to see the buskers and the Mariachis "compete" for prime performing spots.

     
  • Steve Salazar posted at 11:29 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Steve Salazar Posts: 873

    One thing that keeps the Plaza inaccessible is the lack of free parking. Thus, in order to keep the Plaza accessible, one must allow traffic to flow through it.

     
  • Steve Salazar posted at 11:25 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Steve Salazar Posts: 873

    That picture is NOT of the Plaza.

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 11:13 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    "The vast majority of buskers are hard-working musicians, not drug dealers."

    Can you prove that? Maybe one man's hard-working musician is another man's aggressive panhandler?

     
  • Jeff E Green posted at 10:56 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Jeff E Green Posts: 112

    Let's be clear ~ The vast majority of buskers are hard-working musicians, not drug dealers.

     
  • Donado Coviello posted at 10:44 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    The Plaza is a park that is overused by the horrible for profit Plaza Vendors, drug dealing Buskers and monopolize by select organizations called the sponsors of "Major Events." The City Councilors have limited its use by locals by making it impossible or too costly for any new group of local to use it for events. This is such a phony issue that it makes me puke.

     
  • Charlene Montoya posted at 10:37 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    NMLOBO1984 Posts: 12

    It would be really sad if this happened and I agree with Irene Aranda I only go down there to throw a quick cruise and the only time I really hang out down there is for fiestas or if there is a car show.

    We were just cruising down there last weekend in our lowrider. Man the pride we have when you hear those tourists ask if you can stop so they can take a picture or hear their little comments while parked at stop sign. One time I heard a guy say " I was hoping to see lowriders cruising while on this trip" shoot we are only 30 minutes away from the lowrider capitol of world. especially when enough of us get together on fiestas the tourists love it. We arn't there to make trouble we are there to show our pride, hobby and enjoy the scene of our home town.

    What they need to focus on is the pedestrians. I see them jump out of nowhere, not using crosswalks and just not paying attention just because they are small roads. That's why they are getting hit. When we go down there we really just see a lot of pan handlers.

     
  • Donado Coviello posted at 10:33 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    Political lap dog.

     
  • Joseph Hempfling posted at 10:09 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    joehempfling Posts: 190

    GREAT IDEA even if on an extended trial basis. Let's make the City Different pedestrian and family friendly and accessible to ALL, not just "cruising" motorists. And our city is beholden to everyone one not just a few merchants whose bottom line may be effected. Then again it may not as other cities have discovered. Kudos to our new Mayor who has already begun to live up to some of his campaign promises. And thank you.

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 9:46 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    In St. Augustine FL, their historic St. George Street is pedestrian only, and it's both the heart of their tourist industry and the center of their nightlife activities. Plus, it's got lot's of public restrooms.

    Frankly, Santa Fe could benefit a lot from establishing some sort of "sister city" relationship with St. Augustine; http://www.destinationmainstreets.com/florida/st-augustine.php

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 9:34 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    Unless they find the money to add more police officers, then the "additional" police sent downtown will have to be taken from other areas.

    Is it safe to just assume that for every police officer added downtown, the South side loses an officer?

    [wink]

     
  • El Moore posted at 9:06 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    El Lah Mor Posts: 22

    corrected links... I think...
    Mariachi Band

    http://youtu.be/s7NWVLiWAUc

    Native Performers

    http://youtu.be/RG7mJNQ5BhI

     
  • El Moore posted at 9:02 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    El Lah Mor Posts: 22

    [whistling] Although outdoor cafes and seating with roving Mariachi bands and native performers would have great universal appeal and would net greater profits...
    Mariachi Band http://youtu.be/s7NWVLiWAUc
    Native
    Performers http://youtu.be/RG7mJNQ5BhI
    [whistling]

     
  • Bruce Tapia posted at 9:00 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    BruceTapia Posts: 5

    [smile][thumbup]

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 8:58 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    I kinda like the idea, personally. But I'm afraid that it will amount to a pointless "feel good" exercise if it's not accompanied by a broader revitalization plan that stimulates existing area businesses, attracts a broader array of new businesses, and welcomes locals and tourists alike.

     
  • Bruce Tapia posted at 8:56 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    BruceTapia Posts: 5

    Donado, I long admire your vocalism in these blogs, but this one I RESPECTFULLY disagree in the kindest of terms (I know what happens to people that cross you in these blogs)

    I think getting the downtown area busy with tourists and locals would be a major economic driver for our sleepy downtown....please be nice...

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 8:54 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1688

    It's swell that Mayor Gonzales has included extra policing in his plan. But if that extra police presence doesn't actually do anything about running off the drunks, druggies, aggressive panhandlers, and hobos that have infested the plaza, then we're really just giving those ne'er-do-wells more elbow room.

     
  • Bruce Tapia posted at 8:54 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    BruceTapia Posts: 5

    I have an idea, how about our downtown merchants and Frank Montano keep things status quo so they can watch cars drive by only to look at a Plaza that's empty? Great idea!

    The merchants don't care about attracting Santa Feans to the downtown area or else they would actually cater their products to locals (well, other than the rich part time folk). Maybe more locals would ride in Frank's van if we felt like the downtown was a place for us too!

    The wheels on the bus go round and round, all day long....(around an empty Plaza)

    I hope this measure passes or else Santa Fe is doomed to be like Old Town in Albuquerque!

     
  • Trevor Burrowes posted at 8:49 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Trevor Burrowes Posts: 24

    Thanks for mentioning sprawl. That's a major detriment to the city AND the county. Surely it's time to start reeling it in. In which case, closing the plaza to autos could at least lead to some pilot underground construction accessed by pedestrian pathways. I see that as a great potential boon for the design/planning community.

     
  • Bruce Tapia posted at 8:45 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    BruceTapia Posts: 5

    The mayor requested additional police for downtown

     
  • Donado Coviello posted at 8:36 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    Somehow cops in shorts on bikes doesn't make me feel safe. Bring back Cecil!

     
  • El Moore posted at 8:35 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    El Lah Mor Posts: 22

    Politics aside.... hmmm is that possible... Community passive aggression, politics being one of the greatest passive aggression motivators... Community passive aggression is one of the largest reasons why new initiatives fail.... With that said New Mexico does have one of the largest, still living histories, of automotive/bike cruising in the U.S... as we all await the Good Friday cruise of Espanola, N.M... I am not to sure how much cruising the Santa Fe square sees, except for scheduled events, such as car/bike shows, car/bike road trips etc... The two communities that would most likely to benefit from the closure, would be tourism/locals that live in the downtown location... Easier/safer to cut across the square... I am not saying it shouldn't be done, however Santa Fe and New Mexico is a different type of community... In my humble opinion, The cities that have used such closure, also included revitalization measures and economic incentives as well as were located in different climate and demographic regions. They also included new construction that added to the marketing push... The Promenade in Santa Monica and Lincoln Avenue in South Beach, Miami are famously successful yet are warmer climates and are open outdoor café heavy... I think it would be more comfortable for families and tourists, however I don't know how much economic increase will be seen. As in all things of this nature in New Mexico, the community attitude and acceptance will make or break it...

     
  • Trevor Burrowes posted at 8:31 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Trevor Burrowes Posts: 24

    Good idea. With decreased auto traffic some roadway could be given over to pedestrians, while some could yield space for below-grade (if that's the term) construction. Lots of opportunities for planners, designers and builders.

     
  • El Moore posted at 8:11 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    El Lah Mor Posts: 22

    YOU MUST HAVE MISSED THIS PART OF THE NEWS ARTICLE...
    "The mayor said City Manager Brian Snyder already has a new policing plan in place that will go into effect Saturday. “That’s already happening regardless of what happens through this resolution,” he said.

    A news release said, “Mayor Gonzales has instructed the Santa Fe Police Department to increase its presence in the downtown area...."

     
  • Donado Coviello posted at 8:07 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    Not only do the 'part time' Mayor and Councilors have their own full time on-street parking places but City Hall workers are provided with discount parking.

    The cost of a business or new building owner to provide parking is about $10,000 per space 'in lieu' of providing those spaces. Government exempts themselves and all other government building from that requirement.

    The ticketing rate went from 100 parking tickets a year when Chaute was judge to 100,000 tickets a year when Tommy was Judge.

     
  • Drey Fisher posted at 8:07 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    dreymatthew Posts: 1

    I lived in Burlington, VT for several years and the Church Street area (closed to traffic) was indeed central to the life of the locals. However, Santa Fe is not Burlington. First of all, the Church Street marketplace is several blocks long, and contains one or two "junk" stores that cater to tourists, but most of the businesses there cater to locals. Also, Burlington has only about 30,000 residents, and zero sprawl. Most people who live in Burlington live within walking-distance to Church Street. The most important point, however, is that Burlington had several large parking garages and ample street parking right outside of Church Street that was FREE. That last point is one that Santa Fe could easily change. I would be all for this proposal if there was ample, FREE parking around the rest of downtown.

     
  • Max Verts posted at 7:32 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Max Verts Posts: 20

    If the mayor wants to make the Plaza safer for children why not address the rising crime downtown. This is a very bad idea. What other crazy things does he have in mind that he never disclosed during the campaign?

     
  • Lalo Montalvo posted at 7:08 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Lalo Montalvo Posts: 15

    I agree with Mr. Tafoya, it's not like we can go back to the old merchant days on the Plaza. Right now, to do any shopping on the Plaza or attend events we need to park a block or two away, so there will be no difference except to detour pass-through traffic that is already limited in certain directions. I think we should try this and it's likely it will increase pedestrian traffic and overall sales receipts. And what does happen in other cities that try this like Burlington is relevant.

     
  • Donado Coviello posted at 7:01 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    Oh Please Javier ... token issues and slogans just doesn't cut it.
    The City of Santa purposefully blighted the Plaza and the downtown. The scene it created suited the under-cover cop scenario permissive drug panhandling hell hole.

     
  • Jack Rush posted at 6:58 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    SFWatcher Posts: 57

    Whether it comes to pass or not will it will be debated, I see plusses and minuses.

    One point though that needs clarification.

    Daniel Chacon said “The proposal, which the administration leaked to an Albuquerque TV station Tuesday,”

    Daniel, I understand you might be upset that someone else got an exclusive; I would not call a camera on interview with the Mayor a leak.

    Dictionary.com defines a leaks in the following manner " leak: to become known unintentionally (usually followed by out): The news leaked out.’

    Daniel, you’ll just have to be a little more aggressive in getting the story first. I remember seeing you election night about 1 foot from the Mayor elect so I know you know how to get in and bump elbows. [wink]

     
  • Jospeh Tafoya posted at 6:57 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Jighead Posts: 75

    Outside of my time serving my country, I have lived in Santa Fe my entire life. Over 60 plus years I have seem the downtown area go from a a place with goods and services used by the local people to an area filled with stores geared for the tourists. Outside of a few restaurants there is very little for the locals. All the business establishments that were used on a daily bases by the locals have moved. The only thing left are businesses that attract tourist with money. Young people pepper the area but have less money to spend than the average tourist. So closing the plaza area is irrelevant.

     
  • Michael Murray posted at 6:48 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Mike M Posts: 62

    Closing a street might work in Burlington but what does that have to do with Santa Fe. Are there not plenty of examples of street closings which were detrimental to business and tourism? The Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas (Nevada) has a checkered past which took years to sort out and the impact is still being felt. Millions have been spent on one brilliant idea after another which to this day have mixed results.

     
  • Donado Coviello posted at 6:47 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Cove Posts: 337

    What bull crap!
    The parking monopoly and the punitive ticketing policies that the City brutalized downtown with has created the destruction of plaza area economy. The greedy and corrupt City "enterprise fund" Parking Division is the most anti-small-business organization in Santa Fe. Add to that Patti Bushee's dope dealing 'Buskers' ordinance and the Plaza events that allow carpet-bagging vendors selling Chinese jewelery ... now you got no reason to go downtown at all.

    The Native American vendors that sell under the Portal take up all the day parking around the plaza with their fake 'Handicap Parking Permits' and being 'handicapped' they don't even have to put money in the meters. Do you know that there are more handicap free parking stickers issued in Santa Fe than there are parking meters?

     
  • Irene Aranda posted at 6:32 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    snowmiser18 Posts: 1

    As a native Santa Fean , "cruising" the plaza is the only access to downtown I have. It's a tradition and such a treat. Stop making Santa Fe for tourists only.

     
  • Alan Gregory posted at 5:55 am on Thu, Apr 10, 2014.

    Conservationist Posts: 1

    Closing an entire street to motor vehicle traffic works. It has worked for 20-plus years in Burlington, Vermont, with the Church Street Marketplace. See http://www.churchstmarketplace.com/

     

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