Monday, January 26, 2009

The Downtown Entertainment Loop

I am not a big fan of the so called downtown circulator that is being planned for Lexington, but if the powers that be are going ahead then let us make it work to the City"s advantage.

When Lextran first began to gather input for the possible "trolley route", my wife and I attended a meeting or two. I can tell you that I was not impressed with the way the survey was conducted. I can now tell you that the situation downtown has changed, some say not for the good, but it has changed.

There are now new restaurants and bars that were not open at the time, and more planned.
Devassa, Lower48, Cosi and the Chase Tap Room in the Victorian Square.
The Penguin Piano Bar in The 500's on Main.
Buster's will be relocating to Short and Broadway.
Cheapside has been closed to traffic and will be a publc gathering place.
The Court Square Building has Redmond's in the basement and a coming Skybar on the roof.
The Olive Tree has replaced Kiser's at Upper St.
Mia's moved to Short and Lime to join the long list of eateries on Limestone.
The business owners on the Esplanade have announced a renovation of that block to go along with the renovations going on in the North Mill block.
The Dame has made a successful move to E. Main beside the Main and Rose complex
There is supposed to be a CVS pharmacy replacing the Integra Bank and other buildings soon.
These combined with the existing Portofino's, Bellini's, Taste of Thai, Desha's and some other smaller places all make up a dining/entertainment district between Main St and Short St. These places do most of their business at night, so why not run the circulator along Main St. and Short St., not just at noon, but in the evening, well into the later hours of the entertainment schedules.
This seem to make more sense than an East/West run at lunch and a North/South all evening. Where is the sense in traveling along Vine St, with no place to get off from Broadway to Midland. If we are concerned about the Lexington Center businesses, there can be a figure eight around the Triangle Park to accomodate them.

If the eventual restoration of two way traffic to Main & Vine is made, the completion of CentrePointe and the additional developments that will replace the Transit Center, then another loop along Main & Vine is not out of the question.

If we can't have a real streetcar on rails, then let us do something that may just work as a stopgap measure.

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