Friday, December 6, 2013

When Marketing Can Sacrifice Public Safety

I was talking to an infrequent reader the other day and she told me that the subjects of my quiz photos are often too difficult for her. I really do understand this but I just want to get some dialogue going. In the last quiz we can clearly see the beginnings of Todds Trace Apartments and the final interchange of New Circle Road being built in the late '60s.
It was on this same interchange ramp that I commented to Mrs. Sweeper, while we were out running errands, that the renovation of the apartments was looking quite good. Having watched the work on the old Sonnet Cove, now Lakewood Park, I know how much it has helped the neighborhood. I have posted earlier about how the Southland Christian Church should have taken this location and begun the transformation of the area not only physically, but spiritually. Alas, that did not happen.
Over the years, I have known friends and acquaintances who have lived in the varying iterations of the complex. From Todds Trace to Appletree and Saddlebrook (or as it became called, Saddle-dump) on down to its Pennington Place demise. The apartments and the neighborhood have not aged well. In my opinion, few of the developments done during the late '60s through mid-to-late '70s have fared well at all, if any.
Still, the renovation work does look good and Mrs. Sweeper and I have been discussing moving, now that our guys have graduated high school, entered college and we don't need to be within walking distance of Henry Clay. It was suggested that I take a look at the 300 At The Circle since the location is still close to work and the transit lines. Maybe we could stay there until we found a better house.
The web site  is beautiful, but most marketing web sites are well done to get you to look closer. What caught my eye was the mailing address of the apartments, 300 Quinton Ct. Could that be right? Quinton Court was the name given to the section of the Todds Road that had to be truncated when the KYDOT began upgrading Richmond Road nearly 30 years ago. Quinton Ct is a short cul-de-sac which basically serves one office building and back side entry of a restaurant.
I was also quite confused since the office building, on the east side of the road, is addressed as 120 Quinton and the apartments, on the other side of the street, is labeled as 300. I didn't think that it was possible to have even numbers on opposite sides of the same street. It certainly does not follow any type of local or national norm.
In 1902 the City of Lexington implemented a new addressing scheme which, among other things, established that even numbers be located on the South and East sides of streets and thoroughfares. Odd number would be on the North and West. It is simpler to do on a grid, or a modified grid, pattern of streets which was typical at the time. On curvilinear streets, it all stems from its beginning point and its general, overall direction. Roads like New Circle will play pure havoc with that rule.
During the past decade or so, Lexington has systemically attempted to correct any anomalies which may have developed between the former city and county governments and some just plain quirkiness out of the past. The stated intent was to aid the Enhanced 911 emergency response times. 300 Quinton Ct looks to be a new quirk.
Once again looking to the website, the page which directs you to apply and choose your desired apartment shows all of the access driveways connecting to Codell Dr and no possible access from Quinton Ct. The main entry to the clubhouse and pool area appears to be a security check point and come in off of Codell Dr. It is entirely possible that an access point can be created on the court, but that does not appear to be their intention. A quick look at the PVA site reveals an account for 109 Quinton Ct which correlates to the “Future Development” portion of their site plan. There appears to be NO official record of a 300 Quinton Ct in Fayette County records.
But wait, again the Internet to the rescue, on the page showing the location of the development is a link to Google Maps and the app to get directions. Google Maps does have 300 Quinton Ct but the source their data from many places. It is also ironic that Google will give you the Streetview of the area but the photos are nearly 2 years old and this property is not very appealing in those images.
It should be fairly obvious to all that the intent of this development's address is to remove any identity connection to Codell Dr as that street name carries much baggage. We have seen this in other sections of town in the past. In an effort to change the perceptions of possible tenants, Jennifer Ct was renamed to Eastwyck Ct and then renamed again to Meade Ct about 20 years ago. I don't think that the general impressions of that area have changed all that much. Making real change in a neighborhood takes much more than some slick marketing moves and I think that the church had the better shot at real change.
It may be that this is just a slick marketing ploy but the weak effort displayed by the website falls far short of the mark. If I have to do some sort of mental gymnastics to find the front door, be I a pizza delivery person or a visitor from out-of-town, then the thought of having a logical, standardized system is out the window. Will this also be necessary of first responders to the point of making it an issue of public safety?
I think I will have to tell Mrs. Sweeper that, as nice as it looks, to seek some other place. I think that she will agree.

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