There was a long Facebook discussion last night among many of my friends about how two-lane Riverside is just a really, really bad idea. I understand city planners wanting to make the city, and especially our riverfront, more appealing to runners and bikers. And as longtime readers of this blog know, I tend to lean left of center and take the progressive/liberal side on most issues. But I’m also a realist, and I just can’t take a progressive view of two-lane Riverside. I take that road to work every morning, and I can’t tell you how many times I have seen drivers lurch over the center line as they play with their phones. With Bass Pro opening, it is only going to get worse. It is time to admit the reconfiguration of Riverside was a mistake and restore it to four lanes.
There is a meeting tomorrow at 5:30 at Central Station, S. Main at G.E. Patterson, to discuss proposed plans for Riverside. All the plans are bad ideas, and none of them include restoration to four lanes. If you want to see 4-lane Riverside come back, go down there and make some noise.
The city has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a blighted property at 107 S. Main. That is the boarded-up building just north of Gayoso, two doors down from Yao’s China Bistro. That property has been abandoned for over a decade. I actually talked to the owner, Allan Long, about renting an apartment there in 2001 when he was supposedly planning to renovate it. That never happened and the building is not only an eyesore on what has turned into a beautiful demonstration block of Main, but it is also a hazard to adjoining buildings Main Street Flats and Cornerstone Flats. Water is leaking from shared walls and the two Flats buildings are seeing increased moisture levels.
This Daily News story has several pieces of good news for Downtown. We may be getting a second grocery store, and it sounds like more of a big-box store than another City Market-type place. We may be getting a movie theater, a smaller one like Studio on the Square. And an anonymous donor is going to pay to light up the Harahan Bridge.
Sports writer/radio host Gary Parrish reports that Nick King and Pookie Powell are both transferring out of Memphis. They were both top-100 recruits but saw limited playing time last year under Josh Pastner. My favorite blogger/MILF tweeted, “Love CJP, but I’m tired of seeing great players leave.” I’m starting to feel the same way. All those guys were probably alpha-dogs at their respective high schools. As much as it kills me to say anything good about Cal, he knows how to make a bunch of alpha-dogs work together as a team. Josh doesn’t.
MPD says that car break-ins are on the rise Downtown. Park in well-lit areas and don’t leave valuables in plain sight. I’ll add that this applies to small valuables as well as large. You may not think it’s a big deal to leave something worth $5 in plain sight, but that item could fund a burglar’s next purchase of a crack rock or bottle of booze.
Today is National Waffle Day. Is there a day left on the calendar that is not National (Something) Day?
I’ll be out at the usual spots after work. With great weather and LeBron at the FedExForum, I expect places to be packed for happy hour. Outta here for now.