Following the City Council Finance Committee's recent decision to remove $9 million intended for downtown revitalization, many are ready to label Mayor Alvin Brown's efforts to revitalize the city's heart a bust.
In May 2011, we asked MetroJacksonville.com readers for cost-effective ideas that city leaders could get behind that could spur downtown revitalization.
With Mayor Alvin Brown's two years of efforts unable to bare fruit so far, perhaps it's time to dust off a few of these ideas and actually implement them?
1. Remove all parking meters immediately and replace with an enforced but free two-hour limit on parking from 9am to 5pm weekdays only.
2. Make all streets two-way where feasible.
3. Re-time traffic lights.
4. Plan multiple festivals, events, parades and street parties. Close down certain streets for this. COJ pays for and executes these events. But they cannot spend more than $10,000 per event. There should be 10-20 events at minimum per year, spread throughout the Landing, Adams, and the Forsyth & Bay Street entertainment district. Oh, but first of all, COJ must acknowledge that we actually have an entertainment district. Budget for this will come from scaling back current major events.
5. JSO must go back to having visible officers patrolling nightlife areas on foot. That's right: no cars, bikes or horses - Just like their grandfathers did. This will help Downtown in numerous ways.