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Biting Article in AzCentral Compares the Ave to Competitors
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Vex Harrow
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Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 400
Location: Tempe, AZ

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:12 pm    Post subject: Biting Article in AzCentral Compares the Ave to Competitors Reply with quote

The Downtown Tempe Community organization gathered a tête-à-tête of nine experts to talk about how Mill Avenue compares to its competitors, says an article on AZCentral. They didn't exactly come out with glowing recommendations for anyone – let alone Mill Ave.
What they had to say wasn't flattering, for any of the areas. Here are some of the weaknesses they noted:

Mill Avenue: The degree to which the area's reputation is really deserved anymore; lack of cleanliness; moving events to the lake was a mistake.
I suppose we’ll all have to mention about how we're not surprised. Let’s go over some of the things that might make Mill a better place to actually visit:

* Bring the fun back. Where did it go? It went out with stores closing up their fronts to the streets; sectioning themselves off, cafe's like Coffee Plantation turning themselves into gated communities that are nigh-inaccessible from the street itself.

* The lake is an attraction, not a destination! For the most part the population who visit the Ave do not care about the lake! The lake is a nice place to trot around during lunch under the broiling rays of the sun, but we are Arizonans: we socialize in the shade. Mill Ave is a nice place to get some hubbub when the sun goes down, company, clusters of people, and things to see. Taking events and fun all the way down to the lake is going to separate people from the parking lots, and strain any sense of community there might be.

* Stop watering down Mill Ave culture. Mill Ave is part of Tempe, not Scottsdale. Do something about it. A lot of the draw of the street is where college students and the night life can gather together after dark and find one another, things to eat, places to drink, and something different from the cookie-cutter transient plastic culture that permeates every nook and cranny of the city. There is a lot of already embedded culture in Tempe, it does not need to be imported from more upscale neighborhoods.

Why is Mill Ave such a stuffy and dirty place? Because the city wants to drag large crowds of people down, with little thought to crowds, congestion, or control. They go out of their way to reduce the number of places people can sit, they make unreliable spaces in front of places where people can get snacks, and then whisk them along with very few—and badly signed—trash receptacles. The common person does not want to litter the street, but give them little choice and this happens.

After dark the parks are unlit, patrolled only for the sake of kicking people out, and only the street itself is open to public movement. Either side is relegated to strange residences (which really don’t belong there) and darkness that presses in on both sides like a plaque clogged artery. It has no room to expand outwards, nowhere for people to mingle, yet takes every opportunity to cram more people in. Very unhealthy. In short, Mill Ave is on its way to a heart-attack.
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