Scott E. Miners: Business owner wants 2-lane Carson Street
February 3, 2013
By Scott E. MinersIt’s not easy for me to take the time to write, but I do it because I think it’s important for all of us in Carson City as well as for visitors to our town.I am the owner, along with my wife, of a small business Well Being Journal, 302 E. John St., just west of Stewart. Running the business is more than a full-time job. We have five employees, as well as a bookkeeper and an accountant here in Carson City, and our insurance is through a local agency as well. We purchase all our supplies from Office Depot and Costco and other local businesses. I’m writing to lend support to Carson City going forward to make the central part of our town, from approximately William Street to Fifth Street, more user-friendly. When we first moved here, we rented a house owned by Marilyn Harper that had been converted into an office space-friendly building at 405 Nevada St., just off Telegraph Square. The house, in which Marilyn was born and grew up in from the 1920s or so, at the northwest corner of Curry and Telegraph, is also now used as a business location. We loved this area because of the beauty around it, the historic feeling of a variety of buildings in the neighborhood. We also appreciated the natural surroundings, the trees, the grass, the flowers, the beauty of the square itself and the friendly merchants around the square — and the fact that we could park and walk to several different restaurants and shops or just take a break and walk around the neighborhood feeling the grace of the trees and other natural beauty without having to cross a busy, four-lane Carson Street.I mention Telegraph Square because it seems many of its elements (openness, beauty, nature) could easily and inexpensively be created along much of Carson Street in the central downtown area to make it more attractive. I learned after having our business there for some months that the square was started and nurtured along by Doreen Mack. She is now not only advocating for a more merchant and user-friendly downtown area in general, but has also presented a rather remarkable proposal for making downtown more people-friendly by, for one thing, routing pass-through traffic onto Stewart Street and allowing parallel parking in front of businesses downtown. How lovely that would be for downtown merchants and for those of us residents and visitors who’d like to dine or shop there.Why would that be so lovely? Because I have noticed for many years that if my wife and I or friends wish to visit a restaurant that is on Carson Street, such as the Basil or Garibaldi’s, the experience of parking on Musser Street or Telegraph either east or west of Carson Street is quite pleasing. There are trees, grassy areas, no traffic. However, it is when we have to cross Carson Street, or walk along the sidewalk of Carson Street to get to a restaurant, that we feel bludgeoned by the four lanes of cars, their noise, and feel like rushing along to get off the street or sidewalk along it because of the traffic. We also feel like going directly to the washroom to wash the road dirt off our faces after having walked just 10 yards or so along the street. It feels like being in no man’s land. So, really, we find ourselves avoiding the area because of the difficulty of the traffic. However, it’s a different story on Curry Street, where it’s easy to find parking and a quiet, peaceful walk from the car to a restaurant such as Mo & Sluggo’s or Sassafrass.We’ve been all over the United States and around the globe, and we’ve found that there are so many lovely and thriving small towns such as ours where people have created beautiful, unique downtown areas that incorporate historic buildings and houses as well as trees, shrubbery, flowers, sitting areas and especially pedestrian-friendly streets. It would be wonderful to put the whole of the Carson City downtown area on such a map. It would be good for the economy here, for all of us, as it would draw more visitors, just as the new Firkin & Fox restaurant has done for the area around it. And, the bottom line, it would help us all to feel that we have a more user-friendly central community by extending as much as possible the many natural elements of beauty you find in the areas around Firkin & Fox and Telegraph Square to Carson Street from Fifth Street north to William. So, what about redirecting that pass-through traffic onto Stewart Street from William Street south, and making Carson Street two lanes to support a user-friendly, beautiful and unique downtown?• Scott E. Miners is the owner of Well Being Journal.