Scene In Passing: Let ‘em eat cake, or urge ‘em to meander? |

Scene In Passing: Let ‘em eat cake, or urge ‘em to meander?

John Barrette

Downtown’s design isn’t a cakewalk yet, but it’s heading toward cake status.

Many ingredients are chosen, the recipe is in front of the baker and the stove is heating up. Unless a wild card will change things, the ingredients will get mixed, poured in a pan and popped into the oven. What comes afterward, when specific design details are decided next year, amounts to icing and decorating. But the chocolate, angel, marble or whatever cake status likely will get baked into the process. So don’t swallow whole the idea massive changes are coming after the Supervisors next month decides whether to follow the conceptual design for downtown Carson Street. An altered board makeup via the Nov. 4 election, if it occurs, might make a difference longer term, that being one wild card. But even if the two incumbent members up for re-election lose, the conceptual design vote is next month rather than next year.

The current conceptual design calls for jettisoning the median, going to three vehicular lanes (one for turns), adding bicycle lanes on each side, and widening sidewalks. Some think it’s angel cake, others see it as a devil’s concoction, but after November what it will become will be baked in unless a new board majority next year pulls the cake out of the oven. It’s no accident this decision comes after the Nov. 4 general election, not before. Think on it. ‘Nuff said; this is commentary, not an exercise in insulting your intelligence, calling an election result or backing any candidate.

Meanwhile, Jon Yaple, attorney and downtown property owner/businessman, joined the chorus telling me his own downtown design idea. Basically I told him lotsa luck, but I listened.

He advocates fewer left hand turns from the middle lane that would replace the median, planning for the closure of a block of both 3rd Street and Telegraph Street west of Carson Street permanently for events, and a “meandering” Carson Street. He wants even wider sidewalks in front of businesses, narrower sidewalks in front of government buildings; hence the meandering street idea.

Long term, he projects government buildings will be security fortresses rather than public places. Shorter term, his own interest is a really wide sidewalk and eventually pavers in front of his building at 315 N. Carson St., which is where his dance studio and law office are located. He’s probably a day late, to say nothing of a dollar short, no matter the board makeup. But it’s another wild card, so who knows?

Though I definitely have no dog in this cakewalk, he got no argument from me over making downtown like a living room — a place of enjoyment. Still, I’ve noticed at parties people often wind up congregating in the kitchen.

Piece of cake, anyone?

John Barrette covers Carson City government and business. He can be reached at