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Planning Junkie

Geek of the Urban Sphere

Another example of how hard it is to be a planner.

I understand new things can be scary. And it is always hard to see places where we have memories change or go away. But sometimes change is good. Sometimes change is what saves you. So… Historical Trolley Square in Salt Lake City got a facelift and all the internet trolls are up in arms over it. Too bad for them they weren’t concerned while there was still time for their concern to have any effect. Too bad they weren’t paying attention when there were public meetings they could have attended. No, they didn’t really pay much attention till a slanted article was written in the Salt Lake Tribune. According to the 80+ (and counting) comments, everyone loved Trolley Square just the way it was 20 or 30 years ago. And I don’t blame them, it looks like it was pretty cool.

Trolley Square 1970s

Though it looks like it was even cooler when it was actually about trolleys.

Like in 1912

And 1945

But in the last 30 years Trolley Square has been fading away. It is actually kind of amazing it is still around considering how much it HASN’T been thriving. These commenters seem to have forgotten what it has become. They can’t see that the new Whole Foods is not to blame for years of struggling shops, foreclosures, and deterioration. Instead,  the new grocery store might actually be the cure. They also don’t seem to notice that the new building replaced an ugly parking lot. The trolleys are still there, you just have to get out of your car to see them. What Trolley Square needs is tax dollars and to give people of the neighborhood a reason to go there. Even the commenters agreed that they haven’t been to Trolley Square in years. But they are still angered by someone trying to do something about it. How dare the city try to revitalize this historic part of the city? Why can’t they just leave well enough alone? As so many comments said, “It is a travesty.” But it is not the new grocery store that is the travesty. Giving new life to a dying neighborhood is not the travesty. Giving people a reason to go to Trolley Square for the first time in years is not the travesty. Providing a needed service for the surrounding area is not the travesty. The travesty is not even that they built a building that is not up to the design standards of Tribune readers.  It is these people who are in essence clinging to their dying kitten and all the while slaping the doctor for trying to “change” their baby.

I will take a new grocery store, and an organic one at that, over a parking lot next to a sad mall that no one frequents any day.


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