The Middle Ground of Main Plaza
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
June 8, 2006

Much has been made of the "sound and fury" of the fight over Mayor Phil Hardberger's proposal for Main Plaza. While I have opposed the closing of any of the streets around Main Plaza, I have also recommended a compromise. The thrust of my middle-ground letter sent to the Mayor is set forth below:

  1. All streets remain open (no permanent street closures).
  2. Limited closures on select weekends and weekday nights using stanchions or bollards for events, provided that no stanchions are used on East Commerce or Dolorosa/Market Streets.
  3. Eliminate parking adjacent to Main Plaza on the east and west sides of the plaza in order to expand the Plaza.
  4. Contribute to drainage problem affecting County and on some basis to Main Plaza improvement.

The Mayor's representative informed me that the originally proposed closure of Commerce and Market Streets was a concession. He said in effect, that to keep the project viable, Dwyer-Soledad and South Main needed to be closed. I do not agree that such major arteries as Commerce and Market can be serious concessions. I believe traffic must be kept free to circulate around the Plaza!

Roughly 15,000 employees and users of the Bexar County Courthouse, Justice Center and City Hall daily access this local government complex and all of the existing thoroughfares that surround Main Plaza. This alone creates significant traffic at present. It only seems to be a matter of common sense that shutting down any of these vital arteries would create substantial traffic jams for our downtown workers and local as well as non-local visitors.

At this point, the onus is on the members of the Council to improve the Mayor's proposal by refusing street closures. Councilman Roger Flores, who represents the downtown area and I as the downtown Commissioner, stand together against the shut-down of any Plaza-bounding streets. Traditionally, some measure of respect is accorded projects in the representational area of the particular elected official. This Thursday will determine whether this unwritten protocol is consistently followed.

Here's hoping that they will "Remember Main Plaza"!

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