Alton Plan Commission blocks tattoo shop once again



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Some thoughts from a transplant

Let's be realistic. If Alton wants a high end arts district, or even many younger residents in general, the city needs to:

1. Stop demolishing buildings left and right. Pay a fraction of the cost to stabilize them instead. Yes, I know grant money covers the demolitions. Much of Soulard and the CWE in St. Louis were once dilapidated as well. Now the market for their historic homes, even the small ones, has been thriving for decades.

2. Concern itself with its more mundane aura. Motorcycle noise, litter, an overemphasis on parking over recreating walkable communities, public smoking and drunkenness, overgrown lots... These keep monied urbanites from settling here. Not tattoo shops.

3. Ask outside planners. Alton has some good ideas implemented poorly. The dog park... why did they locate it in the middle of nowhere, next to all that highway noise, instead of buying and fencing 5-6 empty neighborhood lots where residents can walk our dogs? Dog parks are about community, about walking and connecting with neighbors. Forcing people to drive there defeats the purpose and our park is usually empty.

4. Do something about the refinery pollution. Alton nights become indoor-only affairs for weeks at a time due to the unbreathable air. This can't be legal.

5. Get some decent bike infrastructure. We don't need anything fancy, but bike lanes would go a long way. Champaign, Bloomington, St. Louis, Chicago, etc. all have this. It's 2015. We need better options than just driving.

6. Improve public transit, especially to St. Louis and North County, until we get more well paying jobs here.

7. Street cleaners run what, twice a year? Most cities clean their streets twice a month. It shows.

8. If you want people using the riverfront park, unpave the parking lots and turn in into an actual park. Unfence the river. Get rid of that unsightly earth mound. And please, if a market for a new hotel exists, renovate one of the vacant downtown buildings instead of ploping it in the park.

Alton has some tremendous advantages: Superb architecture, brick streets, breathtaking views, a quaint atmosphere, a legacy of urban infrastructure (even of most of the urban/walkable business have left the main city), relative racial harmony, a farmer's market, a healthy grocer nearing completion, etc. We can attract new, younger residents. If city government listens, we will.

John more than 1 year ago

Ignoring the will of the residents...

So frustrating. I want Alton to succeed but I really think it would be easier to just move to Edwardsville at this point. I will make sure never to patronize any business owned by Jeannine Kelly as my protest.

Chris Edler more than 1 year ago

600 block of Broadway

The 600 block looks like Detroit or a WW II German town after being bombed, when will they clean those buildings up? And will they put in tax generating businesses? Non profit won't bring tax dollars to Alton or generate jobs

Michael Weber PhD more than 1 year ago