..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

... just to remind myself why I'm doing this ...

Depending on our personalities, the world can be a crowded place or a very lonely one. For those who seek comfort in numbers, there is no shortage of hangers on, but for those who avoid that circus, keeping thier own counsel can leave them feeling quite alone and disengaged from the mad place we call home. Life is a trade off and most of us choose how we live it.

For me, I'd rather work things out as best I can, using my own thoughts and feelings to sort things out. Following the crowd has never been a temptation to me, but that has its price, one that I'm totally comfortable with every day I get to stand up and be the person I aspire to be. When I sometimes lose track of who that is, I come here to remember, to reconnect and to resume my quest.

These posts are a reflection of some of what matters to me and it's a privilege to have the opportunity to collect these thoughts as they form in my head, as they prepare the way for my life, as it evolves from one day to the next. They re-inspire me when things seem to be floating about, with no particular aim or purpose, and it does happen from time to time.

So, today I had these thoughts that I think are worth writing down for the future me to look back on when I need to ...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

we won't find much by digging in our own backyard...

   A volunteer just dropped off a Survey Response summary and on reading it, I noted an earlier concern of mine was still just that, a concern. From the statistics quoted, it is very apparent to me that we don’t have much information on why people DON’T come downtown.
   At the outset of this project I suggested that the survey pay particular attention to the reasons why people don’t frequent the downtown and to get that very important information there needs to be a component of this survey that is targeted specifically at non-downtown goers. Those people can be found in all the outlying shopping areas at any and all times of the day and week. What these people have to say will go a long way in telling us what’s missing from and what’s negative about the downtown experience.
   These people are the ones we want to attract, as opposed to looking for ideas on what will likely be marginal improvements for those who are already patronizing the area. Of course that is also a part of what needs to be ongoing but far greater strides can be made by attracting the non-believers and those who may not even be aware of the downtown’s appeal. Their opinion, I dare say, is probably the most important one in defining what has to be done to “vitalize” downtown.
   There have been several market surveys done in the past for the town as part of various applications by developers to rezone outlying areas, to allow more and larger shopping opportunities in them. The information in those studies reveals some interesting information and that is also important to this project. Even though the information is not fully current, it still sheds light on shoppers’ general habits and preferences and that’s vital information.
   I suggest that knowing as much as we can about why people don’t come downtown for their needs is key to developing a strategy designed to change that mindset and behavior. This, I think, is where the best opportunities to vitalize downtown actually lie. So far, we seem to have stirred the converted and activated a cheering section but have we learned anything that wasn’t already obvious to those who look at these issues with some regularity? So far, the results say ‘no’. Let’s dig deeper and outside the yard to get some additional important, meaningful and constructive input. Without it, we’re only baking a one-layer cake.

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