hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Friday, July 10, 2015

Roundabout, Round 2

I got an email from a friend today disputing my opposition to the roundabout proposal by saying that they were a good idea and that Blaine, Bellingham, and Vancouver all had them.  And that some of them had nice landscaping.  Now first, his view that it's a good idea is about as powerful as mine: it just feels that way.  That Blaine, Bellingham, and Vancouver all have them is scarcely an argument: more just a statement of diversity since, other than geographical location, we don't have all that much in common with Blaine, Bellingham, and Vancouver.  As to nice landscaping: we have some of that on Tyee.  Support more of that, would be my counterclaim.

BUT, his reply did prompt me to think more carefully about exactly WHY I don't think it's such a hot idea.  And at the bottom of that train of thought, I found the Character Plan.  I think the idea, within the character plan, that making all the businesses look like 19th Century fishing villages (or some such thing) would be good for Point Roberts because it would make it more like the scenic little towns that dot the west coast: think Carmel, California.  And I'm guessing that the scenic little roundabout also arises in that fantasy: that in some way, Point Roberts can be made into a lovely little tourist destination.

I suppose it could, but it would take a massive amount of money, a ton of buy-in, and a master plan of impressive proportion.  We've got trees and ocean but other than that, what do you take your visitors to see in Point Roberts?  Is the orange palm tree still at the marina restaurant?  I take my visitors to see the quilts at the church and at the History Room in the Community Center, but random guests may not be as interested in quilts as mine tend to be.  The lines at the gas stations, the package stores, and the post office?  The full parking lot at the International Market?  Those are the places that most visitors to the Point go: and they don't care whether the buildings or the streets are cute as long as they can get through the border to do their business and safely transmit their purchases back to Canada.

So if it were going to be a tourist town in the Carmel sense, it would need some more public attractions:  Lily Point is a great starting point, but the cost of buying the land and developing it has been well over $4 million.  Real tourists largely are looking for something to do and only secondarily for something to buy.  I just don't know what they'll do with a roundabout.

Of course, maybe I'm wrong that the roundabout proposal has nothing to do with a cute little tourist destination of the future.  Maybe it's just a fascination with going in circles...


Anonymous said...

Let's look on the bright side. Think of how much fun we would have trying to navigate a roundabout in the winter, considering we have no snow plows or sand or salt trucks.

Anonymous said...

You can be sure it's not their own money they want to spend. While we're at it let's put up an overpass to handle the voluminous flow of traffic at Tyee and Benson. Sheesh

Anonymous said...

Better add an overhead walkway to handle all the foot traffic that can't cross the road during rush hour.