Thursday, April 1, 2010

Anyone remember hookers hanging out next to the old Rite Aid on Main?

The Herald Leader editorial gave it's comments on the new CVS drugstore at Main, Vine and Midland, and largely seemed to be fair, if largely uninformed of the work done to attempt to address their concerns.  Hell, if the City had just rolled over initially, the damn place would already be open and look just like the CVS being built at North New Circle Road.  I don't happen to agree on the need for design standards for Lexington as a whole, or even for just the downtown area, but at least there is room for reasonable people to disagree on how to achieve something desirable downtown.
However, right next to a responsible editorial was Joel Pett's cartoon which took a significantly less rational approach to the same stance.  He attacks the land use itself, as if a drugstore attracts bums and hos, trash and condom wrappers.  On the left side panel, embodying the 'desired' Downtown Master Plan uses, he notes: Nightlife, Bars and Parks.  None of those uses ever attract trouble or homeless, do they?
I've come to expect more than a shallow play on stereotypes from our local cartoonist.
But rest assured, the CVS will look like suburban crap, but it won't be because of a lack of effort from those involved.  It's a result of those who backed the concept from its inception because they felt downtown needed ANY drugstore more than they needed a well designed, pedestrian oriented building.  CVS could smell the desperation, and knows it doesn't have to do anything more than the bare minimum to get support from the highest levels.  Don't blame CVS, blame our local leadership for not demanding better before throwing their support behind a perfectly fine use.  Thank Phil Holoubeck.  Thank the Downtown Development Authority.  And repeat after them:  "All downtown development is GOOD downtown development!"

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