|Tuesday, March 7, 2000||
Volume 65, Issue 110
Elrod on taxes
Ed De La Garza
You think campus parking is bad?
There are 24 whole days left until the first pitch is thrown at Enron Field. There are a few of us here at The Daily Cougar (Houston's second leading information source) that are admittedly over-excited about the Houston Astros' new home, but it does seem like the local media is making this a bigger deal than it actually is.
Take The Houston Chronicle (Houston's leading information source) for instance. In Monday's paper, an article on the front page claims that the new ballpark has "changed the way Houstonians see (the) downtown area."
Of course it has.
Downtown Houston will be different, no doubt. It will have more traffic, more security hazards and a heck of a lot more parking problems.
Yes, revitalization is important to the city, but what the head honchos of this town are really doing is trying to make something big out of something that can't handle it. It's like trying to fit a refrigerator in a Volkswagen Bug.
The downtown area is full of potential -- a potential that for years was never reached. And now, the city is trying to reach it by overflowing the area with new ideas.
Bayou Place is wonderful. It includes a movie theater, restaurants, a pool hall and an entertainment venue. The Theater District is great, too. The rebuilding of what was once the Music Hall will only complement the emphasis on the arts displayed by Jones Hall and the Wortham Theater.
Enron Field is a nice addition, but the amount of people it will draw to the area at one time will be overwhelming at first. It's inevitable that immediate problems will arise from parking and traffic.
Because arts and entertainment are already present in downtown, it's only fitting that the city bring professional sports to the area, but one can only imagine the nightmare that is likely to arise if multiple events occur at the same time.
The Houston Astros may likely play a playoff game the same time the Houston Symphony premieres a major work, Theater Under the Stars puts on a popular musical, the Alley Theater performs a classic Shakespearean play, a popular band makes a tour stop at the Aerial Theater, Bayou Place's Slick Willie's holds a national billiards tournament and a new film opens at the Angelika Film Center.
And, it's probable that if the Rockets are going to stay in Houston, they will open a new arena in downtown.
Major changes will need to be made to the way people make their way
around downtown before Houstonians can see the area as an attractive place