Sunday, February 16, 2014

Standard-Examiner: Our View: Workers Need FrontRunner (At "The S-E Doorstep)

Sodden thought: Cities like Ogden would be smart to aggressively oppose efforts to relocate FrontRunner stations to the boondocks

Interesting editorial from the Standard-Examiner this morning, urging that "a need exists in Northern Utah to have the FrontRunner trains stop where people are working":
Frankly, we think the Standard's editorial stance is maybe a little "half-baked," and possibly even more self-serving.  Seems that more than a few SE commenters are on that "philosophical page," too:

Here's a god retort from Ogden City Watchdog Dan Schroeder:
Note to the Standard-Examiner: You can't move your business out of downtown and then expect the taxpayers to subsidize the move by funding convenient transit to your outlying location.
The modern-day sprawling industrial "park" is not designed for transit. Even if a FrontRunner station were added at BDO, only a small fraction of BDO employees would work within a quarter mile of that station--and that's as far as most people are willing to walk. So you'd need a secondary bus of some sort. And as long as you need a secondary bus, it might as well leave from downtown Ogden.
Yes, Freeport and BDO are right along the tracks, but stopping at Freeport would lengthen the ride for just about everyone else on FrontRunner. Stopping at BDO would be along the way only for the four trains per day that go to Pleasant View--not exactly convenient service.
More generally, transit isn't very compatible with low-density development. If you want to live in a community where people use transit, start advocating for higher densities. And if you want to be part of the solution, please move your business back to downtown where it belongs.
 And here's another "good one" from retired S-E columnist Charlie Trentelman::
I'm with Dan Schroeder on this one -- the S-E should move its news and ad operations back to downtown -- the second floor of the new Wells Fargo Bank Building is vacant and ready to be set up as the new newsroom/TV studio/internet center that the future of the S-E seems to be set around.
Moving to the industrial park hurt the S-E in a thousand small ways -- it got reporters away from where the news happened, it got ad sales people away from the businesses, it got the management away from other business owners and managers.
The thousands of daily contacts, even if only passing by and looking, that used to make up life of a newspaper in the center of a city, that gave life and depth to coverage and business contacts, disappeared when they moved to the industrial park.
I know, I worked in both environments. E-mail and phone calls do not fill in the gap. Yes I know, the reporters now are getting out, and doing good work, they all have laptops and cameras and are mini-bureaus on wheels, but wouldn't it be easier if home base weren't a 20 minute car ride from everything?
I know this won't happen. Decisions were made 20 years ago and here we are. The state of business now may make such a move financially impossible. Which is too bad.
There's already a FrontRunner stop in central Ogden, an easy walk from the bank building.
Cities like Ogden would be smart to agressively oppose efforts to relocate FrontRunner stations to the boondocks, wethink.

Better yet, howbout the idea that our mayoral "Dear Leader," Mike Calwell, should promote vacant Ogden downtown properties first, before sending companies who are interested in doing business in Ogden out to the the BDO "boondocks?"

Just a sodden thought.

1 comment:

Dan S. said...

BDO has certainly been a mixed blessing for Ogden. On its own terms it's a huge success, with thousands of jobs where once there were none. But the dirty little secret is that many of those jobs were merely relocations from elsewhere in the city or county, and many of the others would have located elsewhere in the city or county had they not gotten a better deal at BDO. Meanwhile, 75% of their property tax is being diverted back into BDO as a subsidy, rather than paying for Ogden's schools and cops and firefighters. This diversion will continue for six more years, and it'll be very interesting to see whether our elected officials allow it to expire as scheduled after that.

Post a Comment

© 2005 - 2014 Weber County Forum™ -- All Rights Reserved