I've have lived here the past 18 years (I'm 21) and have enjoyed many of the venues offered to us by the city. When I was younger, we had the river. When I was a teen, we had bookstores and cafes. Now that I'm an adult pursuing higher education, I have the college and surrounding libraries.
I'm grateful at all the concepts hitting Yuma like rogue waves. We now have malls and schools and transit systems that have driven us into new experiences. Though I've yet to take the YCAT buses, I know many who do as part of their daily routine.
I'm writing to ask that you consider a new concept for the city. Looking at Google maps, one can appreciate the layout of the city. But something startles me as it does others who think of the possibilities (and there are many things).
One is how compact the urban center is. I'm talking about Avenue A to 4th Avenue and 16th Street to 24th Street. The area contains apartments, stores, restaurants and in one case a high-rise. This area could be more pedestrian friendly when it comes to foot traffic.
In the summer, people will walk the narrow sidewalk adjacent to traffic with umbrellas if need be to get to where they need to go. Now, I don't know if you noticed but it seems on some blocks after 8th Street, the sidewalk gets narrower and in some cases disappears, leaving many to walk on curbs to reach their destinations.
Another issue I've noticed is the lack of venues north of 8th Street. Maybe it's because population density is low there, but there is a sizable portion of the population there who have to travel south to get things like clothing, books and other retail items.
Why not open some of these venues in between Giss Parkway and the Yuma Palms mall? I'm sure traffic would be alleviated as a result and could bring foot traffic to the downtown area. (Great job there, by the way. The courthouse looks gorgeous.)
I see now that downtown is becoming more of a municipal center, though you have some great projects in the works on the river.
The last thing I've noticed is more of a plea. The urbanization of the west side of Yuma (during the housing boom) was really a sight to see. But one thing irks me. The streets. One gets the feeling your staring at a paisley pattern when looking at the layout of these beautiful new homes.
But really when you think of it, it is costly to have no back roads for the citizens to bypass traffic. There seems to be two ways into a neighborhood and two ways out. But other than that, you get caught weaving through streets, trying to get to your own house.
I think better planning on the part of the city could fix this as we have high hopes for future residents. Maybe some that involves stacking residencies on top of each other instead of sprawling out. We are a municipality now. I think we could handle the extra roads when the time comes for it.
Jose Jorge Arguelles