The Nevada City Council has decided to kick the can down the road, delaying for another year a final decision on the fate of the city’s Boardwalk while the city collects data on its use that could have been gathered by now.
The vote came after several hours of comments from an estimated 50 people. Most of the opposition could be divided into two topics: Aesthetics and conduct.
I’ll leave to others the debate over the “cultural resources element” of the California Environmental Quality Act–“authentic” is in the eye of the beholder and I don’t live there anyway–and discuss the conduct.
One of the main objections to the Boardwalk is the claim that it attracts undesirables who might scare away visitors from down the hill in search of a ceramic rooster or an overpriced meal. You would think these people magically appeared as soon as the Boardwalk opened for business.
Everybody knows better. Most of the people who clutter up the Boardwalk used to hang around Calanan Park, and they just brought the drugs, drinking and smoking problems with them. (I spent 57 years in the Bay Area, but I was never solicited to buy drugs until my first stroll past Calanan.)
Getting rid of the Boardwalk won’t make the problem people disappear. If you want to solve that problem, arrest the drug dealers and get help for their customers, but that seems too simple for a town that dearly loves unnecessary complexity.
I’ve used the Boardwalk, but I don’t spend any more time visiting Commercial Street than I did before it was installed. If I was a taxpaying resident of Nevada City, I’d have two questions that I haven’t heard anybody address:
–If the Boardwalk becomes permanent, where will the money and workers come from to maintain it. “Volunteers” is not the long-term answer.
–How long will the Boardwalk last before it needs major refurbishing or replacement, and what will that cost?
Those are legitimate questions for a city that can barely afford the workers it has now, questions that will probably give the city council another excuse to kick the can down the road.