Do we really need archways over College Avenue in Rockridge, Oakland, California?
To the Editor:
Recently it has been suggested that archways should be erected over both ends of College Avenue to welcome visitors to our famed and glorious Rockridge District neighborhood. Yeah, howdy doody, you-all, and welcome to our traffic, our noise, our dirt and our crime. And how exactly do folks now know that they have entered Rockridge? Easy, they see the high retail prices and they hear about the high rents and the high mortgages.
The commercial strip of College Avenue currently does very little in terms of basic services for local residents, for between the Rockridge BART station and the intersection with Broadway, there is no pharmacy, no hardware store, no Post Office and no grocery store. Just an endless string of restaurants, coffee shops and odd knicknack and apparel stores.
This idea of archways harkens back to the small town boosterism that was so brilliantly described in Main Street and Babbitt, the brilliant novels of Sinclair Lewis, written more than eighty years ago.
Instead of "welcoming arches" to create "excitement," how about creating something that may actually be useful to some residents and visitors, such as a wading pool built behind the Rockridge branch library.
James K. Sayre
10 May 2004
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Web page last updated on 10 May 2004.