Our friends at Radiate Phoenix got together at the super cool SideBar off of 7th Avenue this past week. If you haven’t been to a Radiate Phoenix group, meeting, get together, you really are missing out! Basically, you have a group of people that are excited about downtown and “are creative, entrepreneurial, care about how Phoenix develops, appreciate good design, have a social conscience, and enjoy converging with eclectic people.” Please make sure and join us for the next one!
While at Radiate, I had the pleasure of talking to Josh Parry with SideBar about his business and some of his ideas for the future. Without a doubt, I was impressed. I was impressed with how much he cares for the neighborhood and for his community. When we discussed light rail, we talked about the fact that many of the businesses along the line have seen a large increase in traffic since the grand opening. I didn’t get the feeling he had a huge jump in business but I do believe his location is within a “reasonable” distance from the McDowell and Central Ave light rail stop. In fact, I am taking the light rail to try it out again in the very near future. 🙂
Josh and I also spoke with Dave and Jacqui from CenPho.tv about “walkable” areas and neighborhoods. So far, in Phoenix walkable is quite different than walkable in San Francisco, New York and other large cities. Last time I was in San Francisco, I didn’t think twice about walking to places that I would probably drive to (distance wise) here in Arizona. We all believe people utilizing the light rail system will begin to realize it is OK to walk more than 100 yards in Arizona. Obviously, the couple of months in the summer time will effect some decisions but we are fortunate in Arizona to have ideal weather many months out of the year.
So, is it too far to walk from Central to 7th Avenue? What is your opinion on “walkable neighborhoods?” We have had discussions about this at RailLife for quite a long time. We want to list the businesses and attractions “near” the light rail. We want to involve the communities, we want to have fun. I think a few of us need to try it out… I am going to start by visiting Josh again within the week. If anyone wants to come along, just let me know in the comments or @ me on Twitter…
If you go to SideBar without me, please tell Josh that “Rail Life” says “Hi!”