Friday, June 29, 2007

Thunder Dome!

There's been a lot of grumbling lately about funds earmarked for the rehabilitation of Savannah City Hall.

Folks are balking at the project which will include "repointing, epoxy injection and waterproofing of exterior stone; removing, rebuilding and reinstalling the cupola; repairs and modifications to the gold gilded copper dome roof and providing new gold gilding to dome and cupola."

The total cost of the project is $2.2 million.

Personally, I'm not opposed to the project. I think fine public buildings are a community asset. Or, as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. wrote, "Public buildings often accurately reflect the beliefs, priorities, and aspirations of a people."

I'd hate to see what kind of public buildings we'd have if we listened to those complaining about the city hall project. I suspect if they had their way, our public buildings would have as much appeal as a Best Buy or Toys 'R' Us store, all cinderblock walls and corrugated metal.

Still, it's fun to play the game and imagine how much bicycle infrastructure $2.2 million would buy. And it's hard not to be jealous when reading about projects in other cities, announced by city officials who realize the value of transportational cycling to their communities. Again, I'm not against public spending to rehabilitate handsome public buildings. I just wish some of the people who work inside them would try riding their bikes to work every once in awhile. I've occasionally seen an assistant to the city manager riding to work. Are there others? I can't help but think that if more city officials took to the streets on two wheels, they'd see just how far behind the curve we are.

Photo credit: Dizzy Girl

1 comment:

Larry Felton Johnson said...

I agree with you. It's interesting to me that the more affluent we've become as a nation the more we're willing to put up with wretched and deteriorated public buildings.