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June 15, 2021

Funny Papers Again Column | Diagonals and Rounds and Painted Walls

As reported in last week’s edition of the Rustler, the City of King has altered the direction of parking on a section of Broadway as a means of providing a safer downtown environment. All the ins and outs of this trial run can be found in Sean Roney’s fine article. Now what needs to happen is for those using the new reverse parking spaces, and as many as possible of you who live and shop here in town need give them a try, to let the city know your opinion.

Your responses are needed to guide the city staff’s decision, a decision that will impact the city for years to come. The plan is to resurface and re-stripe Broadway after recent construction resulted in the boulevard becoming an asphalt patchwork and so the decision as to how to stripe the parking spaces is a costly one and needs social input.

Please take the time to park in the reconfigured spaces and then let city staff know your opinion; here’s the contact information: Survey at https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/LlCGW, or on the City of King website kingcity.com. It will not take much time to do a quick in and out of a parking space and then fill out the survey; and if you don’t do either, please don’t complain later no matter the outcome.

Given when agendas and minutes of city meetings are available and when most writing deadlines are due for a Wednesday issue, it is not always easy to keep up on what is happening and get it out there, but I did run across some items worth mentioning. In King City, the planning commission during its May 18 meeting will consider adopting the initial study of a roundabout to replace the traffic light at Broadway and San Antonio Drive; this includes a report on any negative impacts the new design may have on the area.

That roundabout has been mentioned in this column before, but now is the time to have your say on the matter; there will be a time for public comments during the meeting. The link for joining the virtual meeting is found, so I’m told, on the planning commission’s agenda on the city’s website.

Also, during their meeting of April 27, city councilmembers voted to adopt an ordinance requiring all businesses that sell tobacco products to acquire a tobacco license within 90 days of adoption of the ordinance. That would be by my reckoning July 26. While no mention of any costs associated with the required license, there is mention of $1,000 fines for first offense and $5,000 for violations after that; so, they do mean business.

It cannot go unnoticed by residents and visitors alike that King City has done much in the past few years to make the downtown area more presentable and viable to shoppers, and that is reflected in the active businesses lining Broadway. Part of this polishing of the area are murals.

These murals are new and welcome additions to the city as they add more than just color to buildings but offer glimpses of the city’s past while also portraying local life. Presently there are, correct me if I’m wrong, four murals now along Broadway, and one on the high school campus, which makes five more than there were just a few years back.

What concerns me is who is responsible for long-term care of these public displays. I can think of a couple murals, one on a business wall in Greenfield, that have long ago lost their luster and no longer catch the eye with a pleasing message. I would hope there exists plans for each of our local murals that will keep them in such condition they may be enjoyed for years to come.

BITS & PIECES

As of a few minutes ago, I am a person qualified to add my opinion to the city’s survey on reverse diagonal parking; actually, doubly qualified. Earlier today while on my primary transportation, a bicycle, I caught the eye of a driver pulling out of one of the special spaces and they let me know, with eye and facial expressions, they saw me, and I was given the right of way. Good so far.

About an hour ago in a friend’s SUV, I went downtown to give reversing into a space a try; but first I pulled into a normal, nose-in space. I wasn’t even parked next to a tall vehicle but backing out was a blind exercise for three quarters of the move; not having done that for a while, I can say it was a bit hairy. But as for the rear-in approach, the backing into a space, well, without offering rodomontade, I can state since the age of 17 I have driven a wide variety of vehicles in a wide variety of situations and, casting no aspersions at others whose first attempt didn’t quite center in on the space, I can say I nailed in dead center. Thank you, thank you very much. Now, on to the online survey.

While on the subject of streets, let me mention some thoughts from the seat of a multi-speed bicycle. One mention is that King City is not flat even if it seems that way from inside automobiles; this is a geological fact. The city sits lower than the land directly to the east, which in turn sits lower than the foothills further east, because over eons of time the large body of water that filled the Salinas Valley receded leaving layered bottomland.

When on a bicycle this becomes very noticeable on certain routes, such as: going east toward First Street on Division one can feel the resistance of an incline and will encounter a bit more resistance pedaling northward on Third Street toward Broadway, but once passing that street the going is level.

This level going changes once a turn westward onto San Antonio Drive is made, then one can feel the downhill momentum. I usually gear up a speed or two and retain speed with far less pedal energy expended. Makes sense as that direction leads to the river and a nearby river bottom is always the lowest place around.

Stay safe. Peace.

Steve Wilson
King City and Greenfield Columnist

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