Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bring Back Manzanita

Does anyone else fondly remember the sounds of Manazinta Speedway on a Friday night? How about the sounds of cash registers clanging with every ticket sold and every supporting business transaction that was associated with it?

I attended the planPHX meeting at Cesar Chavez Library tonight, where I was thrilled to hear Phil Hertel's suggestion that we should bring back Manzanita Speedway. Phil owns an auto recycling business on Broadway, specializing in classic Buicks (, so he knows something about this business. Apparently there's a real lack of auto racing in the Valley right now, and that means pent up demand.

I know very little about the auto industry, but couldn't agree more with Phil. Even I have driven along Broadway on a Saturday morning in the past and gawked at the crowds. My first thought was that this looks like something really cool, something cool that most of us totally fail to notice! But here's this opportunity and a thriving culture staring right at us.... Why not make something more of it?!

So that's why I've submitted the following plans to the city. Please support them:
"Car Culture" 
"Car Culture, Part II -- Del Rio Brown Fields"

More info about the Del Rio Brown Fields Project here:

Update: Thanks to Steven Klein for a link to Arcadia Publishing's book about Manzy:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How Can We Grow?

There's been a lot of discussion in the past (and present) about what additional amenities Laveen and south Phoenix need and how the city might help us get there -- or in many cases, how the city has perhaps failed to help in a meaningful way. In conjunction with my previous post regarding the MyPlanPHX website, I'd like to make a proposal as to how we can step forward with meaningful progress at the city level utilizing existing city staff and departmental resources.

First, it's important to note that this website serves all of Phoenix and a great number of active contributors are from other areas -- heavily weighted toward downtown and midtown from what I've noticed (take a look at the charts I posted -- mostly familiar names from CenPho). Those folks are facing some of the same issues as us, but often from a slightly different angle. This means we can likely get them on our side in many ways that we may not have previously thought possible.

Prominent Laveen resident Erika K (you all likely know her from our FB group) submitted a plan back in August, titled "Marketing the City of Phoenix", which has picked up a great deal of support and generated a lot of discussion recently. Erika's concern is that our city is not proactively getting the word out about some of our greatest assets, and that the city's various campaigns are all too often uncoordinated. I think we can all share that frustration at times, especially when it seems that our part of town is all too often overlooked for new city-backed initiatives that involve economic development. If you agree, then please go read through Erika's proposal and the discussion that follows. Perhaps then you will feel inclined to second it.

As for me, I've chimed in a couple of ideas for citywide initiatives that I think would really help take this notion a step further. We need to not only create the outward-focused marketing materials, but also shift gears elsewhere to show our complete commitment to making this a reality. Here's my comment on Erika's recommendation (which includes links to a few more ideas):

What if we implemented a plan to take a more holistic view of economic development and dispersed it throughout many city departments, while providing central oversight? Here's a plan that I submitted a while back:

Also, I'd love to see the planning department work with our community and economic development department to highlight specific business opportunities based on zoning, proximal uses, etc. While it's part of the recommendation for our light rail, this could work throughout the city. Here's that proposal:

And finally, as a focusing measure to work on behalf of each village or other geographic area of our city, I strongly recommend business incubators:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

MyPlanPHX Idea Submission

Hi All,

Been a while and I've missed this blog. Looking forward to becoming reacquainted with it again, as there's lots to share. First and most importantly, how about this cool new website from the city of Phoenix, which I've been using to submit ideas as have a couple other active residents from our area. More details below.


Data on MyPlanPHX
As you can see from these charts, the top ten users have submitted over half of all ideas on the MyPlanPHX page and are generating more than two-thirds of the discussion. Not sure about you, but I'd say this calls for a little more input for a city our size. I'd also argue that perhaps there's an opportunity for more Laveen and south Phoenix residents to jump in and have our voices heard. Just a thought, but certainly worthy of your consideration. Here's my profile (Patrick B4) in case you want to see my ideas. Just know that there's a catch -- you've got to sign up before scoping out users' profiles.

Laveen Related Posts on MyPlanPHX
Build the 202!
Don't Build the Loop 202
Replace Major Arterial Roads w/ "AZ Parkway" Design

Increase Shade Canopy Coverage on the LACC
HAWK Lights for Improved Walkability and Biking

If I'm missing any others, please share in the comments section below. Let's start discussing how we want to improve our city.