Ruining Uptown? I don’t think so

As someone who grew up in Uptown, an East Calhoun resident’s recent commentary (“An open letter to my City Council member,” May 18) really struck a chord with me — because it relied on a number of fallacies that are all too common in our local politics.

The letter writer noted he has lived in Uptown for 25 years, “much longer than (Council Member Bender),” and insisted that things have gotten worse: more pollution, less green space and the loss of a “pleasant ‘village’” feel.

But that’s nonsense, and should be called out as such. The facts simply don’t support these kinds of claims.

Air quality is certainly better now than in the 1980s or 1990s, when federal fuel and emissions standards weren’t nearly as strict as today (something the letter writer should be happy to hear, given that he claims to drive on 36th Street multiple times a day). Industrial activities have since vanished from what is now the Midtown Greenway, and many of the asphalt parking lots that once dominated our streetscape have been replaced with new housing and businesses.

As for the “village,” that’s inherently subjective, but I don’t know of many pleasant villages with fast-food restaurants surrounded by panhandling gutter punks.

Longevity doesn’t entitle one to their own set of facts. While I appreciate dialogue about how to ensure a livable and sustainable Uptown, I think the Southwest Journal missed the mark by publishing a letter so clearly disconnected from reality.


Anders Imboden

Vientiane, Laos (formerly of CARAG)