Commuters’ Crash Pad

by Nick Welsh

The City Hall powers-that-be saw fit to hold a grand opening
celebration for downtown’s Granada Garage several months after it
opened for business. After much grazing and mingling, Mayor Marty
Blum and all the city councilmembers — with the exception of Brian
Barnwell — gathered for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting for a parking
structure that went up after three false starts, lawsuits,
redesigns, record winter rains, and the fatal heart attack of its
chief engineer, George Gerth. As much because of these hardships as
in spite of them, the new garage — 525 spaces and $25 million in
construction costs — was proclaimed an architectural splendor, an
engineering delight, and the anchor for what downtown businesses
hope will become a new arts and culture scene. In addition to
parking spaces, high walls, and monumental steps, the new structure
— which county Supervisor Salud Carbajal likened to the Taj Mahal —
will soon include 12 low-income apartments and a bike station that
offers showers, lockers, and secure bicycle parking for up to 80
bipedal commuters. The fly in the ointment yet to be addressed is
the lack of a holding lane for cars entering the lot at the Anapamu
Street entrance.


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