Problem Solved

by lizard

Nature isn’t making it easy for economic activity to happen here in Missoula. December’s First Friday was tonight, and tomorrow it’s Griz football and a Parade of Lights. The weather will be brutal, as it has been all week, so I doubt those who brave the elements will linger downtown for too long, which is bad news for downtown business.

Much to the dismay of my kids, I watched a good portion of this week’s city council meeting on MCAT. The topic being discussed was sandwich boards—or, more specifically, the rules governing sandwich boards downtown. Apparently there is a BIG PROBLEM that necessitates throwing those onerous sandwich board regulations out the window. Because Christmas.

I hope a win for more sandwich boards doesn’t create clusters of signage, impeding pedestrian traffic. Also, there are those notorious transients to contend with.

A perfect storm of sidewalk congestion?

You see where I’m going with this, right? Toward solutions.

Use sandwich boards to cover homeless people.

Problem solved.

  1. Well it’s been a few days since I threw a China story out there and I know people were getting anxious.

    When I was living on Shenzhen you often couldn’t walk down the sidewalks. There were restaurants on my street, and these were just holes in the wall with tables on the sidewalk. You think the Hob Nob is bad think of that times ten and all over the sidewalk.

    After awhile the cops started sending patrols out. There’d be 50 cops wearing black out in the hot sun making sure business owners didn’t have signs or tables out. They kept that up for a couple months, until the National Party Congress was over, then it was pretty much back to business as usual.

    Here I think you have trees, bike stands, and rubbish bins taking up most of the space on one side of the sidewalk. I think the businesses that get the most creative with their signage will do the best. Why not laser lights? Hey,that reminds me of another China story…

  2. The sarcasm in this is great. We’re concerned with too many signs, too many homeless, how will the businesses ever make it with both on the streets, what will people think when they come to our town?

    Why aren’t we taking more time to help the homeless get off the streets, in a way that is sustainable for everyone? Why do we seem more concerned about them “messing” up our sidewalks than the realization that these are REAL people LIVING on our sidewalks? Compassion seems to go out the window for capitalism.

    Really I don’t care about the sidewalk signs. No big deal either way. I’m concerned about the people, that have so little they gather on the sidewalks to keep warm and find shelter. What does it say about our town that we don’t do enough to help the least of us?

  3. JC

    I think the City Council needs to make an ordinance regulating how business owners fight over sidewalk signage placement rights. Mud wrestling comes to mind…

    Actually, for some buildings, it is getting pretty ugly between shop owners, who gets to put their sandwich sign, where.

  4. Do we need an ordinance that regulates civility between business owners? Come on folks. Wise up, common courtesy,common sense they can’t be regulated. Why can’t business owners talk to each other and work it out? Why does the council need to be involved in regulating everything?

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