Broadway beauty

Friday, July 1, 2011

I sang happy birthday to a clock this week. I would have felt ridiculous, but the clock was wearing a giant birthday hat, so I'm fairly certain it had more to be embarrassed about than I did.

It's not like I was singing alone, either.

I was joined by a few dozen people who also attended the downtown clock's 25th birthday party Tuesday. Some were merely there for the 25-cent hot dogs and ice cream, but I like to believe most of them realized on some level just what we were celebrating.

To many, the clock standing at Main and Themis streets has become symbolic of downtown Cape Girardeau as well as the Special Business District that has helped beautify and improve the area. The district will soon merge with other business owners in an expanded area in an effort to spread the love and the improvements through a Community Improvement District.

That organization, coupled with the $4 million the city looks set to spend on Broadway, should make for an interesting few years and an upgraded quality of life.

Most of that money will be used to resurface Broadway, fix sidewalks and bury power lines. But a solid $1 million will benefit the aesthetics along the street.

City officials have planned a public meeting for July 12.

At the last meeting, business owners and residents made suggestions and identified issues with the street. They ranged from not having enough shade or seating along the pathways to adding small parks or "green spaces" along the way.

This meeting will present two plans that implement those ideas and others in different ways. Those present can give feedback and vote on their favorite option.

As far as Main and Spanish streets have come, downtown still has a long way to go.

I'm just glad the car is in gear.

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