To: Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio and Diego Bernal, City Council District 1
Keep Main Avenue Open
Deny H-E-B's request to close Main Avenue.
Why is this important?
Closing Main Avenue will hinder rather than enhance growth in San Antonio's urban core.
H-E-B is asking the city to convey public property to a corporation. This is an irrevocable decision in exchange for a short-term promise: a small urban market that will remain open for at least 5 years. After that, H-E-B will be free to close it. That issue aside, the market proposed by H-E-B is too small to be a good solution for downtown’s grocery woes. Thus, if Main Avenue is closed, we would be losing an important north-south thoroughfare (particularly for bike riders) in order to have virtually no improvement for downtown's grocery store situation.
San Antonio should hold out for a better solution. We need a grocery store development that supports the Lone Star Community Plan and the goals of SA2020: a livable, sustainable urban core. What we do NOT need is a corporation co-opting public property in such a way that downtown becomes fragmented and even more unnavigable than it already is.
Closing the street is not necessary to build a vibrant urban market. We can look to other cities for examples, such as the Whole Foods in downtown Austin with its underground garage or the Kress IGA Supermarket in Seattle with its plethora of public transportation options.
Our streets are our city's circulatory system. When you cut off too many streets, you risk killing the city.
For more information, visit www.mainaccess.org.
Here is the official proposal: http://extras.mysanantonio.com/pdf/HEBproposal.pdf