Growth is Coming...Let's Be Smart About It

Month: August 2020

The New San Gabriel River Pedestrian/Bike Bridge…Let’s Get Creative with its Design!

The new pedestrian and bike bridge planned for the South & North San Gabriel Rivers gives Georgetown another opportunity to attract regional and national recognition with a new city landmark that overlooks our beautiful San Gabriel River.

Liberty Bridge in Greenville, South Carolina

Liberty Bridge at Falls Park, Greenville SC

The new bridge, which will be built alongside the Austin Ave Bridges, will connect to the San Gabriel park/trail system and link the Square & downtown to the Sheraton Hotel/Rivery development, the City’s west side, and ultimately to Lake Georgetown & Garey Park.  The pedestrian bridge also  gives us the opportunity to create a unique “gateway” for downtown Georgetown.

Instead of taking a traditional engineering approach to designing a basic utility bridge to accommodate pedestrian and bicycle traffic over the Rivers, hopefully the City will think outside the box and be creative in how they go about selecting the design for the new bridge.

Do we take the usual route and give the job to an engineering company without competitionor do we decide to be imaginative…and SMART?

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Making the Most Beautiful Square in Texas Better………with “al fresco” dining in the Streets?

al fresco dining in the Streets

I really enjoyed reading D.Ann Shiffler’s Guest Essay, “Going al fresco”, in last Sunday’s  Williamson County Sun. Her essay got me thinking about how we could increase outdoor eating around Downtown Georgetown and help our struggling restaurants around the Square.

Over the last few weeks, this idea has been discussed at City Council, in the papers and around the Square. Is there a way we could try it out and see if it could work…while still enforcing social distancing requirements?

Since I’m an architect, I decided to use my good Texas Tech education (Go Red Raiders) and look into the possibilities of experimenting with al fresco dining on some of the streets around the Square…but remember, we have to be Safe, Protected and Smart!

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Sales Tax Revenues…A Tale of Two Cities

Since I have been looking into Georgetown’s sales tax revenues and the continuing impact that the spread of Covid-19 has had on those revenues, I have discoveCharles Dickens a Tale of Two Citiesred Texas cities have not been equally affected by the pandemic.

As some cities have had their sales tax revenues significantly drop like Austin (-11%), other cities like San Marcos have had their sales tax revenues jump by 63%. 

I took Charles Dickens’ approach and looked at A Tale of Two Cities for inspiration (and their sales tax revenues)…and selected San Marcos & Georgetown. San Marcos’ population (2018: 63,500) is a little smaller than Georgetown (2018: 74,180), but the Comptroller reported San Marcos’ July sales tax revenues at $4,645,120 (collected in May) while Georgetown only received $2,592,905…so what’s going on?

I started looking into why San Marcos received a 63% bump in revenues collected in May and in the same month over $2 million (+79%) more sales tax revenue than Georgetown…and discovered the inequitable truth about the imbalance.

I also discovered things could be changing and some cities are really upset about those changes. So which cities could be facing the guillotine?

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