Wednesday, September 18, 2019

At 10 Years, Kroc Center Remains an Autoist Failure

There's a long front-pager on the 10th anniversary of the Kroc Center, but as it is more of a feature oriented towards promoting new memberships at a celebration, it doesn't dig into the issues enough as a news analysis.

Location and transportation
are buried little on page 6
Still, in the story's continuation on page six, in a list of "10 reasons why it happened in this community," the second reason, "the location," is something of a buried lede.

The Kroc Center was intended to "help underserved neighborhoods," but because the City and affiliated boosters exiled it to a tract of industrial land, isolated and even orphaned from nearby neighborhoods by the railroads, Parkway, and additional layers of busy streets, it reinforces ways that those neighborhoods are underserved.

The Director says "we are not on anybody's way to anywhere," and that's an expression both of geographical isolation and compulsory autoism. The inherent logic of siting the Kroc Center there necessarily implies access to automobiles and making a destination car trip. That means people who can afford cars, and this operates as a kind of wealth check, completely opposite the intended function of "helping underserved neighborhoods."

This is the kind of decision that a climate policy might have helped. If we were looking at the trips and emissions the proposed site would induce, we may have had additional grounds for choosing a better location.

As we assess the Kroc Center on this 10th anniversary, we should not merely think of it as needing better marketing and visibility. We should face squarely the structural problems with the thing.

(See all previous notes on the Kroc Center here.)


Unknown said...

I used to be able to walk to Olinger. Today I have to wait an hour for the bus to go to the Kroc - and Olinger is filled in.

Rich T said...

The ridiculous part is there are those green bike route signs all over town for the Kroc Center and it's a horrible place to bike to.