Ross Harrington, of AlaCart2Go on 200 South, said efforts to beautify downtown have backfired:
Years back, this downtown was alive. You saw people carrying packages, milling about and having a good time. Then the ’70s came: “Let’s clean up downtown.” “Let’s slick this up and make it all pretty.” We took away all the signs for the businesses, all of the theater marquees. Tried to clean it up. There’s only one problem with that: Now you can’t see the businesses. Shortly following that, we proceeded to widen the sidewalks, put the trees in, the little planters. When we widened the sidewalks, a funny thing happened to the personality of the city: Now we don’t have to make human contact. We have sterilized downtown to where there is no life.