Protect and secure downtown improvements
So, there’s potholes in Kingman and the roads need attention?
Yep. Always has been. Always will.
This town also needs a social and cultural heart for its residents – old and new – along with tourists and visitors.
Downtown Kingman is a swirl of locally owned businesses, historical relevance, and a visual and architectural break from the mundane eyesore of cookie-cutter housing developments and chain stores. There’s also a population of young and old, fresh, innovative and progressive idealists that wish to see the city change for the benefit of ALL its citizens. Downtown offers pleasant gathering locations with its mix of stores, restaurants, diners and breweries. Locomotive and Metcalf parks are excellent outdoor settings for picnics, music, rallies and festivals.
The Downtown/Beale Street Infrastructure Design Project will add structural, aesthetic, environmental and accessibility improvements to the downtown experience: bump-outs, drainage, updated landscaping, more access for the disabled, bike racks, electric charging stations and signage to name a few.
Now there’s talk of taking a chunk of the $7 million from the American Rescue Plan Act fund to put a Band-Aid on the sucking chest wound that is the city’s crumbling road system.
Sure, repairing city streets should be a forefront issue. If memory serves (and it does), Kingman had a Transaction Privilege Tax that was raking in enough money to improve major traffic arteries (portions of Stockton Hill Road and Andy Devine Avenue/Route 66). A few local citizens felt that the community should be able to vote on an issue that most likely wouldn’t have passed anyway, launched an effort to nix the TPT, and succeeded in scuttling future funding. Using money from ARPA to temporarily fix a problem that’s just going to get worse without the proper funding and maintenance isn’t going to improve downtown or the roads for any lasting period of time.
Negative and ill-informed comments and gripes related to Kingman’s streets on social media, at Kingman city council meetings, Mohave County Board of Supervisors meetings and heard and overheard conversations almost everywhere continue to demonstrate that many Kingman residents want “more things and better stuff” but don’t want to pay for the improvements.
We get what we pay for.
I’m a Kingman native and current resident, frequenter of downtown establishments, and news reporter who’s witnessed and written about the challenges Kingman faces moving into the future. I’m friends, acquaintances and former classmates of local entrepreneurs (especially downtown entrepreneurs), professionals, artists, activists, and motivators. I’ve seen downtown flourish, fail and flourish again.
Uptown and outlying areas continue to get more congested or neglected while being contested with zoning laws, property ownership disputes, chain merchants and inaccessibility for non-motorists. Downtown is an escape from that.
I’ve traveled the country for more than 20 years and witnessed the changes and developments of multiple cities and towns over those years. Despite what some may stubbornly believe, it’s entirely possible to solve multiple problems by different means at the same time.
I fully support keeping the Beale Street Infrastructure Design Project rolling forward without digging into other cookie jars to temporarily satisfy the complaints of an issue that has many moving parts.
For those unfamiliar with the details, now is the time to get informed and involved.
Information on the Beale Street Infrastructure Design Project is available at https://downtowndesignkingman.com.
There has been an online petition circulating that has gathered more than 500 signatures in support of keeping the project moving forward. Go to https://www.change.org/p/save-the-downtown-infrastructure-design-project to join the effort.
Kingman native and resident