For a few months now, all I hear coming from youth circles in Salinas is the efforts being made to put together this free, fun day for the entire family. In a city with few options for youth to have outdoor recreational activities, Ciclovía has been the shining beacon on a foggy Central Coast day.
Since I knew all about it, I'm sure SUBA folks also knew about it. And as my colleague at The Californian Jeff Mitchell wrote in his column, the organization heartily endorsed it a few months ago.
Now they want to backpedal. Business owners along East Alisal Street, one of the most congested in Salinas, fear they'll lose money because Sundays are their busiest days.
To make sure you all know what I'm talking about: Ciclovía Salinas will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Sunday. To make it a safe event for everyone to walk, skate, and bike along East Alisal Street, the busy thoroughfare will be closed to traffic from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. This has riled some businesses along the corridor, who say they'll lose customers in one of their most profitable days.
I'm thinking they're not the same business owners who complain about violence in the streets. Or those who say nobody comes to Salinas to patronize them because the city's bad reputation is keeping potential customers away.
Let's get one thing straight folks: desperate problems demand desperate measures, and if violence is to be eradicated from Salinas, everyone needs to do his or her part.
And be willing to sacrifice a little.
No, Ciclovía won't be the magic solution that will suddenly wipe out crime from Salinas. But magic solutions don't exist. It will take a lot of tiny efforts and creative ideas to combat this scourge.
I applaud the young people of Salinas for putting this effort together. They've done their due diligence, asked permission from the proper authorities, and now you want to shut them down?
No wonder sometimes young people in this town find no hope. There's little to do, they come up with a solution, they take the proper steps, and now you want to tell them "Never mind."??????
How much is peace worth to you, guys?????
Let's us all do our part to make this a better place to live. I for one will volunteer this Sunday to help control traffic and make it a safe event.
And if you want to volunteer, you still can. Contact Irma Guerrero at the Monterey County Health Department, 831-386-6890 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Natalie Oliver, 831-262-1110 or Andrea Manzo, 831-717-1384.
What are you willing to do to make Salinas a better place to live?