Exploring the options for aging Al Lang stadium | editorial, May 15
Shift venues to suit all
In light of the news about how Al Lang Field is in dire condition, let's hope that we can honor the past and move forward at the same time! Spring training is gone forever in St. Pete and we need more waterfront park space. Extending Straub Park and Beach Drive will result in more positive growth and aesthetics for our waterfront.
An homage to spring training history here can be captured in a sculpture in Straub Park South! The exhibit at the history museum can be expanded! The Saturday Morning Market in the parking lot can be moved to the Vinoy Basin area, as recommended by the Urban Land Institute.
The occasional baseball games held at Al Lang can occur at the Trop. The Rowdies could occupy Al Lang solely until a new soccer stadium at the site of the Trop is built for this truly global sport of futbol!
There is room for everyone and a little give-and-take on everyone's part ensures this!
Jeannie Cline, St. Petersburg
Move Rays, use Trop space
Let's not revisit the same confusion that plagues our iconic St. Petersburg Pier. Perhaps the community should consider a greater purpose for our land use. As I understand it, the Tampa Bay Rays are interested in a new stadium. There is land available near Interstate 275 to accommodate that and centralize the team in the bay area. Al Lang Field's iconic status rests in history, not location. So maybe Tropicana Field could be considered as a location for a refurbished baseball/soccer venue. Incorporating parking and business/residential options might make that a more fiscally viable alternative as well. Creating green space on the existing site, extending Beach Drive, and promoting a waterfront on the bay, would also have the positive impact of promoting the new BayWalk/Sundial venue too. Nestled between USF St. Petersburg downtown and an art/museum-friendly waterfront, that alternative would promote a more pedestrian-friendly region in the process. I see this as an opportunity, not a challenge.
CJ Gerber, St. Petersburg
Transit wishes | May 11
The pro-transit tax group
Thank you for your article on Pinellas' pro-transit tax group. Once again you have clearly outlined the destructive alliance of big business, big government and big bucks.
Hopefully voters and taxpayers, who always get stuck for big boondoggles that make utilities, politicians and special interests rich at their expense, will step up in November and shut that down.
Maureen Zilles, Largo
Solving downtown gridlock
After dining on the coast last evening, we decided to head to downtown St. Pete for drinks and dessert. To our delight, downtown and the waterfront were packed with people, many walking around Beach Drive and also doing what we wanted to do, patronizing the sidewalk cafes. To our dismay, there was virtually no available parking and the traffic moved at a snail's pace. Idling cars on Beach Drive were spewing car exhaust to all the diners and pedestrians, creating a real blemish on an otherwise pleasant and exciting scene.
We started talking about how great it would be to hop on a real streetcar at a western transit terminal at Pasadena and Central avenues. St. Pete's definitive, historic, and grand Central Avenue is the ideal location for this line. Then to be able to hop off and walk to various destinations downtown and on the waterfront would be awesome. Parking would be a breeze at the western transit terminal as there is ample land there to build lots.
Visitors from Tampa also came to mind as a public ferry line from the Channel District to our waterfront would create favorable conditions for our sister city residents, just as a streetcar line would here. Isn't it about time that these aesthetic and practical modes of public transit are considered here? The Pier, in whatever form, would be an ideal station for both a ferry and a real streetcar.
Hop on board, St. Pete, and create a truly aesthetic and functional public transit system. We have outgrown relying on trolley buses and it would be so costly to add more parking garages downtown, even if we could find the room.
Ivylyn Harrell, St. Petersburg