Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Inpsiration: My open letter to Pocatello

Dear Pocatello,

You're kind of weird.
But that's ok. I still like you.

Sincerely, A citizen of the Gateway To The West 

During my internship I was walking around the Old Town part on Hayes St. I came across this street that was hidden away but had a "industrial greenway" attached to it. (see Picture below) and I was like. What? I really wanted to see what this greenway was but I was working and so I continued with my project at work. On Sunday D and I decided to go on a bike ride and I was like, lets see what this who "industrial greenway" is about. We rode our bikes over to this part of the town, finding more of the greenway I didn't even know existed  to finally get to the part I had seen while working. I was excited to see what the city of Pocatello had done. I had hopes that they were mixing Pocatello's industrial past with it's future of a greener city. What I found? A path that was less than 1/4 of mile long before it abruptly stopped.
That was it?
Pocatello has the potential to really be great. It is a university town and, I think at least, a bit more diverse than surrounding towns (Idaho Falls, Rexburg<---Duh). Pocatello is great outdoor areas, amazing trails and is close by to some sweet recreational areas. still seems like a town that is behind. Take for example this greenway. There is was this short 1/4 mile strip, then on the other side of the Portnuef River (which, don't even get me started on our cement box of a river) is a pretty tree lined bikeway. The paved lane one over is boarded by a trailer park.

Different faces of Pocatello board each other and they don't really mesh well. Each town has a "bad" part, that is a given but Pocatello is more like a whole town that needs a facelift. But how does one do that? Pocatello, in many ways, is still an industrial town. While plants have closed (and become Superfund sites, hooray) there is still a thriving railroad population. I say that if you live in Pocatello, you somehow live by the trains. Where we live, the trains are about 300 feet away from our front door, but I wouldn't say that we live in the bad part, but the train is everywhere in this city.

A solution? Or just a general direction? Embrace our industrial past and incorporate it into the future of the city. I guess that was what the city hoped for in the "industrial greenway" was just to do that. But I see a city stilled in development and growth and I hope the future of Pocatello is a little bit brighter. I couldn't honestly go on about the issues of the city and in the six years since I have moved here, there has been some great changes. I hope that in the future Pocatello can move towards being the city it deserves to be.  Below are pictures of our little bike ride.

Industrial Greenway

Industrial Greenway 

The end of said Greenway. 

The other side, a bit more green

The drastic difference on the sides of the river. 

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