The Fayetteville City Council is apparently looking into spending more than 4 million dollars for a “maker space” at the re-designed intersection of Bragg Blvd. and Murchison Road. Here’s the study that includes some design concepts.
From what I can tell, a “maker space” is exactly what it sounds like: a public space where people can go make things.
My office is a block from this intersection, so I spend a lot of time in the area and know the “neighborhood.” From my experience, there’s one glaring problem with the concept: homelessness. It’s the big elephant in the room.
I won’t take my kids to Linear Park because it’s not safe. I’d be scared if my wife walked it alone. We spend a ton of money every year to keep Linear Park looking nice, cleaning it up after it routinely floods, and few people use it. My fear is that this space will only exacerbate these problems.
My Solution: Turn this land (and the open field across the street) back to what it was before we ruined it: a lowland forest. Tear up the remaining concrete. Plant native plants and trees so it’s low maintenance. Save us some money and make the area look decent in the process. You can put walking paths through it if you want, but you’re going to spend money maintaining something no one uses.
If you’re going to spend 4 million and do the maker space thing, at least give people a place to park, for free.