Rose: kill the EDGE so Scottsdale can solve critical matters and find the next big idea

On July 4 America will celebrate Independence Day. A day later let’s hope Scottsdale will be able to celebrate a different kind of independence, that from the divisiveness and political debilitation of the Desert Discovery Center/Desert Edge.

Jason Rose

On July 5 petition signatures will be due forcing the project to a public vote. If and when the grassroots organization behind the effort is successful, the most impressive such movement in Scottsdale history besides the launching of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve itself, Scottsdale politics and policy will finally be liberated from the cancerous concept the DDC has become.

For too long it has impacted votes for critical public infrastructure and council cohesiveness itself. DDC advocates will surely try to sue to upend the amazing work of volunteers and others who have collected the signatures and done what few thought possible.

What a shame and insult that would be. A public vote is the proper way to resolve this issue, one way or another. But advocates know that the likelihood of the DDC passing is about the same as President Trump showing humility. Indeed, if the DDC election were posted in a Vegas sports book the over/under for its vote total would be 25 percent.

So after the citizens free the city of this needless, financially unviable project it will allow a focus to flow more easily back to the basics of government. And, ideas beyond basics too. For the Desert Discovery Center is not the next big thing. It’s an inalacritous albatross.

It’s no secret that city and tourism officials have struggled with recent marketing campaigns. Too cute by half is a kind way to describe some of the recent, wayward efforts. The flubs are confounding. Marketing this amazing city shouldn’t be so difficult. Great weather, golf and special events. A beautiful desert and mountains for hiking. Great bars, restaurants, galleries and shopping.

Not rocket science.

But there’s another feature that is oddly lacking in showcasing Scottsdale to local, regional, national and international audiences. And, its infrastructure is already in place, at no further cost to the citizenry, to quite possibly be our next big thing.

Biking.

No, I am not talking about the plethora of green and yellow bikes in downtown, or “Old Town.” I am talking about the ability to bike just about anywhere in Scottsdale from north to south, east to west with beauty and great stops all along the way.

One can bike from north Scottsdale all the way to Tempe Town Lake along the Greenbelt. Or out of Old Town along canals into Arcadia, Paradise Valley and Phoenix. To and from resorts, bars, restaurants, parks and stores bikers can travel all day long.

From the Cape Cod Rail Trail to a jaunt from Santa Monica to Venice Beach and everything in between there are incredible rural and urban biking options in America. But with more focus, more concerted planning, more collaborative marketing of public bike paths with private stops near them, Scottsdale could and should be a first among equals, providing a great new reason for people to visit the community and help its small and large businesses along the way.

Travelers are thirsting for new and better adventures. Give it to them. A municipal Moab.
Hike. Bike. And there’s even more to like about Scottsdale.

Rarely does a city have the chance to be No. 1 in the country in anything. Scottsdale’s next big thing could immediately boost tourism, enjoy near unanimous citizen support and aid tourism. Just the opposite of the flat tire that is the DDC, which, fortunately, Scottsdale may not have to ride much longer after the 4th of July weekend.

Editor’s note: Mr. Rose is the president and co-founder of Rose+Moser+Allyn Public & Online Relations, which is based in Old Town Scottsdale.

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