Letters

Grand Rapids should be more welcoming

March 14, 2014
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I enjoy the Comment & Opinion section as it gives me a perspective and insight into what other people think and experience.

Here’s my two cents.

If the city of Grand Rapids wants to welcome people, the first thing they can do is not kick people in the shins when they do show up.

I, for one, avoid downtown GR like the plague. I was born and raised by Knapp Street and East Beltline Avenue, went to Forest Hills High School, and have lived in West Michigan all of my 64 years. I love the area, and I think if it weren’t for some people in power it would be a really awesome area naturally.

We were running fiber through tubing under the road and the service guy pulls his truck up to the curb close to where he had to work as he needed close access with his trailer. He put orange cones around the truck and trailer, clearly visible to traffic. Three hours is all he needed. He gets a ticket for improper parking. OK, he pays the $10, or whatever it is, and goes on his way. But, and I’ve experienced the same thing, it’s a little irritant that doesn’t draw you back to the place.

Any time anything is to be done, it needs the approval of 20 people before the first step can be taken … another irritant. Any time an event takes place and parking is an issue (which it always is), someone is going to have a bad experience … those bad experiences accumulate over time.

Eventually, some of the very people you want to come downtown don’t show up. The old saying “the butt you kick could be your boss someday” comes into play. If you want talent to show up in GR, be careful how you treat people! P.S: The same goes for the state … tax businesses to death and they won’t come to Michigan!

Steve Langeler
Michwave Technologies Inc.

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