Shame on City Leaders Over Town Lake

RECEIVED Mon., Jan. 8, 2007

Dear Editor,
   I commend the Chronicle for bringing Town Lake to the forefront ["The Town Lake Variance Shuffle," News, Nov. 24]. At the same time, shame on our mayor and our City Council who continue to serve the special interests (those of developers in particular) who want to make Town Lake a playground for the rich and wealthy. Town Lake was meant to be enjoyed by many vs. a select few. Let’s face it, the major attraction for many desiring to live Downtown is Town Lake. Town Lake is a major tourist attraction and our very own Garden of Eden, our Central Park, our eyes to the rest of the world.
   As a consequence, our elected officials must do their part to preserve the tranquility and beauty that is Town Lake. Thus, it must be properly cared for and expanded accordingly. While progress and improvement is visible on the west side of I-35, on the Eastside, Town Lake is for the most part neglected. In the little development that has occurred, the local population has been driven out by greedy developers. Likewise, cyclists, runners, and walkers who venture east of I-35 on the hike-and-bike trail face harassment from the homeless, the junkies, the drunkies, and finally, the automobile drivers on the south side, where there is no hike-and-bike trail.
   There is only one solution to the problems facing Town Lake, and that is for the city to hold developers accountable for the environment that they build on near Town Lake. Two, to make housing affordable to the working class or make a percentage of the units sold available in a price controlled setting. Finally, have developers contribute to improving Town Lake and completing the hike-and-bike trail east of I-35.
Angello Malefakis
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