Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bathhouse At City Market - Really?

I'm so late with everything, that I doubt I'll ever catch up. But, this has been sticking with me and has been the source of a couple of pretty funny conversations lately. So, here goes with the not-so-late-breaking story of the proposed renovation of City Market, complete with showers.

As Francesca Jarosz, Indy Star City Hall beat reporter, posted back on June 17th, a $3.5 million dollar renovation plan has been approved for the City Market. $2.7 million will go to bringing a more colorful atmosphere to the main hall portion of the building. $800,000 will go to renovation of the east wing to turn it into a place where those who want to bicycle to work can store their bikes and - get this - shower before going on to work.

Now, where do I begin?

Does anyone else suspect that if Mayor Ballard liked to pogo to work, this plan would pivot around pogo sticks???

How many of you would ride to City Market, lock your bike up, shower in public facilities, change into your suit or equivalent, then hoof it off to wherever you worked downtown? No matter the weather? No matter the heat or cold?

How will security be secured? Towels? Will there be user fees? Assuming other citizens won't want to use the shower options the rest of the day, how will this use support itself? You figure riders may opt for a morning shower, but won't need that amenity on the way home. So, somehow, the east wing of the City Market is to pay for itself going forward, as an all-day bike lockup, and maybe 3 hour shower facility - at least on weekdays compatible with bicycling. Hmm...

How do these wacky ideas get enough traction to have otherwise intelligent folks voting to use $800,000 of taxpayer money to bring them to life? Where, immediately after the ribbon-cutting ceremony, they will die from their own absurdity.

I think it is the echo chamber wherein lives a select few who only know about spending other people's money (in this case taxpayer money) and who will accept any analysis or glossy paperwork that supports their pretty bad ideas. Unfortunately, we have too few voices that will shout out "ARE YOU CRAZY?" at the right time.

14 comments:

Advance Indiana said...

Your comments on the proposed new facility are spot on, Ruth. Police will wind up spending a lot of time patrolling those showers and locker rooms to prevent what everyone knows in advance will take place. People who are so inclined to ride their bike to work will probably go to the Y, one of several private health clubs in the downtown area or already have facilities at their place of work they can use.

Advance Indiana said...

I meant to say Pat. Sorry about that.

Had Enough Indy? said...

No problem. I assumed I reminded you of Ruth Holladay and was flattered.

Anonymous said...

With regard to security at the new bath house, I vote to send the security expert from MSD Decatur, Susan "Honey" Adams, to the City Market. She'll have cheap cameras installed, and all the juice squeezed out of the contract inside of a week. I personally can't imagine making use of a public bath house under any circumstances, some folks like to be adventurous.

Anonymous said...

Well at least the homeless will have the option to take a shower. Ewe I would never even look at one!

Anonymous said...

Yeah,when I first heard of this,I thought it was satire worthy of The Onion. If there was a market (pun intended) for this,someone would've already developed this idea as a private enterprise....

Since Ballard is a Republican...and in recent years there have been a spate of...."interesting romantic indiscretions" involving the party of family values (i.e. Sen. Larry Craig)....

Perhaps the bathhouse will replace the Columbia Club and serve as a new venue for the supposed movers and shakers to.....well,do some moving and shaking.

Life is a tragic/comedy.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea how they intend to operate this "bathhouse" but, done properly, I think it's a great idea. Anything that can be done to encourage people to be more active (i.e. ride their bike to work)is a good thing.

I used to work downtown and, like many other downtown workers, would use my lunch hour to go for a run. I was fortunate in that my place of business had a shower I could use before going back to work. Not everyone is so fortunate. I would imagine that the shower facility could not only be used for bicycle commuters but also by those who like to take advantage of the canal area, White River State Park, IUPUI track or other downtown areas to get in their daily workout.

I can appreciate the "bathhouse" humor as much as the next guy but if this facility is properly supervised, maintained, and requires a small membership or usage fee, I think it's a good thing for downtown Indy.

Anonymous said...

I agree...people need to live a healthy lifestyle. I just don't think that it's the taxpayers' responsibility to provide showering facilities for the homeless. or yuppies or urban lonely hearts.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:19 said "I just don't think that it's the taxpayers' responsibility to provide showering facilities for the homeless."

Yeah, they should use their own showers...oh. Nevermind.

Many of our homeless are veterans who have not been properly cared for by our country.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I'm a biker and this idea is insane. Runners are going to shower at home. Bikers are not going to want to shower in a public facility like that. It will quickly become a public bathhouse.

The good thing about biking, unlike running, is that you constantly have wind in your face which keeps you relatively cool. As long as you don't push too hard, you can avoid most sweating.

My law firm has a shower. However, most of the time, unless it's really hot out, I don't need to shower when I come in. But if I do need to shower there is no way I'd do it in a public bathhouse type of situation.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Oh, and yes the homeless will be using the showers, make no mistake about it. Even if they have to have a bike, they'll get some old bike, beat up bike so they have a ticket to use the shower.

Anonymous said...

I believe your use of the term "bath house" brings up a connotation that might be offensive to some in the community...especially the LGBT community.

Anonymous said...

Well...the LGBT "community" needs to grow a thicker skin, like the rest of us out here.

Anonymous said...

I know this is late but what makes Susan Adams a security expert?