Letter: Better planning is necessary for downtown events
There are less than a handful of restaurants in the F-M area that serve food on par with Bernbaum's. Fargo is incredibly fortunate to have Andrea Baumgardner and Brett Bernath as residents and business owners. Their off-Broadway location may be less than ideal, but they have managed to succeed, a testament to their quality, service and care.
MidModMadHaus took a gamble when it chose to open in downtown long before it became the busy place it is today. I write to support their efforts and highlight a related issue.
Road construction in the F-M area is terrible. There will be growing pains, such as those associated with the new development on the corner of Roberts and Second Avenue North, near Bernbaum's, which ultimately will improve both downtown and Fargo's overall standing. The problem is not the quantity or location — it's the apparent lack of over-sight, organization and coordination.
During the last three years, most of the major arteries in the F-M area have been either completely shut down or subject to unpredictable detours—at the same time.
On Wednesday night, parts of Robert Street North were shut down, the block immediately to the east, Broadway, was shut down, and further east, Fourth Street North was down to one lane. Of course there are streets you can take further west or east, but your options are limited by the railroad tracks and one-way streets. I have experienced this type of fiasco many times since moving here, in both winter and summer, not just during Street Fair season.
If Fargo wishes to compete with the cities it attempts to emulate, issues like construction and downtown events (i.e. Street Fair) need to be approached differently. Larger cities come with the luxury of more streets to avoid the congestion. I can deal with an extra 10 minutes for my commute, but what about law enforcement, the fire department and ambulances? The individuals they serve are the real victims.
The issue is more nuanced than simply visibility, putting up signs or "creat[ing] intriguing specials." Folks like Joe Burgum and Andrea and Brett "get it."
To F-M leadership: listen to them, and run this place like the big city you think it is.
Hagelin lives in Fargo.