Most of us are probably in agreement that Downey is a desirable place to live or work. We have relatively safe neighborhoods (notwithstanding the scoundrels that love to steal packages and rummage through unlocked vehicles, but that’s a plague on all L.A. County, and even then we have 100-plus neighborhood watch groups).
We have a growing number of dining options and several places to shop, meaning there’s few reasons you have to leave Downey, unless you’re heading to Costco, Target, or, ahem, Trader Joe’s.
There’s an undeniable sense of relief when you drive into Downey from our neighboring cities -- it’s the joy and security of knowing that you’ve arrived home.
Yes, we’re lucky to be in Downey, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas that can be improved. In fact, I think self-evaluation is necessary to continue to grow as a city. How you define “growth” is subjective, but it doesn’t necessarily mean increasing the population.
Anyway, below is my humble wishlist for 2019:
A second dog park. If it were up to me, we’d replace the handball courts at Golden Park with a dog enclosure.
Adequate parking for new housing. I don’t oppose new housing, I oppose new housing with insufficient parking.
Turn arrows at Firestone and Lakewood. Turning on a stale green while northbound or southbound on Lakewood is risky business.
Less partisan politics. Local elections have traditionally centered around local issues, but we saw a disturbing trend last year with national politics creeping into our Downey elections, and that’s scary. It shouldn’t matter if our city council or school board representatives are Democrat, Republican, or any other party. Their vision for Downey going forward, and track record of meaningful contributions to the Downey community, takes precedent over their political leanings.
Completion of freeway construction. Without the benefit of an engineering degree or any formal training in highway management, it appears ridiculous how long it is taking to widen the 5 Freeway.
A second hotel option. Or maybe a third hotel option, if the rumored hotel at the Promenade materializes. Construction on a Springhill Suites across from Stonewood Center is supposed to begin early this year.
Live streaming of the Downey Christmas Parade. In the good old days, the parade was broadcast on local cable, but that hasn’t happened for a while now. It would be nice to have the parade streamed for those who cannot attend.
A historical preservation ordinance. Downey needs a policy with teeth for the protection of our historical properties.
The return of the pedestrian bridge at Wilderness Park. I’m going to wish this into existence.