Livability.com is in its nature, a positive site. We’re all about telling the stories of what make cities great places to live and work. But I want to flip that around for a moment. What are the 10 things about living in your city that drive you nuts? My suspicion is that you could come up with that list pretty quickly, and that of those 10 things you listed, seven of them are pretty minor. Maybe your taxes are too high, or your school rankings too low, or the weather too hot or too cold. But typically, you knew all those things when you settled in your city in the first place. So baring a demographic change (graduating, having kids, retiring) or a job change, you’re not going to move because of something you already knew.
What would force you out, I’m guessing, would be something that’s more of a pet peeve. A straw on the metaphorical camel’s back. Do you get too many parking tickets? Does your neighbor feed the pigeons in the park or not shovel her sidewalk? Do you hate the way the annual street fair closes down your main street, but you feel like a curmudgeon because you know how much your friends love the funnel cakes and frozen lemonades?
Just how bad would these things have to get before you picked up and moved to a new place?
Or to put it in a more positive light, what little things can you do to turn them around?
I was just out visiting Santa Rosa, Calif. – one of our top 100 best places to live. While driving around the downtown area for a number of meetings, I accidentally missed one of the pay-to-park boxes and left my car un-paid-for. When I came back, what I thought was a ticket was instead a note from G&C Auto Body’s “meter beaters” and a receipt for the half-hour of parking they’d bought me to save me from getting an actual ticket. It’s not a unique program, but in this case, it was reportedly born two decades ago with one man’s frustration and his desire to change things.
One guy turned a negative into a positive – at least for a couple of weeks around the holidays. So, what could you do to turn your negatives into positives? Could you get your block to form some sort of shoveling collective? Or buy a bird feeder for your neighbor’s yard, so she can keep the pigeons to herself?
I’ll be writing more about these peeves once we turn the corner on the holidays, but as we head into the new year, it’s a great time to list some #livabilitypeeves and forge some #livabilityresolutions to fix them. What will yours be?