Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Abrasive Advertising

The first step of advertising is a good name.

Gateway Corridor is in Cincinnati, Ohio and Greensboro, North Carolina and Seguin, Texas and might surround East St. Louis, Illinois. Since St. Louis is the Gateway to the West, the name makes sense, because East St. Louis would be the pathway (corridor) to the Gateway to the West.

In St. Paul, the idea of the Gateway Corridor is a meandering, roller-coaster train with a borrowed name, "rebranded and repositioned" by the Tunheim Partners.

They're confusing St. Paul with Minneapolis's Gateway Park (a.k.a. Skid Row or the Piss House). Or they think the Central Corridor is the gateway drug to the Gateway Corridor.

Here's the ups and downs of it. Starting at the Union Depot, the Gateway Corridor roller-coaster starts down a little (all roller-coasters do this), then it heads up (NE) to Mound,  then down (NW) to 7th, over the footings of the 1884 Seventh Street Improvement Arches (National Register #89001828), then up to 7th & Arcade and down to 7th & Earl, then up and up (E) to White Bear (Food Planet), then down (South) to I-94, and then up (East) to Sun Ray.

Committees, congresses, and commissions take reasonably educated people and turn their minds to something with the consistency of toxic waste. So the Gateway Corridor Commission (hopefully they aren't earning a commission on this) took the Gateway Corridor name from some other place and decided that commuting should be like a roller-coaster. Why?

Are they trying to park a train in front of Food Planet?

Or is the Gateway Corridor a way of selling off the old 3M property in St. Paul, the Beacon Bluff?

A St. Paul Port Authority committee thought up the name Beacon Bluff. The 61-acres that had been the 3M headquarters (1910-1962) had manufactured Scotch tape and sandpaper, but the committee couldn't use 3M Land or Scotch Tape Fields without risking trademark infringement lawsuits. The land lies near Dayton's Bluff and had been used to make beacons, so since it was late in the day and people were hungry, they decided on Beacon Bluff.

The ad for the property shows an aerial view of the struggle to get trucks to an interstate. Beacon Bluff is on the far right. Trucks take the steep 7th Street hill down to I-94, not that that would get goods moving east-bound, or trucks can take Phalen Blvd. to I-35E, not that that would get them south-bound. The ad covers over the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood with a closeup of the property, since the neighborhood doesn't provide any direct transportation route. The only thing that could make trucking worse would be to plant a passenger train in the middle of the road.

Wait. There's more! The St. Paul Port Authority wants to make Beacon Bluff a shrine to 3M with monuments to sandpaper --

and outdoor tape dispenser lounge chairs --

Careful, that's the double-sticky chair!

And a shrine is fine, except for the inconsistency that somebody left toxic chemicals behind --

and the neighborhood is one of St. Paul's poorest. How will a 3M shrine give jobs to the area?

But then again, how would a Gateway Corridor roller-coaster and light rail line help the neighborhood to get jobs at any businesses that fill the Beacon Bluff? Or is that the bluff?

Beacon Bluff is a marketing plan in St. Paul for the old 3M property that some people think would sell better if a light rail roller-coaster (Gateway Corridor) went by it.

No comments:

Post a Comment