Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Coverage No Justification

150-foot tower abuzz in critics
Link (JG)

"A telecommunications tower could join the General Electric Co. sign as part of Broadway’s skyline.

GenCom Inc. wants to build a 150-foot monopole south of Martin and Hendricks streets, just east of Broadway, said Robert Brennan, director of acquisitions for the Prescott Valley, Ariz.-based firm. Centennial Wireless is among the communications companies interested in placing an antenna there.

But the proposal is generating concern in the West Central neighborhood. The tower would be visible throughout the historic area, said John Simerman, a West Central Neighborhood Association board member who owns several properties on Hendricks Street. The board opposes the project."


"The tower would replace another Centennial Wireless antenna. This location – a property owned by International Union of Electronic Workers-Communications Workers of America Local 901 – would generate stronger cellular signals downtown, Brennan said.

“It’s going to give them better coverage,” he said.

Centennial Wireless has looked for ways to increase downtown coverage for two years, said Laura McCallum, vice president of marketing. When downtown venues such as Grand Wayne Center and the Embassy Theatre draw crowds, Centennial wants its local towers to have enough capacity to handle the calls. Any time a large group gathers and many people try to use their cell phones, McCallum said it can lead to blocked calls."
Variance sought for cell phone tower near the GE sign (FWOB)


John B. Kalb said...

Why not locate this tower inside one of the tall church steeples in "The City of Churches"? Then it would not have a negative effect on the visual environment. Emmanuel Lutheran at 917 West Jefferson is a possible.
John B. Kalb

Charlotte A. Weybright said...

Centennial wants to place the tower at 1427 Broadway to provide coverage to a small area where motorists cannot talk on their phones.

You know, the dropped call thing. People just can't wait to get home to discuss anything.

What I find interesting is the reason for the tower is to boost service for cell phone users who are driving.

The representative from Centennial told us at the West Central Meeting that it wasn't residences that are affected - it is motorists who want to chat on the way to work, going home from work, or any other time they think they can't go for 5 minutes without being on a cell phone.

I felt a little sorry for him because he just seemed lost on many of the questions we asked. GenCom didn't have the guts to come to the meeting and explain its plans.

And why would the zoning board approve a variance for a 150-stick in the air when the Harrison Square sub-plan identifies the area of Broadway and Taylor as a "Gateway" entrance into the City.

The first thing that would be visible would be the 150-foot monstrosity sticking up in the air. So much for a "Gateway."

What is hypocritical about the tower is that we tell people all the time not to drive and talk on the cell phones and now Centennial wants to erect an ugly tower in a residential area so those poor drivers can carry on conversations while driving.

scott spaulding said...

Thank you for the insight, Charlotte.

There's no doubt that the tower is unjustified after reading that.