Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means"

I'm borrowing that line from Princess Bride to refer to the word "Avenue". To many residents of Old Town, Boardman Lake Avenue would be built to route traffic around the neighborhood. To the City, Boardman Lake Avenue would be built as infill development in order to create more tax revenue.

Residents don't want the increased traffic that would come with infill development and the City can't pay for a new road without property to capture taxes from.

This is probably why this is being referred to as a "Development Project" now. MWaT had it earlier this week: Introducing The “West Boardman Lake Development Project”

The R-E later: TC delays Boardman Lake Ave. contracts

Relevant documents have been posted to scribd by Gary at MWaT: City Commission Packet Jan. 3, 2011 (begin at page 40)

What the City is planning on is having a process similar to what happened for The Barns at the Commons. But this would be for a proposed "West Boardman Lake Redevelopment Project" and would be completed by this April (I was being snarky at a City Planning Commision meeting when I referred to Boardman Lake Ave as a "construction project"; guess I wasn't really that far off base). However, nowhere is it mentioned that a traffic analysis would be performed by an outside agency.

This seems to me like planning to cook dinner before I even knew what ingredients I had available.

How can we rely on traffic analysis that was last done in 1993-1994 before downtown was such a huge draw? Wouldn't it be better to hire a firm to do a thorough traffic analysis first? Where is the traffic on Lake, Cass, and Union going to and coming from? How can we have a public study session if we cannot even identify the technical nature of the problem?

Timely related news via Grist: Do roads pay for themselves? Well, no