Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Notes from the March 22nd West Boardman Lake Public Meeting

MWaT has a summary: What Are We Trying To Do With The West Boardman Lake Clusterf#@k?

And I have to say that I too am in a kind of numb state after the meeting and still trying to make sense of what happened. The best thing to do right now is simply to report the notes I took 24 hours ago.

-overall sense of sadness. Sad that this road is a foregone conclusion since every option was for a road and sad that the consultants were put into a position where they could not truly reflect the overwhelming sentiment that this road is not a prudent investment at this time. They had a tough job. City hired them to do one thing, the public pushed them to do the opposite.

-why didn't the traffic counts slide have any numbers for Cass St north of Eighth?

-the consultant admitted that it is unknown (his word) if this road would induce traffic. In other words, it is unknown if it would even solve the problems it is supposed to fix.

-the "Low Quality Habitat" slide showing a picture from the west shore of Boardman Lake. This low quality habitat is where I saw red-winged blackbirds, geese, swans, buffleheads, loons, mallards, and mergansers last weekend. West Boardman Lake is where I have heard the rare spruce grouse roosting. It is where I have seen mink, muskrats, beaver, foxes, and this past Thanksgiving, I caught a fleeting glance of a bobcat along the west shore of Boardman Lake. Other people have seen otters on west Boardman Lake. The slide was a picture of the exact spot where I pick raspberries in July. Low quality?

-how many people use the Boardman Lake trail? Because if there are a series of HAWK crosswalks across the new Boardman Lake Avenue, requiring vehicles to stop for pedestrians, why would anyone drive on this road if there was a good chance of unpredictable stops? Plus having a HAWK crosswalk behind Old Town Condos would create considerable light and noise pollution for them.

-if people were looking for a bypass Lake Avenue would have more traffic

-if the Hagerty parking deck becomes a destination due to increased employment then why would anyone take Boardman Lake Ave to get there?

-when you state that Boardman Lake Ave "will give better access to the city" you are in fact making the argument that traffic will increase, though you were trying to argue for the road because you think it will decrease traffic. Better access = more traffic.

-the traffic issue is speed. This is an issue everyone can agree on. The only option that deals with speed is traffic calming though there will always be speeding drivers.

-roundabouts are supported overwhelmingly and got covered in green dots (meaning good), yet they are still belittled by some. Why?

-Building this road feels like a done deal that only needs political cover to purchase Copy Central. It feels like a political decision, not a traffic decision, because no one in authority will state publicly that this road will definitely relieve traffic. Because it won't.

So rather than fix traffic we're going to build a road because the politics do not allow an attempt at a city grid solution here (red arrows are the problem):