Link to official invite (PDF)
Yesterday the Record Eagle ran a long piece (behind paywall) in attempt to harness the different perspectives on the proposed Boardman Lake Avenue in anticipation of Tuesday night’s second public input session. If you can find a copy, it’s worth a read, and not just because this author has a quote in it. The article has a range of opinions, raises some questions and is a nice reminder of what’s at stake at Tuesday’s meeting.
Tuesday’s meeting is set up to:
- Review input from the February 23rd meeting.
- Answer/clarify questions raised.
- Unveil new design plans for the area and the “road”.
All of this is a broader attempt to inform the ultimate decision makers on the City Commission who must soon vote to move forward with part or all of the plan, some of which involves moving on time-sensitive purchasing agreements for both MDOT property and private property on 8th Street.
Outside of the City Commission meetings, this will likely be the last public input opportunity. Please, come learn and share your perspective.
Some notes from the RE article:
- Traffic does not act like water, as the BLA’s most vocal proponent keeps saying. Traffic acts more like a gas. Traffic wants to expand, like a gas, and fill whatever capacity is built to facilitate it. Hence, the current studies say that when the BLA is constructed it will already be at capacity. 5-years from now, if the BLA is built solely to move automobiles, we may simply have created more traffic and the generated trips will once again waft into Old Town.
- Much of the material arguing for a road to be built focuses on the negative aspects of our auto-centric development history and are things most of the entire city is burdened with; they aren’t concerns that Cass St. is alone in having. For example, children not being allowed to play in their front yards because of traffic fears is a concern on: 14th Street, West Front, Division St. East Front St., 8th Street, Garfield Ave. Woodmere Ave., Parsons, Hannah St. and Rose St. to name a few major streets off the top of my head. This isn’t to say nothing should be done to help Cass St. residents. Quite the contrary, they have a right to be angry because nothing was done for 30 years. It’s as if someone settled on the BLA as the only solution and all other action stopped.
We have two broader issues at hand regarding motorized traffic:
- The altering of behavior of motorized traffic traveling to and through the City. We’ve done little to design for the slow & smooth traffic expected in a small town that brands itself with “small town character.” Tonight’s City commission meeting is a first step in approving a much anticipated citizen initiated traffic calming program. This will give residents a process to use.
- If the City is seriously concerned about negative impacts of automobiles in it’s neighborhoods, the goal of reducing single occupant vehicles across the board is required. This can’t and shouldn’t be done through restrictions. Rather, it needs to be addressed by looking at the infrastructure and policies that we accept and fund. Infrastructure is not neutral; what we build largely determines future activities. We won’t get anywhere by providing more arterials to facilitate SOV trips. It’s less about getting people out of their cars and more about providing options for them to do so in safe, convenient and comfortable way.
There has been plenty said regarding the proposed road. Below is a survey of the field, online, that I’m aware of. If you’ve seen some other commentary or news, please share below. Or, if you have thoughts that you want to get out, please leave a comment. This discussion needs to happen in the commons.
Related Boardman Lake Ave. Posts/Articles Currently Online:
__Hinge Line-an Old Town Resident
- The Numbers Don’t Lie
- Monday Morning Traffic
- You Can’t Undo A Road
- Traffic Is A Gas
- “I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means”
- Thoughts On The Proposed Boardman Lake Avenue
Plan for TC-Mayor Chris Bzdok’s community forum
Michigan Land Use Institute
The Record Eagle (most current articles are behind their paywall)
City of Traverse City- historical information:
Related MyWHaT Posts:
- The Pros/Cons Of The Boardman Lake Avenue Road Project
- Record Eagle Assumes Too Much About W. Boardman Lake Ave.
- Boardman Lake Ave. Will Do One Thing For Certain, Create Traffic
- Serious Questions Expressed About Boardman Lake Ave.
- West Boardman Lake Input Process Plan Released
- Boardman Lake Avenue: History Repeating Itself?
“Making something simple is very difficult.”
~ Jack Dorsey, Founder of Twitter in a profile in Vanity Fair
Not so off topic as you might think. I’m a heavy endorser of Twitter for its resemblance to serendipitous encounters and social exchanges that occur walking around a city. Making connections, however brief.
Plus, Dorsey’s quote about his appreciation for ballet is instructive across disciplines. And, of course. today is Twitter’s 5-year anniversary.
What is the essence you’re after? Get to it; it won’t be easy.