The Old Town Bypass Capitulation…?
Recently, the city of Traverse City made accessible what they are calling the Boardman Lake Avenue Summary ahead of Monday night’s study session. It is anything but a summary.
The information is thick and comes in 2-parts: a 38-page narrative of the issues involved (PDF) and a link to the consultant’s historical assessment & engineering of the project. The latter is over 60 links to PDF’s of descriptions, cross-sections and analysis.
This morning’s video, “A Conversation with an Engineer” certainly comes to mind. Where does a citizen begin?
We dig in and hope for the best, I suppose. I’ve expressed in a comment before that my gut reaction to this project is not positive. I haven’t seen anything yet to alter that instinct. To name just a few of my concerns: as designed, the Old Town Bypass will create a high-speed corridor for a less than a half mile; it is cut-off from the neighborhoods, so countering the “improvement of the network” argument; it will create another major disconnect in the active transportation network; is another major road next to one of the City’s natural resources.
The Old Town Bypass comes with a stack of promises, but no real proof on those returns. It’s claimed that a 50% reduction of traffic through Old Towne neighborhood will ensue. That number is irrelevant; 50% reduction from what base point? What about the induced traffic that will incur due to infrastructure that encourages unimpeded motorized traffic? Some of that will undoubtedly bleed back into Cass/Union Streets.
I’m getting ahead of myself. The material, although lengthy, provided by the city is appreciated and deserves a perusal. This is a project envisioned in the 80’s and 90’s, and pursued after 2000. I think the community needs to hold the city to the words of the city manager that Monday night’s study session is truly a “new beginning to the discussion.“
I emphasis the word discussion. Not meetings where there is no back and forth dialogue, but a real discussion where questions are answered and the goal is clearly stated to do what is best for the entire community.
To be continued…
In the meantime, tackle the available information and consider contributing your questions and perspective to the city commission prior to, or at, Monday night’s study session.