Friday, December 27, 2013

The Great Roundabout Turnabout of 2013 and pedestrian friendliness.

I didn't see the newspaper's coverage of the Great Roundabout Turnabout of 2013 until after yesterday's column was written and published.

ON THE AVENUES: Roundabouts make the politicians really ring.

 ... These activists asserted their right to some degree of neighborhood autonomy, and because their councilman almost surely understood that it was time for a favor to be returned, the point was made, and the mayor visited their homes to concede it. It may be the single most important lesson of the year, and a template I hope is being grasped in Midtown neighborhoods, where the very existence of one-way arterial streets affects quality of life, property values and fundamental prospects for renewal as feet are dragged, Main Street is fluffed, and City Hall’s eyes are averted.

In the newspaperman Suddeath's piece, city hall floats the notion that the Mt. Tabor roundabout was pulled because it abruptly became evident that it would not be "pedestrian friendly." Speaking personally, I believe this to be a red herring the approximate stature of the Elsby Building ... BUT if the Gahan administration wishes to stick to the walkability argument, I'm fully in favor of accepting it.

After all, we've spent many years arguing that the current layout of the downtown street grid should be changed for PRECISELY THE SAME REASON, and vindication ... well, it's a nice thing, indeed.

Roundabout scrapped from New Albany road project; Mt. Tabor, Klerner Lane Intersection likely to remain a four-way stop, by Daniel Suddeath

Improvements to Mt. Tabor Road won’t include a roundabout at the Klerner Lane intersection. The city has pulled the roundabout from its proposed construction design, as many residents opposed the idea during a September public hearing including the four property owners whose land would be affected by the traffic circle.

“We determined the impact was going to be severe on those properties,” New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan said this week ...

 ... “We’re going to continue to listen to people and move the project forward,” Gahan said ...

 ... District 6 Councilman Scott Blair credited the Gahan administration for listening to the residents in the neighborhood, as the majority opposed the roundabout.

“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Blair said, as he added removing the roundabout from the plan will alleviate some of the concerns of residents in the area. “I’m satisfied with the process and the way things have transpired.”

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