Suspense! The Meeting.
If you haven't read my "Suspense" series of articles then you may want to look at the posts made last month that start with that title. Otherwise you won't have a clue what I am writing about.
Well, we had the first public meeting regarding the Wayne Ave/ Wilmington Ave intersection improvement project here in Dayton. The room was full. Standing room only. My guess is that there were well over 100 people present. The city engineers and traffic department were there in force with some aerial photographs and large scale planning drawings but absolutely NO plans. They didn't mention the plan they submitted to get the funding and passed the plan proposing the removal of the "House on the Hill" off as rumor. They described the planning process and the concerns for air quality, public safety and congestion at this intersection in 10 minutes and opened the floor up for questions. The idea being that they would gather information and then put some plans together once they had a feeling for what the public would deem "acceptable". It was a smart move really. I think many people in the planning department have been reamed a new asshole over submitting the 1960s proposal for improving this intersection. They made it clear that they would not be touching anyone's house but that they may need to acquire some 5 foot wide strips of property along the roads if they were going to have to widen Wayne Ave. The use of eminent domain was a big issue. The consensus of the public opinion was that it should not be used to "improve" this intersection at all.
I asked for the results of the traffic survey done 4 weeks ago. They did a song and dance around this. I don't think they are comfortable with the results. They didn't get specific but admitted that the traffic pattern has not significantly changed in the last 20 years and may actually have gone down a little. They are under the impression that people are using some of the residential streets to avoid the intersection which is total crap! They are cutting through the neighborhood because it is the shortest route across a few major streets.
There were many good points brought up and some good questions asked but a few things that stood out to me were;
1) that there was no objection to the idea of a Stewart Street cul-de-sac which would actually reduce the number of traffic lights preceding the intersection.
2) that the junction where Anderson intersects with Wayne could benefit from a center turning lane to reduce back up of traffic in the morning.
3) widening the road at the Wayne/ Wilmington intersection was not really necessary and that doing #1 above may actually solve some problems..
The general public at the meeting indicated that the engineers should try to improve the traffic flow with signs and synchronized lights before they should widen any roads. None of this should cost the proposed $1.9 million ($1.3 million in federal funds) allocated to the project.
The next meeting is scheduled for April 26th or there-abouts when we will be presented with some plans. I'll bet they use up the whole $1.9 million when they work out the plans.
I calculate that at my current rate of around 3 posts a week, it will be about 30 posts before an update on this issue. So now I can get back to blogging about important stuff like how exciting it is to strip paint from doors, whether my sausage stuffer is more valuable without yellow paint, the joys of scraping glazing compound off ones hands and whether indeed I should wash those hands before I touch my caulk!