Suspense! My opinion... (and it is only that)
for what it is worth. I believe in capitalism and the right to make money from land deals. If the city wants to pay $1 million for the property they propose putting a road through and the owner takes it, well, good for him! If they want to buy land from 10 Wilmington Place and spend $100,000 moving the pergola structure at the apex AND the owners of the property agree to this then that is OK in my books too. I don't think they want to do that though. In fact, I don't think the planners have a plan at all. They submitted something to the State for funds with no real plan in place so they got the money with a bold LIE!
If nobody got wind to what they had done then they would have tried to acquire the brick house on the hill by imposing eminent domain. With this plan proposal they would have tried to buy it for fair market value which would be considerably less if it wasn't listed on the National Register. In fact, it would have had less value because of the proposal! Well, they won't be able to touch that house and they know it. Now they say that they will move the pergola structure back 20 feet at the apex of the Y but have no clue that this structure was put on the National Register with the main building in 1979. I have been trying to tell the city engineers this but they don't want to hear it from me. I have suggested in November that they have a public meeting NOW to find out what problems they will face so that they can re-allocate the funds to a truely worthwhile project in the city. So I set one up in December 2005 and they rebuffed "That is too soon. January would be good". So I set one up in January and they said that they "needed time to put a few proposals together". So I said screw it! Let them drag their feet and I will slap them with the details when it is too late to try to reclaim the funds for another project. I believe that this one is a complete waste of money and that any congestion can be fixed by re-calibrating the traffic lights and putting up a "No left turn between 3-6PM" sign or by closing off Stewart Street as has been suggested and removing the one set of lights. If they want to pay me $1.9 million for that advice then I would be happy to take it.
Then I got clever. I spoke with one of the city staff at our priority board and asked them to set up the meeting. See, now it looks like this enterprise has been initiated by the city. To my surprise, it worked AND they have agreed to have the meeting at..... wait for it... 10 Wilmington Place! The Heart of it all!
Widening Wayne Avenue and putting in a center turning lane from Anderson to this junction isn't a real problem. There are grass verges on both sides of the road that could be eliminated but the cost to move all the street lamps would be excessive. The problem arises when they try to widen the turn onto Wilmington Pike which is currently one lane coming out of the city widening to two lanes at Beckman Street..
What would I like to see happen? To be truthful, nothing. I think it is a waste of money.
If 10 Wilmington Place is agreeable then that would be my other option. They do have the land to give up but that pergola structure would be in the way and they would have to agree to move it. I am not opposed to the idea of improving this junction if the affected parties are agreeable to the plan. I will say that I don't approve of how this project acquired its funding though. I am of the opinion though that the city will proceed with this project whether or not it is necessary. They will proceed with it whether or not the general public opposes it. See, they need grants to stay in business. They can't make make enough money from taxes so they apply for every grant that they can get. Unfortunately many of the grants are designed to help low income families buy $160,000 homes in a city where homes sell for $40,000 to $90,000. Middle income families can't afford these homes for low income families and if they could, don't "qualify" to buy them. We have grants to help the homeless but no grants to help the people who pay city wage tax! The middle class has left the city. The city offers them nothing so they sell up and move and if you do decide to buy historical property and keep it they come up with a grant that gives them an excuse to knock it down to build a road that helps only people living outside the city.... see, they were willing to lie to get the money. I'll bet they are willing to lie to get to keep it.