Thursday, November 4, 2010

Clintonville Area Commission: Infighting, Turn Lanes & Headaches

As a Clintonville resident, I really have to get this off my chest. This fiasco that has become the much debated turn lane/widening of East North Broadway and High Street has gone totally backwards.

To let you in, several residents along East North Broadway claim Columbus is being unfair in the proposal to take very small sections of land to widen the intersection to insert a left turn lane from North Broadway onto High Street. These folks, some who were on the Clintonville Area Commission, say that this will destroy the fabric of their neighborhood and will put area children in danger. You may have noticed the ribbons along North Broadway that are apparently a display of unity among these people. My favorite is the sign with a message, apparently from the tree it is connected to, that says “Save me, I’m over 100 years old”.

These folks proposed a roundabout at the intersection instead of the turn lane which is an effort to ease the amount of traffic that inundates the area during AM and PM rush hour. I can see the problems with traffic there as the absence of a turn lane has some motorists jetting through side streets and alleys to circumvent the major roadway. This is where it creates havoc, along the residential streets that really do not need the extra flow of cars and trucks.

Funny, this is where it gets backwards. The vast majority of the complaints about the proposals to alleviate the traffic is coming those along East North Broadway who do not want any part of their yards, or trees, or sidewalks tweaked, but do want a change at the intersection. They make is sound as if officials want to completely overhaul the intersection along with the entire stretch of the roadway, which is nowhere near the truth.

The fact is that a change at the intersection is needed, but officials will have to renegotiate portions of the surrounding land to create that change. The thing is that the renegotiation is small and insignificant to all but a handful of Clintonville residents.

I am not saying the folks along East North Broadway have no say, but their reaction to everything outside of their own proposal is as if Columbus wants to wipe their neighborhood off the block.

Last year the Clintonville Area Commission, after much debate, voted in favor of the turn lane. Then the CAC elections took place and committees were formed. Funny how the Planning and Development committee, which is the one that typically conducts the major work and research on items like road construction is now made up of a majority of folks who live on the same block where the turn lane is to be added…East North Broadway.

You can read below for more on this debate...'civility'

And then there are articles on the CAC members, and those who just live in the area, who continue their infighting and calling one another out…(I suggest you read the comments on the stories the links take you to in order to get the real fun)….

The the new commission announced special "informational" session for the city to present their plans, but instead decided to re-discuss the already recommended left turn lane addition at the intersection. Apparently the new voting members decided you keep changing your mind until you get what you want…

The issue with the East North Broadway folks’ roundabout proposal is that the officials have already stated a roundabout at North High and Broadway would be too expensive and that the left turn lane is already set for construction. The same turn lane proposal the commission voted to recommend in 2009.

Then, last week, the new commission decided they needed to re-vote on the recommended proposal at this information session, to the surprise of those who believed this to be just what it was slated to be, an information session. This time, along with the new members, the majority of the commission voted to take back their recommendation and officially eject the city’s left turn lane proposal.
Again, I live in Clintonville and agree an upgrade has to be done at this intersection. It is a major piece to our section of the Columbus Metro area. I do see where some folks along East North Broadway could and would have an issues with some things, but they seem to sometimes miss the fact that you can’t have your cake and eat it too when it comes to issues with roadway reorganization.

The infighting with the CAC cracks me up, that includes the folks along East North Broadway as well as those who do not live on that one particular block or two. The commission is about Clintonville as a whole and not about the one issue that relates to your particular yard. You were voted in to assist in making Clintonville better for all of us, not just you.

I’m hoping the real news organizations in this city wake up and cover both sides of what is really giving Clintonville a black eye.

In case you are interested there is a CAC meeting tonight at 7pm at the Whetstone Branch the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Here is the agenda:[1].pdf

If you can't read the agenda, you might be able to find it here:

Okay, I’m off my soap box. Let me have it.

No comments: