As of April 23, 2012, we will provide the opportunity for you to Sign The Petition to Save MAIN STREET. As the Form Based Code has seemed to have been defeated and put on the shelf the Doug Farr FBC Plan is merely lying in waiting as other strategies are being put into place. Most recently "The Main Street Transportation Feasibility Study" for Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, has surfaced and has been (or will be) presented to both city councils. Of course this comes from another Chicago area firm Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc., Vernon Hills, assisted by Houseal Lavigne Associates, Chicago, and Alta Planning and Design, Madison, WI.
This study is all about changing the Main Street Corridor traffic flow to accommodate bicylists and pedestrians while adding medians and landscaping for the New Urbanism facade of a promised utopia. As many suggestions are contained within this study the targets of "improvement" seem to center on the downtown sections of Main Street and Center Street to become two way streets with parallel parking, bump outs, narrowed vehicular lanes to accommodate bike lanes, more highly identifiable pedestrian cross walks, and extended landscaping. The vision is feasible but is it sensible?
Various sections of Business 51N and 51S are to see reduced vehicular lanes in width and in number with reduced speed to again be more bicycle and pedestrian friendly, with parking, and pretty flowers. Depending upon the particular section of the Main Street Corridor up to 12,000-26,500 vehicles travel this major artery daily as they commute to school or work. It is used for work by service providers and delivery drivers, taxi drivers etc. By this documents own admissions based on IDOT 2009 data, "Traffic demand forecasts were then projected for Year 2030 by increasing current volumes approximately 30 percent which is approximately 1.4 percent per year,,," Yes the vision is feasible but is it sensible?
The study wishes to assure you that the plan has been approved by stakeholders as they frequently repeat their strict adherence to IDOT's Context Sensitve Solutions (CSS). Heck, I always thought that a stakeholder was the same as a property owner. I think back to the move to the WIld West when a man would lay out stakes on vacant land before going to the land office to claim that land as his property. So everytime I read about stakeholders I get my own vision that property owners matter. What if, however the property owners opinions are not as they are suggested to be? Could you and your property be next?
Anyway, referring to the Federal Highway Administration Context Sensitive Solutions Primer, by definition: " a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders in providing a transportation fiacility that fits its setting. It is an approach that leads to preserving and enhancing scenic, aesthic, historic, community, and environmental resources, while improving or maintaining safety, mobility, and infrastructure conditions." To refute I would first like to bring to your attention that the Main Street Association DOES NOT support this plan and in fact most stakeholders/property owners HAVE NOT been involved, period. So please do not read the claims of stakeholder support as fact because it couldn't be further from the truth.
At the end of the study it is noted that the projected costs of this plan will be about $12 million! However as inflation marches along with the devaluation of the dollar, the price of material and labor will increase. There will be change orders and there will be cost over runs. Note, this is a government contract. A $12 million cost estimate could easily get closer to $20 million cause that's just the way things seem to go. And you will pay for it. Whether it be a grant or a loan from the Federal or State government it's your tax money that will come back to you with interest and strings attached while increased taxes and fees will provide the funding.
Think of how many potholes could be fixed with $12 million! Our crumbling infrastructure. Police and fire pensions. Water supply.
Oh, and by the way folks, once we designate bike lanes we pick up new liabilities for the bicyclists due to it being intended use for bicyclists. Yes the vision is feasible but is it sensible?
So I ask you to please join the fight to demand that our local councils respect property rights and refrain from spending outrageous amounts of money on projects that are not sensible.
Save MAIN STREET - Sign The Petition