I would like to respond to two charges made by opponents of the city planning office's proposals to increase safety along Alabama Street.
The first charge is that the city is ram-rodding this proposal through without public input. There have been ample opportunities for input, including a city council meeting, Roosevelt and Sunnyside neighborhood association meetings, and the public hearing. Each of these meetings was well-advertised. This has been on open, transparent process.
The second charge is that the proposed solutions will snarl traffic. I urge my neighbors to go beyond uninformed fears and join me in some research. I looked online at other cities which have undergone some of the proposed "road diets." Contrary to my expectations, these solutions often improve traffic flow. They also significantly increase driver and pedestrian safety.
For those of us who live and work in Roosevelt and Sunnyland, this is an opportunity to enhance our communities. As one neighbor at the Roosevelt association meeting said, we can make Alabama a highlight instead of a dangerous eyesore. We also have an opportunity for safer driving and walking conditions. That in itself is a reason to move forward.
Please join me in looking closely at these proposals. Together, we can make our roads safer and improve our neighborhoods.