Tates Creek Sidewalks Update/Ped-Bike Alert

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Ped/Bike Alert
from Rick Gersony (GreenLex) and Van Meter Pettit (Town Branch Trail)

Please contact your council and the at-large council and put something simple like “I support sidewalks on Tates Creek Road” in your header.

Alert: your advocacy with council needed ASAP to support bike/ped infrastructure

5.26.09 Van Meter Pettit of Town Branch Trail, Inc. writes: “Congrats to all who worked on and participated in Bike Lexington! A great event getting better by the year.

A few weeks back we posted some messages to update bike/ped supporters in Lexington about an issue that popped up related to Tates Creek Road.

Here’s the summary: We need you to call or write to your council member and the at-large council members to tell them your view on the necessity for bike lanes and sidewalks throughout the city. We think that this is necessary especially on our busy urban corridors. With an $800K grant to build a mile of sidewalks on both sides of Tates Creek Road near the university and the arboretum, some on the council have moved to stop this project on public right-of-way out of concern for landowners on adjacent property. This is a hard one to follow. It is a major thoroughfare surrounded by residential neighborhoods and UK and 80¢ on the dollar is being covered by a grant. Where’s the downside? If you agree please diplomatically contact your council and the at-large council and put something simple like “I support sidewalks on Tates Creek Road” in your header. Put it in your own words and send them one at a time if you can.

Not robo-emails.

This is person to person grassroots community building. Please be diplomatic. Let’s speak up and ensure that the bike/ped needs of Lexington are given the support they deserve.

Considering all the things we need to address in Lexington it is pretty sad that we are having to go to battle for something as fundamental as sidewalks. We are talking about an area loaded with churches, schools, and neighborhoods- that adjoins the University and the State Arboretum! We are talking about one of the most basic amenities that can encourage business, infill development, health and recreation, and a more sustainable economy. Most importantly it tells folks who don’t have cars that they are not less welcome as citizens than the rest of us zooming by. That we would turn away money for a worthy cause at a time of scarcity gives ruthlessly optimistic people like me a moment of pause. Are we this lame? The answer is absolutely NOT! We just need to invite a few thousand more voters to the dance and let them encourage their elected leadership
to listen to our voices. Let’ just briefly go over the basics:

* The CMAQ stands for Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program. The south side of Lexington is our most congested area. Air quality is at its worst in the summer when you would be most likely to walk outside. Sidewalks are one of the most practical ways to effective address these growing problems. This is an ideal use of the money. Lexington only has to put up 20¢ on the dollar to get $1 million in much needed sidewalks.

* We need to dispel some myths: a) that this would take private property, b) that we need the permission of people living along the proposed route to do it, c) that most people oppose it, d) that we are not sure it is feasible.

At a public hearing on these sidewalks people speaking in favor were 2:1 more numerous than those against. A few supporters were handicapped people who would use this actual corridor if they could. How could we deny them a pretty basic human right to walk down the street in safety considering that 80¢ of every dollar needed to do it is a gift?

We need every who in whoville to beat a drum and spread the word and get into contact with the council to tell them what you
think.

Let’s stay tactful and positive, but let’s wake up and get this done! If we sleep through this one the next one will be that much harder to achieve.

The university cities we visit as a community annually to draw inspiration, like Boulder, Austin, or Madison are covered with trails and bike/ped facilities. These cities have stronger economies and university communities in part because of their commitment to these kind of amenities. We need to follow their lead to make Lexington an outdoor recreation- health and fitness oriented city.

Reaching out to your representatives is not a bother. It is what they signed up for. It is more effective to send one at a time and to put it in your own words. And let’s stay as positive as possible. Trails and greenways require a lot of goodwill and cooperation. Let’s build that up as we prepare to build the trails.

Thanks for your interest and help!”
Van Meter Pettit, AIA
Town Branch Trail, Inc

Response to Rick Gersony, GreenLex from Councilman Myers office:
Thank you for your email.  As you noted, this is on the docket for the next council meeting- it is June 11, not this Thursday (the official council meetings where final votes are taken are only held two times per month).  Since this is the 2nd reading, a vote will take place on that day.  Please let me know if you have additional questions or if I may be of further assistance.
-Joe

Joe Schuler, Legislative Aide
Office of Councilman George Myers, 8th District
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council
200 East Main Street Lexington, KY 40507
Office: (859) 258-3220
Email: jschuler@lfucg.com

  • http://timsartcreations.com/ Tim Wygal

    First I am a bicycling enthusiast. When I read the email from Van Meter Pettit of Town Branch Trail, Inc. about the CMAQ grant for adding bike/walking areas on Tates Creek Road, it seemed too good to be true. Who would want to oppose something like this? Not me. But I would like to know any downsides to supporting this so quickly after just getting some topical information from one side of the debate. I did not find Julian Beard’s response indecisive. What if this ran way over budget and got snarled in court cases about property?  Is it true that the landowners along this area will all be compliant?  My main issue is that I want to see a little more concise information a little sooner before I support something completely.



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