Speedbumps Were Hard

Years ago, I remember one of the more difficult topics the City Council faced was speedbumps. Plans for speedbumps were developed over many council meetings, with lengthy discussions and numerous community comments.

The speedbumps for installation on Maple Avenue from Carroll Street to Philadelphia Avenue probably raised the most discussion. As you might expect, passion grew as opposing views were repeated night after night. E-mails piled up.

The Council even tried to resolve the question of how each speedbump should be designed. The Public Works Director plopped a full size, wooden mock-up of the cross-section of a speedbump on the table and Council members used rulers to measure this way and that way to come up with their suggested design changes. The result is the speedbumps you now experience every time you go up or down that section of Maple Avenue.

I remember my frustration during this process when the Council approved several thousand dollars to “erase” a speedbump that residents thought was too tame. I was outraged that at the same time the council approved this expenditure, my request for a couple of thousand dollars for a food program for low-income city residents did not pass. The feeling at that time was that local governments should not do social services.

The council has really grown since those days, and so have the memorable projects. I thought speedbumps caused a lot of discussion, much vitriol, and community divisions. Little did I know what was down the road beyond those speedbumps.

 

One thought on “Speedbumps Were Hard

  1. Councilman Seamens,

    I’m not clear on the point of this example, except that it seems to make light of the critiques that many of us are raising both about the long arc of the planning process re: the Junction and about the project that has resulted. We believe that this project is going to make the city MORE, not less, segregated and unequal. We believe that a different outcome is possible, if the planning process reflects the demographics of the city, and especially if it involves residents from your ward. What do you believe?

    Unfortunately, the comparison to the height of a speed bump seems dismissive of our critiques, which I hope was not your intention.

    Like

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