We sometimes lock horns but when Tom Salemi writes*, he writes*!
He laid out an excellent case as to why this connector between the City Park and the State Park should be initially funded.
I think most of the protests being noised has more to do with our esteemed Project Director than it has to do with the trail itself. I understand what he was doing. He wants the initial concept and the funding in place so we can sit head-to-head with the regional, state and federal planners. (which will largely pay for this network of trails.)
He just has a blind spot for democracy.
When tackling large projects like this, you need to assemble input from different parties. And sometimes you have to compromise, or modify or even accommodate each group to get what you want. Often this messy process will highlight cost savings or end up solving more than one problem. And when the project is done, the community feels like the whole thing was ‘their effort’.
I still grouse about Brown Square. He worked so hard to get this park redone but most everyone else outside of City Hall (who have to stare at the open space all week long) was scratching their heads. Tourists don’t go there and still don’t go there. Locals hardly ever visit it and still don’t hardly ever visit it.
It just seemed a huge effort with a lot of dollar signs…and then the undergrounding of the utility poles came up. To get this little patch of poles taken care of, THE WHOLE COMMUNITY HAS TO PAY A TINY RATE SURCHARGE FOR THREE YEARS.
We were all facing a surcharge for a park that no one hardly visits.
The right thing would have been to sweeten the deal.
Has anyone seen the telephone poles along Water Street from nearby Downtown to the intersection of Federal Street? It looks like something you’d see in Bangladesh or in Nigeria! By getting businesses that have to survive under the blizzard of wires involved, and making a case for increased heritage tourism to the rest of the populace (and slip in the few poles at Brown Square) – a deal could be made that would help the City in a large way!
As for this trail connector, let’s have some input from the public and from the State Park and from the Moseley Pines Commission – someone will need to maintain this new trail!
* He is a much better writer than me.