Tuesday, July 31, 2007

City of Fort Wayne running amok

You must read this article if you live in Fort Wayne:

<http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070731/LOCAL/707310316/1002/LOCAL>

Basically the City was going to spend 2.4 million dollars to make two blocks of Calhoun 2-way rather then 1-way.

The lowest bid came in 3% over budget.

The stated reason per the article was that The City did not have "the extra money."

Wow.

The City does not have an extra $72,000 to convert two blocks of a street into a 2-way street.

So let me get this straight, we do not have an extra $72,000 to spend on a street project however we do have money for:

1. Harrison Square and numerous subsidies to a hotel.
2. $3700 solar trash cans.
3. $25,000 as an option to purchase the Omni Source property for 4.3 million dollars in
December.

I remember going to a recent City Council meeting where City Controller Pat Roller gave a financial presentation. The point of the presentation seemed to be to convince members of City Council that the City had plenty of money for future projects...

Good Grief.

Mike Sylvester

9 comments:

Jeff Pruitt said...

I get your point Mike but they should leave Calhoun alone. The block between Berry and Wayne is one of the few blocks in all of downtown that has a pedistrian-friendly feel to it. Taking away sidewalk, to Add parking and loading zones along the east side will destroy that.

The only reason they want to make the change is because they've badly screwed up the North-South traffic flow due to the Grand Wayne Center construction. So their solution is to screw up Calhoun to somehow offset the screwup on Harrison.

Think that will work?

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I do not have a strong opinion one way or the other about Calhoun. You spend a lot more time downtown then I do, so I will defer to your judgement.

To be honest with you I am not particularly in favor of the Calhoun widening project either...

My point was more that we cannot pay for street projects; however, we can subsidize private businesses...

Mike Sylvester

Kody Tinnel said...

Both of you make very good points.

I will add that I think that section of Calhoun should be kept the way it is even though it can potentially create some confusion for people who are not attentive drivers and/or not familiar with the fact that the street turns into a one way.

And this city does have a bad system of prioritizing when it comes to how money is being spent.

Jeff Pruitt said...

I completely agree w/ the 3% number Mike. When I heard it came in over budget I figured it was significantly over budget.

I think there's more to this story...

Robert Enders said...

Some have advocated making Wayne and Berry 2 way because it would SLOW traffic down. The idea was that slow traffic would see downtown businesses and would be more likely to stop and shop.

Personally, I think anything that makes downtown more inconveinient is going to make people less likely to shop there.

My hunch is that somebody who contributes to campaigns figure that making Calhoun 2 way was counter to his interests, made a phone call, and got the project killed. Maybe Sam T. has an insight on this?

John B. Kalb said...

Or,maybe this $2.4 Million is thought by our city government to be needed to make up the loss of TIF $$ if Jefferson Pointe gets their 120% property tax increase lowered - thereby preserving the "Richard Legacy" (known as Harrison Square). Stranger things have already happened!! John B. Kalb

Jeff Pruitt said...

Robert,

I was told by Dan Carmody that the reason for the traffic slow down you mention would be to make the area more pedestrian friendly - i.e. there would not be cars zooming by at 40+ MPH.

Bobby G. said...

Leave Calhoun alone.

As to budgetary confines...there HAS to be a LOT more to this story, so I'm with you people on that.

We HAVE the money, then we suddenly DON'T have the money? WTH is up with that?

God, they worry about Calhoun St. when we have streets on the SE side that are replete with speeders all day and night, failure to YIELD at intersections (anyone recall the girl killed down here 2 weeks ago?), and failure to STOP at stop signs (and even some red lights).

Changing many of these (very) narrow TWO-WAY streets into ONE-WAY streets would go a LONG way towards safety, especially the way people LOVE to double and triple park, effectively blocking a whole street.

We've a lot more people here now than say...40 years ago, and they're not all the brightest crayons in the box, if you get my drift.

Just some thoughts.

You guys keep "stirring the pot".

Nice job.

B.G.

Doug H. Sec, Lib Pty AC said...

To All,

If we REALLY want to draw people downtown then why doesn't the City Council simply tear up Calhoun Street entirely and repave it in solid Gold???

After all;

#1) It would draw people from miles around;

#2) It would bring folks to downtown Fort Wayne;

#3) It would be overpriced;

#4) The City Council wouldn't have to pay for it, we would;

#5) They wouldn't have to tell us how much it cost until it was done;

#6) They might be able to get some local business to invest a few bucks;

#7) They could draw a pretty picture of it for us ahead of time and make it look cool;

#8) It would act as a "catalyst" for bringing business downtown;

#9) When all costs are calculated it could be an "asset that operates at a loss";

#10) They could abuse eminent domain to seize nearby businesses because they'd need to reinforce the street due to its heavy weight!

WAIT A MINUTE! We already have a project that accomplishes all of this this for us: Harrison Square.

Darn, I was too late with my brilliant idea...

Respectfully,

Doug Horner
Candidate, City Council at Large