At the Council meeting on June 21, Councilmembers Steve Litzow, Mike Cero, El Jahncke and Mike Grady voted to reallocate the ICW/Merrimount road funds for 2010 to repave residential streets in 2011. I have given up on my idea of community input (and politicians listening) when looking at the process that occurred to un-fund the ICW/Merrimount project. Was this specific item (to un-fund the ICW/Merrimount project) on the agenda? No. Was the community notified that this was being considered? No. After watching the meeting on television, it sure seemed like this was a behind-the-scenes move to get rid of a project that Councilmembers Litzow, Cero and Jahncke all voted against from the beginning. Is this how politics works? I am just so dismayed about the process! I was on the Citizens Advisory Committee, which recommended the reconfiguration of ICW and the Merrimount intersection. It was a thorough process with a wide variety of opinions. The majority of the committee recommended implementing the reconfiguration. Construction was supposed to start this summer.
At the June 21 meeting, the Council decided to fund only the addition of two lights at the 42nd and 47th Street intersections of ICW. Crosswalks with traffic lights along the corridor will help pedestrian safety, but they will not help accidents that occur due to lane changing or left turners. Also, now with the new vote, nothing will change at Merrimount. I think even those citizens who were against the three-lane reconfiguration will be upset that Merrimount will stay in its temporary state indefinitely. The way this vote occurred screams bad politics at its best.