Moving Forward with Columbia's Transmission Lines Project
February 8, 2016
Having voted at the January 19 City Council meeting to delay a final decision on the route of electric transmission lines in south Columbia, I wrote to City staff and Council colleagues last week with my thoughts on how I feel we should move forward on this important project.
Whichever route is ultimately decided, the project will cost tax-payers and rate-payers tens of millions of dollars. As I explained at the meeting, I do not believe I have received adequate, detailed information to make a fair decision that balances the need for additional peak-time and the financial and property impacts of various options. For that reason, I asked Council colleagues to hold off making a decision while we get more clarity on the costs and benefits to the public.
Please take a few minutes to read my discussion document and let me know what you think..
Proposed Roundabout at Chapel Hill and Fairview
It was good to meet many of you at the Interested Parties Meeting for the proposed roundabout at Chapel Hill and Fairview on Jan. 28. I am aware of strong neighborhood opposition to this $600,000 project, as well as discontent with the previous roundabout constructed in this area, at Rollins and Fairview.
In general, I support roundabouts that perform their intended roles of calming traffic, improving pedestrian and bicycle safety, contributing to an attractive streetscape, and reducing wait times for vehicles. However, I have serious concerns about this project for a number of reasons - the $600,000 price tag, a large number of residents telling me they feel the Rollins/Fairview roundabout has reduced safety (although, it's important to note that this design is different in that it includes a raised central island), and the fact that there does not seem to be much of a traffic delay, even during "rush hour."
If you travel through the Chapel Hill and Fairview intersection, please let me know whether you feel the traffic delays warrant this project and, if you live close by, how much traffic backs up at the busiest time? Do you support this project or not?
Policy Priorities Survey
As I have discussed, my policy priorities for a second term as Fourth Ward Councilman include public safety, infrastructure, local economy, and social equity. I'd like to know which of these areas is most important for you, and why? Please share your opinions by completing this survey! And you can read my current thinking at my web site.
Finally, the Columbia Daily Tribune recently published candidate profiles (including video presentations) of my election opponent, Daryl Dudley, and me. Check them out:
Next Constituent Conversations will be Sunday, February 21, 2-4pm at Dunn Bros. Coffee. I hope to see you there.