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If You Like Your Abram Street, You Can Keep Your Abram Street

2013-11-15-5

Friday, November 15, 2013, by Buddy Saunders

When President Obama said, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” he knew he was lying. Anyone with a brain by now knows what Barack Obama is—a genius. And thank God he is.  Imagine how bad this health care thing would be if he were a moron.

The truth is we have a lot of lying geniuses in government, not just at the federal level, but at the state level and here locally as well, people so arrogant they believe they can manage your life better than you can. An arrogance so great breeds an equally vast contempt for the truth. Lying is acceptable when doing “good.”

Consider one local example.

Once again a plan is underway to narrow Abram Street between Cooper and Collins, a plan that will benefit a few friends of the City Council, but hurt the 380,000 citizens of Arlington. And the lying, some of it by omission, will begin all over again.

Three years ago I was part of the first battle to keep Abram Street between Cooper and Collins a five-lane street.  The geniuses at City Hall wanted to narrow the street to just two traffic lanes so bike lanes could be added. From the outset, citizen reaction was negative. The City responded by lying at every step of the way.

I and a couple of associates visited every business on Abram between Cooper and Collins, as well as those on side streets and Main Street. No one said they wanted fewer street lanes on Abram. To the contrary, the typical reaction was, “Are you serious?” And when I answered yes, their follow up was, “Why would they want to do that?”

The city claimed that “Property owners voiced concerns about the speed of traffic and the perceived and real safety of pedestrians walking along or trying to cross Abram Street.”

I attended the “stakeholder” meetings. We never expressed such a concern. However, we did make it absolutely clear that we did not want Abram Street narrowed.  Even so, at every turn City staff was back telling us that we were going to get the two-lane solution we “wanted.”

Finally, in the face of overwhelming opposition, Mayor Cluck and his cronies on the City Council backed down, but only temporarily. Abram Street was marked for “future analysis.”  Now, three years later, they’ve gone and spent another $50,000 “analyzing” the street and have again determined that it needs narrowing to—surprise, surprise—two traffic lanes and a turn lane.

The thing that rankles the most with regard to lying government isn’t the wasted money or cronyism, but rather the utter contempt politicians have for our intellect.  Do they really believe we are so incredibly gullible and stupid as to swallow their whoppers?

From right here in Arlington all the way to Washington, we citizens better begin reining in our lying geniuses before they send America over the cliff.

Have something to say? Click here to contact your Mayor and City Council, individual members or all.

Copied below is the original 10/26/2010 plan to narrow Abram Street, including the on-street bike lane component.

Why is the City looking at Abram Street?

The TDP Update is an opportunity to analyze all thoroughfares and ensure they are fit the future vision for the City. With the addition of the Founder’s Park, the development of the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) Special Events Center and mixed-use development, and emerging new commercial businesses in this corridor, a review of this section of Abram Street (Collins to Cooper) was necessary.

Additionally, the Downtown Arlington Master Plan, adopted in 2004, envisions a pedestrian-friendly, safe, vibrant and active Downtown Arlington. The future design of Abram Street will have a direct impact on the City’s ability to fully implement this vision to revitalize Downtown.

Downtown Master Plan Vision Statement:

“Arlington’s downtown will be a vibrant destination for residents, visitors and students providing entertainment, employment, culture and local goods and services for the immediate and surrounding community”

Related Downtown Master Plan Goals:

 Create a community with multi-modal mobility that encourages pedestrians, bicyclists and automobiles.

  • Improve the appearance and design of the streets.
  • Create a safe environment within the community.
  • Foster a community with a business-friendly environment.
  • Ensure that downtown Arlington is a community with a clearly established identity.
  • Foster pride through an aesthetically pleasing environment.
  • Encourage and promote areas that advocate for pedestrian design and amenities.
  • Ensure that there is good pedestrian infrastructure, including sidewalks, shade and calm traffic.

What is proposed for Abram Street?

An Abram Street Design Workshop was held as part of the TDP planning process. Property owners voiced concerns about the speed of traffic and the perceived and real safety of pedestrians walking along or trying to cross Abram Street. A consultant team prepared a design concept that could address these concerns while supporting the vision for Downtown. That concept proposed changing Abram Street (from Cooper to Collins) from 4 through travel lanes to 2 through travel lanes. The concept also included bike lanes, on-street parallel parking, and pedestrian amenities as potential elements of the street design.

While a roadway design to enhance Abram Street is still a top priority, the staff recommend more in depth analysis to determine what that design might look like. When the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council receive information on the TDP, it will include a recommendation to keep Abram Street as it is (4 through travel lanes) with additional analysis taking place after the TDP is adopted. If a recommendation to change Abram Street to 2 through travel lanes is determined to be the correct course of action, the TDP will need to be amended through additional City Council action.

Abram Street 2008 Bond Funding

Total Funding – $4,905,000

Design Funds – $515,000

Construction Funds – $4,390,000

Timeframe

Design - Funds were approved in the 2010 Capital Budget so they are available whenever we are ready to start. Will start upon completion of TDP process – with the amount of public involvement and challenges expected, this project could easily take 18 months – 2 years to finalize the construction drawings.

Construction – Currently funding is proposed in the 2015 Capital Budget – estimated start July 2015 and estimated completion December 2016. This timeframe is very dependent on the section and the final design and how we manage the traffic control, etc.

All timeframes are subject to change based on availability of funds and other factors!

One Response to If You Like Your Abram Street, You Can Keep Your Abram Street

  1. sclinesr

    November 15, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    These genius’s will continue to push this no matter how much we push back until the people of Arlington wise up and vote them out of office.

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