Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The Fleener Report
Eyewitness account of the public workshop about Leucadia sidewalks:
by Mary "I was there" Fleener
Okay, folks-here it is in a nutshell. If ya'll want anything "creative", go directly to the City Council.
These Public Works guys have been directed to do a specific job and they are just following orders and have a budget assigned to this sidewalk project. They are not PAID to be creative and from what I saw at this workshop, the less they have to think about, the better.
Not that I don't appreciate the time set aside to invite the public to participate; think it's very noble, but these workshops seem to be orchestrated to let people blow off steam because, really, these City employees can't guarantee anything and they cannot make monetary changes in plans. They don't have the authority.
The meeting started at 6:07pm.
There were 21 people in attendance, which is pretty good.
Tom Curriden told us that in Jan. 2006, the City Council had a "Goal Setting" agenda and high priority were the improvements to Leucadia from A Street to La Costa Ave. at a cost of 3.2 million. While we're waiting for THAT to happen, "interim sidewalks" are scheduled for Spring 2007. Tom used the word, "cost effective" twice-the $400,000 is what they are allowed to spend and "We can't stray too far".
Someone asked for a time frame. "Planship", sez Tom. That's a new word for me to decipher. Then the same person asked,"Is anything planned like colored concrete or texture?" Tom said they plan on using grey concrete and since they are "filling in gaps to exisitng improvements", (that's OLD sidewalks to you and me,) they want to avoid a hodgepodge of too many designs. Wouldn't want anyone to get dizzy walking the walk down Leucadia, would we? Different colored concrete and different textures...? How tacky! Ow, my head hurts thinkin' about it!!!
Another person asked, "Will this be done, then torn up when the Streetscape is finally here?"
"That's the way we have to do it", replied Tom, "We have to get the most bang for the buck". He added, "We just don't know how and when the permanent sidewalks will be done. Maybe 2010".
I guess the money is "budgeted" to 2010. Another new word, and another thought: will a lot of us be alive to enjoy this Streetscape by the time it happens?
There were people who own a business voicing their concern about the time frame involved in this project, like if it happens in summer, they'll be, well; SCREWED. A lot of us are living paycheck to paycheck and if the guy at Sub Palace can't sell any food for two weeks, he's in deep doo doo. Tom was giving them vague answers and they weren't buying it. "This would be disastrous if done in the summer", said one man, "We don't expect the "downtown treatment."(A sly reference to downtown Encinitas, I surmised).
The moment I was waiting for was a Leucadia Town Council board member
who wants to use permeable concrete, which I think is great. He's done all this research and there are very sophisticated and fabulous patterns that can be utilized with this material. Plus, it would help the rain water absorb more slowly into the soil, thus helping the flooding problem along Hwy 101. I myself went on Google and found that many cities across the USA have had positive results using this concrete. The response from Tom and his sidekick Roger Somebody was lukewarm, AS USUAL.
WE have permeable concrete walkways and a parking lot at Cottonwood Creek. Roger Somebody was worried though. "We have to maintain it several times a year." Yeah, like sidewalks all over the world don't have to be hosed down and cleaned every couple of weeks if needed? Gimme a break!!!!
Anyway, there were a few more comments and the workshop ended, mercifully, at 6:52pm. I learned a lot of new words!
1. PLANT PALETTE-that means "landscaping"
2. GRADE DIFFERENTIAL-that means the street is higher than the door to a business-or visa versa, right?
3.ADA COMPLIANT-that means we get to have a buncha ugly newspaper stands anywhere to preserve our 1st Amendment Rights.. within code limitations,of course, and without undue influence. Right.
You can't make this stuff up.
Related post: Leucadia!: Discuss Leucadia Sidewalks Tuesday Dec. 12