I had a meeting with our County Supervisor, Steve Kinsey, this past week. It was, of course, mostly about the proposed sidewalk for Evergreen.
During our conversation, I explained that
when I first found out about the project, I thought the sidewalk might
be a good idea.
But that was before I knew :
- how it happened that a concrete sidewalk for Evergreen could be so far along in the process before we, who live on the street, found out about it
- and before I noticed what it was doing to our community's sense of place and my neighbors' spirit
- and before I realized that most people in our neighborhood don't want this sidewalk.
- and that was before I found out that our street had a 100% safety record
- and before I discovered we live in an area designated as "semi-rural" and our community plan states "...we do not encourage sidewalks, curbs and gutters in the planning area."
And that was WAY before I found out about storm water runoff -
and that Reed Creek is what they call a "blue line" creek.
- and that the County was trying to skip environmental review...
After about an hour meeting with us going back and forth, Mr. Kinsey said "People adapt to change...They'll get used to the
sidewalk." As I left, Mr. Kinsey noted that I have put a lot of
energy into this, and he asked me WHY I care so much.
-- I care because it makes no moral sense to take a
million dollars from the Safe Routes to Schools fund - just so a few people in Mill
Valley can have a more convenient walk to a yogurt store.
-- I care because it makes
no sense to destroy already existing paths to build a concrete sidewalk all along the whole street -- when
clearing a path on a part of the street that has no path will suffice.
-- I care because it doesn't
make much sense to change an area of the street with a 100% safety
record to be more like an area of a street where there was an accident - especially if the goal is to create a "safer route..."
-- I care because it doesn't seem legal or moral to skip environmental review
for "existing facilities" - when no such existing facilities exist - especially when the "facility" you are proposing to
build is going to dump more pollutants into a blue line creek (that contains a federally protected species of fish.)
We should be figuring out how to REDUCE the storm water runoff and RESTORE the creek habitat, not make it worse.
I know I'm not the only one who cares.
I'm just one of the few who hasn't given up yet...
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this blog post was edited on 8/10/2013