Monday, June 12, 2006

Flat Tired

The Finkbeiner Administration Bikepath proposal is disappointing on many levels, despite the fact that fitness is worth encouraging.

First, public input. Where the heck was it? Why not have neighborhoods compete for bikepath development, sidestepping the hurtful neighbor versus neighbor events now occurring in South Toledo's Wildwood area. Council has received dozens of letters, emails and phone calls on this one.

Second, our threadbare budget and the return of tax dollars back to our community. We give away so much of our state and federal taxes, its shameful that the Mayor would so easily part with scarce City of Toledo Capital Improvement dollars without seeking ample state and federal match money for bike paths. (Would you believe, $11 million a year available to Ohio municipalities, with another $8.9 million yearly through organizations like TMACOG. Holy smokes, that's a lot of our taxes going to other communities!) As recently as June 2006, Columbus City Council accepted 33% in state matching funds for bikeways.

Here are the state links: ODOT read: Transportation Enhancement and ODNR

Let me be the first to go on record supporting Mayor Finkbeiner's applications for the return of our state and federal tax dollars for Toledo bikepaths for improved fitness, and let's hear from interested neighborhoods that want improved lifestyles and higher property values. The ordinance this Tuesday should be tabled.


Blogger Lisa Renee said...

I agree that the financial aspect should be addressed first and that if matching funding can be obtained that should be done. The neighborhood versus neighborhood aspect is going to be harder to deal with. One area wanting it depends on the next area wanting it as well. I do agree though that this could have been handled better from the beginning. I think the Mayor assumed people would want this which it's obvious some don't.

Heck, I'd love a bike/walking path in the part of South Toledo that we are moving into. So would Miguel, he walks three miles every day. He's already plotting out where he can walk once we move.


7:12 PM  
Blogger -Sepp said...

The mayor assummed a lot...again. The bikepath route is close enough to Hizzoner's house for him to make a short walk and use it and, far enough away that it doesent infringe on the layout and privacy of his own neighborhood. Residents on Beechway made it known that they didn't want it. The mayor's press release sounded a bit odd didn't it? "the city won't put up with vandalism of private property or, illegal parking". There is a veiled threat in that statement aimed at the residents on Beechway in retaliation for going against hizzoner's plan. When residents have a party, it's common that some guests will park on the median since the street is a blvd and one thin lane in each direction. This practice has been going on for as long as I can remember and, no, there is no damage to the grass. My bet is that TPD will be cruising Beechway with orders to ticket. So goes politics and punishment in Toledo.

9:55 AM  
Blogger The Track & Field Superfan said...

The history of bike paths are that they take a long time to get past the various people opposed to them. The vastly popular University/Parks trail had this problem. Wood County's Slippery Elm trail had this problem. Erie County's Huron River Greenway is still being fought in court 13 years after construction began. Generally speaking, the only trails that run completely through parkland can be built without considerable delay.

Now, I'm absolutely sure Carty never looked into this phenomenon. He jsut figured people love bike trails (which they do) and thought it would be an immediate winner. Nothing could be further from the truth, and people who have worked on bike paths could have told you this a long time ago.

One indicator that Carty is unwilling accept anyone else's ideas is his original plan to put a trail leading downtown on the A.W. Trail median strip. You see, the TMACOG regional transportation master plan already called for a bike path to be built someday on an abandoned rail line on the south side of the A.W. Trail, which has the advantage of existing bridges and corridors to transverse the Swan Creek and I-75.

One more example of Carty's insistence on reinventing the wheel. Will the wheel ever get rolling?

7:39 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

TMACOG should absolutely have been involved in the develpoment of the Administrations plans. Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

7:50 PM  
Blogger -Sepp said...

I guess I called that one right on the money. Will we ever get a mayor that isn't a lunatic, lethargic or, that lets a little power go to his head?

5:59 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

indeed, you called it.

7:17 PM  
Blogger liberal_dem said...

Frank- Thanks for keeping us informed of the Carty & Co. shenanigans going on at One Government Center.

11:59 AM  
Blogger jen said...

I just am disgusted with the voters in Toledo for giving this guy another chance to embarass the city. It's not as if people didn't know what they would be getting.

Carty thinks about one thing -- what's good for Carty.

My first and only conversation with Carty was years ago, when I was a waitress at the Dorr St. Cafe to help pay my college expenses. I recognized him and said something to that effect. He sat there for hours with a cup of coffee, lots of refills and tipped me one dime. Sort of a telling example of how he doesn't really care much about working people, isn't it?

3:44 PM  
Blogger liberal_dem said...

"Sort of a telling example of how he doesn't really care much about working people, isn't it?"

He was a Republican then. That's why you got the dime.

Today he's a Democrat. Expect the same dime.

4:31 PM  

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