Another letter of concern:
July 6, 2010
Mayor Mike Coleman
Councilman Hearcel Craig
Councilman Andrew Ginther
90 W. Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Re: the 70/71 ODOT Program
As a member of the 70/71 Neighborhood Advisory Group representing the historic Town/Franklin neighborhood as well as a board member of the Discovery District SID, I wanted to communicate my extreme concern and frustration around the ODOT 70/71 project and the perceived reaction so far by the City of Columbus.
I have spent many hours attending ODOT public workshops where the group has been told things that just are not accurate. It has been my observation that members of the City Government have attended those meetings, but have always been background listeners and have provided little input or leadership.
And now I find out that City Council has legislation they hope to pass this month with little or no input from the Neighborhood Advisory Group or any other interested parties. This $1.7 billion construction project is the biggest thing to happen to Columbus and will have repercussions on the success of downtown and surrounding areas for the next 25 plus years.
As a resident living in the the historic Kelton school house on Franklin Avenue and additionally an owner of another apartment building on same street, I do not understand why the city would not be speaking out to protect what few downtown historic properties that are left. Ours is a beautiful tree-lined brick street that currently has doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t allow enough room for two cars to pass each other at the same time and now it is going to be turned into an offshoot of the Lester freeway exit ramp. The impact of these decisions on one of the last bricked downtown streets is enormous. Where are the Ã¢â‚¬Å“completeÃ¢â‚¬Â streets that ODOT has promised for the past several months?
When all is done, this project has the opportunity to put Columbus on the map as the forward thinking community we all hope and believe we are and must be. There are examples of how other cities have faced these challenges and come out on top Ã¢â‚¬â€œ why is the City of Columbus accepting anything less?
There is just too much at stake for City Council to push through a quick vote on this just because you are being pressured and want to get past it before your summer recess. Please take the time to do this right and work with the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods to put together something that works and that we can be proud of.
Robert Klie III
584 Franklin Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Cc: 70/71 Neighborhood Advisory Group
Cleve Ricksecker, Executive Director, Discovery SID
Evelyn Levino, Chairman, Discovery SID Board
Nancy Campbell, Ohio Historical Society