Tuesday, September 23, 2008

City Council Meeting

We all met last night to outline a statement for thursday night city council meet. use the comments for the rough draft.


Marshmallow said...

I guess I'll start.

So, I'm going to tell that I'm Sarah's boyfriend. Since I'm the introduction I'm going to lay out some basic points so that everyone else can elaborate on them later. I'm going to say that in order to prevent things like Sarah's tragedy and for Huntsville to be seen as a progressive city that we need to educate cyclists, motorists and police, and develop safe routes. I'll outline some of the ways we can educate like PSAs, pamphlets, billboards, and school speakers. Then I'll talk about different ways to provide safer routes by putting up real share the road signs, introduce sharrows, and the possibility of bike lanes.

All of this would be basic, without too much detail on any point so that maybe we could have one person talk elaborate on each main point. How's that? Too much? Tool little?

Bello Velo said...

I think that is a good start, We should also keep re-iderating that we, the public can not do this alone we need the help and support of the city including the mayor. public safety, chief of police and the city council.

If this does not become part of this and any administrations policy more terrible tragedies like this will occur. so the time is now for them to act!!!

clintpatty said...

I think I was already on my way to do laundry when Jamie told me about the meeting. But if yall have something for me to say, I will. I could also have some things to add. Here is an excerpt from an email I sent to Nolen in reply to Share the Road signs:

"Even on Cecil Ashburn on the shoulder portion, I've had people buzz me. It really takes some effort to break those extra laws to buzz me when I'm far over on the shoulder, but it's not past the dedication and hatred of some motorists. I'd much rather have that person get a reckless driving ticket than see a sign. I'm not saying I'm opposed to signs, but I'm not convinced of their effectiveness. Even worse, I don't know what an effective and cost efficient method of education and increasing awareness is. Matt at Trailhead suggested news channels featuring a 1-3 minute segment everyday with people, especially police officers, educating motorists and cyclists about use of the road. I think that air time would be cheap or free, certainly if the police pushed it."

So PSAs on news would give more views than on the small local channels and would probably be cheap. But I'll be in the woods Wednesday and most of the day Thursday, so I won't be contributing much then.

Bello Velo said...

Clint thanks and we will let you know. We do need you and all cyclists, to be at the meeting thursday 6pm. If they don't see us (all) we won't matter.

Bello Velo said...

6 new courts bring hard court action to Huntsville Tennis Center
Facility is recognized as one of the elite in nation
Huntsville, Ala. --- Mayor Loretta Spencer, Huntsville Tennis Center Board of Control members and staff were joined by local tennis leagues to open 6 new hard courts at the Huntsville Tennis Center. Not wasting a minute of playtime, tennis enthusiasts began matches on the new hard courts as soon as the ribbon was cut. The 6 new lighted hard courts were estimated to cost approximately $680,000. The actual completion costs, after landscaping will be $290,000.

The city of Huntsville managed the project and completed some work in-house to facilitate a savings in construction costs.

clintpatty said...

I think we should make it clear to the city that this can be a good opportunity for them like Davis said, but it can also do them a good bit of harm if they don't take advantage of it and tell everyone that it is ok to be careless. A lot of people are paying attention to this, a lot more than if some guy from Life Cycles had gotten killed, and the city council/police/etc need to remember that there are consequences for them if they don't take advantage of this opportunity that has been there for a while but is not presenting itself more as something that should be done. Victor's most recent blog and my comment elaborate on this some.

Peter said...

Bello velo,

I talked to my wife about this and she did some background checking on the tennis court story. The money that paid for this did not come out of the city budget. Instead a lodging tax (hotel rooms) was raised to help pay for it.

Although this news is a couple of years old, it did ruffle a few feathers at the time. Loretta wanted to get a tennis tournament here and therefore bring money to the city by attracting more visitors. Here is an article about it...

"Improved recreation
By John Ehinger

Thursday,April 8, 2004
Edition: 2, Section: B, Page 4

A lodging-tax hike is paying for new tennis and soccer facilities

Huntsville's gradual conversion of John Hunt Park (formerly the old airport) into a real asset took another step forward this week when the City Council awarded a contract for a new tennis center at the site.

The complex will feature 24 courts, a meeting hall/administrative building, a maintenance building and lights and a parking lot.

When it's completed - possibly as early as October - the tennis center will replace the one at Brahan Spring Park. The courts there will be leveled and the land converted to green space, at least for a while.

The tennis center and other recreational projects, including soccer fields at Merrimack Park, are being paid for by a lodging-tax increase proposed by Mayor Loretta Spencer and passed by the City Council last year.

Better recreational facilities both serve local residents and make the community attractive for regional events. And because visitors to the community who use these facilities will pay for the improvements, the city's approach is a good deal for local taxpayers."

Peter said...

By the way, John Peck from the Huntsville Times will be attending the city council meeting as he always does.

Although he cannot show bias in his reporting, he is an avid bicyclist and commutes to work via pedal power on a regular basis.

Bello Velo said...

maybe we could get someone also from the times to do a piece and have Jamie Interviewed after the council meeting. I am going to talk with her in a minute

Also would not hurt to get the TV News there. If we do this the city is definitely going to feel pressure and whoever is the new mayor will have to deal with this.

Peter said...

I just talked to a guy at Alta Planning and Design http://www.altaplanning.com
about our crisis.

As I said last night, these people appear to have done extensive research on the subject of getting bicycling to be an integral part of a city. I told them we were going to speak at city council on Thursday, and I should be hearing something from their Atlanta Office shortly. He said that they would be able to "put something together" for us before Thursday.

clintpatty said...

Will there be a group ride to it? I've never been before, and I know where Fountain Circle is, but is 308 displayed large? Or is that where it is?

clintpatty said...

Trailhead is closing early tomorrow so Tommy and Matt can come to the meeting. Are any other shops planning on doing this?