Balancing Funds to Balance A Neighborhood

2014-11-17
Dear Neighbor,

After an election season recess your Council was back to business and readily engaged this week.

Tuesday’s committee meetings saw updates about the new Parks and Recreation leadership in taking over the day-to-day operation of the Downtown Arts Center. This is a new endeavor and promises to bring both new life and activity to a center in need of both. We had brief updates on the continuing work at the Kentucky Theatre, with help from many supporters.

While there was plenty to talk about at the Planning and Public Works Committee meeting and Council Work Session, let me skip forward to our meeting yesterday about budget funds that we have accumulated ahead of plan. I hesitate to use the word surplus but one definition of luck is when preparation meets opportunity. That happened during the budget discussion yesterday.

The 5th District Office has been listening to and working with the Fairway Neighborhood Association about traffic volumes and speed on Henry Clay Boulevard. Here is a laundry list of the cooperative efforts between my office and the Division of Traffic Engineering:
  • Removed two flashing school beacon signs and support structures along Henry Clay Boulevard after school closed
  • Reduced speed limit to 25 mph
  • Installed flashing solar-powered 25 mph speed limit signs on Henry Clay Boulevard between Delaware Avenue and Fairway Drive
  • Installed red-bordered 25 mph speed limit signs
  • Installed additional roadway caution signs as needed through the area
  • Data was collected to monitor speeds and volumes of traffic through the area
  • TE Attended a neighborhood meeting a year or so ago to discuss the issue
  • Requested selective speed enforcement by Police
  • Installed edge lines along the boulevard to give the appearance of reduced roadway width for two-way travel

At my urging the Council set aside $100,000 for pedestrian improvement and traffic calming on Henry Clay Boulevard. This is a huge win and will help give the street and neighborhood the opportunity for added safety. While the specifics and the funds haven’t been settled yet, know that change is on the way. As a pedestrian was hit there this week near the intersection with Menifee (see page 5 for traffic data from the Division of Police’s Speed Spy data source for volume and speed information for that particular evening) the impetus was there to act; I am glad Council agreed with me. I have asked for other funding priorities and will discuss those more in depth next week.

By unanimous vote last night, Council added e-cigarettes to the so called smoking ban ordinance. This now treats them like their original counterparts. The ordinance doesn’t change where you can buy “e-cigs” but more importantly where you can use them. There has been a spate of negative emails today on the issue but I think they stem from lack of knowledge of the specifics of the ordinance. This product appeared in 2007 and as caught on rapidly recently. I certainly welcome your thoughts on this or any other issue we face as the year draws to a close.

My best,

Bill





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