City Hall’s street grid surrender: “All the extra expense, time, and proposed iterations have nothing to do with securing federal funds.”

Perhaps owing to the approach of the primary, hell has broken loose these past few days, and I’m struggling to keep up with the daily proliferation of reasons to vote against Jeff Gahan.
Just the other day, someone asked a very good question about the destructiveness of one-way, arterial interstate highways running through our urban neighborhoods, and by extension, about waning hope for the principled implementation of Jeff Speck’s downtown street network proposals.

They (city government) have been talking about fixing this problem for quite a while! Why can’t they get it done?

The Bookseller succinctly answered.

This administration has never taken ownership of the idea and will continue to straddle the issue, pretending that no one will notice that they have had four years to do this. Now they are ginning up a high-cost solution so as to spread the money around to preferred vendors.

The “high cost solution” of which the Bookseller speaks is discussed here: The predicted gutting of Speck begins as Mayor Jeff Gahan gives the finger to complete streets advocates.

Also, we now know that this week’s Bored of Works decision to award a consultancy contract to one of the usual street engineering suspects, thus delaying action on streets for up to 18 months, was at least in part a pre-emptive response to Padgett, et al, in the crane erector’s forthcoming legal challenge to the Main Street project.

(Once again, it has proven impossible for Team Gahan to be publicly truthful about its motivations v.v. street grid reform.)

It’s probably moot, given that City Hall has botched the entire streets issue to a possibly irreparable degree, but nonetheless, prior to yesterday’s revelation of the lawsuit filed against the city by our charmingly civic minded value-extractive looters, a question arose with regard to the stated Bored of Works rationale of delaying Speck so to garner federal lucre.

I am confused by the notion that we need more time and consultancy expenditures to get federal money. Haven’t we been told privately for years that the federal money already was in place?

Jeff G gave the answer, pre-Padgett lawsuit.

Yes, we have been told that and it’s long been reflected in the KIPDA budget. An engineering plan of some sort is likely necessary for federal qualification but nowhere near to the multi-option, stray-from-the-original extent they are talking about. All they actually need to do is produce engineering/construction plans for the Speck plan with minimal justification and environmental review, justification that Speck himself has already largely provided. All the extra expense, time, and proposed iterations have nothing to do with securing federal funds. 

Again, the recent Main Street example (that used federal funds over and above the state’s long-term maintenance money) shoots them in the foot. Honestly, given the low cost of most of the Speck plan, it’s questionable whether we even need federal funding as using it will require adhering to more stringent (and sometimes nonsensical) federal guidelines which, in turn, will drive costs up — something that, again, happened with the Main Street Project.