Transcript of Facebook conversation, Baylor, Phipps, Roberts, et al … Sunday, January 31.

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On Sunday, following the newspaper’s reprint of the city’s press release last Friday …

Read Speck now: Are these Spring Street improvements really improvements for people, as opposed to their cars?

… there occurred a much overdue conversation on Facebook, which began when councilman Greg Phipps linked to the newspaper article. After he dropped out of the chat, even more was revealed.

This exchange matters. It addresses previously cloaked information, and it pertains to the plan for “improvements” on Spring from Beharrel to Vincennes, as (finally) released at the Board of Works meeting of Tuesday, February 2.

I’ve underlined a few relevant passages.

Greg Phipps
Progress on the way (links to News and Tribune article).

KLS
I am glad to see. However, I hope better foresight and planning go into this project than was completed with Main Street’s island medians. Too wide and difficult for a pedestrian to cross the street.

Roger A. Baylor 
Main Street was wrong from the start. There’s only one question here, and let’s hope Greg answers it: Are these changes to Speck, or not?

Greg Phipps
The Speck study was the general template and many recommendations were included.

Roger A. Baylor 
Where feasible?

Greg Phipps 
That is exactly correct. A template is just that.

Roger A. Baylor 
Is this what you meant with these words during the campaign?

Greg Phipps
Yes.

Greg Phipps 
Why can’t people we glad progress is being made instead of worry about every detail. The Speck Study was a template and as such it’s a model, but not a plan followed 100%

Roger A. Baylor
(Comment directed to) Greg Phipps: That’s simply petulance, Greg. As an advocate of human rights, you should know better than most that the devil’s in the details. When City Hall has maintained a year-long silence — something you once would have decried — the details grow ever more important. Just imagine if you had tried to explain that little detail about “where feasible” when I asked.

Roger A. Baylor 
Delightful that you finally answer. More importantly: When do we get to see what is feasible, as handed to us from the top down? Do you know? If so, can we know? Or are we not sufficiently connected for such information? Will there be ANY transparency to this?

Greg Phipps 
Press releases will announce subsequent phases, but I have no time table.

Greg Phipps 
Partial funding for phases will come before either redevelopment or the city council.

Roger A. Baylor
But you know more details, don’t you? How do we know this won’t turn out to be another Main Street debacle? Can you see at all why we don’t trust Team Gahan?

Roger A. Baylor 
Jeff Gillenwater Randy Smith Mark Cassidy: Finally, guys.

Roger A. Baylor 
Shouldn’t you be fighting to make this information public, so your district can be informed? Or are they determined to proceed down the path of masking changes under the rubric of “safe for cars”?

KLS
Don’t misunderstood me, Greg. I am excited for these advancements. I just feel planners should consider things like pedestrian safety, ease of parking, maneuverability of larger and emergency vehicles. I felt there were flaws with the Main Street results. However, I am excited to see the city progress and taking positive steps. I congratulate you on your role in that. I really can’t delve into the political insides because I now live just outside the limits.

Roger A. Baylor 
Because, in the absence of clarification, there is nothing in this “make Spring safer for cars” that reveals a two-way future. Until there is — nothing has been accomplished.

Roger A. Baylor 
Katherine L. Sears: None of us can comment on the insider aspect because that’s where it stays — out of view. Greg knows this. Before his election, he was opposed to it. Now … it isn’t clear.

Roger A. Baylor
If I’m saying anything here that isn’t true, then please — correct me. Please.

Roger A. Baylor
I failed to set the hook. Months without a nibble, and I simply wasn’t prepared.

KLS 
Roger A. Baylor I really don’t want to get into any of that because my point is, I haven’t stayed informed enough. My comment was more of a suggestion based in my observation when trying to cross from the north side of Main Street, over the median, to the south side of Main Street.

Roger A. Baylor
Katherine L. Sears I don’t believe you and I disagree. The Main Street project was bad from the start; beautification was substituted for success in the factors you mention.

Greg Roberts 
After reviewing the Speck plan again, this project is following his recommendations almost to the letter, except for having both bike plans on one side. the unveiled plan shows one bike lane on each side. I think Greg is fighting for his district with a new rental registration proposed ordinance, two way streets project, getting street lamps fixed, housing, etc… In my opinion, some of Speck’s study was over kill on the bike lanes!!

Roger A. Baylor
Greg Roberts Thank you for saying more of substance in one paragraph than either of you have been willing to say publicly for months. Those on the outside have NO IDEA about the administration’s view on bike lanes because it REMAINS A SECRET. Can’t you see this?

Roger A. Baylor 
Greg Roberts Will Spring Street from Vincennes through downtown be reverted to two ways?

Greg Roberts
Why are you always thinking Greg Phipps is hiding something? I think he found out about this press release on Friday. Also, you of all people should know, I watch everything when it come to our neighborhood!

Roger A. Baylor 
Not Greg Phipps: The leadership caste. Stop taking this personally. Insofar as Greg’s job involves these political matters, and given the sheer number of questions NOT answered to date … maybe that show fits. Will there be two way streets on the remainder of Spring or not?

At this point, a comment was made and apparently later edited (see below). This is the screenshot. 


Greg Roberts 
Roger, the Speck plan called for that and that is what we are pushing for in the plan. Also, the plan calls for Elm and Market to be switched to two ways. I have even asked about the law suit from the trucking companies if that will hold up our area project, but no answer yet.

Roger A. Baylor
Greg Roberts: (Told) by whom?

Roger A. Baylor 
And, if this was known PRIOR to the election … we all might have been saved a great deal of trouble and aggravation, but it wasn’t.

Greg Roberts 
What aggravation and trouble? Public meetings were held by the city on the plan well before elections.

Roger A. Baylor 
Meetings without conclusion; meetings with no further comment. Really, Greg? This isn’t something that should be hidden, is it?

Roger A. Baylor
Told by whom? The mayor?

Roger A. Baylor 
And, observers may note that these questions no longer are being answered by the elected official, and while I’m genuinely grateful finally to be having a conversation with someone CLOSE to the back corridor, we’re back to Mike Hall at council meetings and not the mayor — and maybe, just maybe, this is my point in all of it.

Greg Roberts 
I don’t think any of previous comments said anybody told anything.

See screenshot above.

Roger A. Baylor
Did you edit a comment? I saved the notifications, and a little while ago you said, “Roger, the Speck plan called for that and that is what we have been told.”

Roger A. Baylor
I then asked who told you this.

Roger A. Baylor 
To both Gregs, and anyone else reading: Yes, how we do the right thing matters as much as doing the right thing. Lots of people received letters about vague forthcoming street “improvements.” They’ll now be told that if they want to comment, they must address Warren Nash directly at a BOW confab at 10:00 am on Tuesday morning. It isn’t right, and I can remember when you would have agreed with me.

Randy Smith
Roger A. Baylor: Unfortunately, I can only like this comment one time.

Roger A. Baylor
Randy Smith” It’s either a David Bowie song lyric or a Biblical passage, can’t remember which: “They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see.”

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