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Re: “Information Gap

Everyone affected has expressed their voice, and Eric even got his extra op-ed. If you check the surveys and comments you see Midtown folks overwhelmingly want a safe and accessible community for years to come.

It is now up to Mayor AC Wharton.

Posted by jamestraynor on 07/15/2011 at 9:22 PM

Re: “Information Gap

Midtowngrl - why do you love ground level ozone pollution in Memphis Tennessee?

What part of 36% of capacity is so hard to understand?

Readers of this thread haven't heard from even 1% of the cyclists in this city.

Posted by jamestraynor on 07/15/2011 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Information Gap

Of course I was being rhetorical - I'm pretty sure the author of this piece doesn't hate people in wheelchairs - but it's hard to believe he and other businesses want them to feel safe navigating the streets in our community.

Boycotts are our only choice in the face of business interests run amok in private meetings with the Mayor, countering our public safety. If they insist on dangerous streets why should we pay Huey's another penny at any of their restaurants? Mercury Valet? The other businesses opposed? If the BBQ shop is mad, why didn't they come out and listen to the Midtown community, which is overwhelmingly calling for road diets and bicycle lanes in Memphis?

Meanwhile, Memphis has some of the worst inner-city air pollution in the country, which is especially hard on children and the elderly and people with asthma, allergies and Cardiovascular ailments. The number one way to combat that according to the American Lung Association is DRIVE LESS. These businesses opposed to bike lanes don't seem to care one bit about our health and safety. Apparently the same goes for the Cooper Young Business Association which, last I heard, also opposes dedicated bike lanes.

Some folks act like they don't have children or elderly parents, or don't care for their health, or maybe they're just ignorant as to what "ground level ozone" is and what creates the bulk of it on the ground in Memphis during air quality alerts (hint: it ain't bicycles, skaters or pedestrians).

Wake up and smell the exhaust. Car traffic on Madison isn't going to increase - it hasn't for nearly 8 years. We don't need four lanes. People (YOUR CUSTOMERS, Eric) are cycling and walking more and more. If traffic flows slower, motorists will SEE your storefronts better. Get with the times! Stop holding our city back because you're afraid of change.

We want safer streets in Midtown so we can attract better businesses and drive cars less.

LIST OF BUSINESSES? If you Google "madison avenue comprimise" you will find this May 4th quote from smartcitymemphis-dot-com:

"According to The Commercial Appeal, businesses opposing the bike lanes include Neil’s Bar & Grill, Minglewood Hall, Fantastic Sam’s, Ray White Photography, CashSaver (formerly Piggly Wiggly), Huey’s, Tangles Hair Studio, The Bar-B-Q Shop, Bogies Deli, Valenza Pasta, La Vogue Salon, Murphy’s, McElroy Insurance, Yosemite Sam’s, Ardent Studios, Bayou Bar & Grill, Le Chardonnay, Krosstown Cleaners, Sherwin Williams, La Nouvelle Salon, Kwik Check, Tandy Leather, and Revid Property Management."

When gas tops $5/gal (which it will), businesses will WISH there were bike lanes all over our city so folks can afford to patronize them.

Posted by jamestraynor on 07/15/2011 at 6:19 PM

Re: “Information Gap

Eric, why do you hate people in wheelchairs?

Why is "preliminary" information so "vital" to businesses on Madison Avenue? Do you feel some sense of entitlement because you operate a business on a street that's used by the entire community? If you care about your business and your customers y'all should have seen this coming: gas prices, bicycle ownership and ridership are at all-time highs, and climbing faster than the increase in number of motor vehicles traveling on the street. You want to keep it like it is? Or should we believe you're just a little sore because nobody told you first?

If you cared about our neighborhood you should have met our community with smiles and cooperation, regardless of what "preliminary vital information" you had or had not received (from whom did you expect to receive it? Do you have any idea what community involvement and democracy are?). Heck, y'all even got a meeting with the mayor - and for what??? To keep Madison avenue dangerous? We the People want a safer street!

If you weren't fully persuaded that the 3-lane/dedicated bike lane solution wasn't in the best interest of our community, could you have at least shown the respect enough to take the cotton out of your ears and the blinders off your eyes at the Minglewood Hall LRK presentations where the statistics spoke for themselves (see below)?

I won't name any names here (though others already have, and will), but certain business entities both on and off Madison Avenue that cried and whined and insulted those of us who want a safer Madison avenue will definitely be losing business now, regardless of the outcome. We know who you are, and we won't support your shops any longer. And you are now all on record saying basically that don't want safe streets for us, our children, our disabled or our elderly Midtowners (and your own customers, by the way, who don't all think the same as you). Way to shoot your own feet - and for what?

Now you're whining to the media that you weren't privy to "preliminary information" about the will of the community? How about getting involved in the community you claim to serve instead of just taking our money to a corporate bank each day and driving your cars out of our neighborhood each night when you go home?

The statistics were shown by LRK in the meetings at Minglewood Hall every Wednesday for the last 3 weeks. Several business owners were there, some of them fuming mad about "change" to their street in fear that it would harm their bottom line by limiting the amount of pavement for cars out front (even though parking will increase in many spots with the 3-lane model).

Apparently these businesses feel people who drive slowly or who ride bicycles or skateboards will not be spending money in their shops. The LRK studies from Charlotte and Orlando (and a host of other cities) showed otherwise - that slowing down traffic on the street actually increased business.

Madison avenue is currently operating at around 36% of capacity, or about 12,800 cars per day. As it is (with 4 lanes) it's capable of carrying close to 35,000 cars per day. It is carrying well less than HALF of it's capacity of cars.

Further, the volume of car traffic on Madison Ave hasn't increased to above ~38% in nearly eight years. With gas prices and economic conditions as they are (and as they continue to worsen), don't expect the volume of cars on the street to increase.

So, business operators on Madison Avenue, how about doing the math: at 36% capacity on a 4-lane street, the City can easily convert it to a 3-lane street with dedicated bicycle lane and ample automobile capacity (with room for growth), PLUS a desperately needed increase in SAFE capacity for more sensible transportation (ie, bicycles, skateboards and pedestrians, and wheelchairs).

By the way, the of keeping four lanes of pavement for motor vehicles with a "shared bike lane" is a red herring and insulting to many of us. They're already shared lanes, by LAW. Bicycles ARE traffic. Drawing little "sharrows" on them is a wasteful subsidy to a few selfish business operators, and increases chances of injury, and decreases the chance of many cyclists spending cash in your shops.

Most troubling for our Midtown community is that the LRK studies quoted at Minglewood Hall also showed (in more than just Orlando and Charlotte) that slowing down traffic and reducing the number of lanes led to less accidents, less injuries, and less fatalities for pedestrians, cyclists AND motorists. The irony is that apparently these business which are opposed to bike lanes and the 3-lane solution would rather NOT make our streets safer for pedestrians, skaters, cyclists, wheelchairs and motorists - their own customers! Boo!

Or perhaps the real issue is that current businesses know that with bicycle lanes on Madison Avenue, a real urban transition will occur. Madison Avenue will become a lively neighborhood with safer access for all citizens (and not just cars). Perhaps these angry businesses know they will not be able to compete with the new businesses (and new business ethic) that will rise to meet our community's cyclists, pedestrians and disabled patrons the neighborhood to capture the rising market of cyclists and pedestrians that will frequent a safe part of the Midtown Arts District.

Posted by jamestraynor on 07/15/2011 at 3:00 PM


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