Opposition Refuted

Mr. Jim Dahlem

Dahlem Enterprises, Inc.

The 1000 Building, Suite 207

6200 Dutchmans Lane

Louisville, Kentucky 40205

 

February 7, 2012

 

            Re: Brownsboro Road Lane Closures

 

Dear Mr. Dahlem et al,

Thank you for your letter of January 26, 2012. I’ll try to respond to your letter.

I do know that there are property and business owners who have signed a letter stating their concern or objection to the plan to reconfigure Brownsboro Road from four lanes to three lanes between N. Ewing and Drescher Bridge Avenue. I also know that it likely is because you have intentionally misrepresented that the project will take four lanes to two. And, more troubling than that, that you and these same people chose to not attend a recent forum because you predetermined it was a "political charade." Seriously? I challenge you or anyone to point to any public meeting I have held in the 13 years I've been a public servant that wasn't authentic and intended for public input and discussion. I assure you that if you or any others had taken the time the other 100 people took to attend the January 25, 2012, forum and expressed your opinions, we would have listened and weighed them with everything else we know. And is also the case for 13 years, I can and have been convinced to change my position on many issues once I hear from all sides. And this is no different. If you and others have better ideas that will accomplish all that this proposal will accomplish then bring it forward. Interestingly, some folks took your absence at the forum to mean you have no better, affordable alternative to offer and nothing but "feelings"--and no evidence-- that this project will hurt businesses. None of us really know since you chose not to attend and have that discussion or offer an alternative.

It is regretful that you have interpreted my reference to a 2002 letter from BRMA as “supporting the plan to reduce the number of lanes on Brownsboro Road” is clearly stated in my earlier letter referencing the BRMA letter of 2002, it was not meant to assert that businesses supported this particular project, but that the members of BRMA at that time expressed support for a sidewalk. The letter was meant to respond to the many folks on the petition that said they knew nothing of this effort to get a sidewalk and that they hadn't had a chance to express their concerns and know the facts. I'll reiterate, you said you heard about it several years ago but you "didn't think the project had legs." Please don't blame your government and your neighbors because you failed to engage at that time. Your lack of engagement doesn't nullify the fact that there were many meetings since then that served to accomplish what you are now trying to get done as the project is about to commence. 

Further, just because you don't believe the facts, doesn't mean they are less valid or only "theoretical." You continue to assert that there is no evidence or official traffic studies to support this proposal. Again, Mr. Gowin has provided the detailed analysis for the road and the project's impact based on proven traffic principles used to determine decisions made on this and all type projects on a daily basis, including, I imagine, on some of the same traffic and safety principles you rely on when evaluating projects you propose and support. It is you who has chosen to misrepresent the facts by stating that this proposed reconfiguration reduces four lanes to two lanes. Interestingly, however, is that each person I have spoken to on the phone who has called my office has come to understand the merits of the project and think it makes a lot of sense. The only folks who remain opposed to the project are those who don't want to be slowed down regardless of the public benefits. And nothing I say or do in a public setting will change their minds. 

I will continue to respond to those who phone or email my office with the facts to be certain they understand the project and can make an informed decision. I have held dozens of public meetings over the past six or so years on this project, including one most recently on January 25, 2012, that complied with every request you made of me for a public meeting to hear your concerns and consider any viable alternative offered: we chose the date you asked for; there were at least 14 days’ notice of the public meeting; it was held in a convenient place; and it was sent to all of the sources we typically mail notices to--about 3,000-4,000 contacts, all neighboring organizations, and the C-J--which carried a small listing of the meeting. It was my understanding that you were developing your own supplemental list to mail notices to. After all of this you announced your intentions to not attend the meeting before it even happened and indeed didn't attend. 

I have always valued the public's input and the public's trust by inviting them to the table for input, ideas, feedback, direction and criticism. This issue was no less the case. This project is moving forward because it has been thoroughly vetted publicly and there has been zero credible evidence of its negative impact on businesses other than "believing" or "feeling" it would. This is a much-needed, worthy, affordable and deserving solution that accomplishes something good for everyone--unless, of course, speeding down Brownsboro Rd. to and from home daily is more important to you than improving the quality of life for thousands of folks who will benefit from this proposed project.

Respectfully,

 

 

Tina Ward-Pugh

Ninth District Councilwoman

 

cc:  Ms. Kyle Ethridge

9th District Legislative Assistant

Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh

 

601 West Jefferson Street

Louisville, Kentucky 40202

(502) 574-3908 office

(502) 333-4644 cell

(502) 574-7844 fax

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