To the editor:
Lots of ballyhoo has attended the making of the Horizon 2020 plan for Lawrence; there has been much fanfare for the citizen gatherings which give the illusion of broad-based participation in shaping the physical and social nature of Lawrence for decades to come. Now, it turns out, Horizon 2020 isn't the main circus but only a sideshow.
Only now do we discover the 2010 Transportation Plan. You never heard of it? The one where the clowns do their thing in secret? You didn't know about the plans to widen Iowa Street or to add another lane of traffic to help speed the trucks along Sixth Street? Of the plan to demolish homes between 22nd and 23rd streets on Kentucky? And more?
How can a citizens' group work on a comprehensive plan if it's already been decided here and at higher governmental levels that transportation and traffic issues are the private dominion of so-called public servants? Maybe some of you were out of earshot when a city employee muttered, as she passed me and others at a city hall hearing on the Sixth Street issue, "You're going to get it (the extra lane) whether you like it or not." Apparently, residential areas are now planned to be mere islands surrounded by rushing rivers of traffic and air pollution; pedestrians are made obsolete.
Our tax dollars, ironically, are being appropriated to impose a 1950s solution to present and future ways of dealing with our physical surroundings. This limited world view victimizes the entire community; pins us down, powerless; corrupts the very nature of the decision-making process. The public input into Horizon 2020 may be nothing more than a ritual display. The bulldozers and asphalt salesmen will get their rewards with the plan 2010. I can hardly wait to find out what is concealed in plan 2008 .