Ludington Avenue Road Diet About as Popular as a Regular Diet

At tonight's Ludington City Council meeting, the City put forth the number one vote-getting proposal of the Placemaking workshop described here, namely a road diet of Ludington Avenue throughout the downtown (speculatively Rowe to William Street).  The five lanes now existing through the downtown would be reduced to three, the lanes would be slightly wider to compensate, the parking and sidewalk areas might be modified in some way to take advantage of the extra 10+ feet on both sides of the avenue, a bicycle lane has been proposed before. 

Steve Begnoche, City of Ludington Daily News (COLDNews) representative at the meeting put this speculative change out on Facebook, including the possibility of a trial of this diet after Labor Day in the downtown, and the results were dramatic, more than 80 people exhibiting raw displeasure at the idea, and only ten showing any favorability to the idea. 

The odd thing is that none of the public officials at the "Placemaking workshop" thought this was a dumb, unworkable idea, like the majority of the readers do, and as most people on the street do.  I think its proof positive that the idiots who go into city planning have problems with basic planning.  What are your thoughts?  (Those receptive to the change are highlighted)

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One of the glaring situations about Ludingtons politics is the disconnect between City officials and the public. It's almost like City officials become aliens when they are put in positions of authority. They don't seem to be part of the community anymore. They display a lack of common sense and a stand offish attitude toward the people they represent. They form  cliques amongst  themselves and generally ignore those outside the clique. They assume they are always right and cannot make mistakes. The feeling of power they get from  being in a position of authority makes their decisions unreliable. This could apply to other government agencies such as the County which approved the installation of mammoth towers in a rural setting against the wishes of the vast majority of the people.

As far as decreasing the number of lanes. I think it's a bad idea unless they remove the stores so there would be nothing to distract motorists on their way to the beach and State Park. Or make it a single one way lane leading out of town.

When most road diets are applied it usually involves going from four lanes (two each way) to three lanes (one each way plus a turn lane) plus a bike lane or widened parking and shoulders.  It is applied when a traffic study suggests it may be as efficient as the old road. 

Going from five lanes to three lanes to just make the downtown more walkable, less congested, and intimate is not rational, in my opinion, and you are absolutely right about the groupthink mentality that these people get when they have an idea planted in their mind.  The Chamber of Commerce, the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, and just about every other public/private association wants this to happen, because they have been trained to believe it will work out beneficial.  

And that's why LIAA will have much success in getting this mind-numbed clique of Mason County politicos to accept just about anything to create a 'resilient' Ludington.  Including anything about climate that Dr. Andresen tells them, even if it goes abruptly against their own observations and intuitions.


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