Please sign this petition to indicate your opposition to the proposed 10-lane elevated highway project promoted by the Alabama Department of Transportation. For the latest updates go to www.rethink280.org.
ALDOT's $800 million U.S. 280 Expansion Project will bypass vital business districts in the western section and create a commercial wasteland in the eastern section where established businesses thrive today. It will devastate real estate values in the historic residential neighborhoods west of I-459 and will harm the residential neighborhoods to the east tomorrow as business and development shift beyond Eagle Point. Tax revenues, property values, air and water quality, transit options, quality of life -- all will be diminished if this massive project is allowed to go forward.
By signing this petition, you are registering your opposition to ALDOT's U.S. 280 Expansion Project. Your submission, along with all those who sign this petition, will be sent to both government and community leaders to raise awareness of the widespread opposition to the proposed expanded roadway. Please use the "Email friends" tab above to let your friends and family know about this important petition.
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Chris Underwood, United States2 years ago Comments: This will be a net loss to Alabama's sales tax revenue as former profitable businesses fold up and close.
Richard Schlinkert, United States2 years ago Comments: An Open Letter Regarding Proposed Elimination of Traffic Signals on US-280: The Current Plan is Neither Safe nor Efficient ALDOT’s Mission Statement begins “To provide a safe, efficient, environmentally sound intermodal transportation system for all users, especially the taxpayers of Alabama.” ALDOT is in the unenviable position of being pitted against both the citizens Inside the Beltway (ITB’s) and those Outside the Beltway (OTB’s) with regard to the demands from both sides to “do something” about traffic congestion on US 280. And while there has been no shortage of propose “solutions”, the current solution of eliminating several traffic signals between Homewood and beyond I-459 flies in the face of ALDOT’s mission statement, as it will neither be safe nor efficient, nor a good economic value. Safety: Highway safety is only one element of public safety. Under the plan, the many-thousands of left-turning vehicles from the affected feeder roads would be expected to turn right on US 280, then make U-turns to head in the intended direction. This “let them make U-turns” plan will surely cause many more fatal accidents on US 280 from day one. Period. And this breach of public safety will surely fall on squarely on ALDOT as a liability, as it would have knowingly creating a hazard for the citizen it purports to protect by failing to provide a “safe transportation systems”. Safety affects everyone, both ITB’s, OTB’s and everybody else. Safety trumps convenience. Period More importantly, eliminating all left turn lanes from US 280 in this area will drastically increase response time of Police, Fire and Medical responders which would also have to go far out of their way to make U-turns to reach the scene. This delay could range from three minutes in low traffic hours to as much as ten minutes or more in peak traffic. Ask any Police or Fire Chief for the statistics on loss of life by fire, illness or injury when response is delayed by ten minutes. Heart attack victims die needlessly. Homes burn to the ground rather than suffering minor damage. Property and lives lost. Ten minutes is an eternity when considering emergency response, which is now excellent for the most part. Then add to ALDOT’s liability for the unintentional delay in Emergency Response time the potentially dozens of additional major and minor accidents that its plan will cause. Result: ALDOT’s mission statement of providing “safe, efficient.. transportation for all users” goes out the window. Handcuffing Early Responders is contrary to ALDOT’s mission of public safety, particularly when the only goal is to shave off a few minutes of commute time for those who made a conscious choice to move far from their workplace, knowing full-well the commute times they accepted. Did any of the dozens of traffic studies conducted by ALDOT consider these ancillary but serious risks to public safety in exchange for “convenience to the few”? Surely not. Efficiency: The rational mind has to wonder how this plan could possibly improve traffic flow at all. Back to those thousands of cars making a right turn on US 280, then a U turn to head in their intended direction. Did ALDOT’s study take into consideration that these merging vehicles will slow traffic, and then their crossing multiple lanes of traffic to make the intended U turn will further slow traffic? Surely not. And how many more fender-benders will this ill-conceived U turn plan cause, further slowing traffic? It is baffling how anyone could think this plan will have meaningful positive results. After all, these intersections are the very situation for which traffic lights were invented in the first place-to facilitate the orderly and efficient traffic flow at cross streets rather than the “jug-handle” and roundabouts of old. What is the net total of traffic lights added or removed by ALDOT in a given year? Bets are that virtually none are removed and many are added. Why? Because they do what they are intended to do, to provide a safe and orderly flow of traffic at cross-streets, as they do now in this area. Consider the number of new traffic delays caused by the certain increase of serious/fatal accidents caused by the U turn plan. Then add to that the merging traffic and the mad-dash to cross several lanes to make a U turn. How can this possibly make traffic flow more smoothly? It cannot. This plan is clearly a band-aid, a “hush plan” and the cheapest of the many proposed solutions to make everyone feel better that “something” is being done. In this case, “something” is the wrong thing. Just plain wrong. And from comments made on TV by ALDOT’ Brian Davis, it is clear that the only goal is to provide a “magic carpet ride” for the OTB’s which is clearly at the expense of the safety and convenience of the ITB’s. ALDOT’s mission statement says, ”for all users, especially the taxpayers of Alabama”, which would presumably not favor one group of taxpayers over another. Value: There are two point of value to consider-the value the taxpayer receives from ALDOT’s current plans, and then the negative impact of the property values and subsequent lost tax revenues of those homes and businesses affected by this ludicrous plan. While the U turn plan may be far less expensive than the idiotic Figg Engineering “skyway to heaven” plan, it is still a huge waste of money to accomplish nothing. Taking into account the impact on traffic of two years or more of construction, then the resulting failure of the plan to improve traffic flow, compounded with the huge waste of taxpayer money, ALDOT is going to have very unhappy constituents in both the ITB and OTB camps. Read, failure. It simply won’t improve traffic flow, it will cost tens of million to build and will cost countless hours of lost productivity for commercial traffic in the process and will ultimately have to be undone. Read, more unanticipated cost. Then there are the tens of millions in lost tax revenue that will be created by the devaluation of residential and commercial property adversely affected by this plan. Year after year. Millions in tax revenue lost. Businesses go under, which takes away payroll tax. Schools funded by property taxes enter proration and ultimate decline. Did ALDOT’s consultants ever add up these kinds of negative impacts on the entire community it serves while trying to save the OTB’s “four or five minutes”? Surely not. The ITB’s were there long before the OTB population existed. What about their rights to safe, convenient access and use of public thoroughfares? ALDOT is generally a pretty efficient agency, but it is indeed in an unenviable position with no clear solution to a problem compounded over many years by urban sprawl. But applying a “cheap fix” to a complex problem only creates a different set of problems that will compromise safety and arguably make traffic worse and surely reduce tax revenues. ALDOT’ planners would surely not knowingly create such a plethora of negative impacts for the sake of shaving “four or five minutes” off the daily commute of those who knowingly chose that commute, so one would have to think they just plain forgot to consider all of the ancillary negative impacts. As the old axiom goes, “If you can’t afford to do it right, you sure can’t afford to do it over”. Keep thinking ALDOT-a real solution will surely arise. Richard Schlinkert
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