Friday, November 4, 2011

3not5: (Partial) Victory! (Part 3)

My desire to keep my face off the evening news fell by the wayside as reporters picked up on our community effort to preserve our neighborhood.   Donations rolled in, a local company donated signs that were placed up and down Bethany, informational meetings were held by the 3not5 steering committee, and we also traveled to other communities to give presentations.  Several times myself and others spoke in front of the Board of Commissioners.  In September 2010 3not5 presented 1700+ petitions to the BOC, and I am proud to say that about 98% of my neighborhood signed one (one declined and another spoke zero English).

 1700+ petitions!

The county began to listen and in an unprecedented move called for additional meetings to give deeper consideration to the future of transportation in our area.  We relentlessly prodded them to consider widening the freeway overpass as it sure didn't make sense to have a wider Bethany narrowing into that black-hole bottleneck (and ODOT told us it would be 20 years minimum before widening).

I'll skip over a lot of details to February 2011 when the final decision was made.  The Board of Commissioners voted to throw out the 5-lane design (yay!) and go for a narrowed 4-lane plan with 5-lane intersections at the north and south ends of the road, and one 5-lane intersection halfway through.  The decision against a 3-lane was a sour disappointment to every resident, yes, but we won some valuable concessions.  I am confident we'll be happy with the new road, coming next year.

3not5 Victories:
zero houses to be removed
road will have nice landscaping
neighborhoods will have attractive sound walls
hills will be shaved down, improving visibility
sidewalks will be separated from the road by landscaping
speed will be 35 mph
lanes will be narrowed to keep speed down and minimize lost property
road will have a mid-way stoplight
freeway overpass to be expanded! (at same time new Bethany is built)
neighbors worked together

It was worth every bit of the blood, sweat, and tears to work with community leadership and local neighbors to make an important difference.   I'm pleased to have made many wonderful friends.  Many thanks to the thousands of people who rallied behind 3not5!

Here's a few 3not5 photos:
This shows a small segment of the current road.  Using Google Earth, I measured the width of each segment of road.  We glued them all together in a linear fashion on cardboard so that people could see where the road would encroach on their property (below)

Our display at one of the county open houses, held at a local church

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