Monday, July 29, 2013

The Lengths That Some Will Go To...

I am again surprised that some residents of Lexington will go to great effort to complain about what they see as a waste of the taxpayers money - their money.  

Often times it will be those who live is the higher income areas who rail the loudest about this injustice and usually the funds are being expended on works which will benefit a less well of majority.  I mean, how often do we hear about the half full buses (carrying those people) running all over town?  Or the supplemental lunches for at risk children?  I certainly don't hear the low income parent or autoless employee raising a stink.

What caught my attention this time was the recent addition of a low, decorative retaining wall and planter bed immediately adjacent to the curb of Tates Creek Road just before you get to Albany.  I think that it was the "For Sale" signs, with their bright colors, that made me look, but it was the location of the wall that made me come up short.  They are placed right in the path of the soon to be started Tates Creek Sidewalk project.

The Urban County Council has been discussing this project for over 2 years now.  Federal funds have been secured.  A design has been approved.  A contract has been let.  And now someone has spent money to place an additional obstacle for the contractors.  Unbelievable.

This is not  a simple case of not knowing where the property line is or what they may do within the Highway Right of Way.  This is purely a spite installation.  It may appear to be landscaping but the grade change indicates where they should and shouldn't have done any work.

The present owner clearly wishes to prevent anyone from walking in front of his property, be they neighbors or attendees of any of the churches in the area.  Best of all there is a posted bus stop at the far end of the frontage, as seen below.

It is actions like this which reinforce the un-walkable nature of the suburbs.  This block face is certainly not that much different in length than the section of Ashland Ave between High and Main.  The uses in the area are transitioning away from strictly residential.

Change does come hard to many folks, be it the gentrifying of a downtown neighborhood or the evolution of a high volume roadway like Tates Creek Rd., but fighting the change is generally a costly, losing battle.  I would rather the City not be made to incur the sizable majority of that cost.


Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you had spoken to the homeowner or had some inside knowledge to their decision making?

Lex Streetsweeper said...

I did not speak with anyone inside the house nor do I have anything to go on but their actions. I have looked into who the owner is, but that means very little. The owner has held this property, solely or in part, since 1997 and being a member of the bar has some idea as to the rights and responsibilities of owning property. The walls in question are very definitely on public property and were placed there very recently and definitely after everyone along that road was made aware of the sidewalk project.

There is no other conclusion to arrive at.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you in principle that the decision was incorrect and probably a dumb one, but that's opinion and in no way fact. The fact is that "No other conclusion" is a fallacy, as there are a lot of other conclusions that could be drawn. I guess my point is that while I can appreciate your annoyance with the landowner, you don't in any way try to make this entry with verified information, or with respect to the homeowner, which is in my opinion the same disrespect to the citizens as the homeowner is apparently showing.

Lex Streetsweeper said...

Are you somehow considering this entry to be a "news article" rather than an opinion piece? This is my blog, which by definition, is a place to record my opinions yet available to the world to see. You may agree, and you have stated that you do, or not.

If you want to get down to facts, the facts are: 1) All Tates Creek Rd property owners have been alerted to the proposed sidewalk construction project and well over two years ago. 2)This area has been in the State's right of way since the road was widened in the early '70s (well before this owner bought the house). 3)The plantings have appeared just this spring when it became clear that the Urban County Council was pushing forward with this project. 4)Several city divisions have been in contact and are of the same conclusion.

I just don't like my tax money being used to remedy an arrogant action of protest.

danny said...

I always love the "you're not doing correct journalism" claims. First, they're usually made by people who don't know journalism and its multi-faceted history. I get them all the time on things I write. Usually it's pulled out to protect the already-powerful...or in this case, an ample homeowner on Tates Creek.

It's a PUBLIC right-of-way, a PUBLICly observed action, a PUBLICly offered blog--and yet, according to lexcitizen, these things should first be brought to the attention of the property owner abutting that private space. That kind of thinking is an outgrowth of the privatization of public life and thought.

Anonymous said...

Opinions or facts? Facts or opinions? Which is it? I am simply questioning what Lex is calling a fact, such as that something is "done out of spite" or "there is no other conclusion" or this is a "protest" without actually finding out what this citizen's story is. Maybe Lex is correct, in which case sure, feel free to discuss with the homeowner and your representative. I am not claiming you need to be the perfect journalist, however I would expect you to at least try to make it a point to be thorough when you are going to publicly call out a citizen on their actions. It's kind of like saying that someone who ran a red light, which we all know is illegal, and which is done in a public space, was an "arrogant action of protest" as Lex would say, and take pictures of their car and tell everyone where they live and how much of an idiot they are. You could have at least found out their story before publishing.

I do appreciate you laying out the facts of the issue, but the final facts which you have left out are that you have a very spiteful opinion on this citizen, you have explained their actions for them, you have publicly made notice of where they live, and you have explained how these city divisions officially feel about the situation and about internal discussions about the citizen. It seems based on this that you are a city employee - should you really be discussing internal investigations and discussions of citizens - is that in your job description, or even allowed?

So it seems Lex is using their insider knowledge and speaking for city divisions to fortify their claims in an effort to try to prove something as factual at the expense of a citizen who can't even explain or defend themselves. I absolutely don't want such a person being paid to attack citizens, discuss their blog content with other divisions, post private information, all with my tax dollars.

Ahavah said...

Well, either it is a deliberate provocation, or the homeowner is an ignoramus. Which is more likely, given the wealth and position of the owner?