Close to four years ago, the Mayor and Council discussed this issue and the proposed eight lane roadway. I want to remind everyone that the eight lane project was a City transportation plan drafted in 1987.
The original plan was only to go to the north side and one Ward. The Mayor and Council met on this and a compromise was achieved. The project would also take in areas south on Broadway, encompassing two Wards.
The Mayor and Council voted to have the Citizens Task Force review this plan and to present the Mayor and Council with other options for consideration.
The Citizens Task Force brought forward a proposed six lane plan.
The Mayor and Council approved the concept and sent it to the RTA for consideration, since it was a approved ballot measure in 2006.
The RTA compromised, voting to approve the four plus two lane concept for Broadway.
City staff and the Citizens Task Force proceeded on a concept design for the four plus two plan.
Questions were raised and the Mayor and Council voted to extend the time and work of the Citizen’s Task Force, requiring a vote by the RTA for further funding to continue the work.
The RTA and authorized further funding for Staff and the Citizen’s Task Force to continue their work.
The concept proposal was discussed further, delayed twice due to questions and on June 9, 2015, the Concept Plan was approved by a 7 to 0 vote.
On April 5, 2016, the Mayor and Council held the public hearing on the proposed 30% design plan, hearing people at the meeting and through comments who favored building eight lanes, supporting the four plus two proposal, opposing the four plus two proposal and doing nothing and killing the project.
There has been talk of delay and killing the project.
If the project is delayed further, the cost for any further action will have to come from the City’s pocket.
If the Mayor and Council vote to kill the project, the City will be on the hook to the RTA alone for close to $8 million dollars, plus the more than $1.7 million the City has spent on early acquisitions.
If the project is killed, it would cost up to $40 million just to repair Broadway in its current configuration.
This Mayor and Council, with the City Manager and staff, worked together to deal with the projected budget deficit of $42 million. I am not prepared to scuttle that work at this point. Compromise was reached for our budget and can be reached for this proposal.
Questions have been about the 30% design plan about width, bus pullouts, bike lanes, lane width, medians, cross-width of the entire road and left turns.
If the Mayor and Council approve this agenda item, the 30% design plan will continue to be refined towards 60% design plans.
Public workshops will be held with regard to streetscape and landscaping to get input from the community for the vision of the corridor.
Property owners and businesses will be consulted by City Staff and the RTA Mainstreet Business program.
This project has gone on for nearly ten years, and we can’t delay it any further.