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Your Views: Gainesville adds to sprawl, and with little public input

POSTED: May 8, 2014 1:00 a.m.

Gainesville city planners and City Council members exhibited remarkable powers of short term vision Tuesday night when they opted for a model of urban sprawl and likely another red light on Thompson Bridge.

The decision erodes the comprehensive plan’s vision that Thompson Bridge be created as a “complete street,” “pedestrian friendly” and preserved as “small scale.”

No discussion of public health and intensified air pollution in the middle of the dense neighborhood, adjacent park, playground or school could be had because the council did not have time to hear even a small fraction of the full house there to protest the development. Council members seemed unconcerned that the proposed grocery store and 12 gas pumps looked nothing like the 40 photos of desired building projects in the comprehensive plan.

Council members also seemed unconcerned nobody knew or admitted the name of the business, and even though the entity had no photo ID, they were happy to take the out-of-state check. Those in attendance had a sense council members had to get home for dinner, as scant time was permitted for public comment given the size of the project.

In the future, we can always think of the wisdom of the area when we drop our wheezing kids off at school and sit in the coming soups of smog at the new red light on Thompson Bridge, near what will probably be called the intersection of Thompson Bridge and Walmart Boulevard.

One can only hope this is the last such red light on this road that thousands need as a smooth transportation corridor.

John O’Sullivan


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