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Street should have been built with 4 lanes

2012-11-24T00:00:00Z 2012-11-26T11:55:05Z Street should have been built with 4 lanes The Billings Gazette
November 24, 2012 12:00 am

Those traveling 32nd Street West this season can again look forward to delays and increased congestion of traffic reflecting misappropriation of resources and acquiescence to bureaucratic coercion.

You may have noticed that the vast majority of this street, from Broadwater to King Avenue, is easily wide enough to handle two lanes of traffic in both directions. The reasons it doesn't now accommodate that traffic potential are a huge, useless swath down the middle and unused bike lanes along each side — yet note the wide, underused, infinitely safer sidewalks, contoured at the intersections and paralleling the street.

Thirty-second is one legacy of the adoption of “Complete Streets” by the Billings City Council. It's another example of centralized planning imposed on localities by unelected D.C. bureaucrats' audacious claim of knowing better than us how to live our lives. It's forwarded by “local” government bureaucracies such as our Planning Department, itself co-dependently (50 percent-plus) funded by the USDOT, self-proclaimed champion of Complete Streets. USDOT's stated intention is that you shall live according to their special interest-informed dictates. The Council, once our local representative government firewall, has become the conduit for such centralized, politburo doctrines, negating bottom up, constitutional self-government. Another liberty thus lost to the dictates of top down bureaucracy's political agenda/dogma — applied as de facto law.

Far from anti-bike, I regularly enjoy the Billings parks' bike paths concurrently with pedestrians — without incident! Compare car and bike counts traveling 32nd Street next trip. Traffic congestion will afford you sufficient opportunity.

Ron Bachman


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