Around We Go

Last week, Alex Pujo offered his take on a meeting of the Transportation and Circulation Commission [Letters, Mar. 2]. I compliment Mr. Pujo’s ability to turn a provocative and well-phrased insult. Unfortunately, in his rush to claim some politically correct high ground, he played fast and loose with the truth. He announced that everyone who spoke against traffic calming devices (TCDs) were members of a self-serving fringe group opposed to sustainable transportation: false. Furthermore, he proclaimed it a “debate of opposing ideologies,” but gave no explanation as to how a dislike of these gizmos constitutes an ideology. He just drew up an unflattering profile, pinned it on every dissenter present, and had the Karl Rovian gall to repeat it as fact. I don’t have a problem shrugging off his politically motivated insult. But I don’t dismiss insults to our political process quite as easily. Bear in mind this was an obscure meeting in an obscure location. How would the public know to attend? Someone who keeps up with this stuff got wind of the meeting’s agenda and called someone who called someone who called me. As for proponents, they were invited by the bureaucrats themselves. One lady gushed a big “thank you” to someone for being asked to speak. As I slowly understood the prejudiced nature of the proceedings, it was no surprise to learn most of the speakers had worked with the planners and felt a personal investment in the project. As an uninvited naysayer, I felt a bit conspicuous. I’m not doubting their sincere beliefs in the TCDs, but many others have voiced everything from dismay to disgust for these devices — over 1,000 complaints have been registered with the city. They too believe their arguments are valid and have a rightful place in the debate. Packing a commissioner’s meeting with people you select and coach is an insult to democracy and fair play. But at least it shed light on how projects are unfairly manipulated through the process. I’d like to thank Mr. Pujo for giving me the opportunity to expose more rot in a system once intended to be open, fair, and equitable. And if he’s still looking for an ideological showdown, he can meet me there. —Nancy Tunnell

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