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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