Normal on fixing West College

By:  Diane Benjamin

The purpose of the meeting last night was only to approve the Town’s share of funding so a grant could be obtained to fix West College.

The construction includes extending the trail.  No details were allowed to be discussed like how a railroad track would be crossed and still be ADA compliant.  Stan tried, Koos cut him off – but Koos did apologize at the end of the meeting.  Kathleen Lorenz had to take her jabs too almost at the end.  She thought Stan was detracting from the message “we are fixing the road”.  Discussion of the obvious wasn’t allowed, the Town is still considering an underpass in Uptown.  If that topic isn’t applicable to a track on the west side why is an underpass needed in Uptown?

I wonder if that will be a surprise later?  Will Julie Hile’s Vision Zero presentation screw up the whole project?  (search for previous stories)  Maybe she will suggest only two lanes to slow traffic – of course with wide separate bike lanes.

Kevin McCarthy thinks bikers quit using this road to get to the country to ride because it is in such bad shape.  Much was made about this project being an economic catalyst.  Uptown was a catalyst, are your taxes higher or lower now?

The bad news is construction won’t start before 2022.  I predict the costs will go much higher because just fixing the road is never enough.

12 thoughts on “Normal on fixing West College

  1. If the project moved forward, it was mentioned the trail extension will be a part of it since it’s part of the grant application.

    What I suspect may happen is this …
    o At some point later on the railroad will say you cannot have at at-grade crossing for the trail extension. Didn’t they do that in uptown ?
    o Since the trail extension is now part of the project, the project can’t forward w/o it. Taxpayers will then be on the hook for the fix as the trail extension can’t be dropped at that point.

    1. Why do they need a grant to fix a road? That is what taxes are for. And what is being done with the increased fuel tax per gallon on gasoline? Why isn’t that $ being used for road repair?

  2. The good of fixing the damn road has been used to get a pet project of putting in a bike trail for Rivian. No one even asked how much the bike trail will cost in relation to the overall cost? How many other roads in town could be fixed for the cost of this bike trail? Our roads suck outside of Uppitytown and these people continue to piss away money on their pet projects whenever they can. Since Koos sells bikes, the bikers get special treatment. We need a car dealer or road contractor as mayor so our roads get fixed. 😉

    1. Why do you think Koos wanted to be mayor in the first place? He always knew he would use the office for personal benefit and those of his friends. I hate to say this but I think a lot of Koos’ attitude problems come from his Viet Nam service. I think he is stilled pissed about things that happened during that time and dedicated the rest of his life to get back at perceived bogeyman that he saw as messing up his life. I think he thinks he is “owed” because of his experiences. The dude always seems to be angry about something all the time.

  3. What a masterful display of how Reece and Koos manipulate the bobble heads to do enact their agenda. Had Stan not spotted it they would have unknowingly approved over a mile of the trail extension pork. The estimate included the trail meaning it was already in the planning. This was a done deal before it ever made it to the council bobble heads.

      1. They may be actively involved, they may be complicit, or they may be purposely looking the other way, but they are not stupid enough to actually be clueless.
        (If I am mistaken, they are welcome to say so and I will gladly and publicly apologize.)

  4. I wonder if there is a possibility to reappropriate some of the grant money to the Uptown project. Just sayin’

  5. My problem with this project is priorities. This project is not currently listed for construction in the McLean County Regional Planning Commission (MCRPC) Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) and therefore the citizens have not had an opportunity to be involved in discussion regarding funding construction with Normal Motor Fuel Tax (NMFT) and other funds for construction in 2002. The citizens in fact had an opportunity to comment on two other projects that were slated for funding sources n 2002 although no funding sources were identified. Those two projects are Raab Road and US 51 (Main Street). The citizens of Normal deserve an opportunity to discuss these three projects in concert so that priorities can be set given these projects will be competing for NMFT funding as well as possibly federal Surface Transportation Project (STP) funding.

  6. Porcupine. What you say would matter if Normal cared about public inclusion. Koos and Co have long opposed citizen voices, unless they are the usual elite supporters. Without hiring an attorney the public will be expected to shut up and pay.

Leave a Reply