The train has just pulled into the station and its tooting its horn. All aboard for the ride. Here we go….
The newspaper reported June 26, 2014 the city is wanting to implement a “quiet zone” at a cost of approximately $4 million. This doesn’t include the $237,000 study on the project. But, wait a minute, didn’t the previous administration ask Muncie City Council to consider permanently closing 9th & 10th street crossings? Wasn’t there a possibility of $4 million in funds? Yes, I think so. I won’t bother you with a lot of details, the city council would not even entertain the idea.
Read about the August 2011 council meeting here.
A committee laying dormant since 2007 was resurrected after the August 2011 meeting. The Land & Traffic Committee went into full swing. Councilperson Mary Jo Barton, representing District 3 for 16 years, was appointed to one of five positions on the committee. 9th & 10th streets, the proposed closed crossings, resides in District 3.
Talk about a speeding locomotive. The Land & Traffic Committee scheduled their first meeting two weeks after the city council meeting. Before the first public gathering started Councilperson Barton was working the auditorium. She had lots of questions and it was more than obvious she was itching to fight for those crossings to be reopened. A few minutes past the hour, the meeting canceled due to no public posting. You can read what transpired at this meeting and the subsequent meetings. Search the blog for Choo Choo or click the links below.
For months one of the biggest campaign issues was the railroad crossings closing. Of course, it was so big they were wiling to toss out the quiet zone and $4 million bucks. That just shows how important this issue was to Muncie City Council.
Of course, after the election, the train jumped the tracks and it no longer mattered. The Land & Traffic Committee stopped meeting. I don’t believe they have met or done any land and trafficking business since 2011. Now that the paper has reported 9th street may be permanently closed, will Barton put on her armor and fight for her district? I am guessing no.
On January 2nd, 2012, after six months of very little activity, the ordinance was tabled. The reasons, we were told, parking and legalities concerning the ordinance. I would think six months be plenty of time to straighten out the issues. It really was just politics as usual at the expense of the citizens.
President Dishman asked Mayor Tyler his thoughts on the street closing. A short moment of silence and the mayor gave his answer. He followed what the paper wrote and “other” things and said he was certainly willing to look at it.
The June 26th article quoted Tyler “This the boldest project to improve our quality of place in the city of Muncie in many years,” Tyler said. “And it’s the right thing to do for Muncie.”
I’m going to respectfully disagree with the mayor. This is not the boldest project to improve our quality of life. Boldness would have been for the Muncie City Council to put aside their politics and carefully consider the possibility of $4 million, and pursuing a quiet zone.
Three years have passed, no movement on the closings, no quiet zone and the taxpayers will be funding at least $4 million for this project. That’s not bold, that’s business as usual.