Isthmus reports today that Gumbogate has been resolved
. As was reported last week
, John Roussos, owner of New Orleans Take Out on Fordem Avenue, decided to ban Alderwoman Marsha Rummel from his establishment because she voted in favor of a plan "to add bicycle lanes, pedestrian islands and a center left-turn lane to North Sherman Avenue, turning it from a four-lane street to two lanes."
Roussos along with the Northside Business Association argued that the resulting traffic jams would repel customers. So, who are these people that would stop frequenting businesses on Sherman?
When I read about the plan, the first thing I thought was good for those bicyclists, including a friend of mine who lives on the north side. Here are some things that I didn't think:
"Well, I guess I'll never go to that Frugal Muse again."
"Well, I guess I'll never go to New Orleans Take Out again."
"Well, I guess I'll never go to Cafe La Bellitalia again."
"Well, I guess I'll never go to Warner Park again."
It's not like the changes will eliminate parking. I think the people who will avoid Sherman are the ones who drive 45MPH down it now to get to Northport Drive and they'll just be moving over to Packers Avenue where they belong. The idea that eliminating a lane in a residential/commercial area will drive away customers seems to assume that potential customers have a really small town attitude - as if it's not worth going anywhere unless the traffic is the same as it is in Lone Rock. Madison is a city of around 240,000 built around lakes. Traffic is just a way of life. Deal with it.
Labels: Gentrification, Madison, Urbanism