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District 2 Newsletter

February 1, 2019 Newsletter from City Councilor Isaac Benton

Hello Neighbors,

The next Council meeting is Monday, February 4 at 5:00 pm in Council Chambers, basement level of city hall:  Agenda

Legislation

  • R-19-122 Establishing a Downtown Safe Zone (Benton) will have a hearing at the Land Use Planning & Zoning (LUPZ) committee on Wednesday, February 13 at 5:00 pm in the Committee Room, 9th floor of city hall.  This resolution stablishes a boundary for a walkable downtown core with a maximum 20 mph speed limit. The zone also consolidates information in an attachment for several existing policies and plans, clarifying existing and future multi-modal projects. Lomas Boulevard is the northern boundary of the zone, but itself is not within the zone and remains at 30 mph. 

    Pedestrians have a 90% survival rate is when hit by car at 20 mph; the pedestrian survival rate is only 50% at a 30 mph car speed.  The 20 mph zone emphasizes that the naturally-slow speeds of the Downtown core make cycling and walking an exceptionally safe activity within its limits. 
  • O-19-48 Limiting the Use of Single-Use Plastics and Polystyrene (Benton, Davis, Gibson, Borrego) will be on the agenda at the Wednesday, February 20 Council meeting.  Click here for a fact sheet on the proposed ordinance. I want to express my thanks again to the students who came to our meetings and spoke passionately about the importance of such legislation to their generation’s future. As co-sponsors, we commend them for exercising their organizing power to benefit our entire community.

    Their heartfelt comments and personal actions encouraged us to push forward despite the expected pushback from some of the most frequent distributors of single-use items like plastic shopping bags, straws and styrofoam containers.

    As an “older” person, I can confirm that times sure do change! Only a generation or two ago food containers, most shopping bags, food containers and straws were biodegradable (and most beverage bottles were recyclable).  Perhaps consumers today do marginally benefit from the convenience and low cost of cheap, single-use plastic replacements for those items. But that’s a questionable trade for a much greater long-term cost paid as our environment suffers, and the health of the earth’s food chain for animals and humans is compromised by degraded plastic waste. 

    It’s time overdue to reverse course, and as consumers step up and pay for the marginal true cost of our consumption. Future generations will in turn reap the rewards of sustainability.
     
  • O-18-23 Amending the Police Oversight Board Ordinance (Benton, Winter) will also be on the agenda at the Wednesday, February 20 Council meeting.  This is a relatively minor update of the existing ordinance, which in my opinion has been working quite well.  We are actively having discussions with advocacy organizations, the police union, and community members. I encourage you to follow the progress and participate.

Projects

  • Silver Avenue Bicycle Boulevard Review (Yale to Paseo del Bosque):  Feb 5 | 5:50 - 7:00 pm | Public meeting to review draft design concepts and recommendations. 
  • Santa Barbara Martineztown Pedestrian Improvements: There will be a public meeting Tuesday, February 26th at 6:00 pm in the community room at the Santa Barbara School (1420 Edith Blvd NE) to discuss the results of the participatory budgeting voting process and the next steps for implementing the projects.
  • UPDATE: Rio Grande & Candelaria Roundabout:   Patti Watson at CWA Strategies will be handling notifications, updates, public information, etc. regarding the Rio Grande/Candelaria Roundabout project as we approach and throughout construction. You can ask to receive all future updates on the project at http://rgc-roundabout.com/contact.php

    PNM has announced it will begin mobilizing construction for relocating some poles and transferring existing lines in the area of the Rio Grande/Candelaria Roundabout project on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019. PNM expects this work to last three to four weeks, through late February or early March. Please note all construction is weather permitting and is subject to change without notice.

Also, the Water Authority is preparing to relocate some water lines that are in conflict with the project in the near future. We will keep you posted on that construction.

Upcoming Events

Community Announcements/Resources

Sincerely,
Isaac Benton
City Councilor, District 2