Mayor Justin Wilson, at the end of city council's marathon hearing on Seminary Road repaving with over a hundred signed up to speak, exasperatedly remarked that, "We can't do this again." But because both sides are evenly matched, as the 3-2 Traffic and Parking Board and 4-3 city council votes show, more marathons are coming because each side can easily muster the signatures needed to appeal, so Mayor Wilson should strap on his running shoes and his council colleagues should invest in new seat cushions.
If city hall wishes to avoid more marathons, it needs to be more forthright with the public and decide in advance upon a list of street segments subject to consideration for "road diets" when they're up for repaving so we have systematic, rather than haphazard, public policy making. This list would be subject to a public process, then brought to city council for a vote. By adopting the list in advance, affected neighborhoods and commuters would be put on notice well in advance that "road diets" are expected for particular streets.
Councilman Chapman, noting that the Traffic and Parking Board chair explained the board's basis for making its recommendation, concluded that the testimony had not refuted the board's reasoning. Adopting a list in advance will give the Board guidance as to city council's expectations regarding "road diets" ahead of time, so that the Board's decisions are less likely to be haphazardly overturned.