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City panders to business interests

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In the June 10 Telegraph article titled “Hey, don’t forget, there’s a new bridge,” there are some misinformed comments by City Council members Kerri Howell and Ernie Sheldon. Past traffic history of the old Scott, Sutter, Coloma street corridor was an ever-escalating cascade of vehicles seeking a quick route across the river. Before the closing of the Dam Road, pass-through traffic counts were 18,000 to 22,000 per day. After the dam closing, that number approached 30,000. Imagine all this on narrow streets that don’t have pedestrian walkways or bike lanes. To bring back anything close to this past nightmare is irresponsible and callous. The new bridge has been open less than six months. Before that, the residents of the Historic District struggled to get in and out of their neighborhood. This short break has been a welcome move back to a normal existence. I can’t figure why Sheldon would say this is like having a “gated community.” His ill-informed comment doesn’t take into consideration that our streets have been torn up with trenching for over-due sewer and water restructuring for nearly two years. During this time, the district has experienced the construction noise of building a parking structure, a bank and now the Scalzi building. Add to this weekly events like the Thursday Night Market, rodeo, crafts fairs, a rock concert or two, Santa Claus and his elves, and you can begin to get the picture. Is this the typical ambiance of a “gated community?” I invite the City Council to visit my house during one of these events to experience our “gated community.” But, be warned, you better come early to get a parking space as those in front of my house fill up early and are vacated late. Better yet, come to our neighborhood the morning after and see all the trash left behind. Over the years, I have attended City Council meetings and tried to bridge the gap between the residents and businesses in the Historic District. After reading these recent statements, I conclude that fair and equal treatment will not occur until pandering to the business element ceases to be a driving force behind decision-making in the district. Benjamin Fuentes, Folsom