Monday night the Raymore City Council voted on the first reading of a bill that would begin the process of putting in a center art feature in the Lucy Webb roundabout. While the design is decent (http://www.raymore.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/2417 pages 231 & 232), the cost is atrocious! I, like many other citizens who used Lucy Webb on a regular basis, absolutely detest it. It is ineffective in my opinion. I have been involved in a dozen close calls from people who don’t yield or from people who stop in the middle of the roundabout because they are afraid of people not yielding. Before I never even had a close call in that intersection, so I respectfully have to disagree with some of the city officials and law enforcement officials who say that it is a safer intersection now. Maybe accidents are down because there are other people like me who have boycotted it and choose to leave town by other roads.
Some argued Monday night that they are not fans of it either, but since it is here we might as well do something about it. I have never heard a more ridiculous argument. Since its here we should just go and drop another $130k on it? Another argument that was put forth was that since the Council didn’t “bat an eye” at spending $500k on curb maintenance in the city, they shouldn’t be causing such a fuss over the money for the ‘feature.’ Ok, so I stand corrected, I have heard a more ridiculous argument. That is like me telling my husband, “You didn’t have a problem with me spending $200 on groceries last week, why are you having a fit about me spending $175 on make-up?” One item is necessary for the maintenance of our household, the other is a luxury. Some people on the council seem to have a problem differentiating those two things.
Like I said before, I hate the roundabout. I hate it even more knowing that it cost us taxpayers half a million dollars! I pretty sure two more stop signs would have been well under 1% of that figure. That decision was ignored and the roundabout was shoved down our throats. Now some on the Council are trying to shove another decision involving a ‘design feature’ down our throats as well. Some think we need more culture and that a fancy ‘design feature’ will do this for our community. It is supposed to make a statement, something that will welcome people into Raymore. The roundabout is not located at an entrance to Raymore, it is located at the entrance to a dozen or more subdivisions. If you want something that will make a statement and attract people to Raymore, put it at the entrance of either our current business district (Dean & 58) or our future business district (I49 and North Cass Parkway).
So what should be done with the roundabout? My first response is dynamite it, but I doubt it will be removed anytime soon. My second suggestion is to make it a garden feature and that is it. It will need constant maintenance 3/4 of the year, but maybe the Raymore Garden Club would be willing to help with it like they do with the entrance to the Post Office. Flowers, shrubs, and maybe even a tree would be much more natural to the area and easier to replace when it gets runover. It is something that maybe even the neighborhoods would bet behind to help maintain. But a huge brick tower with a metal design on top of it and maybe a couple lights? No thank you.
If you are against this concept or have another idea for what should be located in the roundabout, contact your ward representative. Let them know what you want, after all they do work for us! The Council will vote on the second reading on March 23. Let your voice be heard.