I was recently informed by a pal of mine in Fayetteville that residents in my former hometown are about to face the daunting task of choosing from SIX mayoral candidates this November. Sweet. So, since I'm not up on my local politics in NWA, I scoured the local paper for a really good article addressing just how wholly-qualified these candidates are for such a prestigious office. This is just a juicy tidbit of your selections, not all six are listed here. You sure are lucky, Fayetteville. I'm über-jealous.
Excerpt from Northwest Arkansas Times column "GRIDLOCK GURU: Speed table question for candidates", dated July 11, 2008
"Question [to the Guru]: “I have been sacrificing vehicle, body and cargo to stupid speed tables. Who authorized them? Were they voted on by the City Council and, if so, what was the meeting date? Have any of the candidates for mayor taken a position on the tables?”
I can absolutely attest to the absurdity of the speed table issue in Fayetteville. Luckily, the roves of Hell's Angels on their Harley's rolling through Wilson Park looking for live young to devour are no longer a nuisance...thank you Mayor Coody, for keeping our children safe.
Answer: The Guru pored over a 230-page traffic and transportation study approved by the Fayetteville City Council on Dec. 16, 2003. It mentioned speed tables as a way to slow drivers on residential streets. The consultant who did the study later developed a city traffic calming policy, and the first speed table was plopped on Fieldstone Avenue in 2005. Now, Fayetteville has 50 speed tables.
At residents’ requests, a traffic-calming committee evaluates which streets need speed tables. The committee reviews speed, accidents, traffic volumes, sidewalk locations and the proximity of school crosswalks to decide which streets get tables.
And, who is on this so-called traffic-calming committee? A stay-at-home mom with 5 kids ranging in age from 6 months to 5 years, that has nothing better to do than make everyone else accommodate her, every retiree within a 20-block radius of the epicenter of downtown, the Bridge club (after their monthly meeting at Mermaids…priorities), and Bill Underwood.
Of course, a traffic-calming committee is always at the pinnacle of what the community really, really needs. This year's candidates should not exclude other possible committees, such as the trashcan-too-close-to-the-street committee, pedestrians-yielding-to-other-pedestrians-on-the-left-instead-of-the-right-side-of-the-sidewalk committee or curb-your-pet-or-I'll-sic-my-pit bull-on-it committee. All viable and important issues.
Mayor candidates Steve Clark and Lioneld Jordan said they like speed tables. Jordan offers one caveat: He dislikes speed tables that force drivers to dip below the speed limit to cross them without being jarred.
Is the City going to pay for the new shocks I'll be putting on my car every 6 weeks because of the f***ing speed tables? Oh, you're broke…right, I forgot. Oh, you're raising the sales tax again…oh yeah, that's a good idea. Wait, we may need to form a committee…the how-much-can-the-city-break-it-off-in-me committee…catchy.
Candidate Walt Eilers said he worries because fire trucks and police cars must slow to cross speed tables. “We need to rethink speed tables through the Council of Neighborhoods — their impact as a speed moderator or merely a nuisance,” Eilers writes.
This is a legitimate argument. I've often wondered about this very thing. One point for Walt…you came screaming to the top like a bullet. I have nothing to say about his point of view…strange, I know.
Adam Fire Cat, the real name of a mayoral candidate, said he won’t oppose speed tables in neighborhoods although he dislikes them. “If they can all agree, it’s fine,” Cat said. “I understand their purpose, but I think they are annoying.”
Dude, I would vote for you on sheer name alone. Not really, but rock the name. I'm glad Fire Cat knows the purpose of a SPEED TABLE. You have all the makings of an electable candidate. Utterly pointless ideas. And, you seem like a riding-the-fence kind of guy. Not for them or against them. You're the "go ask your mother" kind of dad. I have a feeling you're probably still asking yourself if a dime bag will be enough for a 3-day weekend. Next.
Mayor Dan Coody, who announced Thursday that he will seek a third term, thinks speed tables are a good idea, but the city has too many. “Any good thing can be overdone and this is an example of it,” he said.
Are you kidding me, Dan? You approved every one of those damned speed tables in their respectively-annoying locations. Stop the posturing and stand the f*** up. Dude, I would vote for Fire Cat before I'd cast another one in your direction. Your derisory handling of the $60 million cost overrun sewer project should have been the nail in your political coffin. NEXT.
Let's form a committee on term limits…seriously. *sigh*