City Council to Discuss State Bridge/Medlock Bridge Intersection
The intersection at State Bridge Road and Medlock Bridge Road has been a topic of discussion at two recent City Council Meetings. The process began with a Public Input Meeting hosted by City Staff on April 23, 2019 where three design concepts were presented to residents, and was brought up again at the subsequent quarterly Town Hall Meeting. Councilman John Bradberry made a motion at the City Council Meeting on May 6, 2019 to pursue a fourth option that sought to optimize the existing intersection using, in his words, “traditional means that hit the sweet spot between improving the throughput of the intersection and the need to preserve the community.”
The specific outcome of the City Council discussion was the direction for City Staff to pursue the formulation of a fourth concept option through an advertised public meeting that seeks a better balance between road improvement and the surrounding neighborhoods The motion to direct City Staff passed by a 4 - 3 vote, supported by Council Members Bradberry, Broadbent, Coughlin, and Endres. Opposition votes were cast by Mayor Bodker and Councilmen Lin and Zaprowski.
At the next City Council Meeting held on May 20, 2019, Councilman Bradberry noted that the minutes of the prior meeting did not accurately reflect what had been approved in the 4 - 3 vote. He requested that a correction be made to the minutes to clarify the task that had been assigned to City Staff. In that discussion, Council Members Bradberry, Coughlin, and Endres confirmed that their recollection had clear direction for the design of a fourth concept, and engagement of the public.
On May 20th, Councilman Broadbent, who had joined with Bradberry, Coughlin, and Endres two weeks earlier, offered conflicting commentary noting that he had only supported a meeting between City Staff, a residential HOA Board, and any persons the HOA Board requested be in attendance. However, he soon contradicted himself stating that since he and Councilman Bradberry had both been invited to attend the meeting by the HOA Board, he felt it inappropriate that they attend. That meeting was subsequently held, and both Councilmen attended. No further meetings with the public have been scheduled.
It is anticipated that discussion of the State Bridge Road / Medlock Bridge Road intersection will make another appearance on the City Council Work Session scheduled for June 3, 2019. Despite the majority decision on May 6th, it is not clear if a fourth concept option has been created, or if any public forum will be held. Council Members Bradberry, Coughlin, and Endres appear to remain committed to their original position in support of developing a fourth option. Mayor Bodker, and Councilmen Lin and Zaprowski appear to remain committed to their opposition. Councilman Broadbent’s position is unclear at this time.
Development of a fourth option was approved by a majority vote of our City Council. The Public Works Department does not seem to be following that direction, and no public forum for input has been advertised. This once again raises the consistent question: Does our public input matter, or not?