Letter to the editor:
The Nov. 27 letter to the editor expressed such perfect, "on the money" logic, I feel compelled to concur and sustain her views.
The writer's disbelief that Fort Dodge plans additional unavailing, unwelcome and unessential "bump outs" is a common community perception - "it's indeed unbelievable."
One has to ask "What beneficial or even decorative improvement, or gain will be realized?" The negative aspects outnumber the positives 20-to-none.
Examples: The "bump outs" promote a wider than normally necessary right turn, therefore a driving hazard. Continual heaving of the bricks requires continual replacements/repairs, plus the continual disruption of traffic flow for these repairs, and by the way, are these continual repairs the city or contractor's expense? I've observed pedestrians tripping on heaved up, protruding bricks; can the city afford an accident lawsuit?
I have also observed delivery trucks and even a couple of cars pinned in by a car behind parked too close, drive over the "bump out" to exit, which will cause more brick and curb damage. Four parking spaces, two at each end, on each side of each block are nigh-onto useless, a hassle whether getting in or out of the space, unless driving a midget foreign car or a motorcycle.
And let's not forget we live in Iowa. Even the best, most experienced snowplow operator must be stymied maneuvering the sharp curve of the "bump outs" AND move out the snow. Most plowing merely pushes snow onto the "bump out" and sidewalk. The snow piles up, it melts, it freezes, and continues this cycle to 'grow' with every snow.
Have any city planners considered ... the shopping public could become so aggravated at such conditions they'll drive to the mall and other retail shops in the area? Driving and parking space there are devoid of unnecessary, bothersome barriers and obstructions.
I have learned the city no longer plans to use actual bricks in the sidewalks crossing streets. Dyed cement will be poured with indentations or impressions to appear as bricks. Kudos and a "thank you" to the city for that sound thinking.
Please continue this thinking ... don't spend city funds on any more useless, no value "bump outs," consider spending it to repair the street to the U.S. post office.