Please click on image to go to Flickr and ENLARGE photo of sidewalk, curb and gutter work on South Government Avenue on October 12, 2009.
This is an example of work authorized in past years that is continuing even as new, progressive rules are being considered. Millions of dollars in needless paving and creation of exactly backward stormwater-management structures are being built.
Talking about "drainage problems" is out of date. Finding ways to keep the water where it falls is the task of today's stormwater engineers.
See the big pipes in one of the photos? Those will take stormwater from the streets directly to the Tanglewood Branch, which flows under South College at Ninth Street and already causes huge bank erosion as it joins the the Spout Spring Branch at the edge of Walker Park, where the riparian zone was denuded of timber a few years ago for creation of a trail, leaving nothing to protect it from erosion. On the way, it helps back floodwater up Locust Avenue into yards and potentially into houses.
It is past time to pass a strong riparian ordinance and begin negotiating with developers for a wider swath of property for trail building and park land. There is no excuse for construction of our wonderful trails at the expense of the riparian vegetation, quality of water in our streams, shade trees to protect living things in our streams and the beauty of the trailsides. And paving in a stream's overflow area or the so-called floodway is WRONG. Calling a trail a part of the "transportation system" and building it where it may be under fast-flowing water exactly when someone needs to travel on it is patently stupid.