Letter to the Editor: Council should have heeded the voices of the public

Published 4:59 pm Friday, January 26, 2024

So, when did Austin stop being a democratic city where the wishes of the population are not taken into consideration at all?

Fifty-five percent of the people in this town did not want a narrowing of Oakland Avenue and First Avenue, but as (Geoff) Baker said “… we’re going to ignore that and we’re going to narrow it by three feet and add three feet of sidewalk.”

First of all, has anyone seen a large number of people actually walking on those sidewalks?  I know I rarely, if ever, see anyone walking down those sidewalks. Keep your eyes posted and see what I mean. And in the winter months it’s also rare that the people who own or live in homes behind those now wider sidewalks, will shovel them so if anyone even wants to walk, they won’t be able to safely.

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It’s also rare that I observe speeding on those two streets. Maybe this happens in the wee hours of the morning when most are sleeping, but if that is the case, where are the police? I again, rarely see police there. I’m not saying they aren’t, and I know they have their hands full, but I travel those two roads frequently and one would think the odds would be that their presence would be observed.

I walk Oakland between 25th Street SW and Banfield many times a week a good 10 months out of the year picking up garbage and have, again, rarely seen police presence and that is where it needs to be. That is where I see a LOT of speeding. A lot!

I would highly suggest we do not vote back onto our City Council Postma, Baskin, Helle and Austin, who based on their vote, don’t care what the people of Austin voiced loud and clear their desires. Our democracy, they have proven, has been breached here in our city.  It’s very sad that our Mayor didn’t step up and stop this from happening. Where did common sense go?  Do we no longer matter?

Roberta Mistretta

Austin, MN