Less road work, more parks

Published: Sunday, January 2, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 1, 2005 at 11:50 p.m.
During this time of giving, the people of Alachua County have received a most uncharitable gift. The County Commission's decision to approve the four-laning of SW 24th Avenue, reversing its earlier decision of two lanes, seems to have some kind of relationship to pressures put on it from other sources.
In the Dec. 12 Gainesville Sun, we get a glimpse of how Clark Butler influenced various senators and representatives, resulting in a $3 million allocation by Congress in a bill called "Transportation Equity Act Legacy for Users."
The road improvement and widening would allow for the expansion of Butler Plaza. Also, 62nd Street would be expanded, thus negatively affecting Hogtown Creek, a vital resource for Alachua County and beyond.
Archer Road is awash in retail, restaurant and hotel businesses, while the commercial areas of east Gainesville desperately need redesign, beautification and more stores that meet everyday basic needs.
There is a way to deal with this tangled mess. It would involve a gift to all. That gift would be a park located on the property north of the plaza that Butler wants to develop. It would replace the proposed addition with a park with beautiful trees, people strolling leisurely, children playing joyfully. What a wonderful sight that would be.
Karen L. Arrington, Gainesville

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