There is a growing and deepening opposition to the plan to redevelop the Burlington Avenue streetscape, and it’s only going to get stronger the more people learn about it.   

I’m sure the Frederick Law Olmsted Society will oppose it once they learn about the plant choice and material selection. Women in heels or with strollers will oppose it once they learn of the material choice for the sidewalks. I’m sure public works will oppose it once they realize they can’t use their current equipment to remove the snow. 

And I’m sure anyone with an eye towards design will oppose it once they realize there is a ribbon of colored concrete that runs through it. But that’s not my point.

The point is that we were not presented with any other options. Normally, you go out and get three or four designs and then pick from those. 

So why is President Sells doing it this way? Why has he kept this process hidden from the public view? Why are we using an engineering firm to perform a landscape architect’s job? Why wasn’t there a request for proposals sent out as is normally done when spending a large sum of money? Where are the trustees in all of this? Why are we being presented with a finished design and not conceptual drawing? Where is the due diligence? 

I’m sure that once people see the design and start asking questions that there will be plenty of opposition. I urge the village board to form a special commission to issue a request for proposals and independently choose a design before the village moves forward. 

I also urge all residents to go see the design at village hall and make up their own mind about it. Then go to the next village board meeting to express it on Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.

Tom Lupfer

Riverside

3 replies on “Why no Burlington streetscape options?”