Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Down by the Riverside

This is mostly a PSA for the benefit of my local readers, though the rest of you might check it out if you'd like to see what a pretty little town I'm lucky to call home.

A pseudonymous but obviously very, very bright fellow resident of Athens has started a blog called The Attention-Getting Device devoted to discussing local issues. It's thoughtful, smart, and worth visiting if you live here, too.

So far its author, the Watchdog, is dissecting the retirement community planned to be built at the end of my street along the banks of the Hocking River. The original development was to be a continuing care facility, which the community actually needs, albeit in a less stupid location. But the original plans have been scaled back because the state won't approve more nursing care beds. Now the plans foresee a relatively upscale project that will gobble up the last open green space in our neighborhood, continue the trend of paving over the river's banks, and create a traffic hazard along routes that kids use to walk to the elementary school. It will also constitute a major evacuation problem the next time Athens experiences major flooding, which will be sooner rather than later if we keep destroying the floodway.

But the Watchdog says this all way better than me, so check out his/her blog.

I will just say that when we had relatively minor flooding last March, this was the view from the site of the proposed development. That concrete strip leading into the river is part of the bike path. The project would be built next to that path, slightly behind where I was standing as I snapped this shot. 'Nuff said.

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