Friday, November 20, 2009


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Last night we attended a meeting outlining a traffic study of NW Rochester. One of the leading options includes a frontage road that would take out our home.

The very short version:
  • If they do a "frontage / backage" road W of 52, our house is nearly certain toast. Other option would take out like 10 homes in the Harborage development (next to 52, marked in blue on the map).
  • Reading between the lines, there is some chance that the frontage connection is more a "red herring" just because they have to do a "full study" that looks at "all options" for Federal money. We can keep our fingers crossed.
  • OTOH, Menards owns the land N of 65th. I suspect that Menards and WalMart would love a frontage road running right between their two stores.
  • Sometime in spring we ought to know what the big plan is, potential dates, etc. Most likely the frontage road (if selected) would be "years" away ... maybe a decade.
Bottom line. Not a lot we can do, just have to write some letters and hope for the best. It is CLEAR from the proposal that we would actually be the "lucky ones" even if we got a low price for our home. The rest of the neighbors would have homes on a frontage slated to have somewhere between the number of cars on the WM to Timberlodge road and twice that (8K-16K per day). Getting out of and into your own home would be a major pain! They would only be compensated for 10' of added right of way, most likely be assessed for curb and gutter, and be stuck with homes that are virtually impossible to sell due to the level of traffic on the street in front of them -- sweet.

Still all sinking in. One "somewhat likely" outcome is that the frontage road is low on the list of "improvements" and ends up being "decade or forever" away. In general, we have kind of thought we might like to "live out our days" at this location, but with the future plan hanging over us, the chances of selling the property even if we wanted to might be very dim.

Certainly the most interested that I've ever been in a highway project! It is almost laughable to year these guys talk with confidence about their "25 year plan". 20 years ago, they agreed to put in the Harborage development right where a frontage road OUGHT to go! 55th Street Estates has been here since the '70s -- over 30 years. The lovely thing about government means that it NEVER takes responsibility! Who pays for the poor planning? The people that live along Chateau Road in 55th Street -- and of course, the lucky ones that get to lose their home entirely.

How likely is it that our previous 30 years performance is a guide to the next 30? Reagan was predicted to be a disaster for this country, which Carter had declared to be unsalvageable. Today, we have what the media views as god himself in the White House, and apparently the minions that are at least doing highway planning believe that the shift back to Jimmuh Carter policies with a lot less competence is going to be a ticket to things being at LEAST as good as was achieved by that fool Reagan.

I doubt it. My prediction is that we are in for a long spell here where having to deal with "growth problems" will be a fantasy from the "good old days".