By Veterans For Peace, Gainesville
There will be no Veterans for Peace Memorial Day weekend display of tombstones this year in Gainesville.
We plan to come back next year, although the new design will condense the display and move it further from the parking area.
The former Gainesville City Commission voted to remake NW 8th Avenue into an ugly cement and asphalt speedway.
The new design turns everything between 34th Street and 31st Street into concrete and asphalt, removing the grass. It also reduces the amount of grass east of 31st Street from 60-inch wide strips to 36-inch wide strips.
We now have a new Mayor and city commission majority. They have the opportunity to stop this ugly speedway and redesign it into three lanes.
8th Avenue in this area is really a road that goes between two parks, Westside Park and Loblolly Woods Nature Park. There are also two schools there.
It would save the city money to stop this monstrosity now, change the design to three lanes, reduce the sidewalks from 10 feet wide back to five feet wide and restore the grass strips back to 60 inches.
This would be safer and less costly to do and maintain. Over the years, upkeep of four lanes of asphalt costs more than three lanes. It would also be cooler, because replacing the grass in the present plan with concrete will create more heat.
We will ask the new city commission majority to look at this immediately because the sooner they stop the current design, the more money will be saved.
This is a win-win because we would save taxpayer money and bring back the park atmosphere.
We don’t want to look and be like Orlando – we are Gainesville.