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Re: E-M:/ Criticism and replies about the Ann Arbor Greenway proposal



Roger,

With a Parks and Greenbelt millage that will raise over $82M in place, what is it that makes you so convinced that the privately-owned land that you treasure will be developed due to lack of funds to protect it?  Why would the Greenway - which is almost entirely owned by the City already, so it doesn't require purchase - cost so much that it would be a threat to preserving land in the Greenbelt?  Do you really think that "zero" is the right amount of parks with greenspace we should have in any downtown area in America, much less in Ann Arbor?

My observation is that it's not the funds that are lacking in Ann Arbor, but the conviction in City Hall that parks and open space are good things.

We are talking about elected officials who have recently taken steps to sell park land that includes mature woods with majestic trees and land adjoining the Huron River to developers.

Our elected officials simply don't share the values of the public they supposedly represent.  That's no surprise, since truly contested elections in Ann Arbor are now rare.  This is isn't a good thing for democracy.  And the lack of democracy is not a good thing for preserving land to protect natural features in the country or increasing the ability of people to enjoy biking and walking in an increasingly car-despoiled city.

Your personal commitment to preserving the best of nature appears to be unquestionable.  But I think the direction of your critique is misguided.  The real threat to preserving nature in this area is not the proposal to create a real Ann Arbor Greenway.

Doug Cowherd
Chair, Sierra Club-Huron Valley Group

Roger Kuhlman <rokuhlman@yahoo.com> wrote:
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Enviro-Mich message from Roger Kuhlman
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Unfortunately the proposed Ann Arbor greenway does not
create significant greenspace in Ann Arbor. It is not
NYC's Central Park and it diverts significant public
monies away from land-use purchases and projects that
would have significant environmental and conservation
payoffs. I would suggest you walk the area of the
proposed Ann Arbor greenway and see what natural
features would be protected by building it. Very, very
few. Then I could show you privately owned lands both
within and nearby Ann Arbor with treasurehouses of
natural features that are threatened with development.
Where should the money be put?

Roger Kuhlman
Ann Arbor, Michigan


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