Thursday, June 28, 2007

Highway 151 Bypass

I'm ashamed. There are so many good things about the Fond du Lac community to be proud of. However the way some people expressed themselves at a public meeting on the Highway 151 Bypass in Fond du Lac isn't one of them.

I know that feelings run deep especially if you own a business or a home and cutting crossover access is going to directly affect you. Just the same people were given the opportunity to write out their questions and have them addressed or directly give their opinion.

Why then did some feel the need to yell out their objections, not giving others the chance to finish what they had to say? Yes I know for many the Department of Transportation officials at the meeting were the enemy. What they had to say wasn't going to be popular. What they had to say was how they were going to address safety concerns expressed by a different crowd at a different meeting in Fond du Lac in February.

There was one ugly moment when Kim Rudat of the DOT tried to cut off former Fond du Lac City Councilman and Wildlife Acres co-owner Mark Weber. He'd hit a time limit, but others willingly gave up their time to allow him to finish what he had to say. Another speaker who lives in that area called for DOT Northeast Region Director Mike Berg's resignation. That took guts, but Berg's keeping quiet during that time took more.

I'm not sure what the answer is for the Bypass, but I know from time spent living in other communities people are always able to adjust and adapt. Someone once told me that when the Johnson Street overpass was first proposed in Fond du Lac there were quite a few who objected to that.

I'm happy area residents had a chance to have their say. Now here's someone else's I'd like to share with you. Following the meeting a few people I've come to know and trust said they were disappointed at the way some spoke out. One said they felt it wasn't Fond du Lac's finest moment! If that upsets you, just remember they are entitled to express their opinion too and it was barely above a whisper.

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