Manhattan City Commission talks public transit, bike boulevards, taxes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buses will soon be a reality in Manhattan, with two fixed routes set to start running next month. That very issue took center stage at last night’s Manhattan City Commission meeting, pre-empting the slated agenda.  Many community members and students came out in support of the new transit system, along with a few who were against it.

After a lengthy public comment session, the Commission moved on to the agenda. First up was an ordinance vacating a portion of right-of-way on 9th Street due to the expansion of Howie’s Recycling service. Owner of property at 902 Fair Lane Bart Thomas came forward to oppose the ordinance, saying that “This would be horrendously detrimental to us,” and citing issues getting in to and out of his property with trucks. The Commission passed the matter unanimously, however City Engineer Rob Ott vowed to resolve the matter.

Next up was an ordinance lowering the speed limit on a portion of Moro to make it safer for cyclists on the upcoming bike boulevard. The Commission passed the speed decrease unanimously, which lowers the limit to 20 miles per hour. Caution was urged with the bike boulevard, with Commissioner John Matta saying “There’s also stories of people putting in the bike boulevards and then it’s different than people expected once it got in.” New signage and street markings will be added on Moro once the boulevard goes into effect.

Finally, in an added item to the general agenda, a discussion was held on the ongoing debate for the renewal or replacement of 2002′s Roads and Bridges half-cent sales tax. The topic this time was a response to the county requesting the Kansas Attorney General’s opinion as to the language of the tax. More discussion will be had on the matter in the future.