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"Floodwalls Are Forever" Pope-Chaucer Bridge Replacement

From: domainremoved <Kristi>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2014 16:40:32 -0800

 
This email is in lieu of the “Comment Card” from the January 29, 2014 community informational meeting, on which we were asked to write about two designs that the SCVWD is proposing for the replacement of the Pope/Chaucer Street Bridge.
 
With limited data on which to base a decision, the suggestion that residents should “vote” for alternative 1 or alternative 2 is symptomatic of the myopic view that has been employed for this project in two respects: space and time.
 
With respect to space, this debate has been structured to encourage thinking about one element is isolation: the design of the Pope/Chaucer Street Bridge replacement. It discourages thinking about what will happen to the “heart” of the creek, when the volume and velocity of water are increased downstream from the bridge. It discourages thinking about what might be done upstream to facilitate the construction of a less environmentally destructive bridge and what should be done with other bridges along the creek in a comprehensive plan to address the issue of flooding elsewhere on the creek.
 
With respect to time, this debate has been structured to discourage thinking about what will happen to the “soul” of the creek, when, in the future, the banks, which now provide a habitat for the trees and vegetation that enhance our neighborhoods, have become the habitat for floodwalls.
 
Neither of these bridge designs, envisioned as working with floodwalls to provide 100-year flood protection, is acceptable.
 
Make no mistake, FLOODWALLS ARE FOREVER. If this ill-advised plan is set in motion, we cannot reverse course and recreate an environment that will have been lost. If we embark on this comprehensive project, first with one of these bridges and then with the floodwalls that are designed in association with them, we will “set in stone” the habitat for future generations. Will our grandchildren, and their children, be looking at floodwalls on the banks of the creek? Or will they see something akin to what we treasure while living here?
 
Surely there must be a better way forward than this. Instead of pursuing a short-sighted floodwall-oriented plan that will forever destroy the heart and soul of the San Francisquito Creek, you should focus your energy on upstream diversion and detention to address the flooding issue. You should focus your energy on a design for the minimum-sized ecologically sensitive bridge, the minimum downstream channel modifications, and the maximum ecologically sensitive downstream erosion protection that will work in conjunction with these upstream approaches.
 
Sincerely,
 
Kristi Wiley
Woodland Avenue
Menlo Park, CA
Received on Fri Feb 14 2014 - 16:40:11 PST

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