Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Roadway Hypocrisy: What's Good For "Korean Veterans" Is Not Good for Bordeaux Residents

I had no dog in the fight over Brenda Gilmore's attempt to have the Council rename County Hospital Road to "Bordeaux Boulevard." Opposition to her measure seemed to be growing since May based on a perception that some businesses on the road opposed it even as Ms. Gilmore was arguing that the community supported it. That perception was probably the reason why Ms. Gilmore's ordinance went down to defeat 17-13 last night.

This was one of the first attempts to rename a road since the controversial renaming of Downtown's Gateway Boulevard to "Korean Veterans Boulevard." So, I zeroed my attention on how the 3 most vocal proponents of renaming Gateway--Rip Ryman, J.B. Loring, and Eric Crafton--voted last night. I did not detect the slightest bit of empathy from any of the three. All voted against Ms. Gilmore, and Mr. Ryman's on-camera facial expressions during Ms. Gilmore's remarks looked like he was less than cordial to her request.

Their opposition may border on hypocrisy, since there was neighborhood opposition to renaming Gateway expressed both to Council and to the Planning Commission. During the Gateway debate all three members either ignored or, in Mr. Ryman's case, minimized neighborhood opposition to renaming a boulevard that was not even in their own districts. Last night Mr. Crafton exercised his own two faces when he called attention to the Planning Commission's disapproval of Ms. Gilmore's request, even as he ignored the Planning Commission's disapproval of renaming Gateway Boulevard in March and April for reasons salient to the proposal itself.

For all of their sanctimonious hand-wringing and chest-pounding about the urgency of renaming a road outside of their districts for their own pet cause, one would think that Mr. Ryman, Mr. Loring, and Mr. Crafton would have shown a little more understanding toward Ms. Gilmore who was at least advocating for a road name in her own district.

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