In 2008, Grasslands neighbors worried about "Draconian measures"
COLUMBIA, Mo 5/31/13 (Beat Byte) -- The current controversy over the Providence Improvement Project seems like deja vu.
"There is no controversy among Grasslands residents. The issue was resolved years ago," say proponents of a 2-phase plan to demolish eight historic homes and widen the street between Mizzou and the Grasslands neighborhood.
But a 2008 Columbia Daily Tribune article, Providence plans worry neighbors, suggests otherwise. "Mulling over seven options to improve traffic flow on Providence Road between Stadium Boulevard and Stewart Road, many of the 75 people who attended an informational meeting last night expressed skepticism," the article explains.
"Speaking loosely for my neighbors," Grasslands resident Mary Phillips worried about "Draconian measures."
Ted Curtis, manager of GetAbout Columbia, wanted to know "what’s planned for the road," so his group could start planning non-motorized alternatives.
"One group particularly upset is members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity," the article explained. "Tom Jensen, an alumnus and member of the fraternity’s housing corporation board, said allowing the city to take part of the fraternity’s yard to build a road goes against its goals of historic and green-space preservation. 'This land is a historic property,' Jensen said."
His comment reflected Phillips' thoughts, which remain at the forefront of today's discussion 5 years later. "Preserving the character of a unique and historic neighborhood was the most important thing, said Phillips, who years later married Historic Preservation Commission chairman Brian Treece. "But we think it’s a special place, and we’re willing to trade some inconvenience to keep it that way. It’s the neighbors that bear most of the burden, and most of us don’t mind."