Sunday, June 04, 2000

Protesters oppose road plan




By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — About 50 people gathered Saturday in Millikin Woods to protest a plan by City Council to build a road they say will destroy wildlife and green space and keep families away.

        Demonstrators, who formed a human chain in protest, said generations of family tradition of picnicking, biking, walking and birthday parties in the 47-acre park will end if city officials build the proposed North Washington Boulevard. The Millikin Woods Preservation Association, which sponsored the event, also organized an informational meeting about the proposed road.

        Tears rolled down Ann Lewis' face as she recalled how she used to walk through the park with her two fox terriers and listen to the birds sing. Her family has used the park for 41 years.

        Ms. Lewis, 76, said the park “means a lot (me) because we don't have many places like this in Hamilton with the big trees. I don't think we should destroy it because places like this are so scarce.”

        The city budgeted $200,000 to conduct an engineering study, but construction of the road through Millikin Woods would cost about $2 million and take about three years. The project must be approved by City Council.

        City Engineer Bernerd Showman, , said the next step is to do “some preliminary engineering and preparation of some drawings that could be used for a public hearing to gather information from the public about the project.”

        Randy Bell, 29, said he doesn't need a public hearing. He said “putting a road through the middle of (the park) is really the first step in destroying it. I'm con cerned about exactly what the city considers progress because to me progress has got to include environmental conservation.”

        Council members George McNally, Kathy Becker and Don Ryan attended the meeting to listen to concerns. Mr. McNally said his mind is made up on how he will vote on the road.

        “I oppose it. It's a dead fish,” he said.

       



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