Dear Editor:

Since late 2006 Lewis Avenue residents have been fighting to keep their parking over bike lanes. We participated in the due process. On September 17, 2014 the City, wishing to cater to their pet special interest group without any opposition, conveniently striped bike lanes on Lewis without notice to residents or council members. When asked, Ms. Volek stated it "was a sensitive issue," apologized that the Council was not "warned," and said city staff does not normally clear routine projects because it would slow down work. Public Works purposely circumvented the process of notifying city residents (aka taxpayers) in order to fulfill their agenda against residents' approval. BikeNet bragged on their website how they successfully striped bike lanes on Lewis using $28,000, some of which came from a grant award. In other words, taxpayer dollars being spent in a way the taxpayers didn't want. Why is the city catering to a small special interest group over neighborhood residents who are affected by these changes? The majority of Lewis residents strongly voiced their concerns and thought they were heard to only find out they were cavalierly ignored by Public Works. If this is not the type of government process you envision for your city, I encourage you to contact your council representative. The choice is yours: tolerating a condescending Public Works and City Administrator who are too disdainful to follow the proper process, or demanding that city staff remember who they represent and the legal process that is in place.

Connie Johnson

1113 Lewis Avenue

Billings, MT 59102

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