Did anyone ask why at the meeting? They are doing it on the Southbank, so it is not like they are opposed to it. Maybe there are some other factors at play here? City opposition maybe?
Could it be the same entity that thought it was a good idea to spend $800k on a pocket park next to Salvation Army on Main Street? That same entity that has assembled a task force that recommended spending $30k/annually for a chair shuffler in Hemming Plaza? That's certainly not out of the realm of possibility. But the core reason or who is specifically at fault really isn't the issue, IMO.
If someone wants an extra travel lane and parallel parking, there's still enough room to accommodate a 4' to 5' bicycle lane as Simms3 pointed out. A simple solution to accommodating all of those things is to slice 2' to 2.5' from each sidewalk to create the necessary room. If someone simply doesn't want bicycle facilities that improve safety for the end users, then even that needs to be clearly known and openly discussed and debated throughout the community. Which leads to why I wrote this article.
The thing I hope to bring out with this story is highlighting what's coming our way in the upcoming months and the opportunity we stand to lose while the design process is still ongoing.
It's better to bring this up for discussion now, then after its built and people start questioning why we would spend millions on reconstruction in the 21st century and not incorporate basic quality-of-life enhancing and safety elements of urban roadway design that are openly endorsed and recommended by the USDOT. Perhaps the dialogue will prompt a decision maker higher up in the food chain than the rest of us to influence a modification before its too late?