Last week, representatives of the University of Kentucky appeared before the Urban County Council to present plans for changes in Alumni Drive, including replacing two intersections now controlled by stop signs with roundabouts.
A wide range of comments, questions and concerns arose from council members about whether two roundabouts so close to each other would slow or enhance traffic on Alumni, which UK owns.
They also wondered how the reengineered Alumni Drive, a major east-west connector linking Nicholasville and Tates Creek roads, would affect traffic patterns throughout that part of the city.
And, they wondered how the project would affect maintenance costs if UK gives Alumni to the city, as there have been indications it might at some point.
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It was an interesting discussion but little more, since UK appeared only as a courtesy to present information about a fast-track project to be completed before the end of the summer.
"This is a done deal, I understand that," Councilman Fred Brown said while asking his questions.
Lexington Planning Commissioner Derek Paulsen acknowledged that, while city planners and traffic engineers did look at the plans, the review was "less than in a traditional project," and that it didn't go through the Metropolitan Planning Organization that examines transportation projects in Fayette and Jessamine counties to assure they mesh with established goals and local priorities.
UK and Lexington need a better, more structured approach to working on transportation issues that have a profound impact on both.
Careful observers believe that UK President Eli Capilouto and Mayor Jim Gray are trying to present a more congenial relationship these days after the public spat last year over plans to renovate Rupp Arena.
We don't know if that's why UK engaged with the council this time or why the administration seemed to soft-pedal any concerns about the Alumni project.
But this isn't about Capilouto and Gray. This is about removing these important decisions, as much as possible, from the understandable and perennial tension between the top people at UK and the city.
In that regard, the council should take the lead in exploring a new way forward to allow this community and its largest, most important employer to be sure people can move around UK and Lexington safely and efficiently.