Communities take steps toward River Walk, by John L. Gilkey (Jeffersonville Evening News).
Here are edited excerpts:
Officials on both sides of the Ohio River say a circular river walk between the K&I Railroad and the Big Four bridges would be a significant asset to the region, and are taking steps to make it happen …
… Ohio River Greenway Development Corp. Director Rick Dickman … said the Greenway Commission has agreed to work with Kentucky officials to create the 10-mile loop around the Falls of the Ohio, but he stressed that the first priority of the commission is to build the Greenway.
"We have some serious issues to overcome with the next sections of the Greenway and with crossing Silver Creek on the Greenway," Dickman said.
Currently the pavement leads to nowhere ... but maybe ...
As for the river walk concept, it is widely understood that the biggest obstacle to completing such a loop is the Norfolk Southern Railroad, owner of the K & I Bridge, and the company’s fear of liability when people and trains share transport space.
A retired city councilman once told me that the railroad would be happy to yield on this point if either state agreed to pay for the necessary insurance, but warned me not to do something foolish like hold my breath.
Beyond that, can anyone connected with the recent history of the Greenway project provide an explanation for why it was designed for vehicular traffic, and not to be a pedestrian and bicycle path – which, after all, seems to fit the destination of “greenway” better than billowing exhaust fumes, motorcycles and automotive traffic that we’re told will be somehow controlled and restricted as to speed?
As a daily cyclist, color me skeptical about claims like these, although in fairness, it’s true that I’ve made it all the way through 2005 without garbage being thrown, obscenities being yelled, or evasive action being required to avoid a rampaging driver.
Wouldn’t the Greenway’s cost be far less if a new automotive bridge didn’t have to be built, and the existing trestles in Al Goodman’s Loop Island Wetlands could be used in the fashion of the Monon Trail in Indianapolis?
Ms. Bolovschak, recent commission appointee, if you’re reading: Do you think it’s too late to rethink the Greenway concept and make it more green, and less Dick Cheney?
Big thanks to Ms. Bolovschak for this prompt Monday morning response:
"I would gladly hear from any of you who care to voice their opinion about the Ohio River Greenway. I contacted the Tribune about an open forum I will be hosting to discuss the topic. You’ll be reading about that soon."