Yes, it's true that I had planned on attending the public redevelopment meeting Tuesday evening.
How was I to know how supremely discouraging it would be to return to New Albany from a weekend in clean, progressive and coherently organized Madison, Wisconsin?
As it turned out, making the transition from blue state paradise to slum lord empowerment district required voluminous local anesthesia in the form of chilled hop juice administered pint by Progressive pint until the pain was dulled. Self-medication is not to be recommended, and yet it works for me.
Fortunately, since Tribune’s Eric Scott Campbell was there:
New Albany’s $6 million plan; Build parking garage as base to attract business, consultants tell city.
Erect a parking garage downtown beside the flood levee to attract “vertical development” — most likely a hotel or office complex — that would have a view of the Ohio River, say Dennis Dye and Kim Reeves of Indianapolis-based Browning Investments Inc.
And here I was thinking that "vertical development" is when Prof. Erika rises from the divan for another microwaved toadstool sandwich and shot of arsenic schnapps.
It’s certainly a measure of how hot it has been in August that the Tribune story did not result in a “taxpayer advocacy” protest march downtown and an attempted mass-immolation by the half-dozen or so Bic-flicking troglodyte obstructionists who’ve made a screeching career out of denigrating the State Street parking garage (the one that’s full just about every weekday) and insisting that no investment is necessary for downtown, or for that matter, for anything at all.
How they imagine the modern world was ever built in the first place is beyond me, and that’s okay, because it’s beyond them, too.
(Psst ... hey, you – over there ... need a match?)
Indeed, there’s a fine line somewhere in all this, one that delineates the need for vehicular parking in a rapidly renewing urban area and still provides human-friendly walking and bicycling access to the same area.
Not to belabor the experience in Madison, which I acknowledge as an imperfect analogy owing to differences in size and status as state capital, but there are numerous reasonably priced parking garages downtown, and they most certainly are used. The mass of humanity spilling out from the nearest downtown Madison parking garage to walk a short block to the farmers’ market last Saturday morning, then coming back to their cars heavily laden with cheese curds and ostrich sausage (actually, that was me) was a sight to behold. There’s another garage on the opposite side adjacent to the pivotal Great Dane brewpub.
I’d best stop lest recourse to the hop juice beckons yet again.
Readers who attended the redevelopment presentation and can provide enlightenment as to the dimensions of the redevelopment dialogue Tuesday, please post a comment or e-mail the senior editor.