Monday, February 08, 2010

Tyler Allen: "We cannot set our city back just because very powerful people do not want an East End Bridge."

Typically excellent stuff from Tyler Allen, candidate for mayor of Louisville.

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The charade continues. I strongly disagree with the CJ’s editorial of February 5 calling on the “next wave of community leaders to get with the plan.” Now is not the time to “get with the plan”, now is the time for real leaders to step forward and publicly say enough is enough.

The “plan” in this case is the Ohio River Bridges Project and the Tolling Authority set up to finance it by tolling the citizens of this community. The need to build the East End Bridge has been clear for more than half a century! The fact that it is not yet built has had enormous consequences for this community’s belief that we can “get things done.” The solution to this problem is to build the East End Bridge, not continue down an unrealistic path in the wrong direction.

It is a shame that the CJ has been taken in by the fantasy that the current bridges proposal is what the citizens want and the city needs. The idea that we are stuck with a political compromise set in motion before merger, and that has never been publicly vetted by our elected leaders since merger, is very bad public policy.

Must Louisville bury its downtown under a $2 Billion 23 Lane-Wide New Spaghetti Junction just to have the privilege of connecting I-265? Must Jeffersonville double the size of I-65 through its downtown just so its citizens can finally bypass downtown on a East End Bridge on their morning commute to work? The answer is ‘NO’. Let’s be clear, we cannot set our city back just because very powerful people do not want an East End Bridge.

Gov. Daniels told the authority at its first meeting that they “need to be creative” to get this financed. Creativity cannot be limited to where to look for money (especially since it’s clear they are looking mostly into our pockets). Creativity demands looking at the needs and scaling the project down to what we can afford to build.

Critics of mine, including the CJ, have said I’m a one issue candidate. Interestingly, they clearly believe that my so called “one issue” is “the most important civic undertaking in the metro region and is pivotal to the area’s economic future.” Wow, we better get this right. The CJ thinks the candidates for Mayor should get in line. Louisville deserves a “new wave” of leaders who don’t get in line, but rather listen to the citizens, demonstrate a vision and move Louisville forward... starting with an East End Bridge!

56 comments:

Iamhoosier said...

About the only solace that I take from the bridge(s)nightmare is that it proves that NA does not have a monopoly on stupid.

Look at a map. Build the east bridge. Forrest knows.

Curtis Morrison said...

Glad to see the good folks at NA Confidential involved in this debate.

It effects you all as much as anyone. Each morning & afternoon my mother adds to the congestion on the Sherman Minton in her efforts to get to Jeffersonville from Crawford County. She finds it faster to cut across I-64 through Louisville then north back into Indiana then to deal with the bottleneck of congestion on I-65 all because there's no eastern connection.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

For the record, one of the reasons I'm so concerned about maintaining the integrity of the Tribune's editorial board is because the C-J's has none.

The consistently less-than-transparent Bridges ordeal provides excellent opportunity for the Tribune to step up as the only daily newspaper willing to do meaningful, incisive reporting of the single largest infrastructure project in the region rather than simply following along with the narrow, unchallenged dictates issued by the chamber of commerce and others.

The situation, as it stands, is this: The most recent study conducted on the bridges in comparison to an 8664-like alternative shows that, over a twenty year projection, a single eastern bridge solution would provide system-wide performance results statistically indistinguishable from those of a much more expensive, time consuming, and extremely difficult to maintain and/or reverse two-bridges plan. Unlike the two-bridges plan, though, a single bridge would also have the added benefits of not damaging historic urban neighborhoods, not robbing us of many opportunities to make best use of our riverside location, and would not cost anywhere near as much, negating the need for what could easily be hundreds of dollars a year in tolls per person for local commuters.

That leaves Bridges advocates in the unenviable position of having to explain why we should both pay for and give up twice as much for what, according to their own study, will achieve the same traffic results.

Likewise, ORBP advocates have gone to great lengths to convince the public that any changes to the plan would result in the federal Record of Decision, the instrument giving initial approval, being vacated so that the project would have to go back to square one.

That assertion, though, has been formally challenged by more than one authority who point out that a project that serves the same purpose and fits into the same environmental footprint would not require starting over but could be amended by a highly abbreviated process. In fact, it's not at all unusual for projects of this scope to go through a Record of Decision amendment process owing to the difficulty of financing them.

The only official comment from ORBP advocates in response to that challenge of their assertion has been "No comment". Should we and the media just let that stand?

As Tyler Allen suggests, for ORBP advocates, the finance authority, and the media to ignore all that in favor of continued smoke screens is detrimental to the region's future and the ability of residents to shape it.

Anytime public polling has been done, citizens have shown a strong preference for an eastern bridge. However, public will has been subjugated many times throughout the bridges process with half-truths and innuendo from ORBP advocates and monied East End bridge opponents alike and thus, local residents have had no real opportunity to offer informed input into the actual cross-river planning process.

Is Tyler Allen the only local candidate or politician willing to speak on behalf of those who want real answers to real questions about what typically amounts to Bridges propaganda? Is he the only one unwilling to accept that we just can't do any better as a matter of civic engagement? A few in Louisville have taken up the call for leadership in this area but, so far, with the exception of Baron Hill speaking against tolls, concerned Hoosiers have been left to fend for themselves.

Daniel S said...

Jeff,
Daniels is here this week and is supposed to talk to our Editorial Board Wednesday after making the rounds specifically about this project. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a complete novice on this subject.
What neighborhoods are threatened by the 2 bridges approach? Are they saying any traveler would have to pay a toll to use these roads and wouldn't that just cause more congestion?
Why do you think the chambers and what not are in favor of the 2 bridge approach? Beyond costs, what are the benefits of the Eastern Bridge Approach? I may be covering the Ed. Board meeting this week but I'm not sure.

Steve Magruder - WebCommons said...

Louisville History & Issues is covering this as well:

"The C-J Editorial Board doesn't seem to understand that the East End Bridge is scheduled first in the Bridges Project"

Thanks to Jeff for bringing up all the salient points about this matter. If only the C-J would acknowledge the facts about this whole mess.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

D,

On this side of the river:

Jeffersonville (from the official preservation study):

2) Riverside Edge

This area serves as Jeffersonville’s “front door” to the Ohio River. In addition to several elegant homes facing the river, there is also a mix of land uses centered around Spring Street. Another amenity along this edge is the waterfront park which serves as a venue for public gatherings and events. Similar to the Western Residential character area, this area will also be significantly affected by the new I-65 bridge and approach. There are four residences along Fort and Market Streets, and Riverside Drive that could potentially be relocated as part of the Bridges Project.

Liabilities:

• Proposed I-65 bridge and approach will necessitate the relocation and/or demolition of several homes along the western edge

• Several vacant or underutilized parcels/buildings along Riverside

• Traffic noise associated with I-65 and Kennedy Bridge



4) Western Residential Area

The Old Jeffersonville Historic District is comprised of two primarily residential areas located along the western and eastern sides of Spring Street. The Western Area is the smaller of the two, and contains a greater variety of land uses than the Eastern Area. Similar to the Riverside Edge character area, this area will also be significantly impacted by the new I- 65 bridge and approach. The residence at 502 West Market Street could potentially be relocated as part of the Bridges Project.

Liabilities:

• Proposed I-65 bridge and approach will necessitate the relocation and/or demolition of several homes along the western edge

• Several vacant or underutilized buildings/parcels

•Municipal parking lot at Market and Fort Streets relatively isolated from the neighborhood and Downtown

• Traffic noise associated with I-65 and Kennedy Bridge


Louisville:

Butchertown, Phoenix Hill, and possibly other neighborhoods will face multiple building demolitions.

For a sense of it, visit Broken Sidewalk.

Also, Shippingport and Portland will be continue to be cut off from the river and the business district. In fact, downtown Louisville access will not be improved for anyone.

Keep in mind, too, that River Fields supporters, who introduced the whole new downtown bridge concept into the mix decades after an East End was planned, have objected to that eastern span on the grounds of preserving a single historic site, all the while advocating the demolition of numerous downtown structures for a downtown bridge as explained above. They our now suing on historic preservation grounds.

Even though the Broken Sidewalk images clearly show that the eastern historic home would not be touched, ORBP supporters have advocated that taxpayers spend an extra $50 million or so to dig a tunnel, putting the interstate underground at that point. Bids for just an exploratory tunnel recently came in at $19.5 million and $28.5 million.

Also keep in mind that the over $4 billion Bridges price tag does not include funds to rehab the existing Kennedy Bridge or to rework the I-64/I-265 interchange between New Albany and the Knobs, both of which will be necessary. 8664 estimates, at half the price, include funding for both.

The tolling authority has not reached any conclusions yet to my knowledge. Kentucky has done a study looking at toll amounts between 50 cents and $3.00 per crossing. They claim tolling technology does not slow traffic.

I'd encourage you to take a look at the commuting figures the Tribune publishes in it's Snapshot each year. If locals are included in the tolling, Hoosiers will pay approximately 15 times more than Kentuckians in tolls each work day.

More later. That's a start.

G Coyle said...

“They are now suing on historic preservation grounds.” There are many things, both historic and environmental at stake with the East End Bridge. Truth. Loss of inner city historic structures is not good either, but one side totally blows past the serious historic and environmental issues at River Fields. And they have the power and money to protect and defend their territory. As a I know for a fact there are historian there are reasons to protect that whole Harrods Creek area. It not about one wealthy estate. It belies one sides argument for “preservation” over the others. Both are important things to be protected.
And on Mr Stites side, he has made a convincing and elegant argument against further entangling our community in highway. I couldn’t agree with him more.
So there two sides fighting to save our cultural integrity, one more focused on urban identity and meaning, one more focused on rural issues of same. Could the two sides find a way to put the inevitable F%$king bridge (an IFB in urban planning lexicon) completely underground like they did in Massachusetts with the “Big Dig”? A chunnel anyone?

RE: tolls, like no-smoking rules, it’s a public policy thing, like for moving costs around, you get to use to it. Cars have things called transponders built in now, most of America uses them already. Technology changes. It’s tolls, not trolls, do not be afraid little people.

Further, as a casual observer with no personal stake in either outcome except for NOT DESTROYING more of our irreplaceable community and it’s history for highways, just a personal thing, I would have to say - you’re screwed.

From a purely economic (read “job creation”) standpoint, without keeping the highway infrastructure growing this region would lose what little forward movement it has, economically speaking. It would seem the political powers and their corporate media lackeys (C-J, Tribune - can’t wait to hear the award winning interview with Daniels coming up this week!) are clearly looking for the job creation vote.

Who will win... ?

G Coyle said...

sorry, I usually proof-read...

edward parish said...

We already have a bridge?

Archie said...

It has been 40+ years since "money" slowed the future of this region.

Where's is Jonathon Swift when you need him....there is plenty of writing material associated with this issue.

Daniel S said...

So let me see if I got this:
Ms coyle, from a preservation standpoint you're saying either plan is troublesome? Do you agree with jeff that the east end option would be better for preservation than the current suggestion? If so, how much better?
Jeff, what's so special about the eastern property that they would spend 50 mill to save it while neglecting the other sites? What about sites threatened by the east end bridge?

Jeff Gillenwater said...

D,

From the River Fields web site:

Mission statement:

To protect, preserve, and enhance natural and cultural resources on both sides of the Ohio River between Westport and West Point, KY, as well as the region surrounding it, for the benefit of the public.

River Fields benefits the community by:

* Enhancing quality of life.
* Fostering a long-term vision for land and water usage.
* Providing a credible voice for land conservation.
* Encouraging the preservation of history.
* Advocating the importance of cultural resources and the natural world.
* Improving aesthetics, design and beauty as well as preserving neighborhoods.
* Making a positive impact on the socio-economic aspects of life for everyone in the region.


As you can see, their downtown bridge advocacy contradicts many of their stated benefits.

Even though River Fields was initially set up to monitor and advocate on behalf of the entire metro region river corridor, their actions of the past decade or two have been called into question owing to board membership and NIMBYism at the expense of their mission and the community. Even their recent lawsuit in conjunction with the National Trust for Historic Preservation still advocates for the downtown bridge.

As J.C Stites of 8664 stated in a LEO article, “The board is stacked with landowners who live along River Road, and the organization’s director of 24 years lives within half a mile of the alignment of the East End Bridge.”

That director, Meme Sweets Runyon, also happens to be married to Keith Runyon, editor of the C-J's opinions pages and previous editor of the C-J's The Forum. As far as I know, that big humongous conflict of interest has never been disclosed by the C-J.

If I remember correctly, Steve Magruder of Louisville History & Issues (who commented earlier) brought that up and was smacked down pretty hard by David Hawpe, the former opinion pages editor. Maybe he can add to or correct that story.

The whole process has been a joke.
Even the National Trust for Historic Preservation's attorney recently said that the two-bridges plan was made as a political compromise, indicating that it wasn't necessarily based on actual transportation needs. Ironically, he failed to mention that the compromise only happened as a result of River Fields and their allies insisting on a downtown bridge. I think Steve and others have pointed that out before, too.

The C-J's handling of the Bridges story, both in terms of reporting and editorializing, is a lesson in shoddy journalism.

As for the East End properties affected, go look at the map on the Bridges site. The area in question is already full of sprawling, exurban subdivisions. With the exception of wealthy estates, there's not much of a rural lifestyle left.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

And a reminder, D, of what Governor Daniels told the News/Tribune previously:

Two bridges, one long project

Another noteworthy aspect of the effort to build the two bridges is that they are tied to one another. It’s two bridges, but one project. Asked about what he thought of that model, Daniels said that he did not want it to stand in the way of constructing the east-end bridge.

“I don’t think we should waste a moment getting going on the one that’s more immediate in its opportunity,” Daniels said. “The ‘one project’ idea — I think for some people — it was a tactic to delay the whole project.”



“86ing” 64

Daniels was not familiar with the 8664 proposal, an alternative to the two-bridge project that would build only the east-end bridge, reroute Interstate 64 traffic to Indiana at Utica and replace the portion of I-64 that runs through downtown Louisville along the river with a surface-level parkway.

The proposal is the brainchild of a pair of Louisville businessmen, but it has picked up grassroots support from thousands of Louisville and Southern Indiana residents. The idea was proposed to open up more park space along the Louisville waterfront, though many are concerned that the proposal came along too late in the game.

“This alternative that you’re discussing now is intriguing,” Daniels said, adding that he would not rule it out.


http://www.news-tribune.net/archivesearch/local_story_308074437.html

G Coyle said...

Do you agree with jeff that the east end option would be better for preservation than the current suggestion? If so, how much better?

I think the East End Bridge is inevitable for political reasons as I stated in the earlier post.

While Jeff sees little to save around Harrods Creek, but more to save downtown, blah blah, is perhaps splitting hairs. Both losses would matter to our history, for different reasons.

Unfortunately, other than the people out at River Fields, there is little power directed in this region against environmental preservation. I see more animus directed against the group as "elitists". Again though, what they are fighting for is not just their homes, but the last remaining section of "old Kentucky" contiguous to the river left in Jefferson County. Personally, I think the last 300 year old agricultural section in the entire county does make it worth fighting hard for, not just because "rich people" live there.

Remember, my family used to be the "elitists" whose industry built New Albany, till the govt took most of our land on Silver Hills for a water plant, then Spring St Hill. That branch of my family is gone now, decamped to Louisville - River Fields area coincidently.

Is this a class war? Cool, it never ends here!

Daniel S said...

Are you serious? The editor that's calling out the opposition is married to the director of river fields? That would be like me trying to be objective about uk basketball. This has never been brought to life?
So it sounds like daniels was at once interested but now isn't. Is that tied to hill's position on the tolls? I guess he needs to answer that tomorrow.

G Coyle said...

"re you serious? The editor that's calling out the opposition is married to the director of river fields? That would be like me trying to be objective about uk basketball. This has never been brought to life?
So it sounds like daniels was at once interested but now isn't. Is that tied to hill's position on the tolls? I guess he needs to answer that tomorrow."

holy crap batgirl - this Daniel S asks questions like he's a journalist! Get this man a real newspaper to work for.

Daniel S said...

So it's a matter of who has the money to fight?

Daniel S said...

Well I would think that tidbit should be disclosed in any public hearing held by the federal government since the public has mainly been informed about it through the CJ.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

Hypocritical actions like those of River Fields, under the banner of preservation, are what gives preservation a bad name. As long as it's seen as a movement to benefit a very few at the expense of the broader community, espoused principles be damned, we'll continue to have preservation problems.

According to their own rhetoric, the River Fields board is supposed to be fighting just as hard for Butchertown as they are their own backyards, but that's not the case is it? They're not tagged as elitists because of their environmental concerns. They're tagged as elitists because their actions don't match their words.

Daniel S said...

From a business-impact point of view, what's the difference in the approaches?

The New Albanian said...

The other thing about River Fields is this, at least from my point of you.

They're really not concerned with the relatively minimal impact of a bridge and roadway so much as terrified that landowners, i.e., themselves, will be unable to resist the money they'll be offered to sell and build nasty strip malls.

Which reminds me of living out in the county years ago. Every farmer was opposed to his neighbor selling land to build houses, but not willing to place controls that would prevent him selling his own land should the offer arise.

Hypocrisy. It's a human thing.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

D,

Throughout the bridges debate, the East End bridge has been tagged as the essential jobs creator. Even those who support both bridges, like Steve Stemler, Governor Daniels, etc., have consistently said that the eastern span is the key missing link.

As is easily seen, production facilities have already clustered around the proposed eastern bridge route, since it's been promised since 1969 and reaffirmed in regional transportation plans twice since, before River Fields injected a downtown bridge into the debate at all. Likewise, 1SI has concentrated on River Ridge, which would be greatly enhanced by an eastern bridge.

The economic benefits of the East End bridge have been so agreed upon that bridge opponents have literally argued against the bridge on the grounds that it would create too many jobs in Indiana.

While an additional downtown bridge would make urban neighborhoods less attractive, 8664 would still provide the jobs benefits touted as part of the Bridges plan while actually enhancing the economic prospects of inner city neighborhoods.

From the 8664 feasibility study (the secondary benefit is extremely important):

The 8664 Plan provides an enormous increment of quality of life for the city of Louisville, due to the reclamation of the waterfront, restoration of the network of local streets and the reduction in City areas now given over to freeway right of way.

The relocation of I-64, as called for in the 8664 Plan, would enable the reclaiming, as a waterfront park or other public or private uses, of around 60 acres along 2.0 miles of riverfront in Downtown Louisville. While the value of landmark civic features are, properly, “priceless” (i.e., not for sale) an estimate of their dollar value in land alone would be in the range of $50 to $100 per square foot, a range typical for urban downtown land, located on an amenity such as a park or waterfront in a city of Louisville’s size. Thus, the land value alone of a reclaimed waterfront would be in the range of $130 million to $260 million, aside from its incalculable value as a signature centerpiece park.

The secondary benefit of waterfront reclamation is the zone of the city not directly bordering the river, but within sight or within easy access (walking or driving) of the waterfront. Where waterfronts have been carefully saved or reclaimed as public space (lakes in Minneapolis, riverfront in Memphis, emerging South Waterfront in Knoxville, three rivers confluence area in Pittsburgh) the zone of enhanced value extends for distances of one quarter to one half mile (5 – 10 minutes walking distance) from the waterfront. The secondary beneficiary zone in Louisville, therefore, for a 2.0-mile distance of reclamation would be 300 - 600 acres of land. Configured as normal city blocks, this translates to an area of 60 - 120 city blocks.

Daniel S said...

Jeff,
So the two bridges would essentially isolate the communities you spoke of from the river, which most people can admit is a big draw for Indiana and Kentucky. You should write a column on this, heck maybe a book.

Roger,
"Which reminds me of living out in the county years ago. Every farmer was opposed to his neighbor selling land to build houses, but not willing to place controls that would prevent him selling his own land should the offer arise.
Hypocrisy. It's a human thing."

Many in my family are farmers but my mom constantly harps on this. My uncle is paid by the government not to grow on his land, has been for about 10 years. Several other farmers in the area are getting the same subsidy. Many of them, however, are the first to speak out against welfare and other social programs, including my aunt. Doesn't make any sense.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

I should note the difference between an additional downtown interstate bridge and the possibility of other local access bridges. The notion of local access bridges is fairly attractive as they'd seek to better connect the downtown areas on a human scale rather than entice speeding through them with no care for concepts of place.

The New Albanian said...

Jeff's my pal. He's also the most eloquent spokesperson on this topic that we have on this side of the river.

Iamhoosier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff Gillenwater said...

Thanks, Roger, but I'm just repeating what thousands of others have said.

And that doesn't include the innumerable people who think it but don't say it because the Bridges process, among others, has convinced them that their voices don't matter.

Daniel S said...

Now I think I've heard that plan before but explain in more detail. You mean like a smaller version of the 2nd Street bridge? Where are they proposing connecting them at? Is NA in the mix?
Kentucky is saying they'll have money now, Indiana too. What's going to happen next? Who gets the vote on which plan to go with? The legislators or just the fed gov't?
I think it should also be noted that Daniels — through Major Moves — promised money for Grant Line Road improvements and now is trying to pawn it off on the city. An overpass will not happen there and apparently they won't add lanes either. I know the businesses along that route that were targeted for demolition are happy, but something has to be done.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

For more on Steve Wiser's local access bridges proposal, see the Broken Sidewalk article.

There are things I like and don't like about it. It doesn't get the heavy truck traffic out of downtown, for instance, but it does create less dangerous alternatives for locals than having to deal with it directly. It also doesn't solve the problems created by the interstates' intrusion into downtown and riverfront areas but, again, it does create better connectivity on a more human, not necessarily car oriented scale.

There are good points made in the comments section of the article, particularly about putting the K&I back into use as the mass transit bridge it used to be. Floyd and Clark counties alone send over 30,000 commuters into Kentucky each work day and moving each of them in single-occupancy, motorized vehicles is the most expensive (publicly and privately) possible way to do that.

Keep in mind that auto bridges don't move people anywhere. It's the massive private investment after the massive public investment that provides the actual moving parts.

I think the broader point, though, is that, although it's been sold to us as the only possible way to deal with regional transportation issues, the Bridges plan as we know it did not ever seriously consider real alternatives nor sincerely seek informed input as proponents claim. As 8664 said long ago, engineers answered a question but not the right question.

Daniel S said...

Well despite all the redneck insults I hurled at you last week Jeff and probably will again within 90 days, I agree with Roger that your voice should be heard on this issue and you should have something published as you're a talented writer.
But for the record, I still think Mark smells of elderberries.

The New Albanian said...

But for the record, I still think Mark smells of elderberries.

Better elderberries than shrubbery.

Daniel S said...

I will taunt you a second time.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

Thanks, D, but I still can't do anything about Mark's smell.

Then again, I'm rather fond of elderberries. He and I have that in common.

Iamhoosier said...

You know, I think my taxes are too high and I'd like a new patio.

Daniel S said...

I want to get out of the mayor's pocket.

Iamhoosier said...

I don't think that is his "pocket".

Daniel S said...

well it's part of his pants

zampano said...

I agree with basically everything Jeff has said here, but attempting to solve traffic problems by building more infrastructure for automobiles is like trying to use a hammer to turn a screw. If 8664 could be coupled with an area wide Light Rail (or any rail)system, Louisville would become a place not unlike Portland.

The changes that cities are currently undergoing are as drastic in scope as those that occurred after WWII. Now, more than ever before, transportation is going to be the major factor in determining whether cities grow, shrink, or become vacant. By not being willing to adapt to a changing environment and allowing for even a discussion of possible transportation alternatives, Louisville is sealing its own fate.

I say build the East End bridge to keep the people who cling to their cars out of downtown, let them choke on the gas prices, 8664, and install a Light Rail transit system.

Plus, a Light Rail system would do more for New Albany development than any other single infrastructural improvement I could imagine. Attempting to solve problems that were created in the 1950s with solutions mired in the 1950s is beyond fatalistic.

-Joshua Poe

Jeff Gillenwater said...

That's exactly it, Josh.

The east end bridge gets a lot of people who don't want or need to be downtown out of downtown. Locating not only an interstate but a three interstate exchange in the downtown/riverfront area was a horrible decision and the bridges project would compound it for several more generations.

But, as big of a mass transit advocate as I am, that's also why I've never agreed with those who say we shouldn't build any bridges. An east end bridge is a key to correcting problems in support of other transportation solutions.

By making downtown(s) and riverfront areas stronger places, we help encourage the urban livability and density that makes mass transit more viable, which you correctly identify as a much more sensible, attractive, and sustainable long-term people moving solution.

Think how far we could get if the unneeded billions to make Spaghetti Junction 23 lanes could be put toward a real transit solution. Instead, every other current and potential transportation project in the whole region, including TARC's light rail proposal, is being held hostage to the "two bridges, one project" malarkey.

Daniel S said...

I can't say enough how much I would love a lite rail. From our prior talks you all know I can't even ride a bike and am stuck driving, but being in a car is when I'm most on edge. If we had a legit rail system connecting key southern Indiana points with Louisville I know I would travel more locally and thus, spend more money locally instead of on gas or just not going out at all. I know I'm not alone in this regard. New Albanys scrib place phase two includes a section along the river coonecting from Clark through Floyd down to the boat, but even its designers admit it's the piece of the puzzle most likely to never be attained.Beyond money, how many lives could be saved by keeping people off the roads?

G Coyle said...

from C-J comments:
BobFinch wrote:
"The ultimate tragedies of the bridges project are first, that somehow the conclusion that making it easier for more air fouling traffic to bypass Louisville more quickly is a good thing! ?:-0 Secondly, when you consider that peak oil is near and climate change will require us to cut our dependence on fossil fuels, both leading to an inevitable transition away from personal automobile use, investing 4.1 billion in anachronistic infrastructure with a life expectancy of 100 years is like investing your life savings in Beta video technology. What we need in this town is a focus on our communities. How far would 4.1 billion go to improving local schools, public transportation, job creation, housing the homeless, feeding the hungry or any number of worthwhile endeavors that would improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods? If a bridge is built, it ought to be capable of carrying rail traffic. That's where the future is. But no, our leaders will keep on blowing bubbles.
2/9/2010 1:15:29 PM"

Steve Magruder - WebCommons said...

Here's the LouHI topic where I discuss what happened between Hawpe and myself, back in 2007. Not only did he threaten me with a lawsuit, he also summarily sloughed off any questioning of the ORBP. That's one of the main problems with the ORBP supporters -- they think their plan is genius, and untouchable, when it's really many other things, nothing flattering.

Daniel S said...

You can't sue somebody for raising a legit question. That would have been laughed out of court. It gives an even greater appearance of bias writing when you start going that route.

Daniel S said...

but I better acknowledge that I gate all things gannett or I'm just as bad with my disclosures.

Daniel S said...

Gate=hate effin smart phones only work if you're smart

Daniel S said...

New story up on 8664 at newsandtribune.com

Iamhoosier said...

Until recently, and maybe still, most people thought 8664 was just about doing away with I64 along the river in Louisville. That scares people who have to fight the traffic. These people never looked further into the ALL of the ideas presented by 8664.

Great ideas, damn poor marketing. The name should have been changed long ago.

Steve Magruder - WebCommons said...

I would suggest that execution is more the issue than the name.

I agree that 8664 has concentrated too much on the marquee part of the idea and not all the other parts that could really rally the community together in near-unison. This should have been treated as a political campaign all along.

Once I became an admin on the unofficial 8664 group on Facebook, and some time passed, I realized that the title needed to be more attractive to the community. It was "8664 :: Take Back Louisville's Waterfront!", but I changed it to "8664 :: Build the East End Bridge, and Take Back Louisville's Waterfront!". It made a world of difference, and the numbers exploded.

Another endeavor that could have been taken by 8664 is explaining more thoroughly how 8664 includes ideas for fixing the real problems with traffic downtown -- that is, the bottlenecks in Spaghetti Junction. They're not caused by the lack of a second bridge, but rather through its poor design that forces too much traffic weaving.

And a more political bent could have been taken against the ORBP as well, such as calling out the SD design for its engineering overkill, destructive footprint and more.

I could go on a lot more, but I like to be succinct.

Iamhoosier said...

I think that we agree. You say "execution" and I say "marketing". PotAto, Potato

Short sighted, yes, but folks in Indiana don't give a damn about Louisville's waterfront. Many of those in Indiana use 64 to get to and from work. They were lost before anyone could begin to explain the other attributes of 8664 to them. "We" were just getting screwed by folks in Louisville, again.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

We'll see who thinks what about screwing if the bridges folks try to implement tolls. I bet Hoosiers start paying attention then. There's a reason that no one with any public accountability sits on "our side" of the tolling authority.

Louisville politicians clamored for representation on that body. None of them in Indiana did.

Steve Magruder - WebCommons said...

One of the reasons I started Louisville History & Issues was so that people from all parts of the region could discuss issues, and we would discover an interesting commonality on some. This is one of those issues. I savor the idea, for instance, of Louisville's south end and New Albany, working together on things. This concept used to be unthinkable, but it needs to become the norm in my humble opinion.

I also know that Tyler Allen is very keen on regional thinking, and working with Louisville as a metro area rather than just Jefferson County.

Iamhoosier said...

Exactly, Jeff. And "toll" may just be the magic word for even better execution(marketing).

Jeff Gillenwater said...

This concept used to be unthinkable, but it needs to become the norm in my humble opinion.

Right on, Steve. I thinks that's one thing that the blogosphere and sites like yours have accomplished. Even in recent months, it seems like we're linking to each other more and more.

There are tens of thousands of Hoosiers who spend every work day in Louisville, pay occupational taxes, etc. We all have a stake.

Some of us know Tyler through his 8664 work and have come to appreciate his willingness to challenge the status quo. I hope he does that more often and gets the chance to do it on a larger scale.

Daniel S said...

Jeff,
Braden Lammers wrote the bridges meeting story for us, but I asked Daniels today about one of your questions and I believe it's going to be included in his story. The part about whether it's fair for Hoosiers considering tolls when more drive across the bridge than vice versa. He said that will have to be looked at and likely adjusted, but he said he still supports tolls because the rest of Indiana shouldn't pay taxes on something that only benefits the Metro area(I know this could spawn some reactions but I didn't say it, just the messenger here).
From what I could tell, he seems committed to the two bridges approach and didn't really talk like the 8664 option was that serious. But honestly, and this is just my opinion, I really don't think he knew that much about it so I don't know that it's fair to say he's against it.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

Thanks, D. And I think you're right. Daniels trying to pitch the idea that Hoosier tax dollars shouldn't be used for something in our metro area will get a reaction.

Steve Magruder - WebCommons said...

By the way, if you like what Tyler is saying, a good way to indicate that is to become a fan of his on Facebook -- Become a part of the growing movement to make him Louisville's next mayor!