Monday, February 18, 2013

Apparently some "quality of life" issues outrank others. Just carry a garbage bag with you when visiting the aquatic center, and be sure to drive.

In a single block on Vincennes Street, between Market and Spring, there are four trash cans for public use.

Anyone know why, or when they were purchased?

A fifth is in front of the Rally's, and sometimes it's even emptied, although the one shown above on the left side of the street has been crammed full of garbage for weeks.

By contrast, from Vincennes Street down Spring to State, an expanse of 16 blocks, there are three trash cans counting the one by Rally's. All three are on the north side of the street. I wrote about this in December: Random 2013 Platform Goals 3: Clean is the new Green.

Here's an idea for the future: Garbage cans. Like football's John Madden, I've diagrammed it so clearly that even Dave Matthews might grasp the utter simplicity.

Since then, I have received a prospectus of sorts from Jerry Finn of New Albany Clean and Green. He divulges that the cost of these receptacles is $430 each, and his sensible plan for placement downtown calls for 20 to be purchased. That's $8,600. It is a sum that Clean and Green proposes to raise, given that apparently the city has no interest in doing so; the organization asks for suggestions, and I'm thinking about ways to help.

In other news ...

During a work session Tuesday, the New Albany City Council will discuss a bond issue backed by Mayor Jeff Gahan that would foot the construction of an aquatic center, baseball park and soccer fields.

It will give the council the opportunity to discuss the up to $19.6 million bond note for the first time in public ...

... The administration decided to include the projects into one bond note, citing a need to move forward with the projects in order to offer more recreational facilities to residents. (Scott) Blair said the aquatic center, baseball park and soccer fields could lead to neighborhood revitalization and spark economic development in New Albany. Remaining proceeds from the bond issue could be used for a renovation of the downtown New Albany Farmers Market structure, as specified by the redevelopment commission.

A cool $19 million for "organized" youth recreation, but nothing to enable the safe practice of the simplest recreation of all, walking?

Quality of life as defined by modern facilities, while there's no organized system of trash cans on city streets and no sense of how assisting cleanliness might also constitute an economic development issue?

And so, my question is this: Why are we considering a $19 million expenditure for   recreational facilities, and outsourcing $8,600 in trash cans to someone else?


Iamhoosier said...

Good point. Wasn't "cleaner" part of the Mayor's campaign slogan?

Jeff Gillenwater said...

If there are indeed instances in which the use of firearms to thwart non-life threatening crime is justified, littering is certainly among them-- even more anti-social than stealing, to which there is an actual purpose.

Point taken, but you can't play ball without a field, swim without a pool, etc.. One can, however, refrain from littering easily and freely with or without a trash can every 50 feet.

The New Albanian said...

I'm eager and willing to support some version of the the mayor's recreation plan -- that is, not before but after the administration illustrates why the fundamentals it emphasized during the campaign are being ignored. If and when this is divulged, I'm ready to hop aboard. Until then, I intend to be the nagging voice of "fundamentals DO come first, don't they?" I've pretty much had it with ceding the definition of "quality of life" to group recreational activities and their facilities. Quality of life also incorporates not being run down by drivers, not tripping over garbage while walking, and not having to fund the Farmers Market expansion from the bond largesse leftovers.

The New Albanian said...

And Jeff, I feel the same way about littering. Maybe carrying a baseball bat while walking combines group and personal recreational opportunities.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

Don't disagree with any of that.

Ultimately, support or lack thereof from this quarter will come with implementation details of "the plan". If we see another $400K shelter house proposed via the Farmers Market expansion, well... Complete streets trump all the above and will help determine their success or failure.

I just cringe at the idea that we/they/anybody is supposed to spend a bunch of money and do more work because some jerkwad can't be bothered to keep his or her small refuse to themselves. I'm inclined toward messiness in general but somehow manage to not throw trash on the ground in other people's spaces. It's just not that difficult.

Iamhoosier said...

I also agree on the littering issue but the refuse containers can be of benefit to those of us who actually pick up what others throw down.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

When I start seeing already-paid-for recycling bins in regular use at most homes, I may be more enthusiastic about an additional can plan.

Iamhoosier said...

I just find it aggravating when I'm downtown and pick up litter that there is no place to put it.

Jeff Gillenwater said...

Huh... I was referencing the Midtown area, but where are you going downtown and not finding cans? There seem to be at least a couple at just about every intersection between 4th and Scribner. Is that not enough?

Not trying to argue, just curious about perspective.

Funny aside: A few years ago in the midst of all the "Clean Up New Albany" stuff, a couple other folks and I helped lead a bunch of Louisvillians on a walking tour of Midtown and some downtown, asking for feedback and impressions. I was surprised when so many mentioned how clean it was, especially in those days.