Wednesday, March 20, 2013

As bridge tolls loom, is New Albany's street grid our number one quality of life issue? I think it is.

Let's review, shall we?

When the dust settles and the Stemleresque bridges boondoggle is foisted irreparably on the community, and as the remainder of the planet laughs at our utter simplicity as a people, tolling will change traffic patterns,

New Albany's Sherman Minton Bridge is to remain toll-free, at least until the same thieving oligarchs change their minds, although there is at least some reason to believe that they won't, given that the sole reason for the Horseshoe Foundation's one-man presence on the Bridges Authority committee of obscenity-riggers was to preserve a toll-free corridor to the Casino, from whence all our diminishing social services originate in this era of uncontested GOP asscappery.

Indirectly, this has bequeathed to us many gigantic downtown plastic ashtrays, one of which was serving as a stormwater downspout collection basis last weekend, but I digress.

When tolling commences, the Sherman Minton Bridge immediately will become a magnet for toll evaders, who will glance upon New Albany's ridiculous, outdated, LBJ-era arterial one-way streets in the same fashion as piranha fish regard Bob Caesar's pasty white hand dipping into the fish tank to retrieve glittering paste gone astray. These drivers will regard this city as a convenient pass-through, and abuse our quality of life (those dreaded words again) accordingly.

However, if between now and then, New Albany's downtown, midtown and uptown street grids were to be retrofitted back to two-way and "completed" for maximum human benefit, i.e., for walkers, bicyclers, and various other forms of the human experience not predicated on automotive exhausts, two major victories would be achieved.

First, the livability of core neighborhoods and attendant businesses would be bolstered in a fashion proven again and again in places where people actually read books.

Second, the deleterious effects of toll-evading motorists, while not entirely removed (it isn't for nothing that the ORBP is a world-class mistake), would be considerably evaded, giving us a fighting chance to avoid the worst of it, and achieving something so very elusive during this city's inglorious history: For once, being ahead of a curve.

The Gahan administration is on its way to bonding millions to pay for aquatics and parks, which it has identified as pertaining critically to our quality of life as a community, although somewhat weirdly included on this king-sized credit card bill is street paving, which might be identified as a quality of Gohmann Asphalt issue.

But could anything be more crucial to our quality of life than the havoc sure to be wreaked upon us by the egos of our oligarchs and the well-meaning people they've cynically used?

Once again, I ask this administration: What are you planning to do about it?

Anything at all? If the answer is no, then I'm not entirely sure a water park alone is sufficient to wash away the stain of a missed opportunity.

Consultants: $1 tolls likely for frequent users; Final tolls not set; process would be electronic, by Braden Lammers (local out-of-state-newspaper)

Frequent commuters can expect $1 tolls each way on three area bridges based on a study prepared by a consulting company preparing a traffic and revenue study for the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Frequent users will pay via a transponder, and other fees are projected at: $2 for “nonfrequent” two-axle vehicles; $5 per “medium” truck; and $10 per “heavy” truck, according to a press release from the bridges project.


Iamhoosier said...

As for the tolls, the supporters of the bridgeS project, elected and non, always touted that $2 wouldn't stop anyone from Louisville from coming to IN to shop, eat, drink, etc. Well, it's not $2. It's $4 because hardly any of them will make 20 round trips in one month. (I still believe $2 would be a deterrent)

The supporters also point to the "help" given to commuters, "only" $2 per round trip. True,EXCEPT for the months that you take a couple of vacation days or sick days or holidays and you don't make the required 20 round trips. If you work 18 days one month and make no other trips across to KY, you would pay $72 in tolls. If you work 20 days, you pay $40.

Of course, the answer to that is to make a couple of useless trips across. No big deal. I mean, the air around here is pretty clean, isn't it?

Mr. Stemler? Mr. Clere? Mr. Finn? Bueller? Anyone?

The New Albanian said...

"Mr. Stemler? Mr. Clere? Mr. Finn? Bueller? Anyone?"