Saturday, March 16, 2013
Quality of Life Bond Bonuses, Episode 4: Complete these streets.
I metaphorically tore this page from the Inner-City Grid Transportation Study (Final Report), which was submitted to New Albany's Board of Public Works and Safety in June, 2007.
In large measure, the report recommends just the sort of two-way street conversions and traffic calming measures we've been advocating ever since, seeing as the report itself provided sufficient ( if timid) evidence that such pro-active strategies actually make sense in New Albany.
But, it remains New Albany, where inertia is king and attainment goes to die.
During his third and final term in office, Mayor England indeed managed to redraw Spring Street's lanes between Vincennes and Bank, striping a couple of subsequently neglected bicycle lanes, encouraging cyclists to pedal the wrong way against traffic on both of them, then declaring his mission accomplished prior to a three-year break for celebratory cocktails, and ritual pleadings of poverty and council intransigence as excuses for doing nothing else.
In essence: The city, having commissioned research proving NAC's point, has done almost nothing to implement the recommendations of the report, and while NAC has regularly advocated the city's own conclusions, as yet unimplemented, the city has used the report as a veritable paperweight.
Shouldn't we be getting paid for this?
There's an over-arching message here.
Just because we've begun downtown revitalization, it does not mean we've finished it. The traditional New Albany action plan involves partial grudging action, followed by consistency only in its failure to finish. It's something for the current administration to ponder as it fondles that $19 million debit card: What are we going to do about the downtown street grid, fellows?