Thursday, April 11, 2013

This is happening right now: Bridge-building dislocation and impending tolls.

Jeffersonville's Big Four pedway access is a Big Break for our neighbors, who are actively considering extending the non-automotive access in all directions. Unfortunately, construction of the unnecessary, politically-inspired downtown toll bridge is going to be dislocating to Jeffersonville (and Clarksville) for the next three-plus years.

What an amazing opportunity for this city!

New Albany's great, transformational challenge of the Gahan era is formulating and implementing a plan to "complete" and "rightsize" the city's streets, to enhance walkability and the many benefits it brings to urban areas, and to alter and two-way the street grid to support the revitalization we've achieved. By doing so, we will consolidate gains and make further progress more likely. A key element of this completion process must be calming "fly-over" traffic that will be pushing our way in pursuit of aims that differ from what's best for us, and which will begin as soon as Jeffersonville becomes a war zone. Later, when the Sherman Minton remains free of Big Ed's tolls, it will become even more imperative.

All this, and we're building an aquatics center. Ah, but the administration says it has a plan.

Concurrently, last night at the April Fool's edition of the city council, city attorney Shane Gibson replied to a question by Diane Benedetti. She asked whether the administration is aware of the street grid challenges to come when bridge construction and tolling are initiated, and if so, is there a plan?

Gibson said yes, there is. If crazy vague, it is perhaps the first public acknowledgement on the Gahan team's part that someone, somewhere is aware of the immediate future of streets in the city.

Can we please see it?

Time's growing short.

Downtown bridge construction to start July 1; Tolling could begin as early as April 2016, by Braden Lammers (N and T)

LOUISVILLE — Construction on the downtown portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project is set to begin July 1.

At a press conference Wednesday, transportation planners presented the plans to construct Kentucky’s portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project, which included the downtown bridge, its approaches on both sides of the Ohio River and the reconstruction of the Kennedy Interchange, which is often referred to as Spaghetti Junction.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Project Manager Andy Barber said the project will be completed in 3 1/2 years, by December 2016.


Jeff Gillenwater said...

For years, with regard to the bridges fiasco, far too many people told me "You're right, but you can't win" and so they wouldn't speak up, even though - via various combinations of common pragmatism and intellectual analysis - they knew better.

It's not Ed and pals doing this to us. They're just shills with no real competition to balance them. It's us doing this to us.

Smart people still leave this place in droves for a reason. It's called self-preservation, the impetus for which is often the loneliness found in the silence of other smart people.

The minority who actually think this is a good idea don't really even enter into the calculus. They're not the ones choosing to lose.

The New Albanian said...

Yep. Pogo, and all that.