Monday, May 06, 2013

Gold mostly unavailable, so we'll pave the streets with EDIT.

It's a city council Monday, and millions will be spent on paving. The question now is this: When do we begin calming these newly paved streets and returning the New Albany street grid to two-way traffic? It would be a fine step toward walkability ...

Why walkability?

 ... Jeff Speck’s “Walkable City” provided the foundation of the March 21 forum. During the forum, Speck concentrated mainly on the advantages of walkable communities and neighborhoods.

During the Q&A session that followed, he touched briefly on how walkability is accomplished, but saved most of that information for the following day’s luncheon ...

 ... He said architects and planners in the 1950s through the 1980s “screwed up” by planning cities dependent on suburban commuters.

Because of their aesthetic values, walkable communities began to appeal to younger planners and architects in the 1990s, which led to the conclusion that walkable communities were more vibrant and active. Over the past two decades, experts from other fields have touted the virtues of walkable communities and warned of the perils of those that are not.

The meeting agenda is posted, and the newspaper preview is here:

New Albany council to weigh funding for paving, tornado sirens; New sirens would boost coverage downtown, by Daniel Suddeath (N and T)

After months of discussion, the council is slated to vote on footing $2 million in paving this year with Economic Development Income Tax funds.

Initially, the council had considered bonding as much as $5 million of paving, but the majority of the body felt borrowing money for resurfacing wasn’t a good idea.

Councilman John Gonder said during a work session this week that the city is already incurring more debt since a bond was approved for an aquatic center and other quality-of-life projects that are projected to cost up to $18 million. Through EDIT, the council has the means to fund $2 million in paving this year and in 2014 without having to pay interest, he continued.

“If we don’t have enough discipline to do that, then shame on us,” Gonder said.

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