Two Wednesdays ago, I went to buy gas. While waiting for the light at Elm and State, I noticed one of the J & J Pallet trucks coming off the ramp from Louisville. This particular one is ubiquitous, and I've grown accustomed to seeing it come down Spring Street a half-dozen times a day, but this time I decided to have some fun, so I drove straight on Elm, took a right at 11th, and parked in the Seabrook funeral home on Market to await the inevitable.
Yep, there he was -- making the return trip. In the time it took for me to park and step out, three other trucks the same size came barreling down the residential street (they were pictured here last week).
A little bit later, there he was again, back down Spring ...
... eventually to circle back from the Interstate and return to home base.
The hundreds of dump trucks and slag haulers are a different story; while some may be attached to the Main Street Deforestation Project, it is more likely that they've been doubling down on Spring Street usage from their points of origination in the dumping grounds and auto graveyards of Clarksville. In addition, there seems to be a good deal more garbage and recycling trucks rumbling through than ever would be needed to service the neighborhood. My guess is they're joining the ones coming down the westbound interstate ramp at Elm and going to QRS Recycling.
There is a larger discussion to be had, as it pertains to the presence of "old economy" entities like pallet nailers, heavy trucking, recycling and industrial equipment, as presently situated near (sometimes seemingly atop) revitalizing neighborhoods.
In the sense of (drum roll please) QUALITY OF LIFE, they're not quite as grim as a toxic waste dump, and yet they're also not exactly the sort of "new economy" jobs otherwise constantly invoked to justify industrial park subsidies and fluffery. Just think about all the heavy trucks roaring down State to Main with an ultimate destination of QRS. Wick's, Feast and Exchange might as well not have patios on weekdays in daylight.
I'll ignore the nuances of the old vs. new economy argument -- for now. But in truth, it's the 800-lb gorilla downtown, because why are heavy Stalinist "old economy" businesses, ones better located adjacent to an interstate, somewhere on the fringes or in the county, still operating in a place where their very presence serves largely to negate efforts and expenditures aimed at enhancing livability?
With respect to all the J & J and Tiger trucks clogging Spring Street, and in the context of John Rosenbarger's and Wes Christmas's logic-defying protests that the Main Street project is not being designed to deter these trucks from again using the calmed and gentrified historic Main Street throughway ... it should be obvious that if J & J, Tiger and others do NOT resume using Main Street for transit roughly five minutes after the celebratory ribbon is cut, then both Rosenbarger and Christmas will have lied to the rest of us.
And, if the trucks actually do resume using Main Street, then they'll have lied to Main Street's residents, whose cupboards were supposed to have stopped shaking.
Will City Hall even attempt to honestly answer the depth of this deception, or will we get the same circled wagons and transparency deep freeze?
What was that? I didn't hear you over the last speeding semi-trailer rig blowing my cap off.