Saturday, January 30, 2016

Read Speck now: Are these Spring Street improvements really improvements for people, as opposed to their cars?

Is this the twist when City Hall, unwilling as ever to publicly enunciate the name S-P-E-C-K for fear that it will be associated with ideas advanced for a decade or more not by the figurehead-in-chief himself, who has always and will always cower, but by others, with Team Gahan still so very hesitant to get out in front and lead ... well, then, is this the unexpected first instance of the mayor artfully sneaking Speck's complete street principles into the street grid in a section of Spring Street where it's easier to implement, since the street already runs two ways, and the whole thing can be disguised by evasive code words (a bureaucratic-sounding safety initiative for cars, not people) without educating anyone, or explaining anything, just letting the doddering public works' political appointee of a gatekeeper pass it along, because otherwise he'd just be selling real estate, anyway, and how much would THAT suck?

Or, will Speck's potentially transformative work be discarded like a used condom on one of those stretches of Spring Street where you can walk for ten blocks without seeing a garbage can, and once forgotten, the political bullshit comes down hard, yet again, crass and unrelenting, like it always does here in New Albany -- like it did on Main Street?

Help us hold their feet to the fire. These are the Speck proposals:


From the introduction though page 59, you'll find the evidence- and experience-based rationale for reforming the street grid. Beginning on page 60, a section-by-section analysis begins with the same length of Spring Street described by the following press release, as published in the Jeffersonville newspaper. We have precious little to work with, but please compare and contrast with what has been revealed. Speck's plan is integrated as a downtown grid in its entirety. Significant deviance in these instances should clue us in as to Team Gahan plans on botching implementing the harder parts.

Hint: WDRB coverage shows a diagram with 11-ft lane widths and no street parking. Is this accurate? Does it mirror Speck?

Improvements coming to Spring Street in New Albany

NEW ALBANY — Two of New Albany's busiest and most dangerous stretches of road will soon see an upgrade.

According to crash analysis from the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency, two street segments in the city have been ranked among the highest prone to accidents in Southern Indiana. Specifically, Spring Street, from Beharrell Avenue to Silver Street, was ranked the second-highest accident-prone street segment, while Spring Street, from Silver Street to Vincennes Street, was ranked as the 17th highest accident-prone street segment, according to a release from the mayor's office.

New Albany applied for and recently received special federal Highway Safety Improvement Program grant money through the Indiana Department of Transportation to correct these segments.

The improvements, which are being funded by 90 percent federal money, include:

  • A new signal with exclusive opposing left turn lanes at the Spring and Silver intersection;
  • A modified three-lane section with two westbound travel lanes on the east leg of Spring Street — from Beharrell Avenue to Silver Street; and
  • A two-lane section with buffered bike lanes, parking lanes and exclusive left turn lanes at key intersections on the west leg of Spring Street (from Silver Street to Vincennes Street).

Let us know what you see.

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