On Friday, driving home from my decapitation, there was a couple pushing a baby carriage, walking in the same direction of traffic along Grant Line Road. It was just past Wal-Mart, where there are no sidewalks on either side of the street.
City Hall spends time and claims glory with corporate welfare TIF handouts to the likes of Flaherty and Collins, and three decades or more after the area of which I speak began "building out," there are no sidewalks where people constantly are trying to get around on foot.
Of course, at the Break Wind Lofts at Duggins Flats building site itself, wheelchair access has been disrupted on all sides for an entire city block, without any wayfinding signage, and without a protected pedestrian lane along Spring and Elm, although both streets are one-way, and generally unsafe for walkers to cross in the almost complete absence of crosswalks.
ADA compliance in New Albany? You can hear the guffaws at the Roadhouse.
Things like this are why I have said, and will continue to say, that New Albany's political class is a moral failure. Chris Morris just finished canonizing Warren Naps, but has this spotless paragon of virtue, who lords over the Bored of Works, ever given half a damn about situations like the one I'm describing?
No, he hasn't. Neither has the ruling party or a vast majority of office holders from either club, including my own councilman, who promotes human rights as long as doing so doesn't contradict the mayor.
They'd all say the same thing:
What, you're too poor to have a car?
You're too unambitious to move to a better part of town?
Have you donated to the mayor's re-election campaign?
Best go out and get a better job, then -- and a bank account, which we can debit directly for your monthly tithe. Then we'll go into a back corridor somewhere and proportionately divide the CDBG money.
Maybe you'll win the lottery, some year.
If not, tough shit. Welcome to New Albany!
Wonkblog: The inequality of sidewalks, by Emily Badger (Washington Post)
Image courtesy of Flickr user Paul Cunningham under a Creative Commons license.
Pedestrian deaths are much more common in poor neighborhoods in urban America than in wealthier ones, a disparity Governing magazine covered in depth back in 2014. That result stems from a brutal collision of bad infrastructure and limited choices: The poor and minorities are more likely to get around by foot, but they also often live in places where doing that is particularly hard.
These are neighborhoods divided by highways and major local roads, a product of the time when such infrastructure projects were frequently routed through minority communities. These neighborhoods are also often less likely to have the basic infrastructure for walking that other communities take for granted, like crosswalks, traffic islands and sidewalks ...