Yesterday we learned from the Courier-Journal's Lexy Gross (our newspaper was off at cooking school) that in spite of winks, nods, secret handshakes and Paddy Mac-brand decoder rings, Mayor Jeff Gahan persists in thinking that one-way traffic on Spring and Elm makes sense.
C-J report: Spiting Speck, Jeff Gahan still thinks that one-way traffic on Spring and Elm might be good for the city.
It's gotten so bad that even 3rd councilman Greg Phipps has noticed and is "very disturbed."
Once again, here's the damning passage, written by Gross:
... John Rosenbarger, New Albany public works projects supervisor, said Terra Haute, Ind., firm HWC Engineering is currently examining the city's options and how much it could cost to implement changes. Gahan said 80 percent of the project would be funded through the state and federal departments of transportation.
HWC has given the city two options: Spring Street and Elm Street would stay one-way from the interstate to Vincennes Street, or all of the downtown grid streets – from Oak to Main – would convert to two-way.
Gahan and Rosenbarger said they expect the analysis to take at least a few more months, then the city will release plans and costs for public discussion.
A few more months?
Let's take a closer look at what this means. Since Speck's study finally landed, NAC has been scanning those shards of information leaking out from City Hall's circled wagons.
Among other items stored under lock and key in Warren Nash's GI Joe foot locker, we've been looking for evidence of a timetable for two-way implementation, based not on what we seek as advocates, but on the city's publicly stated aim of linking street grid reform with impending bridge tolls, and ensuing traffic dislocations as drivers use New Albany as a cut-through to the untolled Sherman Minton Bridge.
Yes: Gahan's publicly stated aim.
The following passage appeared in Business First on January 7, 2015 -- 14 months before Gross's article yesterday.
The city of New Albany commissioned the (Speck) study after realizing that more motorists could be driven to cross the Sherman Minton Bridge after tolls are instituted as part of the Ohio River Bridges Project. New Albany is the first exit off the Sherman Minton, which will not be tolled.
"There is no question that the 'no-toll' situation is going to have an impact," New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan told Business First Tuesday after the YES! Fest kick-off event. "The city of New Albany is going to be ready."
Let's return to yesterday's C-J article.
Gahan said he doesn't expect the project to be complete until after the bridges start tolling.
Looks like Gahan lied.
Plain as day.
Maybe that's why they don't allow him to attend city council meetings.