Sunday, February 07, 2016

Newspaper editorial board votes 4 - 1 in favor of New Albany's downtown "revival," local businesses and two-way streets.

Granted, all the dots don't connect in terms of editorial logic.

OUR OPINION: City's 'Main Street' revival fuels region (editorial board at the News and Tribune)

 ... Long the local standard-bearer for reimagining “Main Street,” downtown New Albany is experiencing a new business microburst. From unique restaurant concepts to trendy décor shops to niche boutiques, the fork-in-the-cheese city is showing its teeth.

Let's consider a few examples.

As a frequent reader notes, "Not so sure the apartments (Breakwater) are a capstone. They may be a millstone."

The culinary team preparing Gospel Bird for opening is surprised to learn about menu options even they didn't know existed: "I had no idea that Gospel Bird is now a Nashville hot chicken place and that we are offering 'games' in the bar area."

(Seeing as NA Confidential has not mentioned games and Nashville hot chicken in a Gospel Bird context, it appears these notions came from elsewhere on the Internet. The newspaper still is down a reporter, after all, and most boots are on the ground in Clark County)

Then there's this: "Can someone forward me info about the accredited Main Street program? Thinking we might be missing out on something."

Straight face: It's Develop New Albany, and it probably is not recommended that Nawbany partisans make too many comparisons between DNA and Jeffersonville Main Street; the latter has a far longer record of adhering to the National Main Street program, although DNA lately has been showing signs of a renewed pulse.

Still, while difficult, let's not be entirely churlish.

The newspaper properly recognizes the entrepreneurs, humorously excludes the politicians forever eager to claim credit, and makes one hugely excellent point:

"Imagine the possibilities if New Albany shifts its downtown street grid to two-way, which would benefit business and pedestrian traffic. We’re counting on hearing positive news to that end this year."

Of course, it's funny how everyone counts on forever elusive "positive news" about the street grid, even as the folks in City Hall charged with making it happen adhere to the down low, drag their feet to the detriment of these same entrepreneurs, and pause only to award lucrative engineering consultancy contracts from sheer nepotism, once removed (something also eluding the newspaper's grasp) ... but I digress.

Of course, there's a humorous side, too: Chris Morris is one component of an editorial board now finally hinting at a solid position in favor of two way streets, on grounds of business and walker safety, as Morris chafes and suppresses a scream: But what's to become of our poor oppressed pass-through truckers? Ah, the humanity ... the lost horsepower ... what, don't these people walking around have cars?

Now, about that reporter ...

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