Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pre-election striping: By Mayor Gahan's usual standards, this ALMOST qualifies as political courage.

There hasn't been an explanation for why it took so long, but on Tuesday the striping finally began on Spring Street between Beharrell and Vincennes. Weird and confusing, to be sure, but under way.

You could tell it was underway because social media went ballistic. It was entertaining, I must say.

NAC doubted the striping would happen until after the election, because that's been Jeff Gahan's previous default setting; recall that he refused to discuss two-way streets until after last year's re-election campaign, when the race might have served dual purposes as educational opportunity and political mandate.

If the choice is between open communications and bunker, Gahan's headed down those stairs to the down-low almost every time.

But on Tuesday, I was proven wrong.

As usual, the road diet between Beharrell and Vincennes is a cautious compromise that doesn't go far enough. It's being offered as the sole corrective for toll-dodging, and this probably isn't enough. Worse, it's predicated conceptually on automotive considerations alone, and squanders yet another opportunity to teach the community the value of calming, walking, biking and other manifestations of modernity.

But (perennial advocate of a rational street grid sighs wearily) ... it's something, rather than the usual nothing, and a glimmer of political courage coming from a mayor who seldom shows any.

The city's official explanation is here, and when finished, the street is supposed to look like this.

Maybe it even will.

No comments: