Tuesday, November 29, 2016

ASK THE BORED: They have a plan to prevent toll dodging, and have scheduled it for completion one year after tolling begins. Yay!

I haven't attended a Board of Public Works and Safety meeting since before the unpleasantness of November 8, when the local political party branch responsible for appointments, patronage and a gently pervasive wetting of beaks -- in fact, for these very prized seats on BOW -- was handed a vicious, epic bloodbath of a beat-down.

Consequently, the Green Mouse reports newfound popularity for this fashionable statement of beans, franks and whiplash. You can bet that if HWC Engineering offered orthopedic body gadgets, the contract already would have been signed, sealed and sluiced.

By the way, kindly note that Team Gahan's campaign finance lube jobs with HWC are so comforting that the engineering firm is opening a branch office right across the street from City Hall. Now, THAT's service with a smile -- and an invoice.

Two weeks ago, and by its own publicly stated reckoning, BOW struck a heroic faux blow for presumed preparedness in the face of the traffic diversions and dodging sure to follow the implementation of bridge tolls.

In short, a tragically butchered two-way street plan edited to the very edge of insensibility (but campaign finance ready!) was formally approved, and the back-slapping commenced.

UPDATE: Two-ways streets in downtown New Albany are a go; Switch to be in place by end of next year, by Elizabeth Beilman (News and Tribune)

 ... "It's a shame it couldn't be done this year, but jumping through all the hoops with federal dollars and all — it's worth the wait," Warren Nash, board of works president, said.

The Federal Highway Administration will fund about $2 million of the project, leaving the city to pay $400,000.

My, my. What's even more shameful than a political time-server's breathtaking insincerity is the project's price tag of almost $3 million, for what amounts to an omnibus paving project with one (!) bicycle lane and the same old cluelessness from suburban-think city officials, who never have understood what Jeff Speck was saying, not once, and never will.

But the overarching point is summarized by this meme, encapsulating a question that has failed to occur to several dozen local newspaper reporters.

Verily, if the Downtown Grid Modernization Project (DGMP -- nice acronym, and the word for "poop" in Mongolian) is intended as a means of taming toll dodgers, and if the curative project won't be finished until a year after tolling begins, then WHAT'S THE PLAN FOR THE INTERVENING 12 MONTHS?

In order to be answered, the question must be asked, and you know the reaction if NAC tries to ask it.

What we'd surely get would be Team Gahan's tried-and-true boilerplate:

"You want answers? (Yawn) I'll check the Gahan for Next account, and if your name's not there, I'm sure the Indiana Public Access counselor has room on his schedule."

Two-way streets and one-way mentalities. What could possibly go wrong?

Before I drift into unconsciousness, here's a link where you can learn more about the advent of Kerry Stemler's auto-erotic tolling boondoggle, with an added bonus of an economic development study that didn't include independent local businesses, as well as typically incoherent testimony from State Senator Ron Grooms, who has been trying for five years to explain why he never grasped the impact of tolling during the time when he performed yeoman's service as One Southern Indiana lapdog.

But damn, those royalty checks come in handy when it's time to buy groceries, don't they, Ron?

Drivers brace for start of bridge tolls, by Madeleine Winer (Courier-Journal)

With the arrival of the holiday season comes colder weather, family gatherings and this year, for Kentuckiana, bridge tolls.

For the thousands of drivers who cross the Ohio River daily, that also means toll dodging or buying a transponder and setting up an account with RiverLink, the electronic tolling system that could cost them more than $40 a month.

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