Friday, July 25, 2008

Excuse me while I scrape my shoe.

During the most recent mayoral campaign, then candidate Doug England and I had a conversation about the Ohio River Bridges Project, 8664, and the state of transportation in our region.

It's hardly a secret that the senior editor and I are proponents of 8664 and I told him so, with gusto added when it came to the dishonest means by which One Southern Indiana was promoting both itself and the bridges. While he didn't quite go so far as to endorse 8664, our future mayor assured me that neither he nor Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan "gave a damn about another downtown bridge".

Funny then, that a bridges story by Daniel Suddeath in yesterday's Tribune features a ORBP-supporting Mayor England saying, “Completing the Bridges Project is the needed and critical step to link our citizens and foster job growth throughout the metro area."

Mayor England also assured me at the time that he fully expected his actions to be monitored and that I and a host of others were expected to call him on bullshit whenever we encountered it.

Consider it done.

In response, I started to write a more lengthy exposition on transportation and the self-defeating demagoguery that typically defines the subject.

Luckily, Tyler Allen and J.C. Stites of 8664 beat me to the keyboard with an email asking yet another round of relevant questions that our mayor will now have to answer himself.

Here's the email, verbatim:

Dear Supporter,

We hope to see you at the
Forecastle Festival this weekend. Please drop by our booth and pick up one of our new sustainable-green t-shirts while supplies last.

What do you think?

In our last email we confirmed that 98% of the budget cut from the Bridges Project through 2010 has come from the East End Bridge. This begs the question, what are they planning to do with the $170 Million or so currently allocated for the downtown portion of the project over the next two years?

Keep in mind that the current Bridges Project doesn't even address Hospital Curve (unchanged at 6 lanes) or Cochran Tunnel (unchanged at 4 lanes).

Do politicians Abramson and Yarmuth honestly want to build a downtown toll bridge and 23 lanes of Spaghetti on our waterfront? Or is the downtown portion of the project just a big smokescreen to stop the East End Bridge?

We welcome your thoughts or insights. Reply to this email or email us at

Keep the faith,

Tyler Allen and JC Stites

I'll see the 8664 folks at Forecastle this weekend. You might see the Mayor around town sometime soon. Right after making the BS call, feel free to pass along the questions. I'm sure Tyler and J.C. won't mind.


All4Word said...

I'll join you in calling "bullshit."

As I read the piece today about the mayors endorsing the "build the bridges" project, I recognized it as the safe thing for Mayor England to do. Just as it was for his predecessor.

Expecting leadership from a politician is expecting a lot. This un-nuanced endorsement was politic, but still disappointing.

Building the Utica bridge is essential, as 8664 stands for. Bridges are pretty cheap, but the real money savings would come from 86-ing the downtown bridge, as the mayor suggested to us.

Would you be interested in doing a Sunday night show on New Albany Now to discuss this further, inviting callers (Doug England, Tyler Allen, J.C. Stites, etc.) to join us?

Thanks to NAC for supporting the show's launch, by the way. We have a full schedule of programs set up, and can schedule on short notice, too, like this proposed Sunday show.

If I may, here are key links:

New Albany Now

The Show Portal & Blog

Unknown said...

I'll be at Forecastle on Saturday and encourage one and all to check out the fantastic Indianapolis band Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, playing at 3. Cheers!

Jeff Gillenwater said...

Good call, Shea. I'm pretty jazzed about Extra Golden leading straight into Tortoise, too.

We saw the Fervor, the Protomen, and Lucky Pineapple last night at OVCE's Forecastle kick-off party - a great night up on the Glassworks roof.

If you ever want to get a good sense of what 8664 would mean spatially, that roof is a good place to do it.

There's another chance to see the FLOW documentary on Sunday. I'd recommend that, too, if you're still around.

Unknown said...


There are a few bands I don't know a ton about, Extra Golden being one, that I'm looking forward to seeing. I've been scouring MySpace listening to tracks.

I don't think I'm going Sunday. I bought a one-day Saturday pass. Most of the acts I want to see are playing that day.
This will be my first Forecastle foray. It should be fun ...

It's all a primer for Lollapalooza next weekend in Chicago!


ecology warrior said...

just wait you aint seen nothing yet, good old dougie should be listed as a synonym for bullshit and just think we have 3.5 more years of his reign of error, well New Albany you elected him and we will pay for it.

Iamhoosier said...

I guess we could have had chickenshit instead.

G Coyle said...

oh MY! What a surprise...local leaders are liars?! But then, he's only a product of a local culture of lying that goes back forever. I've always wondered why people are so dishonest here, as compared to other places I've lived. Guess people are afraid to stand up for integrity. Thanks for trying Roger...

The New Albanian said...

Actually, thanks to Bluegill for this one. I didn't write it, but I'm in 100% agreement.