Thursday, September 09, 2010

8664: An update

In addition to news that 8664 principal and former Louisville mayoral candidate Tyler Allen is endorsing Hal Heiner in the general election, today brings an email update from JC Stites:

From today's 8664 Update email:

What's happened to 8664?

That's a good question. Basically, we've withdrawn from the bridges discussion for the time being. The good news is the oversized project looks to be taking care of itself. More about that below.

As you know, with the help of some spineless Metro Council members, Mayor Abramson supported handing the decision-making on the bridges issue over to an unelected authority. This group, conflicts and all, has made it clear that they don't care what you think - see public poll info below - and just want to "get 'er done". So, the timing for our less expensive, forward-thinking alternative needs to wait.

In what appears to be an effort to discredit possible alternatives, the Bridges Authority did say at their August 19th meeting that they planned to discuss the scaled-down, toll-free St. Louis bridges project and 8664 at a future meeting. But in their last meeting they took the opportunity to arbitrarily rule out downsizing the ORBP and failed to mention 8664 at all. We've sent numerous emails to find out if/when we might be added to their agenda, but they have not responded. After reading this email, it's probably even less likely.

Back to the good news. Louisville doesn't want to build two bridges. Whether you believe the "two bridges, one project" was a political compromise between KY and IN or a way for special interests to stop the East End Bridge, it doesn't matter. While the increasingly pathetic Courier-Journal has neglected to poll on the issue of bridges for more than a decade, cn|2 did a poll last month and the results are overwhelming and positive.

50.3% want only an East End Bridge
17.3% want only a Downtown Bridge
14.5% want both bridges
10.1% want neither
7.9% refused or don't know

View the entire poll.

So what does this all mean?

It means that Louisville's stale political and media structure got us into this mess. Five years ago, Mayor Abramson basically patted us on the head as to say "never you mind, I've got this all taken care of". Well enough of that.

We need to embrace new media outlets and hold our elected leaders accountable. No more back room deals and unwritten agreements with special interests. Whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent, Louisville's future depends on us to hold politicians accountable.

In conclusion, it's clear that Louisville wants to finally build the East End Bridge and move our regional economy forward. We can and will wrestle the decision making for this project away from the Bridges Authority and do the right thing. Removing I-64 from our waterfront will be a game changer, but its time has not yet come. We'll get there and we will make it happen.

Thanks for your continued support.


JC Stites

PS Need a new 8664 decal? Shoot us an email with your mailing address.

Louisville is great and getting better!

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