Steve Wiser, a local architect and historian, has some thoughts on the Bridges Authority meeting held yesterday:
Tolls are needed on all bridges to pay for this $4 billion dollar project.
BUT – is this $4 billion dollar project needed if tolls on all bridges is the only way to pay for it?
This is the dilemma we face today.
Are we better off, or worse off, if all bridges are tolled?
No community in America has tolled their bridges in this manner. We are essentially cutting ourselves in half.
Do you think Nashville, Indianapolis, or Cincinnati would cut their region in half like this?
We will be conducting a societal experiment never before tried in urban planning. Once you open this Pandora’s Box, you will not be able to close it. I feel many negative consequences will result from it.
I regularly cross the bridge several times a week for shopping and dining. If tolls are passed, I will greatly limit by bridge crossings.
Read the rest from Wiser after the jump…
I have prepared a commentary entitled “A Bridges Reality Check” that I will hope you will read. (For those wanting to read it, it is on my website)
Several of the conclusions are that building only the East End Bridge will carry MORE cross-river traffic than if we built both the new downtown and East End Bridge together – this is per the Bridge Authority’s own “Environmental Impact Statement”. And, the community overwhelming supports the East End Bridge.
Per a recent news report, supersizing highways leads to more accidents, and not less.
And, per the recent news article on job loss in the community, one of the recommendations is to improve regional cooperation. How will tolls do that?
This community needs long-term jobs and tolls will only harm economic development.
There are other options we can implement to achieve this same goal such as separating the project and building local-access bridges. And, I’m in favor of tolling the East End Bridge.
I am a half-glass full optimist, but if tolls on all bridges is approved, I hate to say it but, I will be a half-glass empty pessimist. I hope you do not sign a death warrant for this community.