Crazy Ideas on Bridges and Transportation

Call us amazed that the Courier-Journal ran this letter from Gill Holland in the paper this morning. It’s full of radical ideas about the future of transportation and goes against the paper’s notorious anti-8664 stance.

In it, the guy who decided to take a “Just Do It” attitude to the concept of going green by constructing The Green Building suggests that we ditch the idea of a downtown bridge, limit the amount of vehicular traffic in downtown, bring back discussion of light rail, and even close a downtown bridge to traffic.

Holland calls them “blue-sky, out-of-the-box” ideas. Perhaps none will ever get serious consideration. But Holland’s point seems to be that our leaders should re-think their transportation concepts in light of a changing world with the potential at any moment for a return to $4 a gallon gas.

Take a read —  Holland’s letter is after the jump…

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Dueling on the Bridges

Both sides in the bridge debate got themselves in the news yesterday.

Over at 8664, where they advocate building the East End bridge, they’ve released a video and some photos imagining what the riverfront would look like if their plan were to go through.

In Frankfort, lawmakers in the House moved forward a bill that would create a seven-member authority that could oversee building the bridges and could authorize tolls. It gives local government some say in coming up with a strategy for getting the bridges done. The 8664 group, of course, opposes the bill.

It’s not like the either bridge is anywhere close to becoming a reality, but it could be a potential move ahead.

Here’s the 8664 video.

Governor Beshear Eighty-Sixes East End Bridge

According to a press release from 8664, Governor Steve Beshear has shifted funding away from an East End Louisville bridge. From 62% of 2008-2010 road funds to 27%. So much for the Ohio River Bridges Project.

The governor’s road plan reduced the state’s commitment to the ORBP by $236 million. Of that $236 million, $231 million (98%!) was nixed from the East End Bridge.

Tyler Allen had a lot to say in the release: “It’s shocking to me that the one bridge this community fully supports and has been trying to build for over four decades isn’t the clear funding priority. The citizens of this region need to speak up before our elected leaders make a monumental mistake.”

This isn’t going to go over so well. Both John Yarmuth and Anne Northup are going to flip their lids.

On Mythical Ohio River Bridges and Such

Steve Magruder of Louisville History & Issues sent a letter to the Courier-Journal today in response to the paper’s editorial “Deciding who decides” – where the editorial board gives the appearance of ruminating on how the Ohio River Bridges Project will be financed.

Since the C-J is unlikely to publish anything critical of their stance, we’re publishing Steve’s letter in full.

Editorial board pretends its pet monstrosity is going forward

Re: “Deciding who decides” editorial…

Isn’t it quaint to see how the C-J editorial board acts as if this monstrosity of a bridges project is happily going forward, as if there’s no real local opposition to the current plan’s extreme girth and needless destructiveness, and the only question before us is where Kentucky’s share of $4.1 billion is going to come from?

The C-J editorial board needs to face reality: The Ohio River Bridges Project, as it currently stands, is dead. Accordingly, the idea of tolls is dead on arrival. The more the public inspects this bridges plan, the more people realize that most of it simply isn’t needed for enhancing regional transportation. So why pay a lot over the long term for development we don’t want or need? Wouldn’t that be, um, frivolous spending? I have a strong hunch that taxpayers are sick and tired of being treated as spendthrifts.

Read the rest after the jump…

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