The recent closure of the Sherman Minton bridge has produced no shortage of ideas on how to fix the debacle.
Unfortunately for Louisville’s citizens, the questions on how to fix said debacle are being directed to the business community from Greater Louisville Inc. – the Louisville Chamber of Commerce via Facebook. That method excludes average people from the debate and encourages bad ideas.
We have a lot of talent around here. What we do not have are traffic engineers who focus on moving people instead of vehicles.
Today’s revelation that GLI is asking businesses for feedback on the Sherman Minton situation only confirms my long-held belief that GLI and its minions in Louisville make Mayberry look like think-tanks.
“Possibility City,” located on the banks of the mighty Ohio River, cannot move it’s people or it’s goods across it’s own river.
It is only a matter of minutes before we are once again in Jay Leno territory, being satirized nationwide as a city that is too stupid to find a way to cross a body of water.
It is not as though the river has only recently appeared. Early settlers found ways to make do that were perfectly acceptable.
But soon, business and political organizations would take the reigns away from people and start making the decisions themselves. That is where we are now, thanks to those hacks in charge of the miserably stupid Ohio River Bridges Project.
Of course, actually listening to the people who live in Louisville would disrupt the entire decision-making process that has been cast in stone here for 100 years – a process that keeps good ideas out of the equation and keeps Louisville in the “sleepy river town” category.
So, after having read and listened to the “man on the street,” here are a few ideas that will most likely be ignored by the powers that be.
Because this is how we do it.
- Dismiss and divest of all power every single person sitting on the Bridges Authority board.
- Throw away all the studies, drawings, and opinions of those on the board, take them to Standiford Field, tell them “thanks, nice try” and kiss them goodbye.
- Repair the Sherman Minton bridge assuming it can be repaired.
- Get started on building an East End bridge tomorrow.
- Make plans for a southwest Louisville bridge the day after tomorrow.
- What is old is new again: Make use of the K&I railroad bridge by allowing bus traffic and by giving mass transit vehicles the right-of-way.
- Encourage bus ridership by jacking up parking rates at meters and garages downtown, by lowering bus fares and by compelling local businesses to help subsidize expanded bus service.
- Get the mayor to make Bus Rapid Transit a priority. He brought it up during the campaign and has been running away from it ever since.
- Establish a commission comprised of both citizens and business owners to discuss transportation infrastructure in Louisville. Force the commission to have legal, open meetings and put the resulting ideas on the ballot.
To be living in a city on a river is a nice thing as long as people can cross the damn thing.
When we solve this, we win.
Lets get with it.