April 2008 Archives

8664 Supports public transit

8664 enthusiastically supports public transit.

And we support a pedestrian and bike-friendly city with better transportation planning.

But we do not support efforts to stop the Ohio River Bridges Project. 

If we've learned anything from the 40-year debate about building a bridge, it should be that we need to prioritize. The "two bridges, one project" idea is flawed and will only delay the entire project. While the idea of doing nothing is appealing to those that oppose the East End Bridge, it will only hurt Louisville in the longrun.

It is a fact that the majority of citizens in this region support building a bridge across the Ohio River. Likewise, it is clear that the majority of people prefer an eastern bridge to complete the I-265 beltway. So our current priority is to complete this automotive connection so we can move on to other important community issues.

We want to fix Spaghetti Junction. We want to reconnect with the West End. We want to build the most spectacular waterfront park in the country. We want to unite the region around a vibrant downtown. And again, we want to invest in public transit.

But first, we need to build the East End Bridge.

Destructive anti-East End Bridge Strategy

On April 4th, Jim Welch, Jr. the past president of River Fields and current Chairman of Downtown Development Corporation ("DDC") and board member of the Build the Bridges Coalition responded to our letter to the editor.

Mr. Welch accused us of "creating conspiracy theories and other diversionary tactics." Presumably, he is referring to our assertion that Mayor Abramson is promoting the Downtown Bridge and 23-lane Spaghetti Junction because he personally does not support an East End Bridge. For the record, we are not the only conspiracy theorists. Last November, in reference to "two bridges, one project," Indiana's Governor Mitch Daniels told the Tribune that "The 'one project' idea - I think for some people - it was a tactic to delay the whole project."

Rather than making accusations of us, it would be more productive for Mr. Welch to address our assertion. Why is someone who has opposed the East End Bridge for decades serving on the Build the Bridges Coalition? Why do the current and past Chairs of DDC have ties to River Fields? Why would our Mayor say 8664 was already studied when it wasn't? If 8664 is "flawed", why won't the Mayor allow us to pay for KIPDA to run the traffic model?

We respect Mr. Welch and his commitment to this community, but we believe the strategy of pushing for a Downtown Bridge and 23-lane Spaghetti Junction to delay the East End Bridge is dishonest and destructive.

It is unfortunate that accusations are flying, but so be it. We need to get this right.

JC Stites

Tyler Allen

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Recent Comments

  • Anonymous: I see spagetti getting fatter, wider, bigger and taller. What read more
  • 8664: This is crazy. We don't even need another downtown bridge. read more
  • Larry Anas: The way I look at it: Q: Why are we read more
  • steven: Check it out, you guys won the 'your big idea read more
  • Kelly: Matt, My concerns about Hazmat are the same. I asked read more
  • paula metcalf: you can build a new arena and fund it but read more