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.