A $60,000 PR hit job by KYTC
Today we received a copy of what is supposed to be a study of the 8664 alternative by KYTC's consultant. If they had wanted to make a good faith attempt of assessing our plan, they would have contacted us to clarify the specifics of our alternative and/or accepted our offer to provide a transportation engineer to oversee the study.
Instead they misrepresented our alternative by asserting:
- I-64 will be widened to six lanes through Cherokee Park
(second to last bullet point on page 2)
- I-71 would also be widened to six lanes
- I-64 and I-71 terminate at Clay Street
- Waterfront Boulevard would divide the Great Lawn
- we don't address Kennedy Bridge rehabilitation
All of the above are incorrect, and therefore KYTC's analysis is NOT a 8664 Study. In fact, if you wanted the 8664 alternative to fail, you would do exactly what they have attempted to do -- force more interstate and limited access traffic into Spaghetti Junction and change where the I-64 ramp enters downtown.
So how will the Courier-Journal choose to cover this story? Will they point out that the study doesn't assess the 8664 alternative?
Back in August when we filed an open records request and discovered that KYTC was studying our alternative, the CJ reported that the consultant said they were studying a two bridge alternative. Here's the quote:
"8664 had claimed that the state had been studying its proposal. However, an official with engineering consultant Wilbur Smith Associates of Lexington said the analysis focused on two bridges, a redesigned Spaghetti Junction and turning Interstate 64 into a surface-level parkway downtown."
Fast forward four months, now apparently they didn't study a "two bridge solution" after all. Why didn't the consultant know what they we're studying after it was 93% complete?
Also, will the C-J cover the fact that KYTC is assuming that the Cochran Tunnel will be removed to widen I-64?
You might recall Secretary Prather cancelled the "8664" Study in March of this year when it was 93% or one week from completion. This was according to the results of our Open Records
request. The stated reason for cancelling the study was it was during "a delicate time" in the General Assembly as lawmaker's debated legislation on ways to pay for the project. Think TOLLS.
If you came to our 2nd Annual Forum last week you heard us predict that the study might just appear before the 2009 Session in an effort to discredit our alternative and generate support for tolling authority legislation. Well, that appears to be what's going on here.
Why would KYTC wait close to four months to deliver an inaccurate assessment of 8664? According to their own records, the study was just one week from completion. So why now?
"Oh, that Cochran Tunnel thing"
They are planning on destroying a portion of the 100+ year old Olmsted-designed Cherokee Park to make way for more trucks to barrel through downtown Louisville. Say what? Does the Mayor for Life approve of this plan? He's on the KIPDA board, so he must have known about it. I can think of a couple Metro Council members and neighborhood associations that are going to find this little factoid a little troubling.