July 2010 Archives

Lies and more lies

The Courier-Journal Editorial Board is at it again. They will do anything to thwart the region's most important infrastructure project -- the East End Bridge. Read the lies for yourself.

Now with propaganda and more propaganda from their "independent" news department. According to the CJ, we should all be perfectly happy to pay a $6 toll per trip across the river. Read the comments for some flavor of what most readers think about the tolls, the paper and Mayor's efforts to push the Downtown Bridge.

Reaction to $3 toll estimate

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The Bridges Authority tried to bury the news of a $3 toll estimate on a Friday afternoon, but citizens are paying attention and are tired of the ORBP boondoggle. You can read the report, but it's more interesting to read what the Mayoral candidates had to say about it.

Hal Heiner:

"This afternoon the Louisville Southern Indiana Bridges Authority submitted a report to the regional planning agency with estimated tolls of $6 per trip.  This would represent one of Louisville's largest tax increases and I will not support this rate.  While we realize this is a preliminary number, I urge the authority to work diligently to reduce this rate.  If $6 per trip is the only way the authority can build 2 bridges, then I believe we need to reduce the scope of the project by breaking it into more manageable phases with the east end bridge being the first phase of a multi phase project.  While I believe I-65 and Spaghetti Junction will ultimately have to be addressed, I find a $6 trip financially irresponsible and a burden Louisvillians will not accept."

Greg Fischer:

"We need to build the bridges and to create the thousands of jobs that come with it - but a $3 toll is simply too much"

OK, now we're getting somewhere. The question is, what are we going to do about it? 

Here's what we had to say about it:

"It's time to divide this boondoggle of a project and build the east end bridge without tolls. We ask Greg Fischer and Hal Heiner to stand united for this important regional infrastructure project"

NPR: Marketplace covers NYC Freeway Removal

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This afternoon on NPR's Marketplace, Andrea Bernstein reported from New York City where there is growing momentum to remove an elevated portion of the FDR Drive.

You can listen to the piece by clicking here. Click Listen Now and go to 22:10. You can also view the Photo Gallery Slideshow.

The piece concluded:

"But around the country, mayors and governors are eying urban highway teardowns as the road to development, not congestion."

Except in Louisville, KY where outgoing Mayor Jerry Abramson has been aligned for decades with a special interest group to stop the East End Bridge.

Louisville needs to change. Louisvillians are ready for change. It's time!

NYT: Plan to Remove Bronx Expressway Gains Traction

"For more than a decade, a plan pushed by some [Louisville] residents and transportation advocates has sat on the fringes of the State Transportation Department's to-do list, in part because it would be a radical undoing: tearing down [I-64 on Louisville's riverfront]."

OK, so we made a few changes to the NYTimes article. It's just a matter of time though. We'll get there. Read the article.

Louisville Mag on Bridges

Louisville Magazine Editor Bruce Allar compares BP and the Bridges:

"I don't know about you, but I think I'd place my future infrastructure investment bets with a whiz like Buffett before laying them down with the 1990s thinking that produced our current interstate highway plan calling for two bridges and a rebuilt Spaghetti Junction."

Then Jonathan Meador with LEO followed suit with an excellent piece, Louisville Mag pooh-poohs Bridges. It ends... 

"Regardless, now that Louisville Magazine has joined The New Albany News and Tribune, LEO Weekly and other local news organs in speaking out against/being critical of/not blindly following the ORBP, that leaves The Courier-Journal as the loudest (and sole) media drum-banger for this tone-deaf waste of Kentuckiana taxpayers' money, which would be sadder were it not wholly unsurprising."

... but you should just click the link and read the whole thing.

LEO Weekly: Bridge to Division

In this week's LEO, writer Steve Shaw covers the state of the ORBP's financing options. Attending last week's Bridges Authority meeting, he updates readers on the Bridges Project boondoggle:

"Last Thursday, the Ohio River Bridges Project Bi-State Authority heard impassioned pleas to finance and build the East End bridge first; downsize the demolition and expansion of Spaghetti Junction; not to toll existing bridges; not to toll any bridges; not to build a downtown bridge; and to scrap the project in favor of public transit."

Read the article on LEOWeekly

The end of the article also provided a curious quote from Candidate Greg Fischer:

"There's a lot of people that are excited about something that may not occur."

We'll try to seek clarification on that comment.

Here are some questions we submitted to the Bridges Authority today:

Wilbur Smith's November 2007 tolling study suggests that demand and resulting revenue from a tolled East End Bridge would be low if it were the only bridge tolled. That's not surprising considering an erroneous assumption that the Downtown Bridge and 23-lane Spaghetti Junction is completed.

Question #1: Did the previous study make this incorrect assumption?

According to the project's last published schedule (Jan. 2009), the EE Bridge should open 6 years before the Downtown Bridge. Therefore the projected demand for tolling the EE Bridge should be based on the assumption that there is no new Downtown Bridge or expanded Spaghetti Junction for at least the first six years? Additionally, this demand data should be itemized as "pre" and "post" Downtown Bridge completion.

Question #2: Will the Authority's new tolling study correct this issue?

There are also two other items which should be reflected in the new tolling study. Since the new Spaghetti Junction is scheduled to take 17 years to complete, the demand model should be calibrated for likely downtown construction delays.

Furthermore, since the last tolling study, KIPDA has removed the widening of I-64 through the Cochran Tunnel from the region's long range transportation plan. This will likely have a significant impact on regional traffic patterns. In fact, a study without constraining the width of I-64 to four lanes in that section would be clearly flawed.

Question #3: Will both of the above issues be incorporated into the new tolling study?

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  • Anonymous: I see spagetti getting fatter, wider, bigger and taller. What read more
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