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Green Cities article in USA TODAY

The article about the "Our Cities Ourselves" exhibit in New York City begins:

"Imagine no cars -- or fewer, anyway.

In New York, a two-mile stretch of the FDR Drive parkway is torn down to open lower Manhattan for parks and plazas, and bicyclists are given their own lane on the Brooklyn Bridge.

An elevated highway in Guangzhou, China, is transformed into a pedestrian promenade and rooftops are linked by raised walkways and bikeways."
--
"A year ago nobody thought you could close Broadway," he said. "But suddenly it's closed, and everyone loves it."
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The "mainstream" media is covering how the best and brightest thinkers are looking at cities in new ways to make them more human-scale and environmentally sustainable. Our latest video discusses some of these issues, but Louisville's political leadership is too entrenched with the anti East End Bridge folks to do the right thing for our future. Who are you going to vote for to lead Louisville? Are they going to do the right thing?

CJ's "Building bridges" Editorial

The Courier-Journal's recent Building Bridges editorial was another attempt by the editorial board to try to scare politicians into supporting the $4.1 Billion Ohio River Bridges Project. But it's not going to work because people are tired of it. After praising their beloved Mayor Abramson for saying that he sees "light at the end of the bridges", they had the audacity to say:

"the community should insist that candidates who aspire to city and state leadership fully embrace the bridges project"

If you don't agree, take a minute to let them know why they are wrong. They have been doing this for years, but their tactics are running a little thin (like the paper, come to think of it). They went on to misrepresent the project:

"It shouldn't be necessary to repeat this for mayoral candidates, but here goes: The record of decision for the project is a done deal, arrived at after years of study and discussion and agreed to by a broad consensus of the political and business leadership in two states. It calls for both bridges to be pursued at the same time, and for good reason."

According to the ORBP website, the East End Bridge is to be completed before construction on the downtown bridge even begins. They imply that both bridges must be built at the same time, but that's factually incorrect and very intentional misleading.

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LEO Weekly: "Burned Bridge"

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eebridge.jpg"Politics, power and obstruction: Has Louisville's most prominent preservation group lost its vision?"

Steven Shaw did a heck of a job covering a very difficult story. Read it!

A Letter from Mayor Abramson

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The following was Mayor Abramson's response to a recent pro-8664 letter:

Dear "You",

Thank you for your correspondence on plans for building new bridges.

All three of our existing bridges would be carrying more traffic than they were designed to handle by 2030, based on a recent study. Our busiest bridge and a key link in our economic hub - the Kennedy Bridge (I-65) - would be 44 percent over capacity and the Clark Memorial Bridge would be 78 percent over capacity under the 8664 proposal, based on the study's traffic analysis. 

Our letter to Secretary Prather  outlined the inaccuracies in the study. For example, it assumes I-64 is widened through the Cochran Tunnel. According to the 2003 EIS, building just the East End Bridge will reduce Kennedy Bridge traffic by 30,000 vehicle/day.

These findings do not support the purpose of the Bridges Project, which is to address cross-river transportation needs in the region.

According to the EIS building only the East End Bridge will provide 10,700 more daily river-crossings than building only the Downtown Bridge.

The two new bridges and rebuild of Spaghetti Junction were approved as one project. To change course and build just the east end bridge would require additional studies that would take years to complete while our cross-river congestion and safety problems are not addressed and threaten the region's future economic prosperity.

Mayor Abramson insisted that the Downtown Bridge be part of the project. We can and should build the East End Bridge without "changing the course" of the Bridges Project.

Based on years of studies and debate including the KYTC study released last November, the evidence supports building two new bridges and rebuilding Spaghetti Junction. The entire project needs to be completed as quickly as possible so we can save on project costs and our region can realize the benefits - job growth, reduced congestion, safer roads and bridges and opportunity for more transportation options.

If we want to "save on project costs" and "realize the benefits" sooner, then we should pursue a better, faster and much cheaper alternative. 8664 is estimated to cost $2.2 Billion or roughly half the ORBP's $4.1 Billion.

Thank you again for your correspondence.

Mayor Jerry E. Abramson 

Mayor Abramson continues to say that the Downtown Bridge is more important for Kentucky, but Jefferson County residents don't agree. According to a January 2008 poll of 500 Jefferson County residents, the East End Bridge is preferred over a Downtown Bridge by more than a 2 to 1 margin.

According to today's Courier-Journal article, Kentucky won't issue $232 Million in bonds -- already approved by lawmakers -- because they don't have a clear future funding source. This is not surprising, considering the majority of the project ($2.6 Billion) is a downtown bridge and 23 lane Spaghetti Junction expansion that the community doesn't support.

Curiously missing from the article, is a quote from Mayor Abramson. You may remember that in his 2007 State of the City speech, Mayor Abramson said the Ohio River Bridges Project was his #1 priority.

Here's what we had to say in the article:

"The east bridge will reduce traffic congestion, improve our regional economy and it is supported widely on both sides of the river," said Tyler Allen, 8664's co-founder. "Only after its construction has begun can we have an open discussion about transforming downtown for the better."

If you're tired of delays and want to get something done, write the C-J and contact the Mayor and tell them it's time to build the East End Bridge.

Tolling Authority legislation does not pass

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It's a good day for Louisville

If you don't think we should toll all of Louisville's bridges to fund the massive expansion of a 23 lane Spaghetti Junction (15 years of construction, $2.6 Billion), then today is a good day. The Bridges Coalition which Mayor Abramson pulled together to push for tolls and the construction of the Downtown Bridge (i.e. Not the East End Bridge) didn't get it done this session. We'll keep you posted.

Maybe now we can have an honest conversation about the high benefit/cost ratio and overwhelming citizen support for the East End Bridge.

3/30 Update: In today's letter to the editor, The Bridges Coalition Chairman Ed Glasscock laments the failed legislation and the project's job creation potential. In our opinion, hiring people to build outdated and grossly over-built transportation infrastructure will only hurt the region's long-term economic prospects. Instead, we should be investing in transit and green space to make Louisville a more attractive, livable and sustainable city.

Letter to the Editor

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Response to the "8664" Study

On December 16th the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet released an  "8664" Traffic study. Two days later, a Courier-Journal editorial celebrated our defeat. For those who oppose the East End Bridge, it made for great reading. Now we would like to respond with the facts.

The "8664" Study

Simply put, KYTC didn't study our alternative. We don't widen I-64 through Cherokee Park or terminate current day I-64 at Clay Street. There are other inaccuracies, but these two modeling "mistakes" serve to simultaneously increase traffic flow into downtown and restrict it once it gets there. On January 5th, Transportation Secretary Prather acknowledged these mistakes.

Nine pro-8664 web-only letters and counting

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Click the link below to read letters that the Courier decided not to print.

KYTC Fails to Study 8664

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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.

A Tolling Authority would be "F#%$ing gold"

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We'd like to spend our time talking about the benefits of a vibrant, sustainable downtown. But the entrenched political and media interests are working against us, so we need to speak out.

When it comes to bridges, a small group of citizens and elected leaders will do anything to stop an East End Bridge. The politicians are being dishonest with the people who elected them.

City Center and the Downtown Arena are two examples of how decisions get made without the input of tax-paying citizens like you. GLI and other groups like DDC and the Bridges Coalition are used to support an agenda without your input or the input of the Metro Council. It's a practice that needs to be stopped if we want true public discourse on important city issues like bridges.

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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