Recently in Bridges Coalition Category

8664 Release: Traffic Declining Since 2003 ROD

Read yesterday's 8664 Highlights Declining Traffic Volumes press release:

"The day before the Bridges Authority votes to toll the region's interstate bridges to pay for the $4.1 Billion Ohio River Bridges Project, 8664 highlights interstate traffic trends. Traffic counts for Kentucky's interstates are reported by The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, so 8664 compiled a snapshot of interstate traffic volumes since the Record of Decision was signed in 2003. Declining traffic volumes on all three interstates (I-65/I-64/I-71) in close proximity to the Kennedy Bridge and Spaghetti Junction begs many questions. For example:

  • Why would we toll our bridges to expand Spaghetti Junction's capacity when demand is not increasing?
  • Why would we build a project based on gas prices of $1.50/gallon, when it's actually doubled in just seven years?
  • Why won't the Bridges Authority embrace public opinion and work to "divide and phase" the project?

"The pro-Bridges folks will try to say the decline is due to the bad economy, but it clearly has more to do with the price of gas." said JC Stites, 8664 Co-Founder. He went on to say, "Spaghetti Junction is not too small, it just has a couple design flaws that could be addressed quickly and cost effectively after an East End Bridge is build."

Say NO 2 Bridge Tolls coverage

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The Bridges Coalition is desperate

While claiming to state the "simple truths" about the Ohio River Bridges Project, the Bridges Coalition continues to misrepresent the project.

They say "in front of downtown, I-64 will move farther from the river," but the picture below from the ORBP's website doesn't lie:

The Great Lawn w ORBP.JPG

Roll your mouse over the photo above to see the plan for widening I-64 by 50% over the Great Lawn of Waterfront Park.

They also say "The interchange's footprint is roughly the same size as the current road system". Again, they aren't letting fact or the truth get in their way. Take a look at this post to see how the footprint of a 23 lane Spaghetti Junction will expand.

Bridges Authority says they will discuss 8664

Here is today's Bridges Authority to look at 8664 Press Release (PDF). 

Per the release: 

"At last Thursday's Bridges Authority meeting, Authority Secretary Sandra Frazier of Tandem Public Relations announced that the Bridges Authority would be discussing the 8664 alternative and a bridge project in St. Louis that was scaled down to avoid tolls at their next meeting. Clearly there are new reasons for reconsidering the $4.1 Billion Ohio River Bridges Project.

"With last week's poll showing only 15% of Louisvillians support building two bridges, coupled with the overwhelmingly negative reaction to tolling Spaghetti Junction, it's clearly time to look for better options" said JC Stites, 8664 Co-Founder. According to Insight Communications' recent poll, while only 14.5% supports building both bridges, a combined total of 64.6% support building the East End Bridge."

This is exciting news for anyone who wants to see Louisville progress and find a more reasonable approach to solving our transportation needs. We have contacted the author of our Feasibility Study (Walter Kulash) and hope to have him here for the next meeting on October 7th.

 

Cynics have suggested that this politically-appointed board could have an ulterior motive, bringing up 8664 just to trash the idea. After all, the Authority's website says it "is not charged with changing the project's scope".

But we are going assume the best to go to the meeting with the full intention of presenting the case for a less expensive, more sustainable plan.

We would welcome your input. Email us at info@8664.org.

Bridges Authority Meeting Videos

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Check them out. Thanks to HillbillyReport.org for covering the meeting.

This afternoon the Transportation Committee of Metro Council gave the Tolling Authority resolution the rubber stamp. Despite articulate pleas by Councilwoman Ward-Pugh and Councilman Owen for public involvement, the four other present transportation committee members abdicated their responsibility to govern and passed the resolution.

James Welch Jr. says his views have "evolved"

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If you read today's Letter to the Editor, you learned that James Welch, Jr., the past President of River Fields (the organization who has fought construction of the East End Bridge) and current Chairman of the Downtown Development Corporation says he now supports the "entire" bridges project. 

In River Fields' 1994 Press Release to push for the Downtown Bridge, Mr. Welch was adamently opposed to the East End Bridge:

"Improving access to a small portion of the community [by building an East End Bridge] while access across the overall region continues to suffer is absurd and hurts more citizens than it helps."

Note: According to the Environmental Impact Statement, the East End Bridge provides better access across the overall region. 

As Chairman of the Build the Bridges Coalition finance committee, Mr. Welch has been an advocate for using tolls to pay for the "entire" Bridges Project.

In unrelated news, River Fields appears pleased that tolls might be used to build the Bridges Project. Their attorney had this to say:

"We look forward to participating in the review that will be necessary to comply with environmental laws if tolls are chosen as part of this financial plan."

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.

Bridges Coalition's new videos

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The Build the Bridges Coalition recently released a couple videos intended to promote the Ohio River Bridges Project and a tolling authority to fund its $4.1 Billion price tag.

It's worth checking out the New Downtown Bridge Fly-over video. Stop the video at 0:17 and you'll see that their rendering actually shows I-64 dropping to grade across the waterfront. Great idea! Clearly this wasn't intended.

So what portion of the rendering did they intentionally leave out? We'll give you a hint, it represents more than half the cost of the Bridges Project but it's not a bridge. You guessed it, the 23 lane Spaghetti Junction.

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.

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