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NPR: Saying Goodbye to Freeways

"Half a century after cities put up freeways, many of those roads are reaching the end of their useful lives. But instead of replacing them, a growing number of cities are thinking it makes more sense just to tear them down."

"Now, taking down freeways has gone mainstream. Cities as diverse as New Haven, New Orleans and Seattle are either doing it or talking about it. The chief motivation seems to be money."

Read the entire article here.

Louisville's BIG IDEA is 8664!

Today the Greater Louisville Project announced the results of their Your BIG IDEA contest and 8664 ran away with it. Thank you to everyone who voted! And special thanks to James Harvey for submitting 8664.

Read LEO's "8664 wins 'Big Idea' contest" for more details.

LEO Weekly: "The Great Barrier"

Steve Shaw is back at it with another installment of insightful and thorough ORBP observations. The article's sub-title, "Neighborhood leaders, preservationists decry Ohio River Bridges Project as an object of obstruction, not innovation" says a lot, but you must read The Great Barrier for yourself.

You may recall last year's acclaimed article, Burned Bridges.

Columnist Neal Peirce on freeway removal

Read the Time to accelerate freeway removals? article on citiwire.net. It concludes:

"The timing, as the nation turns away from far-out sprawl and more to center cities, should be perfect -- atoning for the last generation's racially-tinged land seizure, making use of prime urban land to create livability, and opening up choice new economic development sites."

LOVE LEO

Seriously, whether you love or hate LEO Weekly, we all should be glad it gives a voice to so many people who don't seem to be represented in other local media outlets. Our paper, for example.

Please take a minute to read today's Jerry's Kids. From today's LEO:

"When asked if the Democrat's "plan B" remark indicates his support for the project is waning, Fischer campaign spokesman Chris Poynter responded via e-mail: "Greg supports the entire bridges project -- both bridges." The entire project entails building an East End bridge, a downtown bridge and re-configuring Spaghetti Junction.

In a recent poll by cn|2 Politics, however, more than 50 percent of Louisville voters said they support building only an East End bridge more than any other combination of the project. And some Fischer supporters believe the bridges project is becoming their candidate's glaring weakness."

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.

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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