Cautious and guarded optimism is merited following yesterday’s tepid “thaw” of a downsizing proposal, but as No 2 Bridge Tolls correctly notes, it’s still very early. The timing of yesterday’s press release obviously was meant to appease critics and lessen the intensity of the anti-toll effort. What this means is simple: Crank up the volume … continue the full-court press … trust, but more importantly, verify. Also, as Bluegill continues to presciently note:
“According to cost estimates currently in KIPDA’s transportation plans, we can build the East End Bridge and a metro region-wide mass transit system for less than the cost of ORBP.”
Our Indiana leaders now want to keep the Sherman Minton & Clark Memorial Toll Free! This means work is paying off! Some cost cutting measures, most importantly reduction in cost of Spaghetti Junction by the Indiana and Kentucky Governor’s offices means they have initiated downsizing the project, which will lead to more victories for the No Tolls efforts in the future. Our organization is not in favor of the reduction of the East End Bridge. Indiana Governor Daniels was recently quoted as saying that a cost-cutting measure could be the reduction of the East End Bridge from 6 to 4 lanes. Our organization supports the current plan for 6 lanes and will actively push to keep it 6 lanes as planned.
Indiana Representative Todd Young, Indiana Ombudsman Carl Pearcy, and a representative from Senator Richard Lugar’s office all last week said our calls are working and to make sure we keep calling.
We need to keep pressure on Indiana Representative Steve Stemler. While he may be strictly on the Bridges Projects side and a supporter of tolls, he has the Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels’ ear. With enough calls to Rep. Stemler’s office, our “No Tolls” message will reach Governor Daniels.
On the Kentucky side, Senators Perry Clark and Tim Shaughnessy announced they are filing an Anti-Toll bill that will prohibit tolls on existing infrastructure. No2BridgeTolls.org is opposed to Tolls on existing structures and supports a reasonable and affordable plan to improve the transportation needs of this community.
This update is good news but we must continue to raise our voices and pens to make sure our elected leaders do not allow the non-elected Bridges Authority’s tolling/finance plan to get rubber stamp approval.
Thank you for your efforts and support. Please continue to help us spread the word.
Following are links to yesterday’s news stories, in case you missed them:
Tribune/Evening News: http://newsandtribune.com/homepage/x1091524330/Governors-mayor-announce-cost-cutting-plans-for-Ohio-River-Bridges-Project
Fox 41: http://www.fox41.com/story/13784583/governors-call-for-reducing-bridge-project-by-500-m