ORBP tolling resolution: Contact your city councilperson, please.


I seldom do this, but let’s try something different. As reported here (with a link to the original News and Tribune article), New Albany’s city council will be considering a non-binding resolution at its Thursday evening meeting.

Below are the council members and their contact information. It would be a good time for blog readers to contact your councilpersons and express support for the resolution. Here are three bullet points why, although other reasons apply:

  • Adverse economic impact on those least able to afford it.
  • Adverse economic impact on independent small business, threatening the one sector arguably responsible for NA’s recent turn-around.
  • “Negative impact on traffic flow” in New Albany, something far less considered, but perhaps more important for New Albany’s future than anything else. 

From Daniel Suddeath’s newspaper piece:

The resolution differs from the Jeffersonville measure in that it suggests that if the bridges project is approved with tolling, that sound barriers be installed along Interstate 64 and I-265 in New Albany.

The reason being is that the Sherman Minton Bridge is unlikely to be tolled for at least the initial phase of the project, which includes the addition of the downtown and east-end bridges as well as the reconfiguration of Spaghetti Junction, (John) Gonder said. Thus, more traffic would likely be diverted on the Indiana side to New Albany as motorists would look to avoid tolls required to cross the Ohio River in Clark County, he continued.

Such a pattern would have a “negative impact on traffic flow throughout the city,” Gonder said. He added the sound barriers would be needed to restrict noise pollution in the city due to the additional traffic.

This final consideration is the one I’ve been emphasizing when contacting councilpersons, while concurrently urging that irrespective of what happens with the Ohio River Bridges Project, it is imperative for New Albany to take back the city’s streets now, with a plan for two-way traffic, traffic calming and “complete streets”, before our avenues become a de facto grid of on-ramps for pass-through traffic. It’s hard to imagine a more worthy program of work for the Bicentennial.

Please consider a phone call or e-mail to your representatives.

City Council

At-Large – Shirley Baird
3202 Plaza Drive Apt. 99
(812) 725-7527, sbaird@cityofnewalbany.com
At-Large – John Gonder
602 Captain Frank Rd.
(812) 944-3121, jgonder@cityofnewalbany.com
At-Large – Kevin Zurschmiede (Current Vice-President)
1636 Slate Run Road
(812) 945-7827, kzurschmiede@cityofnewalbany.com
1st District – Dan Coffey
425 West Seventh Street
(812) 949-1262, dcoffey@cityofnewalbany.com
2nd District – Robert Caesar
614 Camp Ave.
(812) 945-8744, rcaesar@cityofnewalbany.com
3rd District – Greg Phipps
1105 E Spring Street
(812) 949-8317, gphipps@cityofnewalbany.com
4th District – Patrick McLaughlin
1739 Florence Ave.
(812) 949-9140, pmclaughlin@cityofnewalbany.com
5th District – Diane Benedetti (Current President)
1343 Slate Run Rd
(812) 945-6240, dbenedetti@cityofnewalbany.com
6th District – Scott Blair
3925 Rainbow Drive
(812) 697-0128, sblair@cityofnewalbany.com