Weekend Update: Freshly paraphrased newspaper highlights, including speeding (by design) on Elm Street and a Dutch Treat for the city.


Over yonder, behind Bill Hanson’s graffiti-covered ‘Bamabuilt paywall, there’s an angry letter to the Jeffersonville-based editor from Grace Transue, who takes the New Albany Board of Public Works and Safety quite sternly to task for blithely ignoring persistent complaints about reckless driving and speeding on the city’s one-way Elm Street racing corridor between the Interstate 64 ramp and Vincennes Street.

She makes pointed note of her perception of the board’s cavalier attitude and dismissive body language, which actually serves to direct us to several fundamental truths in what SHOULD be a two-way discussion:

  • A street designed for speeding will (duh) duly produce speeders
  • The Board of Works apparently needs weekly exposure to informative weekly recitations highlighting bold new trends in urban modernity, ones mostly dating back to the city’s founding
  • The Board need not await unnecessary traffic studies to just do something about one-way streets designed for reckless and unsafe driving — as previous boards have been asked to do for ten years running, or longer
  • City Hall continues to gaze numbly upon this and other pressing aspects of the two-way street discussion with an expression resembling that of the proverbial wayward deer in the headlights of an Elm Street driver
  • The police department’s thoughts on speeding enforcement are, shall we say, cursory

We turn to a more detailed, non-metered source on the police department’s recent (and brief) Elm Street observations, as Randy “The Bookseller” Smith explains all at The NewAlbanist:

“Move Along, Nothing to See Here”

In response to a request by a resident of Elm Street (you know who you are), Maj. Keith Whitlow offered up a report to the Board of Public Works and Safety at their regular Tuesday meeting.

As most anyone can tell you, and as everyone who lives on Elm Street can tell you, speeding is a chronic problem there, especially on its one-way stretch from I-64 to Vincennes Street.

In what was reported as a “shift” by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. of Montgomery, Ala., a police officer observed the traffic flow on Elm Street, presumably to ascertain whether there was, indeed, a problem with speeding.

On a street where the speed limit is generally 30 mph, and is highly trafficked at all hours, Maj. Whitlow says his assigned officer observed … 45 cars. (read the rest of the story)

Thank you, Randy.

In other news, it has been revealed that amid a budget crisis of their own making, Floyd County’s bumbling governmental officials haven’t yet appropriated the county’s annual share of the Scribner Place YMCA payment. In fact, the city of New Albany has paid both its $137K bill AND picked up the tab for the county’s $137K balance due.

Remember back when the county approved the yearly Y expenditure even as the city council’s Gang of Four still sought to railroad it? We sure do: County backs Scribner Place, Gang of Four scrambling for new excuses (September 14, 2005).

That’s right. We’ve been doing this for a while, haven’t we?

At this point, dwelling any further on our county government’s breathtaking bankruptcy — a nadir not so much about cash as a gaping chasm of intellect and leadership — would merely constitute a tasteless piling-on, so instead, let’s consider the unexamined component, namely that the city’s annual $137K payment for the Y comprises pretty much the entire expanse of its economic development plan for downtown, apart for periodic dribs and drabs from what’s left of the Urban Enterprise Association since it was Norwooded.

Ah, but I have a dream: The city of New Albany spends a few thousand to repair a sidewalk untouched since the Inman Administration BEFORE an entrepreneur agrees to drop a cool million into rehabbing the building sitting behind it, rather than after.

Pro-active? It’s a forgotten concept here by sanity’s edge.