A six-pack of ON THE AVENUES … because they tell you where we’re headed in 2014.


No, it isn’t because I’m planning on running for office again, although quite the platform is starting to emerge, isn’t it?

December 31, 2013: ON THE AVENUES: Mr. Gahan — plug in this clock.

The ORBP is the undisputed 800-lb gorilla casting a shadow over every single thing mentioned here. We might be doing something about it now; for instance, a commission composed (please God, just for once) of more than just the same tired old usual suspects, to brainstorm coping strategies now, and to engage the public, rather than await the results of useless studies conducted by even more tired old usual consulting suspects, and try yet again to bluff our way through at the very last moment, lest we offend a Democratic Party grandee or dispute Bob Caesar’s self-interested conviction that toll bridges connected to one-way streets will bring an unprecedented number of diamond shoppers downtown.

Thursday, December 5: ON THE AVENUES: Plans and hopes and screams.

“Much like the sacrifice of Mount Tabor residential areas for poorly developed commercial strips on its fringes, the sacrifice of Spring and other nearby streets for Main has long been a part of the plan. And that’s precisely why they don’t/won’t talk about it out loud. A part of any holistic answer, historically and currently, likely has to do with diverting auto traffic to Main, not away from it. That, however, doesn’t fit the current gerrymandering scheme.”

Thursday, November 7: ON THE AVENUES: Me? I’m just a crackpot.

I view it as axiomatic that how we get around, and the manner by which our mobility options influence the surroundings, absolutely should not be determined solely by a self-interested engineering caste … but to so much as consider this bit of evolutionary/revolutionary theory requires our elected and appointed officials to stop squirming like elementary school children, wash the rheumy glaze from their eyes, grow a metaphorical pair, and think a little bit.

September 26, 2013: ON THE AVENUES: You actually can get something for nothing.

… Successive generations of political leadership in New Albany have neglected economic development in the historic core of the city. Finally indies and entrepreneurs took it on themselves to do much of the heavy lifting, on their own, with little more than verbal encouragement. Isn’t it past time for the city to put some real, substantive skin in the game – in a clear, real-world way that benefits the many, rather than the few?

September 19, 2013: ON THE AVENUES: Yellow lines, and what comes due.

Just take every one of those “no-brainer,” “quality of life,” and “economic development” arguments made by those in favor of $20 million worth of new city parks, and grasp that these exact same arguments apply just as strongly to two-way streets, traffic calming and complete streets – at least insofar as the new cadre of independent business owners are concerned.

May 30, 2013: ON THE AVENUES: It’s the wrong way, pal.

Four years later, Spring Street as yet runs one way, with too few stop signs or lights, still tailor-made for speeding and reckless driving. Although you’ll see knowledgeable recreational cyclists using the bike lanes on the north side alongside traffic (as they should), dozens of others merrily pedal the wrong way on both sides of traffic — when not engaged in doing the same on adjoining sidewalks, with scant regard for walkers. I’ve never seen a policeman stop one. I’ve never seen any effort on the part of the city to educate cyclists, or to enforce any outdated laws pertaining to them. This would require having a plan, a scheme, a semblance of an outline, rather as Jeffersonville is doing right now in trying to coordinate a master plan.

And as a special bonus for workaholic readers, this one from 2012.

March 26, 2012: No, I will not shut up, but thanks for the hint. Now, for more on the necessity of independent business empowerment.

 All one needs to know is that in this community, there is almost no disagreement: Independent locally-owned businesses have driven New Albany’s revitalization, and yet in terms of decision-making, the reins are nowhere close to our hands. Why do we acquiesce in this? Why do we not insist on input commensurate with our achievements?