Jamey Aebersold is wrong about street safety. Evidently facts are for non-smoking campaigns alone.

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13 Simple But Factual Ways Biking Is Better.

Ask musician/favorite son Jamey Aebersold about smoking, and he will bombard you with reams of research.

I’ve seen and heard him do it.

Ask Aebersold, and he’ll readily tell you that it isn’t merely his opinion on the matter of tobacco. He has gathered facts, and he’ll go fetch before-and-after lung graphics from the trunk of his car to illustrate the point. He deploys factual anti-smoking information like a general wielding his legions.

In short, it is fitting and proper to use facts when making an argument.

However, when the topic turns to the proper use and management of city streets, Aebersold seemingly no longer is interested in facts. In short order, Aebersold becomes just another tone deaf guy pounding Bud Lights in a smoky bar, opinionating.

Jeers

I don’t know why any biker would want to ride on Spring Street or Charlestown Road in New Albany. It’s way too dangerous. Those streets are for moving vehicles, not bikers. I think it’s a terrible idea to make bike lanes on those two city streets!

— Jamey Aebersold, New Albany

Think about it.

These streets are dangerous, so rather than make the streets safer by addressing the conditions that make them dangerous, the obvious solution is to remove all non-automotive elements from the streets — you know, just like on the interstates.

That’s shortenedbreathtaking.

There is no thought of the health of the city, through which these dangerous routes pass.

No mention of contemporary urban transportation trends.

No examination of the way that road design impacts property values and quality of life.

No evidence that Aebersold has researched the issue at all.

Perhaps Aebersold would be more convincing when pontificating on streets if he chose to embrace the same fact-based approach he uses to denounce smoking (did you know that his latest campaign is to convince the Harvest Homecoming committee to make its open-air street festival smoke free?)

I bet Aebersold has a few facts to back his “no smoking” request. What’s more, he always has used his well-earned celebrity to advance his non-smoking agenda, and that’s fine with me, because his smoking positions actually are factual.

When the facts evaporate, so does the credibility of his soap box. Of course, he’s fully entitled to his own opinions — just not to his own facts.

If Aebersold intends to become an advocate for street grid status quo, isn’t he obliged to to operate under the same fact-based regime?

Perhaps Aebersold might begin by bringing himself up to date on concepts like this: Road diet. Believe it or not, the internet is filed with a wide range of … (wait for it) … facts about the topic. Heaven forbid, he might even read this important work, seeing as neither Bob Caesar nor Irv Stumler have bothered: Jeff Speck’s Downtown Street Network Proposal.

Or do good ol’ boys get an automatic Irv Fact Pass?

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