Grid Control, Vol. 23: City’s fuddy-duddies losing their minds as the debut for a two-way Spring Street is pegged at August 29.

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Thirteen years later, it’s the end of the beginning.

Speaking personally, I think the Spring Street conversion announcement should have been made at roughly 2:30 p.m. on Monday, when the combination of a solar eclipse and impending two-way-street rationality (finally) would have sent the Luddites streaming panic-stricken toward Birdseye.

Spring Street in New Albany to be converted to two-way traffic Aug. 29, by Chris Morris (Hanson’s Motorcycle Christianity)

NEW ALBANY — After years of talk and months of work, Spring Street is ready to be converted to two-way traffic.

Paul Lincks, project manager with HWC Engineering, informed the New Albany Board of Public Works & Safety Tuesday that Spring Street will be switched to two-way traffic some time on Aug. 29. The exact time has not yet been determined, but Lincks said it would likely be after morning rush hour.

HWC is installing message boards throughout the downtown area to inform drivers of the conversion. Bank and Pearl streets will be converted to two-way traffic on Aug. 30. Those streets are currently being striped …

I’m both pleased and depressed.

Yes, we’ll enjoy many of the benefits of two-way traffic, albeit severely neutered by an institutionalized absence of imagination.

With the long overdue modernization of the street grid, Jeff Gahan had the chance to be what he earnestly believes himself to be, but isn’t and won’t ever come close to being: a progressive and transformational mayor.

Jeff Speck handed Gahan top sirloin, and unfortunately the mayor rendered it into Sloppy Joes drowning in auto-centric sauce. The sandwiches will be borderline edible, but my oh my, what might have been in the hands of a knowledgeable kitchen pro.

It never was about two-way traffic in and of itself. It was about recognizing the numerous good outcomes of two-way traffic and maximizing them by design, as with Speck’s discarded bicycle infrastructure.

Alas, Gahan wasn’t the only bad student. Far too many of the two-way street grid reform package’s backers also never understood the ancillaries; as a result, they were far too quick to abandon them to the usual engineering suspects, imagining that if they uttered a peep, Dear Leader would ignore preferred pet projects.

Now that Gahan has half-assed the grid, getting it right is an opportunity lost, one that won’t come around again until downtown streets are ready to be milled and repaved according to the usual maintenance cycle.

Maybe by then there’ll be someone in City Hall capable of grasping the squandered possibilities and acting according to genuinely felt principle, not the perpetual campaign monetization of Gahanism.

Perhaps the best we can do at this point is hope that the perennial low bidder MAC’s 2017 paving job within the grid project’s boundaries is as wretched as what the company managed during the Main Street beautification effort less than four years ago — because then, we’ll be repaving sooner rather than later, and can rectify Gahan’s faulty vision.    

Previously:


Grid Control, Vol. 22: City engineer Larry Summers answers our questions about intersection striping errors and the “No Trucks” sign removal.


Grid Control, Vol. 21: Murderous intersection at Spring & 10th to be repaved and restriped — and, the hocus-pocus with a disappearing “No Trucks” sign at Spring & Vincennes.


Grid Control, Vol. 20: As Team Gahan dawdles, another bicyclist is crushed into mincemeat at 10th & Spring’s dangerous dogleg.



Grid Control, Vol. 19: In a positive move, HWC begins righting the wrong cross hatching on Spring Street.

Grid Control, Vol. 18: Finally a few BoW street grid project answers, almost all of them citing “contractor error.”

Grid Control, Vol. 17: Judging by the misdirection of this “CROSS TRAFFIC DOES NOT STOP” sign, we now reside in the British Empire.

Grid Control, Vol. 16: What about HWC’s cross hatching correction? Will this be finished before or after Team Gahan declares victory?


Grid Control, Vol. 15: Dooring enhancement perfectly epitomizes Deaf Gahan’s “biking last” approach to grid modernization.

Grid Control, Vol. 14: Yes, you can still park on the south side of Spring Street during the stalled two-way grid project.

Grid Control, Vol. 13: “Dear Deaf Gahan and minions: FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, STOP TRYING TO BE COOL AND DESIGNER-ISH. YOU’RE NOT, AND IT’S EMBARRASSING ALL OF US.”



Grid Control, Vol. 12: Meet the artistic crosswalk design equivalent of dogs playing poker.

Grid Control, Vol. 11: HWC Engineering meets with St. Marks, city officials nowhere to be found.

Grid Control, Vol. 10: City officials predictably AWOL as HWC Engineering falls on its sword over striping errors.

Grid Control, Vol. 9: “This was supposed to be discussed with us,” but Dear Leader doesn’t ever discuss, does he?


Grid Control, Vol. 8: City Hall characteristically mum as HWC Engineering at least tries to answer the cross-hatching question.


Grid Control, Vol. 7: What will the Board of Works do to rectify HWC’s striping errors on the north side of Spring Street, apart from microwaving another round of sausage biscuits?


Grid Control, Vol. 6: Jeff Speck tweets about NA’s grid changes, and those missed bicycling opportunities.


Grid Control, Vol. 5: Egg on HWC Engineering’s well-compensated face as it botches Spring Street’s westbound bike buffer cross hatching.


Grid Control, Vol. 4: But this actually isn’t a bus lane, is it?


Grid Control, Vol. 3: TARC’s taking your curbside church parking, says City Hall.


Grid Control, Vol. 2: Southsiders get six more parking inches, but you gotta love those 10-foot traffic lanes on Spring.



Grid Control, Vol. 1: You people drive so freaking horribly that someone’s going to die at Spring and 10th.

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