On the errant notion of downtown two-way gridlock: The “I’ll huff and puff and boycott a place I rarely go anyway, except to pass through” approach.

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Just imagine if City Hall and captive non-profits like Develop New Albany had devoted just a bit of time educating the populace. Well, parties are more fun, I guess.

On the topic of impending two-way streets, our neighbor Jessica hits the center of the target and drops the mic:

“I’m sorry that this is going to slow down your commute and not allow you to speed down my neighborhood street. I’m sorry that two-way streets are going to make it safer for pedestrians. I’m sorry that this is going to cause less accidents to occur. I’m sorry this is going to make our city a walkable city. I’m sorry that this transition is going to continue to help our local businesses thrive. I’m sorry that this is going to make it safer for my family and all of the families with children that have begun to move to this area. Imagine if your subdivision/neighborhood streets were a speedway and think about how you would feel? Now think about downtown New Albany.” 

Her hashtag: #sorrynotsorry

Right on, neighbor. Right on. Yesterday the social media-sphere was filled with the threats of flat-earthers to boycott downtown New Albany because the exact same number of traffic lanes will exist after the two-way reversion, just as they did before, but because the configuration is different, OMIGOD HOW WILL WE EVER MANAGE IT.

Maybe by paying attention?

There is a word that can’t be repeated often enough to those who threaten to boycott downtown because two-way streets will require them to drive a tad more slowly and (heaven forbid) pay attention to the community outside their car windows:

Promise?

Even before the mayor has mounted his first self-congratulatory plaque, indignant pass-through drivers are screaming about gridlock, and as usual, Jeff Gillenwater provides the most devastating refutation of these spasms:

If people have to wait for more than a traffic light or two in downtown New Albany after having already sped through the neighborhood, traffic is “backed up” and that’s usually just because too many drivers aren’t smart enough to take alternate routes all of two blocks in either direction from Spring. It often takes me longer to exit the interstate via the 9th Street ramp in Louisville than it does to navigate the “traffic” in downtown New Albany. It’s a lot like parking perception: There are typically so few problems with automobile congestion in Downtown New Albany, any seems like a lot. Those frustrated drivers, though, like to take it out on everybody else once they hit the ramps, driving 70-75 mph and weaving in and out of lanes because everybody knows that it’s well worth risking multiple lives to keep them from being five minutes late to wherever they’re going. I mean, they might not have time for a second cup of coffee at their destination before they have to get started with their work. If everybody driving a car was 1/3 as important as a lot of them seem to think they are, I could roll down my windows and chat with Nobel Prize winners every morning.

Perhaps my favorite of all was the man who said he’d be taking his business to all the wonderful restaurants on Veterans Parkway.

Dude: don’t make promises that you can’t keep.

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