Not in Nawbany, but in Idaho: “Main Street is no longer only a place for cars — it is a place increasingly linked to public spaces built by and for locals.”

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As it pertains to taming the inadequacies of a high-speed, pass-through street grid, Mayor Jeff Gahan and his merry band of minions have spent the past few years seeking to disprove the time-tested axiom that one must break eggs to make an omelette.

In effect, they’ve substituted powdered eggs, and as a result, it’s an omelette, all right — just not a very good one.

We’ve spent millions of dollars for an illusion of reform that in plain fact has resulted in a doubling-down of car-centrism. One-way highways have been transformed … into two-way highways. The problems remain, and the opportunities continue to be squandered.

But one thing cannot be denied: Gahan’s campaign finance coffers have been enriched by all the folks and their companies who have benefited from these contracts.

Are you feeling any safer? I’m not. Meanwhile there’s a quaint little local oligarchy, carved out at the expense of each and every one of us. Look past the smoke, mirrors, deception and bright shiny objects, and see the corruption hiding in plain sight.

It’s not a pretty picture, is it?

TAKING BACK MAIN STREET IN HAILEY, IDAHO, by Katherine Peinhardt (Project for Public Spaces)

Can a city re-design its Main Street to the human scale? The town of Hailey, Idaho set out to answer this question in 2015, starting with Highway 75, a primary thoroughfare for multiple towns in the Wood River Valley. The highway, which moves large volumes of high-speed vehicles every day, also serves as Hailey’s Main Street, though the wide street was no place for locals to linger and it lacked a true sense of place. PPS and partners at New Mobility West, an initiative of Community Builders, along with transportation organizations like Mountain Rides kicked off the placemaking process by joining Hailey residents in taking a closer look at Main Street and reimagining it as a place for people. The process was made possible through the vision and funding of the LOR Foundation, which works on the ground with rural stakeholders to meet local challenges and create a shared vision of success.

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