GREEN MOUSE SAYS: The curious case of the speeding ticket, the honest cop, his fuming chief and the city’s abject failure to calm downtown traffic.

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The Green Mouse leaned back and drank deeply from his gunmetal flask, the one with the engraved inscription by Gilby Clarke, former guitarist for Guns ‘n’ Roses.

“You know, Rog, maybe this one’s so bizarre even by New Albanian standards that you tell the story straight, with the minimum of embellishment.”

Well, I’ll give it the good ol’ college try.

As with so many modern morality tales, it begins on Facebook. The post, since deleted for reasons which are about to be discussed, became known to the NA Confidential newsroom when I was brought into the ensuing conversation by a mutual friend.

Good thing I had the presence of mind to make a screenshot.

Here’s the text:

I never do this, but I can’t help myself.

As I was driving down Spring Street in New Albany, a cop pulls out behind me and turns on his lights. I pulled over to get out of his way. He pulls over behind me. I thought maybe I had a tail light out or something because I wasn’t speeding. He comes to the window and says “Ma’am, you were going 36.” After I said ok, he said he has to give me a ticket because the chief of police for Floyd County told him he had to write 5 tickets in that spot tonight. He said others were driving the same speed in front of me, but there was space for him to pull out and pull me over. The officer proceeds to tell me that the Mayor of New Albany is up for re-election and there are tons of political reasons why they do things like this. He said he never gives tickets, but had no choice tonight per the chief. AND for 36mph, my ticket was $165 !!!!

Folks, this is a joke!!!!! If these are the people running the county I live in, I don’t want them to have their positions any longer!!!

So frustrating ……

Shocking, although it makes perfect sense in a demented, distinctly New Gahanian way.

Having failed to implement a panoply of traffic calming measures over and beyond two-way traffic, as suggested by Jeff Speck and others, and with increasing numbers of neighborhood residents along Spring Street beginning to grasp the sheer extent of the engineering debacle, City Hall’s improvised damage control is to do what not one street grid reform advocate ever wanted done, which is use police officers better deployed elsewhere to operate speed traps to facilitate the enforcement that might have been achieved with better results through design — had city officials not been so woefully ignorant of the design principles involved, and determined not to learn anything from the many studies they’d commissioned.

It didn’t take long for the post on social media to rouse the ire of Todd Bailey, chief of police.

DO NOT under any circumstances tell a violator I have directed you to write citations. It is YOUR job and to enforce statutes and I will not tolerate any officer giving violators excuses that it is my order that they are getting citations. It is simple to determine who is doing this and in the event you do so you WILL face severe disciplinary action. You enforce traffic laws because it’s your job, not because you have been directed to do so. I have no idea what insanity has led to telling people this but it stops today.

Wow. The pre-election panic by the Democrats may already have started.

The Green Mouse was told that Bailey called the aggrieved party, apologized, trashed the speeding ticket in return for the original post being deleted from Facebook, then had pointed words with the ticketing officer. The memo reprinted above soon followed. 

Let’s hope the officer in question, whose inadvertent honesty is appreciated in dissident circles, isn’t cashiered. We’re already short on police man (and woman) staffing, aren’t we? It’s a shame available officers are used at speed traps when properly implemented street design might have turned the trick.

Here’s another thought.

Gahan’s City Hall famously placed Speck’s street study in the hands of favored contractor (and huge mayoral campaign donor) HWC Engineering, which fed the report into a nearby sausage grinder and emerged with a plan that has failed to slow traffic, failed to make streets safer for non-automotive users, and failed to enhance walkability.

As such, when the necessary changes eventually must be made, whether during the current occupant’s tenure or by whomever follows, will taxpayers foot the bill — or HWC?

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