Speed Thought Control: Board of Works, city engineer still unable to grasp reality when it comes to speedway street grid dangers, so they spout meaningless drivel.


Team Gahan can be like a pile of wet rags. It can also be like a cat.

There are a number of reasons cats arch their backs, but here are the three main ones … first is that of the fear aggressor. In this classic Halloween pose, a cat arches his back and shows piloerection (i.e., his hair stands straight up) as a way of making himself look bigger when confronted with danger. When a cat looks like this, he is basically saying, “I’m scared of you but I’m ready to defend myself if you come any closer.” The cat may also make it clear that he’s ready to defend himself by doing things like growling, hissing, spitting and showing his teeth. If you encounter a cat giving this display, the best response is to slowly back away and give the cat his space.

Just like at this week’s Bored with Public Works and Safety meeting, from which we learn that one whole year after erecting completely useless, HWC Engineering-inspired crosswalk signals-to-drivers-to-maim-pedestrians, the city now proposes to make a helpful instructional video. Let’s hope drivers watch it BEFORE hopping into their speeding cars.

Does HWC get the contract for the video, too?

It’s awesome the way the city’s expert functionaries are questioned, and ZOOM — up go their backs. Meanwhile, the stenographer Chris Morris still refuses to question the bilge spewed at him from all directions.

Please, Bill, may we have a reporter who possesses a minuscule iota of intellectual curiosity about the planet?

Seriously, can it get any dumber than this?

I’m not sure whose eyeballs city engineers Larry Summers is using when he surveys supposedly obvious “reduction in speed” on Spring Street, but isn’t it inadvertently hilarious that in the immediate aftermath of the story related here …

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.

… we now have “evidence” in the form of droll claims that fewer speeding tickets have been issued, when in fact the police department vastly curtailed its usual downtown speed traps after two-way streets were implemented — and rightly so, this being one objective of proper design to reduce speed, which we largely failed to put into place out of political squeamishness, if not stupidity.

Yes: the cops can’t write tickets when they’re not monitoring speed, can they?

The police presence became noticeable only AFTER neighborhood residents complained to BOW, only to be told smugly that city officials who never walk the streets are a far better judge of such matters than people who live astride them.

Anyone seen my pitchfork?

It’s been an utter fiasco, and City Hall remains in a Orwellian state of institutional denial and serial tone deafness. The only sensible thought uttered by any of the officials quoted in the article below is this, from Al Knable:

“I am for whatever works to slow traffic.

Exactly. Shouldn’t each of them, mayor and minions, begin any instance of commenting about speed and safety with an affirmation of this simple, single objective?

Shouldn’t they be fighting to implement safety measures, rather than making the sort of “we can’t do nuthin’ at all” excuses, just like this oldie but still goodie:

Summers said he does not think a stop sign or signal can be installed at Fourth and Spring because a traffic count would not warrant one. He said there is not enough traffic on any of the side streets, off of Spring, that would require a stop sign.

Jeeebus, Larry: then conduct the fucking traffic count as a prelude, and if the state’s cars-first standards aren’t serving the cause of walkable street grid safety, can’t we fight against THEM, to do what’s right for US, rather than dismissing safety because enhancing safety is too much trouble?

Ah, but wait. 

We’d have to consult with Republicans like Ed Clere to do that, wouldn’t we?

And that’s why we don’t bother fighting for safe streets, isn’t it?

Our New Gahanian milieu may be comprised of counter-productive anti-intellectual squalor, but it’s our DEMOCRATIC PARTY’s counter-productive anti-intellectual squalor. If New Albany can only be as bright as its leading elements, then literally, we’re a place where the sun don’t shine.


Speed Control: New Albany collecting Spring Street speed, by Chris Morris (Tom May’s Summa Theologica)

NEW ALBANY — One of the reasons the city of New Albany converted Spring Street to two-way traffic last year was to control speed. And for the most part, it has worked.

Instead of three lanes of traffic heading in one direction, Spring Street was cut down to two lanes going east and west. It’s obvious traffic moves at a slower pace from Vincennes to State Street.

“I know from talking to the police chief that traffic tickets along there are down significantly. People are not going as fast as they used to,” Larry Summers, New Albany city engineer, said. “If you just eyeball it you can see a marked reduction in speed.”

But there are still issues with speed along that stretch of Spring, and following the death of skateboarder Matthew Brewer, who was struck by a minivan at Spring and Ninth streets in August, residents came before the New Albany Board of Public Works & Safety pleading that something be done to make the street safer.

The city decided to collect speed data to see if more needs to be done.

This week, crews will begin setting up six radar detector signs, three in each direction. Data will be collected for a month and motorists will be able to see how fast they are traveling once the signs are turned on. Summers hopes it’s a wakeup call for some motorists who drive down Spring without paying attention to speed limit signs. Once the data is analyzed, the city will decide its next move.

“When we did the two-way conversion project we said we wanted to do further analysis on the grid,” Summers said. “This is a continuation of that in some regards. Speed reduction is very important. We want to make this more of a walkable community.”

The radar detector signs will be similar to the ones along McDonald Lane. Paul Lincks, with HWC Engineering, said signs will be placed eastbound near Fourth and Ninth streets, and between 11th and 13th streets. Westbound, signs also will go up between 11th and 13th streets, beyond Ninth Street and before Fifth Street.

Lincks said the radar detector signs should produce results city officials are hoping to achieve when it comes to analyzing speed.

“Let’s get the data, look at it, and go from there,” he said. “We will be able to compare the speeds cars are traveling to the speed limit to see what is going on.”

New Albany City Councilman Al Knable said converting Spring Street to two-way traffic was done to make it less of a thoroughfare, and more of a neighborhood street.

“At times people are still treating it like a thoroughfare,” Knable said. “I am for whatever works to slow traffic. I hope this will give us meaningful data to see what the next step might be.”

Summers, who lives along Spring Street, believes motorists will pay attention to the speed signs.

“People drive distracted. I hope this is something that gets their attention,” he said.


Ron Howard knows exactly how to make Spring Street safer, he said. For starters, he would place a four-way stop at Fourth and Spring, at the New Albany Fire Headquarters and Sweet Stuff Bakery. He said motorists on Fourth, looking to cross Spring Street, can not see traffic in either direction when cars are parked along the street. He said they have to cover the crosswalk and almost get out into Spring Street to see if it’s safe to cross.

“Your direct line of sight is blocked when cars are parked along the street,” he said. “You would have to do away with parking there. It would take a minimum of four spaces and I don’t think the bakery would like that. I don’t see any other way but to put a stop sign there unless you put up a traffic signal.”

Howard said making Fourth and Spring a four-way stop would cost “next to nothing.”

“The only way to get out there [on Spring] is to ignore the crosswalk,” he said. “You are blind in both directions. It seems to me the safest thing to do.”

Others have also suggested putting in a four-way stop and 13th and Elm streets to slow traffic.

Summers said he does not think a stop sign or signal can be installed at Fourth and Spring because a traffic count would not warrant one. He said there is not enough traffic on any of the side streets, off of Spring, that would require a stop sign.


Summers said the city plans to release a video on its website to educate the public on the new crosswalk signals that were put in when Spring Street was converted to two-way.