Slick Jeffie’s wasteful masterpiece: $85,000 + $406,522 = the price for traffic lights at a downtown intersection where a four-way stop would work just fine.


Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for the unquestioning, cursory coverage of the Tom May Gazette’s Chris “Am I retired yet?” Morris.

Stop light coming to busy New Albany intersection

The New Albany Board of Public Works & Safety approved a bid from Ragle, Inc. Tuesday to install a light at the intersection of Bank and Main streets. Merchants in the area have been critical of the intersection for being too dangerous for both pedestrians and drivers. And with the new city hall expected to open in the next six months near the intersection will just add to the problem.

Ragle, Inc. was the only company to submit a bid for $406,522. The city’s legal department will review the bid and give final approval and work will begin soon after. The bid also includes repaving the portion of Bank near the floodwall.

“We have looked at this extensively,” city engineer Larry Summers said. “We feel like there is an immediate need.”

One of the reasons why the intersection of Bank and Main has been so dangerous for so long is the city’s refusal to address driver behavior on Main between State and 5th. Of course, having wasted every last penny of the state’s perpetual maintenance endowment on the Main Street Beautification and High Weeds project, there’s been no pile of cash for Team Gahan to pillage for piddling factors like safety.

This said, the intersection of Bank and Main could be easily calmed and regulated by the installation of a four-way stop, with a few stop signs and red flashers like the ones recently installed at the intersection of 13th and Elm — itself a stupidly hazardous place that the city’s “brain trust” insisted for years wasn’t an issue, but finally became necessary to “fix” so that Greg Phipps could have something to campaign on.

Stop signs at the intersection of Bank and Main might cost a couple thousand dollars. So, how do we do it in Jeff Pay-to-PlayHan’s Anchor City?

1. Ignore the problem for at least five years (see links below), and whenever  asked, about it, just push “play” as the city engineer makes another rote explanation of how it’s utterly impossible to rectify — right up until the moment when political expediency makes it absolutely critical to do RIGHT now, at whatever the cost.

2. Thus, with an election about to occur and a crescendo of dissatisfaction with five or more years of cowardly denial, it’s time to select a frequent Gahan4Life campaign finance donor for yet another hocus-pocus $85k study — in other words, post a minimum wage employee to stand there for a few hours and observe what any pre-schooler could plainly see with his or her own two eyes.

3. Award a $406,522 contract to install lights, anchor-seal-gizmo crosswalks and ubiquitous “Have a Good Gahan” yellow smiley faces, all the while doing absolutely nothing to calm traffic on any side of the intersection.

4. Have the same engineer who kept saying it was impossible to make fresh new gurgling sounds about the desperate need to rectify something he’d been commanded to ignore for five or more years, because after all, in New Gahania, Job One = Job Retention. Naturally we can’t entirely blame the minions, who must bear the brunt of Gahan’s incessant hypocrisy so that Dear Leader can reign forever.

5. At long last ProMedia assembles the area’s pliant newspapers and television stations for the ceremonial motorized convoy, traveling a whole 30 yards between the shambolic delayed edifice of the $12 million Reisz Mahal and the brand new bells-and-whistles intersection, at a cost of only $491,522 instead of a few stop signs and flashing red lights.

As the ribbon is cut and contractors dump boots filled with cash into fish tanks, Adam Dickey is seen slouching in a doorway, tears gushing from his eyes, his poor hankie dripping with snot, owing to his good fortune in being alive to serve Deaf Gahan’s every need.

A poem about love comes to Dickey’s mind.

Two men are joined as one in you:
One seems cold and hard,
One who achieves his goals.
Another is tender and kind,
He forgets not even the poorest.
He feels for the least of us.

Two streams owe their strength to you.
You are the sap rising from each root,
The seed that gives them birth —
A new spirit rose from you,
That forged us together as a city-state
And dwells in us forever!

Hmm. Dude’s no better of a poet than a party chairman, is he?

Previously at the only New Albany blog that really matters:

October 22, 2014
Which downtown New Albany intersections are the very worst for walkers?

October 29, 2017
Main Street intersections at Bank and 4th are hazardous for pedestrians. Where’s City Hall, apart from a state of denial?

April 2, 2019
Institutional cowardice might explain why the Board of Works has routinely ignored complaints about the dangerous intersection of Main and Bank Streets … since at least 2015.

June 27, 2019
ASK THE BORED: BOW says it might do what it said it couldn’t, but only after a Gahan campaign donor gets a fat no-bid contract for another $85k “study.”