The biggest issue in this year's Mayoral election seems to be one most would not think would be. While we are suffering with rampant unemployment, denigrated neighborhoods, high crime rates, under reported crimes, and so many other things the bridges debate rages on.
With Tyler Allen of 8664 fame as part of the primary process we knew the issue of transportation would be addressed, and rightfully so, as part of the overall Mayoral election picture. What is interesting is now that the primaries are over the Ohio River Bridges Project seems to still be the biggest topic of the day.
I have said from the beginning this project was all about the money and not necessarily just the money needed to build it. This is about money the politicians can rape, ponder, and pillage for their own gain. Louisville News and Politics: OHIO RIVER BRIDGES PROJECT: YEP IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY
The Courier had a story on Friday addressing the use of tolls which would total $6 per trip if the bridge were used. Tolls could fund more than half of Ohio River Bridges cost courier-journal.com The Courier-Journal. This is exactly what is wrong with the planners of this monstrosity. In an economy we are suffering from, what genius would think people could afford to pay $6 per trip to cross a bridge. What about the workers who commute to Indiana every day to work who will be forced into this. It may not seem like much but when we are all struggling trying to make ends meet that extra $30 per week is enormous. And that is the problem.
Additionally, why in the world are we still focused on redoing spaghetti junction when the East End bridge has not been built, though there were many photo ops with Abramson and Anne Northup touting construction starting, and just as important, why are we still ignoring a Southwest bridge that was promised when the Snyder was built but has been ignored since!
From the beginning of these discussions one thing became clear. Mayoral candidate, and Abramson lover, Greg Fischer loves the idea of tolls. Think of me what you will but Fischer has from the beginning not been credible in taking a stand against tolls though he now says $6 is too high. The problem is he has never stated he would not support tolls and until pushed into a corner he would not even say he favored an East End bridge first.
This is a transparent effort to hide his true feelings on this issue alone. Considering his relationship with the East End River Fields obstructionist folks I would not trust him for dog catcher right now.
Compare that with Mayoral candidate Hal Heiner who has stated from the beginning he would agree to an east end bridge first. He has been consistent in this statement from the beginning of the issue. He additionally followed up with a statement on Friday as well:
“This afternoon the Louisville Southern Indiana Bridges Authority submitted a report to the regional planning agency with estimated tolls of $6 per trip. This would represent one of Louisville’s largest tax increases and I will not support this rate. While we realize this is a preliminary number, I urge the authority to work diligently to reduce this rate. If $6 per trip is the only way the authority can build 2 bridges, then I believe we need to reduce the scope of the project by breaking it into more manageable phases with the east end bridge being the first phase of a multi phase project. While I believe I-65 and Spaghetti Junction will ultimately have to be addressed, I find a $6 trip financially irresponsible and a burden Louisvillians will not accept.”
Nothing like hearing common sense from a politician huh. For the record I agree with Hal.
And for those who ask, Independent candidate Jackie Green has generally favored scrapping the whole plan leaning more towards investing in light rail or other alternatives to bridges.
Independent Nimbus Couzins? Who knows. My feeling is he is still studying the stars to see what they tell him to think.
Bottom line is simple. A leader looks at all options and makes an informed decision. With that in mind Hal Heiner clearly appears to be the best candidate in this situation.
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