This is a guest post by CART attorney Clarence Hixon.
Hillview City Center, October 12, 2012
I attended the Hillview meeting on behalf of CART. During the meeting KIPDA staffer Mary Lou Hauber presented a plan for an Interim Transportation Improvement Program (Interim TIP) which she called an "update."
This new "Interim" TIP would have a promulgation track with a new conformity analysis in January and public comment period in March. This would be a TIP covering a four year period for projects using federal funds from 2013 to 2017.
Ms. Hauber seemed to stammer around avoiding an explicit discussion of why KIPDA has to prepare an "Interim TIP" but stated it was being done as "a precaution" in case anything should happen and the present TIP should be rejected.
CART has scheduled two public meetings to discuss the lawsuit recently filed against the Ohio River Bridges Project.
Wednesday, Sept 12th, 6:30 PM, Spalding University Lectorum, corner of 4th and Breckinridge Sts.
Saturday, Sept 29th at 1:30 PM in the Shawnee Public Library, at 3912 W. Broadway.
Fourteen complaints made on Civil Rights, Environmental and Financial Grounds
Louisville, Kentucky – On September 4, 2012, the Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation (CART), a Louisville-based 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation commenced legal action against the Ohio River Bridges Project. CART has been an advocate for forward-thinking, environmentally sound, multi-modal public transportation solutions since 1994. In 2004, after nearly 10 million dollars of public expenses, environmental and economic studies, and ultimate Federal approval, the “T2” plan for a light rail backbone to an integrated network of multimodal public transportation was scrapped by local politicians in favor of the Ohio River Bridges Project. The $2.6 billion Ohio River Bridges Project will provide very little benefit, economic, social, environmental, or otherwise, to the vast majority of residents in the Louisville region and has significant negative economic, social and environmental impacts on the community as a whole, and particularly on people living in Louisville’s urban core and west end. In addition, the $2.6 billion price tag for the Ohio River Bridges Project leaves no money for public transportation and effectively prevents any improvements to the regional public transportation system in the foreseeable future.
(This article courtesy of Strong Towns and links back to their site at www.strongtowns.org. You may also consider making a donation to support the Strong Towns movement. Also, please consider making a donation to CART).
We often forget that the American pattern of suburban development is an experiment, one that has never been tried anywhere before. We assume it is the natural order because it is what we see all around us. But our own history — let alone a tour of other parts of the world — reveals a different reality. Across cultures, over thousands of years, people have traditionally built places scaled to the individual. It is only the last two generations that we have scaled places to the automobile.
How is our experiment working?
The Strong Towns Movement,(www.Strongtowns.org) is a recent manifestation of New Urbanism. Strong Towns focuses on a number of issues that impact the health of our cities. The following piece from their website is particularly appropriate to the Louisville Metro area as we contemplate the Bridges Project's future impacts.
Changes to the Louisville Metro Land Development Code (LDC) are of great importance to all Louisville residents. Decisions made by the LDC Improvement Committee and subcommittees will impact the character of our community for years to come. The LDC's are therefore of great interest to CART as LDC's directly impact transportation needs, particularly the development path for transportation infrastructure. We believe that the future development path of transportation should be multi-modal, public transit centered with less emphasis on accommodating personal automobiles. Below the fold are the schedules for upcoming meetings of the LDC Improvement Committee and all the LDC Improvement subcommittees as posted at the time of this writing on Metro Louisville's Planning and Design website.
CART will monitor developments of Round Two of the process and provide input when possible. We believe it is important to follow all the subcommittees because all aspects of the LDC have implications for CART's mission of advocating for sustainable public transportation. You never know when a seemingly unrelated item will have significant transportation implications.
At our 2012 Annual Meeting we updated our mission statement and made several by-law changes in an on-going tweaking of our organizations rules. Our new Mission Statement reads:
The by-law changes are being readied for publication and will be posted by the end of the month.
At our July Board meeting we elected Terrell Holder to the Board of Directors. Terrell has been a CART member for several years. He is a retired special education teacher having spent his career in Jefferson and Shelby County Schools. He has also worked as a contractor/consultant conducting data analysis and research for organizations including Humana, Northrop-Grumman, the Kentucky Department of Corrections, and Berea College. He has a Masters in Environmental Studies, is a certified non-formal environmental educator, interpretive guide and habitat gardener. For the last two and a half years he’s worked part time at Project Warm, a local non-profit, providing energy conservation education to the community’s most vulnerable populations. He’s active in several environmental and social change organizations and loves to spend as much time as possible outdoors.
The Brownsboro Road Sidewalk Project is under construction. This is Lousiville's first "Road Diet" where the number of travel lanes were reduced in favor of pedestrian safety. The project has been under study for over a decade, led by neighborhood walking and biking activists and the Blind Community which has a significant presence in Clifton. At issue was the lack of pedestrian links to traverse along busy Brownsboro Road to safe crossing. The north side of the street lacked sidewalks for several hundred yards - opposite the Kroger grocery, CVS, and several eateries. The north side of the road is high density residential, leaving many residents, and often children, scrambling to cross safely without access to lights or crosswalks. Blind residents were particularly disadvantaged.