Showing posts with label K and I Bridge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label K and I Bridge. Show all posts

Monday, January 13, 2014

Green: "Committee seeking to re-open K&I bridge needs to get moving."

To open a week that will see Jeff Speck visit New Albany, causing acid reflux amid the barren intellectual worldview of Bob Caesar, Jackie Green inflicts heartburn, too, with the recipient being Louisville's mayor Greg Fischer. As the K & I foot-dragging continues, Jackie insists on asking those difficult questions:

Let’s hope great things are happening behind the scenes. If not, the mayor needs to make the K&I bridge a higher priority. A phone call from the mayor to the city offices responsible for creating the document should assure the work would be done well and quickly. Is the mayor committed to sustainable transportation enough to make that phone call? Or, does the mayor not have sufficient influence over city offices? Or, are great things happening behind the scenes (if so, what happened to transparency)?

That "T" word: Transparency. The quality they talk about, but shirk from implementing. Here on the Right Bank, we know all about it. Take it away, Jackie.

A tale of two bridges: Committee seeking to re-open K&I bridge needs to get moving, learn from Big Four mistakes, by Jackie Green (guest blogger at Insider Louisville)

... A K&I bridge committee comprised of representation from mayors on both sides of the river, two U.S. congressional offices, Louisville Waterfront Development, Indiana Greenways Commission, Jefferson County Attorney’s office, planning and design offices, local citizen groups, etc. has met several times in recent months. The needed local parties seem to be at the table.

The committee’s plan has been to produce a document addressing every possible concern that Norfolk Southern might have regarding opening the K&I bridge to human-powered transportation. The planned document is also to address the Kentuckiana River Trail, K&I bridge history, endorsements of opening the bridge, examples of other rail/trail bridges running parallel and harmoniously, the Big Four Bridge success, etc.

Despite months of meetings, the committee has produced nothing more than a one-sheet outline of the document. The committee met on Nov. 1 and established a self-imposed (but long-overdue) deadline of Dec. 2 for unveiling the presentation to the group. It also established a goal of Dec. 16 to present the document to the CEO of Norfolk Southern. The Dec. 2 meeting was cancelled. The 16th is past. Nothing seems to be happening.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Artisan Market to discontinue retail sales, but it isn't going away.

Monthly trolley efforts aside, the Vincennes Street corridor now finds itself somewhat of a "tweener."  The revitalizing core is one direction, and the outlying retail areas another. The natural configuration of Vincennes is as portal to Portland, but logic ceased when the railroad closed the bridge 35 years ago. Reopening the bridge for walkers and bikers would re-energize the Vincennes corridor overnight. The Main Street redesign ... perhaps.

I believe the Artisan Market concept is a good one; unfortunately, it was going to take some time to become established as the sort of destination shop that people would swing out of their way to find. Best of luck to the Garrisons as they reconfigure.

---

Artisan Market will discontinue retail sales at 318 Vincennes Street to concentrate on our web site and distribution of locally made food items. More information about those efforts will be shared in upcoming weeks. We will end our store hours by the end of next week.

We appreciate the support from the many friends, family, customers and store artisans we have enjoyed over the last year.

Its been a fun and rewarding year to assist the many local, independent artists and food crafters represented in our store. We remain committed to supporting the 'buy local' movement. However, after assessing our current situation we think its best to focus on future opportunities.

Thanks to all of you!

We have already communicated with most of our store artisans and will be finalizing payments for final consignment sales and returning existing consignment merchandise.

We will finalize those communications with store artisans. However, future communications from artisans may be directed to the following:

tgarrison(at)myartisanmarket(dot)com

502-641-4891

Again, thanks to everyone for your support. Its been a privilege serving our many fans, customers and artisans.

Todd Garrison

Friday, April 26, 2013

“I think what’s going to give is (Norfolk Southern's) reluctance.”


I've no idea whether the K & I resolution described below was passed, seeing as coverage of last night's Metro Council meeting has been focused on David Tandy's Omnibus Mimosa Reform Act of 2013.

NA councilman John Gonder, whose quote appears in the header, probably is right as to the inevitability of Norfolk Southern bowing to pressure from all sides. It'll take a while, and the railroad will have to be paid off with a sizable cocktail of cash, condoms and bourbon, and that's too bad, because it really should be nationalized.

But it will happen.

Louisville Metro Council to consider urging opening K&I Bridge to pedestrians, by Marcus Green (C-J)

... The resolution states that opening the bridge to the public will promote economic development, health and the environment, and that the structure has long been meant for public use. It “urges the bridge owners to recognize this community benefit.”

There are more than 100 examples of trails running next to active rail lines, according to research from Rails to Trails, a Washington, D.C-based nonprofit group that creates cycling and walking paths on former rail corridors.

Monday, March 11, 2013

K & I Bridge, in which we praise the virtues of condemnation.

Reporter Sheldon Shafer's right on top of it at the Courier-Journal, as David Karem says aloud what so many of us remember hearing discussed during pre-recessionary times, when the reopening of the K & I first became a public topic.

Condemnation suit could be pursued in effort to force opening K&I Bridge to walkers, bicyclists

 ... Louisville Metro Councilman Tom Owen, D-8th District and chairman of the transportation committee, said the K&I was open for public use — including to vehicles — from 1913 to 1979. It was designated U.S. 31 during those years.

That protracted public use and right-of-way could be grounds for pursuing a condemnation proceeding to get a court ruling to reopen the bridge’s former automobile decks to walkers and bicyclists, probably through federal court, officials said.

Karem said metro officials are researching the possibility of a condemnation action toward that end.

Previously at NAC:

A report on the history of the K & I Bridge.

Norfolk Southern the problem, hundreds of crowbars the answer.



Monday, February 25, 2013

A report on the history of the K & I Bridge.

At last Thursday's city council meeting, at which a resolution to "open" the K & I was approved unanimously, planner Scott Wood informed the body's members that he'd be forwarding them a new report on the status of the K & I Bridge, one he said they'd surely find interesting.

And it is.

The report is by Steven R. Greseth, M.B.A., P.E., and I have it because it's being circulated back and forth by advocates of opening the K & I to pedestrians and cyclists, a cause favored by just about everyone with an opinion except Norfolk Southern itself.

Greseth's extensive legal research (he readily concedes it is neither legal advice nor legal opinion) succeeds in asking a whole different set of questions, which might be boiled down to this: How many, if any, of a century's worth of legal obligations is the present-day owner of the K & I now obliged to uphold?

In short, perhaps it isn't merely a question of what we all "know" is right v.v. the use of the bridge to carry traffic beyond trains, but what the current owner has not fulfilled in terms of use -- and what it means.

And that t-o-l-l word is here, too. We used to toss quarters in the slot before driving across, didn't we?

Following is Greseth's summary only. His research is evolving. Insofar as I can bring his findings to light, I will.

---

SUMMARY FINDINGS

Clearly, the purpose of the Kentucky & Indiana Bridge, which spans the mighty Ohio River at the Falls of the Ohio, is to connect the great cities of New Albany, Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky, and to bring their residents closer together. Combined, the object and purpose of the Kentucky & Indiana Bridge Company is to construct, own, and operate a bridge from a point in the City of New Albany, Indiana across the Ohio River to a point in the City of Louisville, Kentucky for both railway and common roadway purposes together.

The Kentucky & Indiana Bridge Company is a franchise created by the elected legislatures of the Great State of Indiana, the Cultured Commonwealth of Kentucky, the City of Louisville, and the City of New Albany exclusively to afford great convenience to their public, by cheapening transportation and facilitating inter‐State commerce. The franchise can be revoked if the K & I Bridge owners do not follow the law.

The Kentucky & Indiana Bridge remains a grand monument to the enterprising citizens of Louisville, Kentucky and New Albany, Indiana who devised and carried out the financial plans for its erection. The alignment of the K & I is along the Great Buffalo Trace, and is of enormous historic and sentimental importance to the United States.

Unquestionably, the modes of transportation across the Kentucky & Indiana Bridge are broad and inclusive, and they shall include railroad cars, streetcars, foot passengers, bicycles, and animals of any kind. Two years of financial statements for the K & I bridge indicate that 22% of earned revenue was generated from rail freight and 78% was earned by passenger transportation, telegraph, and mail transport.

K & I Bridge has a remarkable safety rating. Experts would rank it among the safest of any major bridge in the United States. Safe passage was a major consideration for the bridge designers who used the following innovations to reduce accidents:


  • High visual screens along the roadway ‐ to calm horses, livestock, and to keep drivers focused on the roadway and not distracted by trains.
  • Narrow roadway lanes, which induce slow driving speed.
  • All crossings between the common roadway and the railway are grade separated, which is the safest type of crossing.


The corporation owning, possessing, controlling or operating the Kentucky & Indiana Bridge Company bridge shall have continuously on sale, at all hours of the day and night, the tickets or coupons for those who wish to cross the bridge, and shall keep conspicuously posted a schedule of the crossing fee that may be fixed in pursuance of the enabling law and ordinance. Failure to comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky may result in fines and loss of franchise.

The U.S. Coast Guard is the Federal Government permit authority for the Kentucky and Indiana Bridge Company Bridge. For repairs to worn components like handrail, ornamentation, protective screens, and gates for foot passenger or bicycle access, the Coast Guards categorizes those repairs as routine maintenance and does not require a permit review process.

The rates of toll for all persons who cross the Kentucky & Indiana Bridge on foot or horseback, or in vehicles, except in cars propelled by steam or other power, shall first be submitted to, and approved by, the board of commissioners of Floyd County Indiana.

The United States of America shall have right‐of‐way across the Kentucky and Indiana Bridge Company Bridge. In addition, in case of any litigation arising from any obstruction of the Kentucky and Indiana Bridge the cause or question arising may be tried before the District Court of the United States in the States of Indiana or the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Where questions arise as to the operation of the Kentucky & Indiana Railroad Bridge, they shall always be as stipulated by the Jefferson County Attorney of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

Nearly all relevant statues for the State of Indiana, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the City of Louisville, and the United States which pertain to the Kentucky & Indiana Bridge, and many historic documents are incorporated in the main body of this report.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Norfolk Southern the problem, hundreds of crowbars the answer.

There remains only one reason why the K & I cannot be opened to non-motorized public access: The obstinacy of Norfolk Southern.

Last week, 9th District U.S. House Representative Todd Young toured the bridge. New Albany's Mayor Jeff Gahan concurrently indicated support for tearing down Norfolk Southern's wall, noting that the Vincennes Street corridor especially stands to benefit from the restored link between riverbanks. City and Greenway officials say that plans are in hand to link a reopened K & I to the Greenway itself. Shaunna Graf explains:

The City of New Albany is currently in the final stages of the design plan (working through INDOT) for the area of the Ohio River Greenway including the approach to Vincennes Street from 18th Street. Vincennes Street is the street which connects the K&I Bridge to New Albany. The approach/ramp will be at the current 18th Street and Water Street trail head continuing to Vincennes Street. There would be very little design needed to connect this feature to the eastern lane of the K&I Bridge.

The community gets it, and as we've observed previously:

The only sure way to make this happen is to pry the K & I from the cold, dead hands of Norfolk Southern, and the best leverage strategy is for local officials to work together. Think about it. Here's a project that seems to have both Todd Young and John Yarmuth sharing a goal. Such symbolism is too good to be wasted, and in terms of New Albany self-interest, a Greenway intersection with an accessible K & I virtually writes the Vincennes Street revitalization plan all by itself.

Now the prying merely needs to begin in earnest.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Update: Occupy the K & I.

I've said for years that the only sure way to make this happen is to pry the K & I from the cold, dead hands of Norfolk Southern, and the best leverage strategy is for local officials to work together. Think about it. Here's a project that seems to have both Todd Young and John Yarmuth sharing a goal. Such symbolism is too good to be wasted, and in terms of New Albany self-interest, a Greenway intersection with an accessible K & I virtually writes the Vincennes Street revitalization plan all by itself.

Officials still hope K&I Bridge can complete River Trail, by Marcus Green (C-J)

... the mayors of Louisville, New Albany and Jeffersonville, along with the Clarksville Town Council, have appointed a group to begin looking at options for the bridge. “We have agreed to start that ball rolling again,” said David Karem, president of Louisville’s Waterfront Development Corp.

That’s due in part to the opening of the Big Four Bridge, scheduled for this summer, Karem said. That bridge, a former railroad crossing, would be the eastern connection of the planned Kentuckiana River Trail.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

K & I as pedway? First it must be pried from the cold dead hands of the railroad.


Last week I received an e-mail from Louisville biking advocate Jackie Green, who has embraced the cause of K & I Bridge liberation. I'm certainly for it, and having pressure from the Louisville side of the river is absolutely necessary owing to the harsh reality of the subject heading. Before returning to Jackie's useful points, let's look back at the previous decade's worth of K & I coverage at NA Confidential.

August 10, 2012

Nash: "We need to ask the leaders of Norfolk Southern to take a closer look at this specific situation."



April 25, 2012

Nationalize the railroad = K & I problem disappears.



January 3, 2012

Serious mobility solution questions for Bridges Authority member Jerry Finn.



December 14, 2011

Thank you, John Gonder. That's exactly what I was thinking.



September 10, 2011

Norfolk Southern: Tear down this wall! Open this bridge!



October 31, 2005

UPDATED: Will the K & I Bridge link be restored? Can the Greenway be green? Why ask why?



February 10, 2005

Mayors united in support for K & I bicycle link



In Jackie's e-mail, he mentions the possibility of the monthly Louisville Full Moon Bike Ride morphing into a "protest" ride, and cites a developing coalition. Here are some of this goals:

- develop a wider email list of folk interested in seeing the K&I bridge open to the non-motorized public

- join forces with the Ohio River Greenway Commission

- work with Floyd County Council

- work with Portland Now

- explore an historical legal decision regarding the bridge with Louisville Metro Public Works

- build interest in the Full Moon bicycle ride as a monthly ‘protest’

- make plans for a community walk to the K&I from both sides of the river simultaneously

- etc.

More power to Jackie, and let's get it started.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Nash: "We need to ask the leaders of Norfolk Southern to take a closer look at this specific situation."

And if asking doesn't work, there's another solution: Nationalize the railroads.

NASH: Connecting our communities

... When you stand at the newly dedicated portion at the end of 18th Street in New Albany, you are basically in the shadow of the K & I Bridge. The bridge, which carries railroad cars between downtown New Albany and the west end of Louisville, has been closed to automobile traffic since it was damaged in the mid-1970s. It has been pointed out that it would make a perfect addition to the Greenway Project, but very little progress has seemed to be made in convincing the railroad that it would be a huge benefit to our community.

Norfolk Southern, which owns the railroad bridge, doesn’t seem very receptive to the possibility of opening up the bridge to the public.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Good news: Another Ohio Valley Greenway ribbon is cut.

Matt Nash was on hand Wednesday morning for the dedication of the Greenway from 18th Street to Silver Creek: OHIO RIVER GREENWAY RIBBON CUTTING, by Matt Nash.

Meanwhile, the pop-up, roll-over 'Bama newspaper's Jerod Clapp covers the same ground in greater detail here.

In spite of work to come on the Greenway's stretch between 18th and the vicinity of the Riverfront Amphitheater in New Albany, the true "final frontier" of the trail is the trestle over Silver Creek and the path through some of Clark County's grittiest industrial landscape to a connection at Mill Creek. The trestle itself will cost a lot to retrofit, and complicating matters on land, archaeological sifting must be completed before the trail is constructed.

But at least the work continues, as does activity at the Big Four Bridge, and the day approaches when New Albany will be connected to Louisville's waterfront by a bicycle route, albeit it one passing through our neighboring communities to the east.

Obviously, we must conserve our strength and resources for the very last piece in the puzzle: Wresting  the K & I Bridge from the cold, dead hands of Norfolk Southern, and completing the necessary loop. Perhaps we can "occupy" it some sweet day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nationalize the railroad = K & I problem disappears.

Since last week, there's a fresh asphalt ramp in place for the Greenway at 18th. It leads to the next stretch westward, as mentioned in reporter Suddeath's article, with the big question being the disposition of the properties still occupied (NA Boat Club, maybe two others).

K & I still target for Greenway connection; Congressman recently met with New Albany officials over pedestrian use of bridge, by Daniel Suddeath (N and T)

With planners hopeful construction will launch next year on a portion of the Ohio River Greenway that will connect East Eighth and East 18th streets in New Albany, opening the K & I bridge for pedestrian use is again a pressing issue.

The bridge is owned by Norfolk Southern Corp., and has been closed to public transit since 1979. Last year, area officials suggested opening the K & I to local traffic as a way to alleviate some of the congestion caused by the closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge.

The bridge links New Albany with the Louisville neighborhood of Portland.

But before the Sherman Minton was shut down, officials saw the K & I as a means to link the Louisville and Southern Indiana greenways for pedestrians. As part of greenway construction, a ramp is slated to be added leading to the flood levee near 18th Street and toward the K & I in New Albany.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Serious mobility solution questions for Bridges Authority member Jerry Finn.


In this morning's Courier-Journal, we learn that Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, a consistent advocate of the Ohio River Bridges Project's oligarchy enrichment and bridge tolling mobility solution, is "not inclined" to pursue eminent domain -- a resolution long contemplated -- to wrest the K &  I Bridge from Norfolk Southern's leaden, obstructionist hands and open it for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

In political terms, Fischer's a complete wuss, and the Republican would have been better elected. How many times do you hear me say that?

But Jerry, here's the question: If the bridges project is supposed to be about "mobility solutions," and if we'll have to pay an unfair tax (i.e., tolls) to cross the new ones in cars, then why wasn't the K & I part of the planned "mobility solution" from the very start? Shouldn't using it be on the ORBP's front burner, along with the remainder of the new construction projects? If it's all about mobility, then shouldn't all mobility be on the table?

While I'm at it, what ever happened to that Hoosier small business economic impact study, anyway?

(And they wonder why we write the things we write ... discussion at Facebook, too)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thank you, John Gonder. That's exactly what I was thinking.

"I can't help but wonder what could have been a better use of this benevolence."

Is the Horseshoe Foundation's cool million a necessary bonus, or unnecessary charity? What's a few days going to matter, anyway?

At-large councilman John Gonder's blog posting is reprinted in its entirety here.

The Little Bridge That Could ('ve)

The Horseshoe Foundation has offered an incentive of one million dollars to get the Sherman Minton Bridge open earlier. While the community spirit of this organization is well-known and welcome, I can't help but wonder what could have been a better use of this benevolence.

Since the bridge closed in September, what if that noteworthy sum had been committed to a timely reopening of the K & I Bridge? A minor, but vital, link between New Albany and Louisville would have been re-established. Access for cross-river workers may have been eased a tiny bit. Off hour traffic would have been a snap. (Direct travel to the Horseshoe Casino would have been easy, as would the directions--get off the bridge, turn left, stop at the boat.)

But now, as the imminent reopening of the Sherman Minton approaches, the renewed K & I would settle back into a pattern of reduced relevance for workers and gamblers, yet the bridge would remain. We could soon be engaged in a productive discussion of how best to incorporate The Little Bridge That Could've into a soon-to-be-unveiled Greenway and,how best to utilize that structure as a link for bike and pedestrian traffic across the river.

Those primary uses of the bridge would not preclude the use of the bridge as a steam valve to let off some of the congestion caused by a bridge closure in the future. It would also serve as a link to life saving emergency services if another bridge were blocked or closed.

Apparently, the value of having the Shermn Minton open about 25 days earlier is worth about $40,000 per day to the casino. Once the gamblers have replenished the coffers, perhaps the Horseshoe Foundation would see fit to throw about a month's worth of that forty Gs a day toward a revitalized K & I bridge. All the current incentive is buying now is some time, but a renewed K & I would be a real and lasting benefit to the community.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Nationalizing the Norfolk Southern springs immediately to mind.

Some days it actually seems that the project will be finished before I'm too old to use it.

Obstacles remain, but Ohio River 'dreamway' taking shape, by Ben Zion Hershberg (Courier-Journal)

... But there are several stumbling blocks to completing the loop that will join Louisville and Southern Indiana, including work on making the Big Four bridge a walking path across the Ohio and obtaining pedestrian and bicycle access to the K&I Bridge between New Albany and Louisville.