Please call the capitol message line at 1-800-372-7181 and ask your legislators to support Kentucky's Complete Streets bill, SB 133. It will soon be heard in front of the Senate Transportation Committee. Finally, go fill out this survey so you can communicate with the other supporters.
Below is CART's unpublished response to last Monday's bridge project cheerleading.
To the Editor of the Courier-Journal,
I would like to respond to Ed Glasscock of the “Build the Bridges Coalition” who complained in Monday’s CJ Readers Forum that the legislature didn’t pass legislation to fund the Bridges Project. Mr. Glasscock’s main point is that we need these bridges for the jobs they create and the economic benefits that will occur from this investment. Unfortunately, Mr. Glasscock’s statistics are obsolete. They are based upon the 1998 Bridges study and those figures were based upon data from the 1990’s. They are no longer valid and certainly don’t reflect our needs in this century.
Kentucky House Bill 88 would make it easier to prosecute reckless drivers who hit pedestrians and bicyclists. By making it clear that Kentucky will not tolerate reckless driving, HB 88 will make our roads safer for everyone and will encourage walking and bicycling.
To pass House Bill 88, we need Rep. John Tilley, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, to take action on the bill at the Judiciary Committee next meeting. We're utilizing three tactics to achieve this:
I'm not sure what this will mean for the Ohio River Bridges Project. Check back for updates.
The state legislature is considering a special session to roll out the red carpet for ZAP Motor Company. The C-J breathlessly enthuses on the details. However, the C-J fails to mention the seriously negative reputation ZAP Motor Company has accumulated. From Wikipedia:
A bill which passed this legislative session will allow a new, innovative transportation model for seniors to begin providing services in Lexington.
How does it work? Essentially, it's like a private taxi service. Folks pay an annual membership fee of around $50. They then pay a per-ride fee of $4-7 plus $1/mile. Individuals who don't have much money can donate their car to the program's vehicle pool, and then they get ride credits for the value of the car. Afflilate groups in the 8 other cities that have adapted this model have also gotten businesses, such as pharmacies, banks, and doctors' offices, to sponsor the service for low-income folks.
From the Governor's press release:
FRANKFORT, KY – Gov. Steve Beshear today vetoed House Bill 79, the Legislature’s version of a highway construction plan, citing the unprecedented manner in which it would have constrained his administration in the coming biennium.
Marcus Green at the C-J has more. Developing...
Note: This was published in the April 1 C-J
In January Kentuckiana Transportation Action Partnership, a coalition of 25 citizen organizations and businesses, went to Frankfort with a specific message for legislators - "the financial plan of the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project is unrealistic". The Senate and the House both responded with new funding legislation. The new “Creative Financing” plans are equally unrealistic. The public is not going to accept tolling one, two or all bridges, higher vehicle registration fees ($30-$40 increases), higher local gas taxes, higher sales taxes, insurance taxes, higher property taxes, hotel room taxes, car rental taxes, local taxing districts, private development financial participation, and public borrowing (bonds and bond secured grants).
The Bridges Project not only ignores funding realities, but it also fails to address broader financial/economic concerns. It ignores the energy and environmental realities of the 21st Century. Nor does it address the needs of all people, regardless of socioeconomic status.
Anonymous Source writes:
I have looked at the supplemental spending bill. The legislature authorized $231 million in GARVEE bonds: this total includes $56 million in authorization left from this (2008) fiscal year and $175 million for fiscal years 09 and 10. This is essentially putting the project payments on a credit card for the next two years; paying for interest in the meantime out of KY federal highway dollars; and pledging future (uncertain) KY federal highway dollars to repay the debt.