Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mayor to Build "Bike Center" At All Costs

In the face of a $20 million dollar budget shortfall, increased fees for police officers, employee furloughs, reduced city services, elimination of Sunday hours at libraries, closure of Otter Creek Park, massive monthly job losses and worsening economic conditions, the city of Louisville has announced it is seeking federal funds to the tune of $1.3 million dollars to construct a "bike station". The facility is designed to cater to the elite few that use bicycles to commute downtown, complete with a repair shop and showers. Mayor Jerry Abramson's spokesperson Chris Poynter has stated that even if the federal money isn't approved, the city will push forward and find the money to build this idiotic, limited-appeal project.

Here's an excerpt from the Courier-Journal article:
"We've been discussing the project for several years, and now we're ready to move forward," said Poynter, adding that the city hopes to have a design by year's end and start construction once it is funded. "We'd like to have it built yesterday."

Poynter said the intent is to have secure parking for bicycles, as well as lockers and showers to accommodate commuters who need to change into good clothes for the work day. A bike shop with rudimentary sales and repair services could also be part of the station, which would be close to bus lines, he said.

The entire C-J article can be found HERE.

There is simply NO WAY this idea can be allowed to move forward. This type of reckless fiscal attitude has contributed handsomely to the dire condition of the city's finances. Besides, how many people will this serve? Otter Creek served half a million per year, and Southwest Library was full each Sunday. There are currently no plans to reopen Otter Creek or restore Sunday hours at the libraries.

Below you will find video of the mayor describing the city's financial position.

Abramson is an avid cyclist, hence the "pet" nature of this project. It is too bad for us he isn't an avid camper or Sunday library patron. This arrogant project and the overall snootiness factor surrounding the issue contribute to my undying fascination to kill the idea as quickly as possible. Together we can put an end to this nonsense. Contact your councilperson immediately. The Metro Council was to vote tonight on a resolution authorizing Abramson to apply for the federal aid. This resolution has to fail at all costs, even if it torpedoes other projects. There is a proper time for projects such as this. This ain't it. Let me know if you can help.


  1. i bet the mayor will say this is a good reason to dip into the rainy day fund.

  2. Right on. There is a proper time for building stuff like this but I've gotta say now isn't one of those times. But I must ask: Why shouldn't this eventually be studied as an alternative to gray hulking parking garages and as way way to commute across town?

  3. The city can build all the downtown bike facilities in wants but until there are safe routes in which to get into the city by bike I can't imagine too many people using them.

  4. Good points above. Please note that I am not hostile toward alternative modes of transportation. I just think this particular project is a terrible extension of the mayor's ego, and not fit for the community at this time.

    When other, broader-based community needs are not being met, I can't support a new million dollar initiative aimed at a relative few.

    Thanks for commenting.

  5. I'm not from the Louisville area, so I have no idea about the Mayor's ego or avid hobbies. I carry no bias against the mayor and take the proposal purely for what it is. From my distance, this idea seems a very optimistic and progressive one for a city like Louisville. What I don't understand is all the negative feedback it's been getting. No one seems to embrace the possibility that this bike station can offer the means of solving some of your other economic problems, by providing the necessary venue to acommodate lesser jobs, like street vendors and modest food joints. It's an idea that would improve urban health and vitality, wouldn't it, or am I just dreaming here?