By MATTHEW NASH
December is in full swing and everywhere you look it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The weather officially has turned for the worst and there might not be any nice days left until spring. The days are getting shorter and shorter and soon it will be a new year and we will be able start over with a new clean slate.
The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a time of reflection and contemplation. It is also a time to make a list and check it twice. Ever since I was a young child, even before I was able to write, I would make a list of things that I wanted for Christmas. It has been a few years since I made a Christmas wish list for the presents I want, but there are also other things that I can hope for.
The first thing I wish for this holiday season is not something that can’t be packaged in a box, it concerns the weather. I know that everyone is dreaming of a white Christmas, but can’t the days until then just be a little nicer. As the weather reports started coming in earlier this week I started to cringe. I am not ready for snow or ice or wintry mix. I don’t mind the bad weather itself, I just think the world goes crazy, especially on the roads, before the first snowflake has hit the pavement.
My next Christmas wish revolves around my appreciation for nature. I wish that the New Albany administration would quit cutting down trees in the name of progress. It started last year when it was time to make room for the Bicentennial Park. Every tree on that lot was deemed diseased and destroyed to make room for that park.
This year as part of the Main Street improvement project it was announced that they would again destroy mature trees, and then replace them with new trees. How is it possible that every tree that is in their way is dead or will die. Maybe they should look in to taking better care of the trees that are growing instead of waiting for their next project to tear them down.
While I am wishing, I would like for the administration to get its act together as it relates to road projects. Earlier this year they announced plans to expand and improve Mount Tabor Road. When the people who lived near the improvement project, the ones whose lives would be the most impacted, I don’t feel like their concerns were taken into consideration. It seems like the city “planners” are not happy unless they are planning to put a roundabout somewhere.
They also plan to add a turn lane and signal to Charlestown Road at Beechwood Avenue. I don’t mind that they are trying to make a dangerous intersection a little safer, I just don’t understand why it wasn’t taken care of a few years ago when that whole corridor was revamped. New sidewalks and ramps and bike lanes were added just a couple of years ago and now that will all be torn up. Why wasn’t that part of the original plan?
I wish they would look a little further into the future when they make their plans. I also think there are other intersections that could use improvement. The intersection at Charlestown Road and Ormond Avenue needs a lot of work. The pavement is crumbing and in need of repair. The intersection at Roanoke and McDonald Lane is also another that could be improved. I am sure there are plenty others. These are just a couple just blocks from the proposed improvement project that was very recently improved.
My final wish is for a project that would have a profound impact on our community. I wish that Norfolk Southern would do the right thing and finally sit down and discuss the possibility to open the K & I Bridge to pedestrian traffic. I believe this would be a huge step forward and a huge boost to the Ohio River Greenway Project.
For years it has been discussed among local leaders and activist but Norfolk Southern hasn’t budged an inch. They have stood by their stance that there is too much liability to safety and security for the railroad.
The Big Four Bridge will be completed soon and our region will have a new gem. The anticipation of the cross river path has the citizens of Jeffersonville planning for the boom. It would be great to experience the same thing here in New Albany in a few years as a full circle of a nearly 20-mile pedestrian loop could be possible.
I understand that Christmas wishes are just that. For years I have been making lists, sometimes I get what I want and I know I have to be realistic when it comes to what I hope for. My biggest wish is to have a happy and healthy New Year for me and everyone that is part of my world.
— Matthew Nash can be reached at email@example.com