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April 2, 2014

OUR OPINION: Don’t be afraid of the Big Four Bridge

— Let’s be clear, the mob violence that occurred March 22 in downtown Louisville was a horrible, frightening event.

Innocent people out enjoying themselves or simply going about their day were injured by irresponsible youth — some of them severely.

It’s been the biggest news story in the area over the past two weeks, and with good reason. People have a hard time rationalizing such violence. It’s simply unfathomable to most human beings that a group would form in a public place and decide, collectively, to go around beating people.

That’s because it’s not normal. And you should keep that in mind as the weather warms and people start enjoying outdoor attractions like the Big Four Bridge — which is set to fully open April 30 in Jeffersonville — and the Ohio River Greenway.

Soon after the attacks, several readers messaged the News and Tribune to ask us to question Jeffersonville leaders about what they planned to do in anticipation of the Big Four’s opening in terms of safety.

You’ll find that story on the front page of today’s edition. We also talked to Clarksville police as well, as a major part of the Ohio River Greenway is just a short walk from the Big Four ramp.

Their consensus — be aware of your surroundings, use common sense and enjoy what Southern Indiana has to offer.

 We couldn’t agree more, because when we live in fear, we relinquish power.

Every day when we leave our homes, there is a chance something bad could happen to us. The thing is, in Southern Indiana — as with most places — there are more good people out there than evil.

Will there be incidents in the future on the Big Four Bridge and in Southern Indiana public spaces? Undoubtedly. But the chances of an incident happening to you are very small.

“It’s our park, it’s our bridge, it’s our community, and we’re going to keep it that way and we’re going to keep it safe,” Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore told the News and Tribune for today’s article.

Moore, the city’s police department and Clarksville police say they have a plan for dealing with increased traffic when the Big Four Bridge opens in a few weeks. They say part of that is displaying a police presence in the area, which is certainly a good deterrent. Security cameras — another great idea — also have been discussed for the area.

They also ask residents to look out for themselves and each other.

That’s probably the best defense.

As the weather warms, don’t be afraid to get out and enjoy what’s going to be an amazing addition to our region when the Big Four Bridge opens. Don’t be afraid to cross over to Louisville, or vice-versa for those reading this in Kentucky. Walk the greenway with confidence.

Be vigilant, but don’t be afraid.

— The News and Tribune editorial board is comprised of Publisher Bill Hanson, Editor Shea Van Hoy, Assistant Editor Chris Morris and Assistant Editor Jason Thomas. Responses can be sent to shea.vanhoy@newsandtribune.com

 

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