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September 19, 2012

News and Tribune letters: Sept. 19, 2012

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Reader: Gahan on the right path

I am writing in response to Randy Smith’s letter published Sept. 12 in the News and Tribune.

I very much agree with his position about traffic calming in New Albany and the need for something to change before the Sherman Minton Bridge becomes the only nontolled interstate bridge in the area. I also agree that more two-way streets might be a better alternative to our current maze of one-ways that seems to only take residents and visitors away from our historic downtown. 

Where I disagree is Mr. Smith’s comments about our mayor, Jeff Gahan. From everything I know and have heard about Mr. Gahan, it seems to me that he supports many ideas that one might find listed in a description of a “complete street” (http://www.completestreets.org).

Contrary to Mr. Smith’s statement that Mayor Gahan has “done nothing to effect traffic-calming measures,” Mayor Gahan has shown support for the McDonald Lane rehabilitation project that includes traffic-calming measures like roundabouts and speed tables.

In addition, this project includes a “pedway” for bikes and pedestrians to provide bicyclists, young and old, a safe place to ride. When the McDonald Lane project is complete, there will be almost a complete connection of bike lanes and pedways connecting the Ohio River Greenway with Community Park. I encourage the mayor to continue this momentum and include bike lanes in the Main Street project that was mentioned by John Rosenbarger in a News and Tribune article on Sept. 4. 

Nobody is ever going to be completely satisfied with an elected official’s decisions, no matter who is in office. As far as the other issues that Mr. Smith brings up, I am not as well versed, but Mr. Smith’s criticisms of Mayor Gahan started way before the election (see Mr. Smith’s Oct. 25 letter to the editor at newsandtribune.com). It seems pretty apparent to me from both the most recent letter and the Oct. 25 letter that no matter what decisions Mayor Gahan makes, they would not be as good as the decisions that Jack Messer would have made.

Mr. Smith, you may still “back Jack” but I am past the political posturing of last year’s election; I am sure other voters, especially the 64 percent that voted for Mayor Gahan, are past it, too. There are exceptions but in my opinion, it is the city council, not the mayor’s office, which generally has had a history of backward thinking.

Let’s work together to bring about constructive ideas to push this great community forward, not continue to relish in the mud-slinging of last year’s election. 

  — James Bonsall, New Albany

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