A Place That’s Full of Ideas, Including a $10 Million One

Some Good, Bad, and Crazy Ideas:

Can Money Buy Happiness, or a Bridge? David Jones is offering up $10 million if public officials will just agree to get started building an East End bridge. Nice gesture. Not gonna happen, even though Jones says construction could be completed in just two years.

A List of Ideas: I like #s 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9 on Brian Tucker’s list of radical, novel bridge ideas. Especially #6.

  1. Dismiss and divest of all power every single person sitting on the Bridges Authority board.
  2. Throw away all the studies, drawings, and opinions of those on the board, take them to Standiford Field,  tell them “thanks, nice try” and kiss them goodbye.
  3. Repair the Sherman Minton bridge assuming it can be repaired.
  4. Get started on building an East End bridge tomorrow.
  5. Make plans for a southwest Louisville bridge the day after tomorrow.
  6. What is old is new again: Make use of the K&I railroad bridge by allowing bus traffic and by giving mass transit vehicles the right-of-way.
  7. Encourage bus ridership by jacking up parking rates at meters and garages downtown, by lowering bus fares and by compelling local businesses to help subsidize expanded bus service.
  8. Get the mayor to make Bus Rapid Transit a priority. He brought it up during the campaign and has been running away from it ever since.
  9. Establish a commission comprised of both citizens and business owners to discuss transportation infrastructure in Louisville. Force the commission to have legal, open meetings and put the resulting ideas on the ballot.

A Festival of Ideas: Next week is the Idea Festival. To celebrate, the Mayor is moving his office down to the Kentucky Center, saying in a release that “The IdeaFestival embodies the very type of innovation that should become the default culture in Louisville.” Several local businesses were invited to set up in an “Idea Hub” there, so ideas may be spinning around all over the place starting Wednesday. Intriguing speaker: former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who got caught betting on games and served time for it.

Bad Idea:  I don’t know how much the Judy Green debacle cost us in attorney fees, but it sure killed some progress at the Metro Council. Instead of proceeding with scheduled meetings, the MC pushed things back, including a scheduled consideration in the Public Safety Committee of new legislation designed to make life easier for operators of food trucks. Still, the second Food Truckus Ruckus will take place Saturday at Fresh Start downtown.

Audit Frenzy: Yesterday LG&E/KU revealed some of its flaws as the result of a wide-ranging audit that revealed that their customer service was lacking.

$300K Audit for JCPS: I’m trying to like new JCPS superintendent Donna Hargens, but can’t get why she’d spend $300,000 for an audit of the school curriculum. And she’s constantly answering questions by saying she’s got to get data first. She appeared for an hour on WFPL today for a one-hour special.

My Man!  Happy Birthday to my partner in many crimes, Mark Hebert and my former editor at Business First, Carol Timmons.