Impound lot questions

Our citizen efforts to reform the impound lot practices are making progress.
The city has decided to move the impound lot from Frankfort Avenue.
LG&E impoundment lot These questions are yet to be answered.
…. Would we need such a large impound lot if urban traffic were calmed and reduced?
…. Are we violating environmental justice standards if the ‘new’ impound lot is not  reduced in size, better designed and responsibly managed?
…. How quickly can we get Kentucky to drop the restrictions on how much the city can charge those who should be held responsible for the towed vehicles – the owners and insurers?
…. Can we build a vertical storage (garage) funded by fees collected from the owners and insurers?


Murder Rate

“If we do not break last year’s homicide record, I predict that (Mayor Greg Fischer) will claim victory,” Angela Leet (candidate for Louisville Mayor) said. “But, tolerating the loss of over 100 victims to violence cannot be accepted as Louisville’s new normal.” (Phillip Bailey, Courier Journal, 29 Nov)

Yes, Angela Leet is correct – Fischer will wrongly claim victory over our murder rate if we do not exceed last year’s number. This and other violences we inflict are part of our violent culture. Nurturing a violent culture results in acts of violence. We must address the violence of our movies, videos, sports, poverty, domestic relations, transportation, earth destruction, material abuse. Reap and sow.

Last year the Louisville area broke records for both traffic and pedestrian fatalities. This year’s transportation fatalities are challenging the 2016 records. This is a violence we can avoid – Vision Zero.

Joe Gerth, Fischer & turkeys

Joe Gerth of the Courier Journal puts Fischer in the turkey category, again:

“Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer gets on our list of day-old poultry because of his refusal to say something. About anything.

He’s said little about sexual harassment allegations against former Metro Council member Dan Johnson, alleged sexual abuse of teens in the police department’s Youth Explorer Program, the city’s murder rate and the performance of Police Chief Steve Conrad — among many issues.

If there’s anything to be learned from the big orange turkey in the White House, Fischer should get the hint that people want their leaders to take stands on things and not always avoid messy situations.”

Homeless and Climate Refugees

Tent at E. Market & Hancock Street. No Trespassing signs around the corner urges ‘campers’ to contact the Coalition for the Homeless. With the pressures already on the Coalition is Metro sending the ‘campers’ on a goose chase? passing the buck? Both tent and signs are in the shadows of NULU and UofL Nucleus. Yes, we need more affordable housing, but should Metro also establish an official ‘camp ground’ for the homeless who cannot find Coalition or other indoor shelter?

Many of the homeless are customers at our bike shop. They are not a homogeneous group. Some stay in shelters, some in the woods, some on the streets. Some wrestle with sanity, some are saner than me. The reasons for their homelessness are extremely varied.

There is no compassion in destroying camps without designating an official / sanctioned camp. There is also no compassion in letting the homeless trash the city and intimidate citizens in the commons.

Much is made of the need for proximity to services. Many of the homeless are veterans. Brings to mind the selection of Brownsboro Rd for the new VAHospital.

As more climate refugees are created within and beyond the borders the USA, this question of affordable housing and homelessness is going to become much bigger. Louisville must do everything possible to slow climate change and prepare for it.



Worthy of The Onion

The Kentucky Institute for the Environmental and Sustainable Development publishes bi-annually the journal, SUSTAIN. The publication is usually a scholarly exploration, with integrity, of environmental and sustainability issues. The Fall/Winter 2018 issue addressing ‘Political Will’ contains an article that is more worthy of The Onion.

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Louisville, #48 of 50 cities

“Louisville came in at No. 48 (ranking of 50 largest U.S. metro areas … which are the best and worst places to retire)….One area where Louisville fared well: cost of living and taxes, both of which are very low, …but the city got poor rankings for public transit and well-being.”
A sustainable city has great public transit and a healthy and prosperous population.  Our future depends on attracting business and people to a sustainable Louisville.

KY needs to understand that what works for rural and exurban areas does not work for urban centers

from Governing Magazine: “… Missouri won’t let St. Louis raise its minimum wage; North Carolina is blocking Charlotte from enacting LGBT protections; Tennessee doesn’t want Nashville to build a light rail system. Texas would prefer that its cities not do much of anything at all…“Not only do state legislatures interfere with the fundamental rights and pettiest details of city affairs,” the political scientist Charles Beard wrote in 1912, “but their consent is required for some of the most insignificant undertakings of municipal government.” Gamm and Kousser demonstrate that Beard was right about the early 20th century, and he was right about the early 21st as well: Cities get cheated in legislative politics. And the more that a single city dominates its state, the more often it loses in the legislature…. … the factor that hurt cities most of all in their legislative efforts was one I never would have guessed. It was the sheer size of the urban delegations. The more seats a city had in a legislative chamber, the more conflicting opinions its representatives were likely to offer. And when legislators from the same city disagreed with each other, those from the rest of the state were inclined to dismiss their legislative goals altogether. As Gamm and Kousser put it, much of the urban failure was due “not to hostility but to the complications of getting a large delegation to speak with a single voice…. ”


GLI greenwashes, again

Yesterday’s post regarding GLI’s disappointing legislative agenda is confirmed. GLI is greenwashing, again. WFPL’s Roxanne Scott reported the highlights of GLI’s environment, energy, transportation and infrastructure agenda (below). GLI, like the mayor, has no sense that Metro Louisville needs to install solar panels on Metro owned properties, no sense that Louisville needs a huge commitment to public transit, no sense that our water/sewer infrastructure needs the removal of surface parking lots, no sense of the folly of land use policies encouraging the destruction of farms, fields and forests. Both, GLI and the mayor, are greenwashing, again.

From WFPL report:
Environment & Energy
Investment In Energy Infrastructure – Development of “green” infrastructure, including green building construction and rehabilitation, green roofs, and the expansion of tree cover in urban areas through partnerships and incentives, is critical to Louisville’s growth and future quality of place.
Transportation & Infrastructure
Investment In Quality Water & Sewer Infrastructure – To avoid catastrophic loss and damage, resources are needed to repair and modernize the Louisville and Jefferson County’s flood Protection System. Storm water conservation efforts such as pervious pavement should also be included in these efforts.

GLI, $, roads and mistakes

Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI), our regional chamber of commerce, is unveiling their legislative agenda for the upcoming Kentucky General Assembly. A major component of the GLI agenda is the imbalance of funding levels for future road construction The distribution of funds between rural and urban areas is decidedly to the advantage of rural areas. The ration is 4 to 1. The graph found here illustrates well the “formula of fifths” distribution. GLI’s focus is on receiving more funds for roads. Unfortunately GlI’s concerns do not extend to correcting the funding imbalance that impoverishes public transit. In 1945 Kentucky amended its constitution directing transportation funds exclusively to roads Those funds cannot be spent on public transit, thus TARC’s poverty. GLI is more concerned with new roads for the proposed Oxmoor apartment complex (301 apartments and 500 parking spaces)…/apartment-compl…/862656001/, and for the planned Urton Lane extension…/…/urton-lane-corridor-information. GLI is ignoring the benefits of green space, ignoring the increase in flooding and urban heat, ignoring the damage to our creeks, ignoring the potential presented by redeveloping surface parking lots, ignoring climate change. Yes, the “formula of fifths” should change, but the benefits should result in a more sustainable Louisville.