Amazon and Fischer’s Failures

“We’re going to compete very hard for the Amazon headquarters … we are in the process of putting that proposal together … we’ve got a lot of strengths, and we’ve got some gaps as well…”, Mayor Greg Fischer.

The mayor has had seven years to address those “gaps” and has failed to do so.

Amazon is an urban, not suburban, company. Amazon ” made a conscious choice to invest in downtown Seattle—even though it would have been cheaper to move to the suburbs … 15% of Amazon employees live in (the urban) zip code and about 20% walk to work…”

Fischer’s Louisville, in comparison, makes a conscious choice to build the new VA Hospital in the suburbs, to toy with incremental conversion of one way streets to two way streets, to celebrate the destruction of fields and forests, replacing the green space with acres of surface parking lots, to continue to defile our urban waterways, to permit industrial emissions to endanger urban health, etc.. Sure there have been some improvements in urban Louisville, but Fischer has shown a lack of commitment and courage to take the steps needed to recreate Louisville into a city ready to embrace the twenty first century.

StreetsBlog USA named Louisville the nation’s 2016 champion in an overabundance of heat and flood producing, real estate wasting, walkability damning surface parking lots (SPLs).  So what do we do about it?  Can we use our surface parking lot (SPL) glut to help lure Amazon?  Yes. Here’s how.
1) Metro digs up all Metro owned SPLs and plants ‘grass and trees’,
2) TARC triples service to urban neighborhoods and downtown by eliminating service to distant burbs,
3) dedicated bus lanes are established,
4) one way streets are converted to two way,
5) urban traffic is calmed by having all urban lights blink yellow or red but never green,
6) private urban SPLs, now empty as a result of above action, are redeveloped as new office/residential/retail,
7) SPLs ‘around the Watterson’ will become heavily utilized park and ride lots,
8) urban sidewalks will fill with pedestrians,
9) urban streets will fill with cyclists,
10) instead of TARC buses going back at night to TARC SPLs, have them park in the unused dedicated bus lanes til morning,
11) TARC can now redevelop the TARC SPLs and use the income to provide more public transit service,
12) meanwhile, JCPS needs to partner with TARC for efficient transportation and redesign the student assignment plan so JCPS buses do not have to run two shifts, kids do not have to be on dark. cold street corners at 6:30 a.m., and parents do not have to drive millions of miles,
13) Metro needs to funnel assistance to businesses and hurricane victims, not to rebuild in vulnerable coastal sites, but in Louisville,
14) …

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