Louisville Magazine

MAR 2017

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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tpotteragency.com 26 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.17 THE BIT DIRTY BIT A State of the City address is designed for mayors to celebrate themselves over catered lunch and iced tea. In February, Mayor Greg Fischer nailed it, pounding out 30 minutes of accomplishments: 61,000 new jobs, 10,000 Louisvillians lifting themselves out of poverty, $9 billion invested in capital projects. One particular pat on the back made me stare with some "that's pretty bold, dude" skepticism. In heralding the "untangling of Spagheম Juncঞon," Fischer claimed "cleaner air" for our city. Later, his spokesperson clarified for me that Fischer was referencing the reduction of time cars would spend "stuck in traffic idling in the junction." It's a rosy take. True, idling does burn fuel that releases hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) into the air. But in the last few years, two national media outlets — Vox and the New York Times — have put a different spin on the Ohio River Bridges Project, including the redo of Spaghetti Junction. They've loudly labeled Louisville as backwards. The same city that likes to tout its innovative thinking (Fischer did a lot of this in his speech) was spotlighted for its inability to think big by tearing down I-64 through downtown and replacing it with a more inviting boulevard, ultimately reclaiming the waterfront and diverting interstate traffic onto the new East End bridge. It's hard to deny that completely abolishing belching semis from downtown might actually decrease the muck in downtown Louisville's air. Just speeding them along? Eh. In January, Vox summed up Spaghetti Junction 2.0: "Louisville will remain separated from its waterfront by a giant elevated interstate, but it is now easier and safer for drivers to get past Louisville." — Anne Marshall

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