Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Council says "No" to $17 million pedestrian gulch bridge

In a move that surprised me, the Council finally said "no" to a major new spending project. Last night the Council, after lengthy debate, voted 30-2 to defer indefinitely the bill to acquire land for a $17 million pedestrian bridge over the railroads to the developments in the gulch.  This is a great turn of events. It is not that I do not think a pedestrian bridge connecting SoBro to the gulch would not be a nice thing but we can't afford every nice thing. After the debt of the Music City Center, the Sulphur Dell Ball Park, the east riverbank development, the planned west bank riverfront expansion and amphitheater, and the proposed AMP, the city is pushing its debt capacity. We are even borrowing money to buy laptop computers. At the same time, we are facing a budget shortfall next year and we are ignoring other needs such as new sidewalks in neighborhoods and roadway improvements. I don't know what happened to cause the Council to finally say "no" to a spending proposal from the Mayor, but I am pleased they did.

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