Two-Way Conversion Update

Work continues on the change from one-way streets in downtown New Albany to two-way. 

Last week, milling and paving operations concluded on Spring Street, and temporary markings were placed. Crews moved to Elm this morning, and began milling there. They will then begin patching sections of roadway and then completing surface paving Wednesday-Friday of this week. 

When crews are finished with Elm, they will move to Market Street to begin milling and paving. Market Street is expected to be milled on June 12th, weather permitting. 

Crews have also begun installing detector housing units which will help control the signalization of the 2-way streets, once converted.

For more information about the two-way streets conversion, see our previous release here: http://newalbanycityhall.com/home/2017/5/10/two-way-streets-major-construction-to-begin-next-week

Two Way Streets - Major Construction to Begin Next Week

What is the Downtown Grid Modernization Project?

The Downtown Grid Modernization Project is an all-encompassing project that contains the engineering, traffic, and road design studies and plans for the 1-way traffic to 2-way traffic conversation.

Why is the City looking at switching some downtown streets to 2-way traffic? What's wrong with the 1-way traffic that we have now?

  • 1-way streets are designed to quickly move drivers from place to place at fast speeds - incompatible for a modern downtown.

    With everyone traveling in one direction (with multiple lanes) while eliminating opposing traffic, 1-way streets promote a higher rate of speed than 2-way streets. By switching some key downtown streets to 2-way, we can help slow the rate of speed.
     
  • 2-way streets help promote a safe, walkable downtown.

    2-way streets, coupled with smaller lane widths, are proven to help reduce speeding. This makes traveling safer for not only drivers on the road, but for pedestrians and bicyclists too.
     
  • More people than ever are interested in living, working in, and visiting downtown New Albany. 

    New Albany's downtown, not unlike many downtowns across the nation, has seen a resurgence of late. We have seen an influx of people who are interested in living, opening a business, and visiting our downtown. The City wants to do everything it can to support that progress. We believe that converting some key downtown streets from 1-way to 2-way can help support that goal and further solidify New Albany's downtown as a destination.
     
  • Studies and experts say its better for retail

    An uninterrupted mass of vehicles traveling in one direction can harm retail environments by obscuring visibility of shops from view and distributing vitality unevenly throughout the urban landscape. 

What steps has the City taken to study this issue?

In 2007, the first study was completed that looked at the possibility of converting some 1-way streets in downtown New Albany to 2-way streets. In 2014, the City of New Albany hired nationally recognized city planner and urban designer Jeff Speck to analyze the downtown grid and provide recommendations on how to make New Albany's grid more modern, including recommendations on pedestrian safety, walkability, alternative modes of transportation, street design that benefits retail and businesses, and more. Click HERE to view Mr. Speck's report.

The city also hosted numerous public listening sessions to gather feedback from the community, and the Mayor and other city officials have met with various community and business leaders to hear their thoughts on the project. In 2016, engineering and design work was completed by HWC Engineering in preparation for the project.

Schedule of Improvements - When will all of this begin?

Preliminary work has already begun to prepare for major construction. All non-ADA compliant ramps in the downtown grid system are currently being updated, bumpouts along Market Street have been reconfigured in preparation of the switch to 2-way traffic, and underground utility work in the area is nearing completion.

The city is anticipating that milling and paving operations will begin the week of May 15th along Spring Street. Plans include milling and paving half of Spring Street, while keeping the other half open, with crews then switching sides once the first half is completed. Upon completion of milling work, Spring Street will be paved in a similar fashion. Milling and paving is expected to take 4-5 days, with pavement marking to follow. During construction, traffic lights will switch to a timed system instead of utilizing sensors. Pavement marking is expected to take 2-3 weeks to be fully completed, but will be completed nearer to the conversion.

A draft schedule for the upcoming 2-way improvements is below. These dates are subject to weather.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR 2-WAY IMPROVEMENTS - DATES SUBJECT TO WEATHER.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE FOR 2-WAY IMPROVEMENTS - DATES SUBJECT TO WEATHER.

Bicentennial Park Summer Concerts Return May 26th

Mayor Jeff M. Gahan and the City of New Albany are pleased to announce the return of The Bicentennial Park Summer Concert Series – Fridays in May, June, July, August and September.

This year marks the 5th year of the Bicentennial Park Summer Concert Series. Each show will be held on Friday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. throughout the summer in historic downtown New Albany’s Bicentennial Park, located at the corner of Spring Street and Pearl Street. These events are free and open to music lovers of all ages!

We start a week early this year on May 26th with local blue’s favorites Kentuckiana Blues Road Show. The Road Show line-up features New Albany native Jimmy G & The Sidewinders, Laurie Jane & The 45’s and Jason Lockwood & The Stella Vees.  

June brings us a variety of national acts from across the South and Midwest. June 2nd brings us Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line from Nashville with their blend of Americana / Roots Rock. June 9th is Mountain Deer Revival from Wichita bringing their Country Rock / Bluegrass blend. June 16th is Orlando’s Southern Rock & Blues sextet Thomas Wynn & The Believers. And bringing the month to a close on June 23rd is Stop Light Obervations from Charlestown with their brand of Southern Rock.

Special thanks to our presenting partners and sponsors, McNeely Stephenson, Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, and our radio partners at 91.9 WFPK.

A Message from Mayor Gahan Regarding the Future of Public Housing

As the New Albany Housing Authority Board (NAHA) continues to consider a partnership with the City of New Albany, I thought it would be helpful to share my perspective on the plan and our intentions.  

The majority of New Albany’s public housing was built at a time when the needs of low income people were not given much consideration.  Public housing was built in isolation, with little or no access to services and public transportation. Riverside Terrace, for example, was built in an industrial area next to a tannery.  Now, after decades of inadequate federal funding, we have hundreds of units that are in terrible disrepair in locations that are not convenient to jobs, services or shopping.  

Currently, the New Albany Housing Authority is facing a $138 million deferred maintenance shortfall since 2010, similar to housing authorities across the nation. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), there is a $26 billion backlog of public housing capital improvements nationally. Additionally, President Trump’s proposed budget seeks to further reduce HUD funding, putting an even further strain on resources to improve the conditions of public housing.

On Monday, the NAHA will consider a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and NAHA. This MOU establishes a multi-year plan through which the City and NAHA will work together to revitalize public housing in New Albany. The plan establishes a partnership between the City and NAHA to improve our community for all people.

This plan is not radical, mean-spirited or punitive. No public housing resident will be left homeless. The units that are slated for demolition are in such poor condition that it is not practical or responsible to repair them. Contrary to media accounts, we intend to rebuild a portion of the unfit units that will be demolished. While there will be fewer traditional public housing units once the plan is complete, NAHA will provide support to the same number of people as it does now, but the mix of subsidies and NAHA-owned units will change. This plan does not mean the City or NAHA is turning its back on our commitment to public housing.  

Our plan reflects current thinking in subsidized housing policy. We will be using a mix of housing vouchers and newly constructed units, located in mixed-income developments to help meet the needs of some of our most needy citizens. We are adopting a national, modern model of public housing that has been embraced by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and implemented by Louisville, Cincinnati and many other cities. Instead of requiring our citizens live in neglected public housing, we will build new units that will not stigmatize those receiving assistance and we will provide more opportunities for residents to access housing in the private market. Additionally, any new private housing development that received local government support will be required to reserve a percentage of the units for low-income residents. New Albany is a generous, welcoming community and this plan reflects that spirit.  

We are working with many government officials and organizations which understand our need to change. The New Albany City Council and our planning and zoning departments have incorporated the basic tenets of the MOU into our city-wide comprehensive plan. This plan acts as a guide for growth in and around the city for the next 20 years.

I have met and discussed the challenges facing public housing with officials from HUD, the New Albany Redevelopment Commission, the Salvation Army, Southern Indiana Housing Initiative (SIHI), Hope Services, and others. Each of these organizations understand the unique circumstances we have in New Albany and the need to move forward with a new approach to improving the quality of life for all residents in New Albany. Additionally, I have met with the newly elected Governor and will meet with other state officials as we finalize our plan.

During my five years as Mayor, I have been focused on making New Albany one of the best places for families to live in the region. We’ve invested in infrastructure, the downtown, the riverfront, parks and schools. Our plan for public housing is intended to build on this past work and move our community forward.
 

 

New Albany Drone Cup

UPDATE: NEW DATE! Calling all drone racers and enthusiasts: The City of New Albany has partnered with AT Drone Racing to bring you the New Albany Cup on June 10th!

"The city of New Albany is a community that embraces fun," stated Mayor Gahan. "This event will be a great educational and learning opportunity for residents to see firsthand and get their hands on new and upcoming technology."

The New Albany Cup is a drone event featuring a MultiGP drone racing event. The New Albany Cup is part of the larger FPV Race League season, totaling 5 events throughout the Kentuckiana area. For more information about the FPV Race League, please visit their website here: https://www.fpvraceleague.com/

The Course Layout.

The Course Layout.

Saturday Schedule, June 10th (MultiGP Event)

11am - noon: Practice runs for racers.
Racers will have time to adjust for any video issues, test out the course, and free fly. Spectators are encouraged to visit the tent line to learn more about drones from the experts! There will be audience giveaways and raffles ongoing.

Noon - 4pm: Qualifier Racing
Heats will begin to determine placement for the main event, a 16 person head to head race. Between each heat, there will be a 25 minute break for free flight, aerial photos, drone tricks, etc.

4pm - 6pm: The Main Event
The final 16 will meet for head to head racing. 2 quads at a time will go head to head, with the first racer to 4 laps advancing to the next round until a winner is determined.

Spectators

Come join us for an epic weekend of high-speed drone racing on the riverfront. Protective netting will be set up to ensure the safety of all spectators. Feel free to bring a cooler and some snacks (no alcohol permitted) down to the event. You are also free to bring your own drone for the free-fly portions of the event and show off your skills. There will be raffles and giveaways throughout the event, including numerous drone giveaways!

Sponsors

Special thanks to our sponsors of the first ever New Albany Drone Cup!