Bridge names should connect to driving forces

John Green speaks up on choices for Harrison bridge naming

There is no reason why bridges have to be named after anyone, but when it is done it should be with much greater consideration than any similar decision, since putting a person’s first and second names on a bridge is probably the most enduring memorial that a government can bestow, far more so than just their surname on a street.

That being the case, the choice should obviously be a person who was greatly associated with the bridge in question, or else of exceptional significance for the community involved. The Fred Hardy Bridge qualifies on both counts, since he built and maintained the first bridge and he also built the village sand dredge and gave Harrison its sand beaches.

The other person who is an obvious choice if foot bridges across the Miami River are to be named is John Allen, who served four terms as Harrison’s mayor — more than anyone else — and who obtained for the village the foreshore of that section of the river and then planned and obtained, despite considerable opposition, the road and trail rights of way and connections for three pedestrian bridges over it.

For many years the money to complete Allen’s plan simply wasn’t available, but now that the village’s income is greatly expanded and another bridge has been built, he should surely have been the person honoured, were it not that hating John Allen is the founding principle of the present blundering council.

Instead they have chosen the name of someone who is certainly a valuable citizen and a great person, but has nothing to do with the bridge. One has to wonder if the only motive was to make sure that when we are finally rid of this bunch, no new council will be able to give Allen the recognition which in this case he so obviously deserves.

John Green

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