In 2014, having just returned from Belgium, I was moved to make a comparison.
The difference between Bruges and New Albany? It depends on Jeff Gahan's definitions of "ruining", "quality of life" and municipal impotence.
While in Bruges that fall, we heard about the construction of the beer pipeline. It's nearing completion -- and the street outside my house?
It's still running one-way. I live in an exceedingly stupid place, indeed.
Brewery Builds a Pipeline, Sending Beer Lovers Into a Froth; Belgian project will carry 1,500 gallons an hour; requests for home taps fall flat, by Matthias Verbergt (Wall Street Journal)
BRUGES, Belgium— Xavier Vanneste, heir to a dynasty of beer brewers in this medieval city, had a pipe dream.
When he woke up and looked out of his window one spring morning, he saw workers on the street laying underground utility cables in front of his house, situated on the same ancient square as the brewery he runs.
“I immediately realized this was the solution,” Mr. Vanneste said.
The brewery’s truck fleet had been bottling up the city’s narrow, cobblestone streets. Matters had been getting worse since 2010, when the brewery moved its bottling facility out of town.
His brain wave? A beer pipeline.
“It all started as a joke,” said Mr. Vanneste. “Nobody believed it was going to work.”
Four years later, the pipeline is just weeks away from completion. It stretches 2 miles from the brewery, De Halve Maan, or The Half Moon, in the city center to the bottling plant in an industrial area. It will be able to carry 1,500 gallons of beer an hour at 12 mph. Hundreds of truck trips a year will no longer be necessary.