> way or you're wrong. We have to accept that while the oil still flows,
> we're a minority and all we can do is make some noise and keep asking
> awkward questions to tip the balance a little. To do that we need to
> get the majority - car drivers – on our side."
In today's paper there was a story that suggests a tip our way.
The Federal Highway Administration has refused to shell out the 80%
funding for widening two highways to expressway dimension in Michigan.
All the money allocated for highways spending is earmarked for repair of
expressways. There will be a lot of dissatisfaction, exacerbated with
every pot hole voters drive over, if new expressways are built when the
existing ones are in such need of repair. The Federal Highway
Administration has not absolutely refused to help out, but it requires
that alternatives, including mass transit, be examined.
I guess it is pretty cynical and smirky of me to take pleasure in seeing
the difficulty of maintaining an expressway system that has led to
sprawl that I loathe. Maintaining the expressways is thankless. If
they go bad, which happens very quickly under freeze/ thaw and heavy
traffic, then they have to be repaired, which requires coning off lanes
and slowing traffic. If they are not repaired, any politician
associated with it suffers, regardless of whether he or she could
improve the situation.
In short, this is the moment to put a push on for mass transit along the
routes that need improving. Not just in Michigan. Other states are in
the same difficulty.
Part of the argument for widening US 23, is that the small towns in the
thumb need the transportation to insure their prosperity, but I think
that a train that stopped at those towns would do as well. In fact,
there could be car rentals their for people who had to drive. That
would be increased business. And it would bring business right into
town, among buildings already built. Though I hate to encourage the
use of cars, I think bending habits, rather than abruptly breaking them,
is more effective.
So, for the US citizens on this board, this is the time to write your
congress critters and suggest that some form of rail would be the best
way to avoid the endless expense of maintaining a highway system.
Besides the expense of maintaining the expressways already built, the
concerns about sprawl and environment and sprawl are finally coming home
to people who will, directly or indirectly, depend on the political
process for their jobs.
> Prescott has said that doing nothing about traffic congestion
> is not an option. Many people are hearing that.
The article I saw this morning, specifies what Prescott said.