Skip to comments.Roads to Ruin: Towns Rip Up the Pavement
Posted on 07/17/2010 5:59:50 AM PDT by reaganaut1
Paved roads, historical emblems of American achievement, are being torn up across rural America and replaced with gravel or other rough surfaces as counties struggle with tight budgets and dwindling state and federal revenue. State money for local roads was cut in many places amid budget shortfalls.
In Michigan, at least 38 of the 83 counties have converted some asphalt roads to gravel in recent years. Last year, South Dakota turned at least 100 miles of asphalt road surfaces to gravel. Counties in Alabama and Pennsylvania have begun downgrading asphalt roads to cheaper chip-and-seal road, also known as "poor man's pavement." Some counties in Ohio are simply letting roads erode to gravel.
The moves have angered some residents because of the choking dust and windshield-cracking stones that gravel roads can kick up, not to mention the jarring "washboard" effect of driving on rutted gravel.
But higher taxes for road maintenance are equally unpopular. In June, Stutsman County residents rejected a measure that would have generated more money for roads by increasing property and sales taxes.
"I'd rather my kids drive on a gravel road than stick them with a big tax bill," said Bob Baumann, as he sipped a bottle of Coors Light at the Sportsman's Bar Café and Gas in Spiritwood.
Rebuilding an asphalt road today is particularly expensive because the price of asphalt cement, a petroleum-based material mixed with rocks to make asphalt, has more than doubled over the past 10 years. Gravel becomes a cheaper option once an asphalt road has been neglected for so long that major rehabilitation is necessary.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Just like the Third World...everything goes to “public servants,” while the people live in places with sewage running in the gutters.
Governments are letting go of their police and roads, but keeping things like their schools and garbage collection, which can easily be privatized. Goverments have some problems prioritizing what they should really be doing.
I think there are still some farm to market road constructed of concrete in the 30’s that are in acceptable condition. Perhaps some real gov’t investment in “over engineered” pavement that will last >50 yr. is a good idea?
So a Mexican is arguing with an American. “I hate America”.
“Why do you hate America?” “Because you stole half of our
country.” “Not only that, but you stole the half with all the paved roads!”
LaHood (Dept of Transportation Sec) says the government is going to give bicycling and walking, too the same importance as automobiles in transportation planning and the selection of projects for federal money. The former Republican congressman quietly announced the “sea change” in transportation policy last month.
“This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized,” he wrote in his government blog.
I grew up on gravel roads in Michigan, and to be honest I kind of liked them. There was no dust at all, in fact the road I grew up on was so well packed and compressed with oil I could lay dark black rubber on it without trenching it was so hard.
They probably don’t coat them with anything anymore for “environmental” reasons, and then again back in the early eighties we were driving much bigger and heavier cars, so maybe the Festiva or Smart Car owners are the ones having all the problems.
There was a British children’s writer named Bryher who wrote books set in various historical eras. One was about a boy living in Britain as the Roman Empire collapsed. The story begins with the child’s first noticing that something is wrong when he sees grass growing up between the stones on the Roman road and sees that any damage to the road is suddenly no longer being repaired.
The grass, obviously, was from the fact that fewer people were passing over it because commerce was being destroyed, and the lack of maintenance was just because it no longer mattered.
I read this article in the WSJ this morning, and that was the first thing I thought of.
The alleged rcovery act goes only to blue states.
And here is dumba** me thinking that the gas tax is meant to maintain the roads.
Hah! Ever tried to ride a bike on a gravel road? I think they’ve got a surprise coming...
Look at the balance sheets of the Fortune 500. Of those that are profitable most are just sitting on a ton of cash - not hiring, not investing. A handful, like Citi and Google are hiring desperately and buying anything they can in an effort to break the strike.
Look at the bright side. Going to be harder for the government types to get from Point A to Point B. Isolation has it’s advantages.
Our government is becoming dysfunctional and merely a devise for stealing money from the honest and productive members of society. Public service has become a euphemism for legalized theft.
That sounds like an excellent book.
As in "your ass is GONNA use light rail and be forced out of your automobile and into the nearest mega-city by any means necessary".