Friday, June 5

We're on the Road to Nowhere

During WWII the American Army came to Germany and saw the Autobahn with it’s many miles of concrete and asphalt which could move people and troops from one place to another quickly and thought “Whoa this is great, we got have this too”.

And so after the war the US Government encouraged state and local authorities to build roads by giving them 90 cents on the dollar in federal grants- for construction of the great interstate hiways. This spawned more traveling which spawned more cars which spawned urban sprawl. Never mind the pollution, lose of whole neighborhoods and the dramatic social changes it brought. More is better right? We got all these cool roads cheap.

But now times have changed. We don’t move armies by road anymore. We need relief from suburban blight and mini malls, the overwhelming number of cars and the burden on the environment. Absolutely right, said the Government,, we’re on it. They claim they want to be free of the dependence on foreign oil like a junkie trying to kick the habit.

So people developed lots of plans for light rail, mass transit, pedestrian and bicycle friendly roads like the ones in European cities and guess what? The government said sorry state and local people you’re on your own with limited budgets and rising transportation costs but hey we’ll still give you 90 cents on the dollar to build more roads.

No wonder Mother Nature is pissed.

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