23 June 2009

Highways to Nowhere

I stumbled upon this blog while looking up demolished train stations, and what they came to be (another very good blog entry on this website).  However, the "Highways to Nowhere: The 7 Most Ridiculous New Roads Being Built in America" entry is extremely interesting. 

I have known about various "roads to nowhere" projects, especially the highway to nowhere in New Mexico, and the bridge to nowhere in Alaska; however, I did not realize how many of these projects are still occurring, and are being proposed.

(project example from blog)
"Intercounty Connector — Prince Georges and Montgomery counties, Maryland


Former governor Parris Glendening’s assessment that this highway project would be an environmental disaster for the state didn’t prevent the Bush administration from later fast-tracking it.

The Intercounty Connector would stretch 18 miles across the suburban counties and cost up to $3 billion to build by the time it is completed in 2012. Its six to eight lanes would be tolled, but before the revenue starts coming in, the project would consume $2 billion from the state’s reserves and leave Maryland at 93% of its legal debt capacity, making it difficult for it to fund other major projects - like needed new light rail lines in Baltimore.

From the beginning, the Intercounty Connector has infuriated environmental activists. Understandably so, as the chosen alignment would destroy nearly 1,000 acres of forest and induce even more sprawl in the greater D.C. suburbs.

To make matters worse, the project won’t even be much of a help in clearing the traffic on Washington’s infamously congested Beltway. Even though the ICC would be built on average just four miles from that road, its net effect would be to increase the number of miles traveled by Marylanders in their cars, rather than reduce such movement.

Construction has just begun the project, but there’s still time to shut it down."

If I paid maryland taxes, I can tell they would be put to good use.

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