On widening a local road:
“[My County Commissioner Jon] Thaxton compared widening roads to relieve traffic congestion to “loosening one’s belt buckle to cure obesity.”
He’s said – perfectly – what I feel.
Some ‘slow growth’ candidates have recently made it into office – a great thing for my local county, where for years we’ve followed the Los Angeles development model: sprawl. And that means roads, big barren multi-lane roads that look like airport runways.
In the 16 years I’ve lived here, I’ve mourned as tree lined streets became Walgreen’s or CVS’s with their enormous, blindingly lighted, paved parking lots – the lots retard water absorption in the rainy season, causing a lot of water runoff . Which has to go somewhere. So we construct elaborate and expensive ground water catch systems so the roads don’t flood. And that water – which is supposed to go into the ground so it can seep back into the Florida aquifer (so we can do things like drink it) – instead is directed to the local waterways where it is dumped into the bays and eventually the Gulf.
But this is America and if Walgreens wants to build a drugstore on every corner, that’s their right so they can sell us beach chairs (even though we could buy those beach chairs at any of the frackin’ 800 other stores that sell them) so we can go and watch the water run into the Gulf
According to this morning’s Herald Tribune (link not working):
“But now, with the $54 million project on the cusp of moving forward, some prominent county leaders are coming out against the project, calling it a waste of money that will not significantly reduce congestion.
“On Monday, the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization — a panel of local officials including mayors and county commissioners — voted to include the bypass widening in a list of projects it wants the state and federal government to fund between July 1, 2011, and June 20, 2016.
“But the 9-5 vote signals the project could face trouble. Ordinarily, votes by the MPO’s board are unanimous. Dissension, especially by as many as five members, has been virtually unheard-of.”
This is just excellent. They’ll probably lose this time, but that fat lady hasn’t sung yet.