Monday, August 17, 2009

Screw the pedestrians!

I've written before about problems with the president's 'Stimulus' package, particularly its emphasis on wasting the $800,000,000,000 on what can be done quickly rather than doing things right or doing what's needed.

I wrote: This crystallized for me some months ago when I heard New York Gov. David Paterson's remarks while inaugurating some road project in the Albany suburbs. He was asked by a reporter why the road did not include a bike path. You have to remember this is Stimulus money, the governor insisted. It's Stimulus money. It's Stimulus money.


Basically, Paterson said that because the project was being paid for with Stimulus money, the most important thing was that it be done quickly -- not that it be done well, not that it be done efficiently or in a beneficial way, but that it be done as fast as possible.

So paying for some suburban road project that will only stimulate more traffic congestion is an acceptable use of funds, but building a sidewalk so schoolchildren don't have walk along the shoulder of a major state highway was denied.

I know public policy in this country is generally hell-bent on subsidizing the least efficient, most environmentally damaging form of transportation, the private, single-person automobile. But with $800,000,000,000 floating around, you'd think they'd at least be able to throw the occasional bone to bicyclists and schoolchildren.

1 comment:

Luke said...

How can anyone say with a straight face that these types of projects, road work, stimulate the economy? It creates temporary jobs that do halfassed work, as you said. Such a mess.