And the results ain’t pretty.
From Gov. Steve Beshear humping the old talking points of job growth to the perpetually quixotic counterpoint of 8664, The New York Times’ article does a decent job of portraying the Ohio River Bridges Project as a depressing, illogical boondoggle.
A choice excerpt:
The project comes at a time when some cities are moving in the opposite direction, dismantling downtown bridges and expressways in favor of public transportation.
Hank V. Savitch, a professor of urban and public affairs at the University of Louisville, said that while some cities were shifting away from accommodating cars, Louisville’s project signaled a declaration of faith in suburban-style growth.
“They’re still fighting the last urban war, which was highway development — but that’s not the nature of the future of the city,” Professor Savitch said. “It will dissipate energy in the central city, where they should be concentrating investment, and instead draw capital to the outer metropolitan area.”
…a 2011 study by economists at the University of Toronto concluded that expanding roads does not unclog traffic. In fact, the study found, it worsens it.
Matthew Turner, an economist and one of the study’s authors, said that the bridge tolls that are part of the plan will help spread out the congestion, but that compared with other cities he has studied, congestion in Louisville is not that acute.
“If you take the average bundle of trips, you can do them faster in Louisville than most other places in the U.S.,” Mr. Turner said. “Dropping more than $2 billion on this huge expansion in a city which is not growing as fast as many others might not be the best use of public money.”