The Norman Transcript

Letters

September 23, 2012

Let’s look at real reasons for road damage

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

This editorial, (Sept. 12, “State’s bridge work still on schedule”) stands as an apparently unintended tribute to the astounding disappearance of the professional curiosity of the Oklahoma Press.

The last Oklahoma Department of Transportation director to speak clearly about the real reasons for the ongoing decline of our state’s roads and bridges served under Gov. David Walters.

Since then, a wall of complicit silence has fallen around ODOT’s administrative offices at 200 NE 21st — as Neal McCaleb disciple Gary Ridley, “the P.E. without a dee-gree,” (serving simultaneously as secretary of transportation and director of ODOT and turnpikes) dominates both the legislature — and, apparently, the Press — with his highway lobby-inspired yap.

The crush of heavy trucks massively underpaying their cost responsibility on the roads of this state and the nation is the strangely unremarked “600-pound gorilla in the hobnail boots” sitting in the corner. Until the endless corporate welfare hose is yanked out of trucking’s jaws, public roads and public safety — as well as the national economy — will continue to suffer.

When challenged to speak up about this, Ridley and his lieutenants mutter that “it’s not their job to make policy.” Unless, of course — that “policy” involves “shoveling more money into the problem.” That’s a different story. Turns out that, in the long run, all that “new money” state legislators tell their constituents that they’re putting into roads is just making the problem bigger — while other needed state services go begging.

What’s required is quite simple: Real, basic, reform. State and national governments should immediately commission comprehensive Highway Cost Allocation Studies — based on the established “Equity Ratio” model (instead of the trucking lobby’s skewed “sufficiency ratio” model), establishing conclusively what each class of vehicle using the public’s roads ought to be paying for their use. (Oklahoma government has never in its history completed such a study.)

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters
  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • League of Women Voters meeting

    Editor, The Transcript: On Saturday, May 10, the Norman League of Women Voters will hold its annual meeting at the Memorial Presbyterian Church, 601 24th Ave. SW, Norman, OK, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm....

    April 12, 2014

  • Frackers should use gray water

    Editor, The Transcript: As reported by Joe Wertz in the March 31 issue of StateImpact Oklahoma, Finley Resources, a Texas-based oil drilling company, has arranged with the city of Norman to buy Norman’s drinking water from hydrants to use ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Columnists have it wrong

    Editor, The Transcript: I typically enjoy Class Act (the Q&A with school counselors published on Fridays) very much. I think they bring a rational and empathetic response to parents’ concerns when it comes to the challenges students and ...

    April 8, 2014

  • An unfortunate response

    Editor, The Transcript: On April 1, the citizens of Norman voted to approve the renewed PSST and to make it permanent by a narrow margin of 3,798 for versus 3,660 against. As a result of this vote, Mayor Rosenthal stated in The Norman ...

    April 6, 2014

  • Apathy and lack of understanding may doom universal health care

    Editor, The Transcript: Enrollments in the federal and state health exchanges were higher than expected and late enrollments are expected, yet people still contend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is not going to be successful....

    April 6, 2014

  • The Medieval Fair as a measure of human progress

    Editor, The Transcript: This upcoming weekend we are invited to “Step back in time for a day of revels at the Medieval Fair. Enjoy mirth and merriment with kings, queens, knights and fools as the kingdom comes alive.” It’s an opportunity ...

    April 6, 2014

  • Acts of kindness still alive

    Editor, The Transcript: Random acts of kindness may be an overused phrase, but when kindnesses happen to your family, it is great to know it is alive and well....

    April 4, 2014

  • Property tax increase needed

    Editor, The Transcript: Household and government budgets are necessary to keep spending on track. Voters’ choices can determine the direction of budget cuts and adjustments. Always vote smart....

    April 2, 2014

  • What a friendly city, community

    Editor, The Transcript: A couple of weeks ago while traveling through Norman, my two small children and I had to make an unexpected stop in Norman to have our van repaired. Although we were “stranded” in a sense, I can’t think of a ...

    April 2, 2014