The Norman Transcript

Opinion

June 16, 2013

Highway projects are wasteful

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:  

The transfer of moneys from the private sector to the government, by use of taxation, for example, should not be expected to affect economies. Both entities spend the money on jobs and on goods and services.

Who or what has the money and spends it is the core political condition.

No matter how much economies grow, rate of growth is rarely enough for Chambers of Commerce.

Global human population increased by a factor of four in the 20th century, and U.S. population more than tripled. Increasing resource consumption and depletion and species extinction are already serious problems for diversity and humanity, but C of Cs and others seek more growth.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is enormously wasteful of Oklahoma’s resources. While the price of gasoline will continue to rise irregularly, and depletion is important for both gasoline and diesel fuels,  most of ODOT’s $1.7 billion budget continues to be spent on roads.

Two wasteful highway projects currently underway in Oklahoma are the expansion of the Main Street-Highway 35 interchange in Norman and expansion of highways over the South Canadian River. Money so spent could instead provide sustainable projects, such as an energy-efficient commuter rail line from Pauls Valley to Edmond; a rail line would reduce highway traffic.

Oklahoma’s Dept. of Transportation helps ensure that Oklahoma remains a backward state. Other cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Albuquerque and Salt Lake City, already have commuter rail systems that are heavily used.

Edwin Kessler

Norman

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