A Model For Public Works, But A Bad One

The Highway Act of 1956 that resulted in the construction of America's Interstate Highway system has gathered a lot of praise recently as a model economy-boosting public works project. But based on the problems it's caused, that praise should stop.

"Mr Obama's praise for the Highway Act is disturbing. In arguments over his stimulus package and his preliminary budget released on Thursday, Republicans have made the lazy assumption that government intervention in the economy can never succeed. Mr Obama shows signs of the opposite error – believing it can never fail."

"The Highway Act probably has more defenders than detractors. But Mr Obama should be among the latter. The act, which budgeted $25bn in federal money to build 41,000 miles of motorway, exacerbated the very problems Mr Obama has been most eager to solve – spoliation of the environment, dependence on foreign oil, overburdening of state and local budgets, abandonment of the inner-city poor and reckless speculation in real-estate development, to name a few."

Full Story: Highway to hell revisited

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
$28.00