Too Many Roads Already

Henry Grabar argues that the United States has already too many roads, and the burden of maintenance costs and the sprawl encouraged by road-building should make new roads and bridges the country's last priority.
April 13, 2017, 12pm PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Hunter Desportes

National politicians on both sides of the political spectrum have come out in favor of an infrastructure bill to build more roads and bridges. Meanwhile, some worry that more roads mean more cars, more sprawl and more maintenance. "Gravel is good. It’s cheaper than concrete and often has lower maintenance costs," Henry Grabar argues in Slate.

Garbar argues that the president's proposed infrastructure legislation, if it ever gets written, might sound like a bit of bi-partisan relief from a the contentious times the country is experiencing, but that new roads would not put the country in a better place. He says the United States is in, "…an unprecedented maintenance crisis, in addition to facilitating sprawl, harming the environment, undermining Main Street commerce, and draining local budgets." Not only because politicians are not adequately taking care of the roads they already have, but also because, "In and around cities, road mileage has grown at exactly twice the rate of population," Garbar writes.

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Published on Monday, April 3, 2017 in Slate
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