Re: Since the Highway Trust Fund is Broke, Why not dismantle the Interstate Highway System?
On Apr 6, 10:50 pm, armourereric <armourere...@xxxxxxx> wrote:
On Apr 6, 7:04 pm, Honorable Mention <skycityret...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I'm sure THAT got your attention. Okay, here's the case:
It is obvious overall that the original intent of the interstate
system has failed, and interstates built in the last couple decades
have mostly been highly political in nature. Interstates have also
caused irreparable sprawl across the country, have kept the states too
dependent on the federal government, become overpriced with ever
stricter standards in construction and have become a developmental
crutch of sorts (businesses mainly want to be near one). The
popularity of the system was that the trust fund was there to help
states both construct and maintain these massive roads, and as a whole
they have become cultural essentials.
However, I tend to think that since the money is no longer there and
the purpose no longer exists, why don't we consider reverting back to
the US highway system or quite possibly the state highway system? The
US system as it is is far more voluntary than the interstate
system...it, too, is political, but it does not require the huge costs
and high standards for maintenance. The US highway system may be
freeway grade only where needed and may also be a two lane road where
traffic only demands that much. Think of it like the trans-Canada
Here's more: much of the interstate system is crumbling. This means
overpasses and underpasses will soon have to be demolished and
replaced at great expense. Even with that grim reality, you have
roads like I-99 in Pennsylvania and I-73/74 in NC that serve no real
purpose except political favors. I-74 in particular has no real route
whatsoever and continuing its construction to interstate standards,
which in many areas is unneccessary, is funneling money away from more
important construction and maintenance projects.
Compare this to the west. In much of the inner mountain west, the
interstate system hosts low traffic volumes and the presence of "ranch
exits" is absolutely absurd...that a whole overpass is needed to serve
one family and their land. In places like Montana, not even four
lanes is absolutely necessary. A "Super 2" with at-grades for ranches
makes more sense in areas like this as well as more remote desert
regions and plains regions. What bothered Eisenhower was the sorry
state of the highway system in general, but if the plan had been to
have freeway loops around every town, high standard roads in remote
areas and four lanes wherever needed, this may have just as well
served the purpose. Even a "Texas Freeway"...building at grade and
upgrading to freeway later...would have been ideal.
While I am not suggesting we tear down the freeways, what I am
suggesting is removing the politics of interstates and the other
failures that came with them and reverting the system back to one of
US and state routes. This would completely remove the political push
for interstate highways and put more traffic back on traditional US
routes...helping small towns to regain past glory and balancing the
traffic flow. If this was done, maybe unneccessary interchanges could
be removed and freeway by-passes would return to focus around cities
on ordinary US routes. On top of this, urban freeways would not have
to be built to a high speed design allowing more curves, a more narrow
width and a design that worked more into the surroundings. People
might not be as opposed to urban freeways if they did not insist on
"interstate standards" anymore.
This is really a lot to think about, but fans of US 66 would
definitely benefit from this as I-40 in the SW would revert back to US
66 with old alignments becoming "Business" and "Alt" 66. State road
numbers would take over loops and spurs or simply US by-pass routes.
It would be less confusing all the way around and would help older US
routes paralleling current interstates to revert to local control
where traffic volumes were low. Perhaps a redesign of the US shield
to look more like an interstate could help, too.
Here in N GA, it would essentially be that all the 400 series routes
would then be signed, US 41 would revert to I-75, US 78 to I-20, I-85
would become US 29 and I-285 would become a combination of by-pass US
routes with GA 407. These are just some of many examples, and it is
something I think would be worth considering.
I think the federal government should go back to the original late
1940's route concept: IIRC, it was 3 e-w and 5 n-s routes, take over
I-5, 25, 35, 65, 75, 95, 10, 40, 80, 90 and assume full responsibility
for all costs involved with those roads, Go on a 30 year program to
toll those routes, and bring them up to full needed expansion and
rehab, including bypasing any major cities. Classify them as routes
of national accessability significance. As for the rest of the I-
system, offer the state a choice: go to a 50-50 fedaeral aid program,
or allow the stated to opt out and toll at will.
Have mass transit be assessed a 15 cent per mile per ticket excise for
mass transit projects from their own fund.
might I ask why are you so tilted towards highways?
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