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Sunday, December 14, 2008

The New I-64 may border on scandal.

We taxpayers have spent millions.

The media nearly gave us heart attacks last year, predicting that the closure of the western portion of the "New I-64" project was an effective "Sorry, We're Closed" sign for the whole region.

And, after all of that, this is what we got?

I guess I should have looked at the plans more closely; I didn't realize it was merely a highway widening project. What a waste of money: turning old Highway 40, whose bridges actually had some character, whose roadway is actually historic, into the Page Avenue extension!

I truly thought that thoughtful design would go into new bridges; that clover intersections would be going on a "road diet" and give up right-of-way for future development.

I think that it's a scandal, in 2008, to be widening roads, for this much money and energy wasted, without consideration to non-motorized regional transit--no parallel project to expand light rail--just another widened road. It's our portly roads that ensure an ease of access in and out of the city that have proven so stifling to attempts to bring retail (and residents) back into the City of St. Louis.

This is a waste.

And it further christens the automobile, far and away, as the unrivaled king of transportation in the St. Louis region, especially after the failure of Proposition M, which would have plugged a Metro budget leak into the hundreds of millions. Instead, we as taxpayers have allowed those hundreds of millions to be shifted to car users, for the umpteenth time in St. Louis history.

I think it's a scandal. And I and other urbanists have dropped the ball; we should have acted sooner. Might it be early enough to intervene in the eastern section?


Doug Duckworth said...

I do agree with you. It's essentially 500 million for smoother roads, shitty overpasses, widening, and sound barriers. I never really had any problem with highway 64 as it was before and I doubt this will ease congestion.

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