Archive for July 24th, 2009

 

by JC

ProPublica has a chart of all the stimulating transportation projects listed by state. You can see Montana’s projects here.

Road and bridge projects are expected to make up one of the biggest chunks of the jobs created by the stimulus package. We’ve put together a chart of more than 5,800 projects that have been approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Once given the green light, states can put the projects out to bid, contract them and begin construction work. So far, about 2,300 projects are under way. See the chart.

You might say that Missoula County is unique in the proportion of projects devoted to alternative transportation projects like bike/ped paths/lanes. Great falls get a bunch of sidewalks. Billings gets big roads.

On the bottom of my list of fun projects is the Scott Street bridge resurfacing. Something about the sound of 2 million dollars worth of concrete grinding and dust and jackhammers running all day and evening that just… grates on my nerves. Not to mention all the dust that is settling on everything outside my house, and creeping in during these hot summer days when it is mandatory to keep the house wide open whenever the inside is hotter than the outside.

In related news, the federal “Cash for Clunkers” program will let you trade in your old gas guzzler for a $4500 credit towards a new ride. That’d buy a lot of nice non polluting bikes, but alas, you have to go petro (or hybrid).

It’s all starting to make sense now. Spend money on new roads, give people money to buy new cars. Encourage people to get back to that good ole ‘Merican dream to see the USA in your new Chevrolet! The uniquely American way to avoid depression (personal or economic–take your pick). I guess if you can afford a loan for the price of a new car (minus $4500), or if you can qualify for said loan (not too many Montanans I know) then it might be a pretty good deal.

Let me know when there’s a program that’ll allow me to trade the junker sitting in my alley for a nice shiny new mountain bike, to ride on those new bike lanes, and I’ll know that trickle down really works!

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