If the knuckle-draggers in Washington1 hadn’t pissed away gazillions of dollars fighting three2 concurrent wars – Iraq, Afghanistan, and the so-called War on Terror – while simultaneously reducing the taxes for the wealthy individuals and corporations, perhaps places like North Dakota and Michigan would be able to keep their highways and roads paved.
Paved roads, historical emblems of American achievement, are being torn up across rural America and replaced with gravel or other rough surfaces as counties struggle with tight budgets and dwindling state and federal revenue. State money for local roads was cut in many places amid budget shortfalls.
In Michigan, at least 38 of the 83 counties have converted some asphalt roads to gravel in recent years. Last year, South Dakota turned at least 100 miles of asphalt road surfaces to gravel. Counties in Al
abama and Pennsylvania have begun downgrading asphalt roads to cheaper chip-and-seal road, also known as “poor man’s pavement.” Some counties in Ohio are simply letting roads erode to gravel.
The moves have angered some residents because of the choking dust and windshield-cracking stones that gravel roads can kick up, not to mention the jarring “washboard” effect of driving on rutted gravel.
But higher taxes for road maintenance are equally unpopular. In June, Stutsman County residents rejected a measure that would have generated more money for roads by increasing property and sales taxes.
(click to continue reading Economic Crisis Forces Local Governments to Let Asphalt Roads Return to Gravel – WSJ.com.)
On the other hand, presumedly, gravel roads reflect less sun, and thus have some sort of effect upon the temperature of the planet. Maybe it’s a good thing to move away from the American love of automobiles.Footnotes: