An Ill-Conceived Highway
February 12, 2014 at 9:44 am
A Times article about a real-estate development in New Haven reports, "The site, on what is now the edge of downtown, is hemmed in by Route 34, an ill-conceived, 1950s-era highway that walls off the district from Union Station, Yale's extensive medical complex and a neighborhood known as the Hill."
My goodness, an "ill-conceived" highway! To read the Times op-ed page, such a thing is nearly impossible. Just a recent sampling:
From a November 23, 2010 Bob Herbert column:
Americans were fired with the idea that they could improve their circumstances, right wrongs and do good. The Interstate Highway System, an Eisenhower initiative, was under way. The civil rights movement was in flower. And soon Kennedy would literally be reaching for the moon.
Self-interest and the bottom line had not yet become the be-all and end-all.
From a May 25, 2012 post on the editorial page's "Taking Note" blog:
[Republicans] should learn from Dwight Eisenhower, who considered the interstate highway system a national security project (it's not called The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways for nothing) and take a more expansive approach to what counts as defensive spending.
From a July 30, 2012 Bill Keller column:
the largest infrastructure project in our history, the interstate highway system, was Eisenhower's baby, a reminder of the days when Republicans still believed in that stuff
From an August 8, 2010 Paul Krugman column:
a country that once amazed the world with its visionary investments in transportation, from the Erie Canal to the Interstate Highway System, is now in the process of unpaving itself: in a number of states, local governments are breaking up roads they can no longer afford to maintain, and returning them to gravel.
So a concession in a Times news article that a highway built in the 1950s might have been a bad idea is something to behold. Not all government "infrastructure" spending turns out to be a good idea, after all.
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