Thursday, December 20, 2007

I-81: It needs fixing NOW

H/T to Jerry at From On High....

A group of conservationists filed a lawsuit to prevent the widening of I-81 due to loss of farmland, loss of scenery, and other reasons. I posted on this Tuesday.

Look. I live in the Valley and I appreciate farmland and scenery as much or more than the next person.

However, I-81 is congested and growing more so everyday. Human lives are more important to me than the loss of farmland along this north-south interstate. Rail may help but it is not the answer. My husband is a trucker ... time is money, money is time in the trucking industry ... and it is driven by consumers who want their goods now. Retail outlets want and need their orders as soon as possible and rail for trucks will cause bottlenecks at both ends of the line ... but that is another post for another day.

And this highway should not have tolls ... do you see tolls at the Mixing Bowl in NoVA?

Jerry at From On High tackles this subject, linking to a Roanoke Times op-ed piece, and concludes with:
Look, we need to widen I-81. Now. Lives are being lost. The longer we wait to do it, the longer we allow self-interest groups like these "conservationists" to block progress, the more stories we'll read about death and destruction on this vital thoroughfare.

So quit screwing around.

1 comment:

Dirk van Assendelft said...

"lives are being lost" is the big red herring in this debate. There is no evidence that adding lanes actually decrease accident rates; no matter how many lanes, traffic fatality statistic stay the same or actually increase slightly as the number of lanes increases.

If safety is your concern, drop the speed limit and fully fund adaquate enforcement of traffic laws.

Lastly, I submitted to the VDOT a long critique of their traffic analysis; it is too long to post here, but basically, their numbers to support widening I-81 are way off base.

Before any additional lanes are added, the states that are transected by I-81 need to make a serious investment in rail, and should provide the same subsidy for rail as they now do for the trucking industry.