Monday, March 9, 2009

An Alternative for the Boone Parkway

From Parade Magazine on 3.8.09

How We Can Save Our Roads by Earl Swift

Pennsylvania’s Smart Transportation initiative calls on engineers to re-examine all of their assumptions. “The old style was that if we had a road that was congested, we’d project the traffic out 25 years and add lanes,” says Allen D. Biehler, the state’s transportation secretary. “Well, guess what? We don’t have enough money for that anymore.”

When Pennsylvania couldn’t afford a long-planned, $465 million freeway north of Philadelphia, Biehler brainstormed with communities along the 8.4-mile route and found a cheaper alternative: a parkway bordered with trees and bike trails. Work on the $200 million project began in November.

I just can't help but think of the similarities between this project and the planned Boone Parkway. How big does a project have to be before it is no longer practical to build in anyone's reasonable lifetime? The low-build alternative, is just that, and alternative, but it represents a practical improvement that the Boone community could see within a generation.


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