They're federal highway programs that keep going long after their original purpose has been fulfilled, gobbling up billions in tax dollars and laying down hundreds of miles of blacktop. They're zombie highways. PBS looks at a $3.3 billion proposed road around Birmingham, AL. Environmentalists don't want it, residents of the area where it's being built don't want it, even the Mayor of Birmingham doesn't want it. But because a group of business interests pushed for it, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) inserted it into a transportation bill -- which means that taxpayers nationwide will foot most of the bill. Transportation experts say it's the wrong road at the wrong time in the wrong place -- and that it symbolizes what's wrong with the way we build roads in this country. It's also devouring subsidies that smart-growth proponents say could be better spent on public transit. But is there any way to kill a zombie highway? PBS Blueprint America [On TV - PBS Newshour - Aug 6th and 7th.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
at 10:11 PM