While ‘conservatives’ are suppose to love toll roads (Note: I don’t define myself as one, never have, never will), in North Carolina’s case, they’re merely a symptom of the state’s core transportation dysfunction. Which would be that the state doesn’t rationally prioritize its road needs — North Carolina prefers brain-dead formulas to using money where it will do the most good — combined with a tendency to regard roads as pork.
Which brings us to today’s news item the Garden Parkway aka the Gaston East-West Connector is being held up by a lack of money. Good. This is nothing more than a very expensive — $1.2 billion for the first phase — built-it-and-hope-they come bit of economic development wishful thinking slice of pork for a county that isn’t growing. That this road is very closely associated with a very powerful state senator is not a coincidence.
The state has far better uses for its scarce road dollars than the Garden Parkway. And I say scarce because though a portion would be a toll road, the tolls are inadequate to cover the Garden Parkway’s costs. In fact, they won’t even come close.
And let’s take it a step further, this project is a big reason for why toll roads even exist in North Carolina — as a means to build sooner rather than much, much, much, later an extremely pricey built-it-and-hope-they come scheme. So tolls as enabling inefficiency. Only in North Carolina.Read full article » 1 Comment »
Jeff Jarvis utterly destroys the old newspaper order with this should-be speech to the Newspaper Association of America, currently huddled and whining in San Diego.
Tell me who or what comes to mind when you read this:
You had a generation to reinvent the business but you did too little. … Having not taken advantage of the last two decades to reinvent the news business, you’re not going to manage a rescue in two months, before the creditors come calling. That was your worst hail Mary: stoking up on debt and hoping to milk these cows for years to come. Mad cash-cow disease, that’s what too many of you had. Your other desperate moves: suddenly fantasizing that you can fix everything by going behind a wall (to hell with Google and its billions of readers!) and charging us because you think we “should” pay. Since when is a business plan built on “should?” I haven’t seen a sensible P&L justifying this dream from any of you. If you have one, please stand up show us now….. I thought so. Other desperation moves: fantasies of white knights from foundations buying you and letting you stay just the way you are…. government subsidies (do we even have to discuss the danger?)…. switching to not-for-profit, as if that suddenly takes away the need to sustain the business still… misguided, self-righteousness thinking that Google or cable companies owe you money, as if you have a God-given right to the revenue and customers you lost….. No, none of this will save newspapers and in your subconscious, at least, you know it.
Be sure to read the whole thing. It didn’t have to be this way.Read full article » Comments Off
Not a fact supplied to support this notion, however. And as Carolina Politics Online puts it, if voting for tobacco makes Hagan a moderate, then voting to please automakers likewise must make John Dingell a moderate. Pretty clear the term “moderate” would then be meaningless, if it is not already.Read full article » Comments Off