Stim-Funded Highways to Nowhere

The Obama administration has warned that misuse of stimulus funds will lower a state’s chances of receiving federal help in the future. Today on the Streetsblog Network, however, The Infrastructurist has identified seven road projects in six states (Kentucky has two) that it calls "the most ridiculous new roads being built with stimulus money." In Texas, for example:

grand_parkway_east_300x186.jpgPhoto via Infrastructurist

Houston, it seems, wants to be like Beijing. With six ring roads, the Chinese government has made it clear it doesn’t mind letting sprawl continue without limits around its capital. Houston’s Grand Parkway, at 184 miles in length and a projected cost of $5.1 billion, will be the city’s fourth outer loop.

The next stretch of the road to be built, funded by $181 million of stimulus money, would be a 14-mile corridor running through the traces of Texas’ famous — and now almost completely destroyed — Katy Prairie, as well as a number of other uninhabited areas, including a swath of Lake Houston State Park.

Other, similarly egregious projects are planned for North Carolina, Indiana, New Hampshire and Maryland.

In more encouraging news, Milwaukee Rising reports on a state effort to outlaw dooring, Matthew Yglesias talks about how congestion pricing would benefit low-income Californians, and Bike Portland follows up on Transpo Secretary Ray LaHood’s positive comments at last week’s National Bike Summit.

  • While China *is* sadly deluded about the future of “happy motoring” (one city I visited had destroyed large parts of the old central city and replaced it with towers and oceans of parking which exuded all the charm of the Las Vegas “Strip”), on the other hand they are also building hundreds of miles of subway in major cities. Houston? Not so much.

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