More roads agony

The Texas Tribune has a great article reporting on the announcement of a road maintenance program that will convert hundreds of miles from badly damaged road, to a gravel road. The Tribune reports “paving roads is too expensive and there is not enough funding to repave them all, our only other option to make them safer is to turn them into gravel roads”.

Later in the article it quotes Darlene Meyer is a 77-year-old rancher whose property sits along a portion of FM 469 in LaSalle County that is marked for conversion to gravel. She has lived in the county since 1960 and said the current road conditions are the worst she has seen. “Texas used to have the best roads,” she said.

There is so much irony in this story. First up the State found some $225 Million to repair and rebuild roads that have been damaged by the horrendous heavy traffic volumes created by fracking.

Also, Texas has amongst the lowest tax rates in the developed world. There is no state income tax; sales tax is around the median for US States; given the Republican drive to block anything that adds to Federal tax  collection; combined with the fact that multinational companies now contribute less and less tax, while Texas has one of the largest total tax collections in the USA, it’s also bigger than Germany with less people, and that size “drives” up the cost, especially of roads, significantly. I wonder where people think the money comes from for the roads?

In a comment on the Tribune facebook page, Michael says ” I look forward to Texas’ ultimate transition from the car to the horse and buggy. Austin to Houston in 14 days!”

Author: Mark Cathcart

Formerly an Executive Director of Systems Engineering and a Senior Distinguished Engineer at Dell. Prior to that, an IBM Distinguished Engineer working for the Systems Group in NY and Austin. I'm currently "retired until further notice".

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