Our Philosophy

Festina lente
-make haste...slowly

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Because I'm talkin' about the road...

Those of us in the densely populated (and impossibly muggy) southeast take the condition of our roads for granted. That is, in general, highways in the southeast are in pretty darn good shape. We don’t have the freeze-thaw issue most of the nation’s roads must endure, and what’s left of the (non-California) US tax base seems to be slowly withdrawing its long reach from the frontier and staying at home back east. The southeast could therefore be thought of as a fortuitous cross-road of US demographic information that is faring better than most, and far better than a certain notable Yankee peak oil pundit might purport, in between handfuls of Cheez Doodles and NASCAR rants. Well, at least in the quality of its highways. But that’s not the case everywhere.

The interstate highways out west are falling apart – Washington, Idaho, Montana (except the richy richy stretch between Butte and Bozeman), Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and don’t consistently get to what I would call “smooth” until just outside of Nashville. The notable exception being St. Louis, which has in the past set the standard for crummy roads. Yes, suddenly “out west” isn’t just someone else’s problem. But I can tell you, in a big moving truck, I-90 through the north Idaho panhandle was punishing. And the Idaho legislature has tabled all talk of highway maintenance for the 2010 fiscal year to boot. Idaho is one of those states that survives on the redistribution of federal tax money, and that be dwindling fast here lately. Freeze, thaw, try to catch up.

I heard last year that rural Michigan roads scheduled for maintenance were being decommissioned and returned to gravel. Costs about 1/10 as much to maintain a gravel road apparently. We may all get more familiar with marginal roads soon enough, but here in Georgia, we’re still clearing shoulders to expand I-75. And just in time too. It’ll be so nice when we can drive horse teams 8 abreast through Butts County on the way to a Braves game. The profound pig-headedness of the status quo is mind-boggling sometimes.

(The picture is of a happy discovery in Kellogg, Idaho!)


  1. Look at this! i just finished your flickr page...amazing transformation. you should be very proud. WIll Ella be training for frisbee golf soon?

    har har Re:your comment at CFN - Hey i wasnt good with the children?

    congratulations on the job with good pay.

  2. Hey Ande! Sure you were good with Ella, but maybe you were just a wee bit flustered by the time she dribbled a little on your rug in the living room! No big deal, not a commentary on you as a person. Sorry if it seemed like it. You don't have children and they can certainly take some adjusting to. Thanks for such a yummy dinner! And the dessert too;)

    I haven't seen you at CFN much, and I notice that your blog hasn't been updated in over a month! Everything cool?