The Last Thing America Needs Is More Roads

Henry Grabar: “Roads and bridges. That singsong phrase is a well-worn exhortation to common sense and consensus, an expression designed to summon us, like Christmas morning church bells, from the trenches of partisan warfare. (Also, if you say it three times fast, a concrete-industry lobbyist picks up your dinner tab.)”

“There’s just one problem: America does not need more roads, suspended or otherwise. The rural population, after three decades of declining growth, started shrinking in 2010. In America’s metro areas, where more than 4 in 5 Americans live, the road network has been expanding faster than population growth since 1980. That has created an unprecedented maintenance crisis, in addition to facilitating sprawl, harming the environment, undermining Main Street commerce, and draining local budgets.”

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