Letter to the Editor:
|Image courtesey of Black Warrior Riverkeeper|
and Southern Environmental Law Center
I don’t know about you but I would like the BBA and the Coalition for Regional Transportation to stop playing free and easy with my tax dollars.Yes, it is MY and YOUR tax dollars that are funding the large federal ticket item known as the Birmingham Northern Beltline.The current cost is $5 billion and counting which works out to $90 million per mile.Can you believe a country in a $16 trillion deficit would consider spending this amount of money on a road that does not form a loop (does not connect to I-459 where it stops) and has nothing to do with traffic?The BBA and CRT would have the gullible believe local and state government will not have to contribute any - $0 – to this transportation project.That is not a very honest portrayal of the facts.Literary circles would classify this as fiction.The truth is JEFFCO and its surrounding cities will have to supply the water, sewers and roads along this long, spiraling route.We know JEFFCO filed the largest bankruptcy in US history. Just a week ago the county transportation department stated they could not pick up dead pigs on the side of the road due to budget cuts.Is the BBA and CRT going to supply septic tanks all along this route when sewers cannot be provided?Are they going to pick up road kill?Is that their idea of economic development?The state has had to dip into the general fund and hold a special election to keep current programs funded.Not to mention the condition of our current roads which need repair and the inability to even keep much of the current interstates lighted.The BBA and CRT freely use the word no-growthers when they are challenged to arguing the merits of the Northern Beltline based on fact.Why do they not advocate other transportation alternatives or initiatives?Recent studies and government departments have noted the economic development realized from the NB is far less than the $7 billion quoted by the CRT and BBA, in fact it is realistically economic relocation not growth. It has also been shown the NB is overbuilt.So BBA and CRT why does the NB have to be built to interstate standards?I am not hearing a reply.Why not look at transportation alternatives with a lesser price tag?Oh silly me, I forgot this is FREE money- more fiction.
YES the Northern Beltline is spending MY FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS and not wisely.My federal dollars should be used to repair current infrastructure which puts people to work.It is time the BBA and CRT stop playing CHICKEN LITTLE and shouting the sky is falling the sky is falling when they are faced with the reality that citizens do not want their hard earned dollars wasted on an antiquated, overbuilt road project entitled the NORTHERN BELTLINE.
Mrs. Charles R. McDonald