Monday, May 30, 2011

Echoes of Robert the UMC Footprint

"Before construction was to start, the state of New York hired an engineering firm, Day and Zimmerman, to study the feasibility of adding a mass transit line along the road's right of way.  Moses was so alarmed at the prospect of trains cluttering up his highway that he ordered construction to start before the report could be issued, borrowing $20 million from the Triborough Authority's slush fund to do so.  By the time Day and Zimmerman issued their report - which, of course, recommended the addition of a rail line - the subject was moot because to incorporate it would require the demolition of the work already completed."

"Moses also learned the trick of misleading the state legislature to get his projects underway.  He called it "stake driving."  He would grossly underestimate the cost of a project to get it underway fast.  Then he'd blackmail politicians into funding the rest, saying that their ignorance about the real cost of the project made them derelict in their duty and unfit for office."

*Both excerpts from James Kunstler's "The Geography of Nowhere"

We're seeing a loosely analogous "inevitability" situation play out - demolish away until there's no other option than to proceed.  But we'll see if the politicians in Baton Rouge ultimately play along with that set up.

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