Another Week… More Bridge Weight Reductions
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, RIDOT announced two more bridge weight restrictions. The Sakonnet River bridge has been reduced to 18 tons and the Pontiac Avenue bridge has been reduced to 10 tons. Keep this up and pretty soon everyone will be riding bikes, nothing heavier will be able to cross the bridges!
In all seriousness, the recent rash of bridge weight reductions seem to point to a larger trend. RIDOT, and I suspect other state DOT groups are facing the same problem, their budgets are getting to a point where they will soon be unable to afford to maintain the infrastructure. Yet, they keep building, because the roads are too crowded and this only exacerbates the problem. I have no interest in having the state continue to increase my taxes to support an infrastructure I just don’t believe we can continue to afford. If faced with similar long term budgetary issues as those that face the state, most of us would figure out a way to cut back.
Here’s a novel idea, how about we spend the funds we do have on creating a better transportation infrastructure that has a people first policy? How about we start dedicating some of the highway lanes to HOV and bus traffic? How about a really crazy idea and we start taking back some of these roadways for people, pedestrians and cyclists. I know, crazy idea, but I’m positive the long term cost of maintaining infrastructure used by pedestrians and cyclists is significantly cheaper than the costs associated with roadways for cars.