Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Paving Resources: Open Thread

The Comet loves lengthy debates about fairness.

[Burgess] said that over the last five years, the city has spent $41 million on paving, including $9 million in federal funds. But the half of the city that is eligible for federal money has gotten just $16.25 million in paving -- less than half of the total. (Post-Gazette)


Other members said the question of spending was too complex to deal with in a day, and that nearly all areas of the city desperately need resurfacing. (ibid)

Some roads in the City are indeed desperate, and all over it -- but are they so desperate that this issue would need to be considered wholly "in a day"? Would it really make a difference if we added the paving issue to the old agenda for a few weeks to a month? These are only questions. We all know this is a microcosm.


  1. Rich Lord wrote this back in February....

    10 weeks is ample time to "bone up" on an issue.

    Wouldn't you say?

  2. Let's see if the EastEnd progressives "bone up" to give more money to low income communities or if they protect their turf and say "we pay the most taxes and should get the most services."

  3. Is it fair to spend more in Homewood than Fifth and Forbes Avenues in Oakland? Just askin.

  4. Anon 5:08 - It could be argued that federal CDBG funds are sent to us only in order to assuage and combat poverty. Do you think the broken windows theory can apply to cracked pavement and potholes? Is sending road crews more often maybe just a little bit like sending beat cops more often? Is good pavement and good paving of even greater benefit to downtrodden communities than relatively secure ones? Possibly.

    There is an argument to be made about the needs of high vehicle-traffic areas I'll grant you. Maybe if Fifth and Forbes in Oakland had roads of the same quality as Homewood, we would all be demanding Michael Lamb's special long-lasting asphalt, or the heads of non-profits and commuters on pikes.

  5. Michael Lamb has special long-lasting asphalt or at least talks like he does and he hasn't been assigned to the lower depths of the Mon? Is the Paving Budget realy just a fiscal black hole to maintain the workings of an old creaky machine? How convenient! And how easy to fudge who gets what along the way, and may I ask, where the hell is the CDBG allocation oversight person / entity? And innovation - are we even trying to do better? Can't we recycle paving material? The make-work-ness of it has socio-economic implications that do not put our fair city in a favorable light and I say the whole shebang requires at least a little outrage.