Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What To Do With $30 Million

Forgive that this is a piece of dated news, but the USDOT found an extra $473 million or so that it didn't know what to do with, so it returned it proportionally to the states based on what those states contributed.  In the case of Texas, that number was about $30 million.  In other words, not really that much when it comes to TxDOT projects, a drop in the bucket.

For example:

$30 million will buy Texas...
  • 0.2 miles of the 28-mile I-30 widening through Denton County...
  • 0.2 miles of the proposed Trinity Toll Road, and to be fair...
  • 1/2 mile of DART track, or...
  • A shade over 1 mile in modern streetcar track...
  • Or more towards my biases, half the cost of a one-mile section of highway tear-out...
And because it is a drop in the bucket, it likely means it can only go to one project in one city.  Or...

It could be spread throughout the state for a few dozen road diets, restripings, and bike lanes.  Imagine public money going towards public safety while decreasing the demand and therefore stress on our already overstretched and brittle infrastructure.  Oh, and the economic development associated w/ road diets and bike lanes.  Everybody wins.  Bang for the buck.