Yes roads CAN bring economic development, but the following things need to ALREADY be in place:
Infrastructure including telecommunications, sewers, water, safe secondary roads, better schools, international airport, etc., etc.
From a Clemson University study:
“Unless a community already has some growth underway, it is unlikely that new highways will do much to trigger growth. Improvement in schools, investments in water and sewer upgrades, and attention to
such things as race relations, protection of historic landmarks, and other quality of life factors may pay bigger dividends for such communities than new highways. Only after those things are done and the signs of local job and income growth begin to appear does it make much sense to shift the focus to developmental highways.”
Highway officials & politicians say how every $1 spent on interstates returns $5 in ED but where is the data to back that statement up??? They don’t tell you that!! Its just projections, show us the data. So I-75 came through London, why are there MORE people below the poverty level than before? 20% of our residents are on disability. Where is the willing/educated workforce?
Factories are moving overseas to get cheap labor. There are over 200 industrial parks in KY all with vacancies and all are competing for these jobs. London is lucky to have the bakeries, automotive companies & service industries. Some of these businesses are expanding. But where is the ABC Company that was supposed to occupy the Ind. Park Spec bldg? Where is the Home Depot? There’s speculation that SAMS Club may come. These businesses are here already. I-66 did not attract them. And I-66 will not make their shipping costs go down, so what is the benefit to business? Factories have left Laurel County too, did they leave because there is no I-66?
Its personal to us because we live in DBNF & will make every effort to protect it. We care about the threat of global warming and do not care to make more people sick from increased car exhaust & pollution from runoff. We care about protecting not destroying the environment. We care about the watershed and the caves of Sinking Valley, the Cumberland & the Rockcastle. Maybe we weren’t born here but we live here now. And we’re gonna stay. The DBNF is a NATIONAL TREASURE. Its bigger than the wants of some individuals. And as a person of faith (maybe not yours…) I guess I care about being a steward for the environment more than you do.
So is this I-66 segment gonna be the “TRASH” Highway? Because its going straight to Laurel Ridge Landfill. Is this what we want our town to be known for?? Our great Landfill? Bring your trash to London, trash capitol of KY!
The shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line. Going from Somerset to London via 80 makes sense to me. I-66 takes people away from London. If I-66 is built, it is most likely that the economic development will shift away from 80 & downtown London to the interstate area.
Will it save me anything if they build I-66? I don’t think my car insurance rates will go down any and I also don’t think it will make driving any safer. Its still gonna cost big bucks to fill our gas tanks! Driver education and vehicle inspections are what is needed if we want safer roads. It also won’t lessen impaired drivers, a threat to us all.
So exactly what are the PROVABLE benefits of I-66? To me there are more benefits to NOT building it than there are TO build it. Some things you can’t put a price tag on, like the environment. Let’s tell our representatives to spend our tax dollars on health care, education and job training for this county’s citizens, not a road which will provide some short term jobs for construction workers and big profits for contractors & land speculators. Looking to make some big $$$ selling your property for I-66? Good luck getting assessed value for your property and can you replace what you already have? Good Luck!
Finally, The Sierra Club has named I-66 in the top ten worst transportation projects in their “Smart Chioces Less Traffic” study. The NRDC and Taxpayers for Common Sense have also submitted reports naming Kentucky’s I-66 in the top 10 worst road building choices. Are these scientists and other experts wrong???