Should We Be Building More Roads?

RECEIVED Tue., Oct. 16, 2007

Dear Editor,
    The sad part of the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization vote [“Naked City,” News, Oct. 12] to fund more toll roads was that only two options were considered – build toll roads, or build roads without tolls. The issue of whether we should be building more roads was never raised. New roads allow people to live farther and farther from Austin and zip Downtown. They keep auto, oil, construction, and real estate interests flush with cash.
    However, the downside of more roads includes increased dependence on foreign oil, more greenhouse gases, more national indebtedness, and more land around Austin being paved over.
    If and when we actually start worrying about greenhouse gases or face significant oil shortages, housing construction induced by the new roads will be so scattered that mass transit won't be feasible.
Philip Russell
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