Advanced Search

11/29/01 - ROADS ARE A SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM (Jackson Herald)

 The Jackson Herald
November 28, 2001 Editorial

Roads are a solution, not the problem

To hear the anti-suburban environmentalists tell it, roads are the bane of all evil. Roads bring development and development breeds sprawl and sprawl is, well, the antithesis of the elitists who never saw a suburb that shouldn't be turned back into a field.

But roads are not the problem. Indeed, the biggest complaint you hear about growth is the impact on traffic. We all hate to sit in traffic.

It is the lack of sufficient roads that causes traffic problems. You simply can't continue to add cars without also adding new roads designed to move traffic.

That's increasingly clear in the metro Atlanta area where politics has stymied efforts to build new roads, the result being too many cars on too little pavement.

But this lack of road infrastructure is also becoming apparent in rural areas like Jackson County. While some progress is being made with the Jefferson bypass, that alone won't solve the traffic congestion in the central and western parts of Jackson County.

It's time for our county and city leaders to have a working summit on road transportation in Jackson County. Traffic projections and long-term state projects should be outlined so that our officials can make plans for new local projects to fill in the pavement gaps.

This won't be an easy task and it will require a new sense of working together that has not previously existed in this county. It will also take a long-term commitment to funding new road projects.

But to not plan now for the growth in traffic will lead only to more problems in the future.

Now is the time to act. The question is, who will lead this effort?