My proposed budget cut

Politicians always promise to cut government waste but the experts always say it can’t be done. But I came across an example today. A bunch of trucks came by to tear up and repave our street. But our street is just fine. The city clearly has money to burn in this budget line.

4 thoughts on “My proposed budget cut

  1. Several years ago, my brother, a public works director in California, told me he responds often to this exact question/complaint: "Why are you wasting money repaving this street? It doesn't need it."

    According to him, the studies and the science are clear: if you want to be fiscally responsible, you have to repave roads before Joe Q. Public thinks they need it.

    If you wait until Joe thinks the road needs to be paved, the pavement has failed to protect the roadbed (which is one of the reasons streets are paved at all), and you may have the much more expensive proposition of tearing up and replacing not only pavement, but roadbed, too.

    I don't know if New York does, but some cities use instruments to monitor how well the pavement is protecting the roadbed, so that only roads that "need repaving" can be repaved. They might get a lot of citizen complaints, but they save a lot of tax money.

  2. Echoing Steve Kass's comments:

    This summer they revamped our quiet suburban circle, which had been paved in 1981. It seemed fine, and since I often do bicycle laps around the half-mile circle, I thought I was very familiar with every inch of the pavement.

    But then they marked which storm sewers needed work, and I could see the subsidence. And they marked where the curb had crumbled or was beginning to crumble. Viewing these brush-strokes of orange paint, I began to see that redoing the street now made sense.

    As to why they didn't do an adjacent through street first — that's state maintained, not city maintained. Sometimes there are just different priorities in different jurisdictions.

    Of course, there's always the "where does the alderman's mother live" effect in any large city.

  3. I learned in political science, that the government will seek to spend a lot of money during times of recessions, such as now. So by doing road projects, they pay the employees which then spend and boost the economy.

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