Saturday, April 14, 2007

Shall We End State Maintenance

Our world is largely the secondary roads of South Carolina, the back roads, but they are not always the roads less traveled. They may, however, be the roads less maintained.

Compared to the interstate highways which we eschew at all costs, the secondary highways have fewer customers, but they were never built to the specifications of the interstates and they're not in such good health. We see a lot of patched potholes, but more which are not. The tar filled fissures in the pavement snake along for mile after neglected mile. The road shoulders are narrow, loose or nonexistent. We don't mind the road signs being shot up here and there since that's a rural sport, but when the roads are shot that's another matter.

With the sorry state of existing secondary roads the Highway Department, D.O.T. or whatever it's called this year, insists upon building new ones. New major highways are being built at the behest of developers more than on the basis of need. Next to extended water and sewer lines, new highways promote urban sprawl more than any other incentive. The funds for road repair seem to be diverted to new road construction. To us this is like buying a new car, but keeping the old tires and the tread's wearing mighty thin.


Anonymous Paul said...

I love riding the back roads of South Carolina. There are such nice surprises out there waitng on us. :)

8:25 AM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Yes, Paul, the deferred maintenance of our SC secondary and back roads holds many surprises. We wish that they were all visual wonders, but more often one is taken by surprise by serious flaws in the surface of the roads. We've had to do some artful dodging to avoid damage and possible injury.

Are we building more roads to be abandoned in the future?

11:24 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Windviel said...

We're with you on that, Syd. We love old Leadenwah Drive and hope it remains unpaved. The County does a pretty good job of keeping it ft. Most problems come from the clueless who don't know how to navigate a muddy road.

There's always going to be some newcomer who wants to change the neighborhood. Here in downtown Charleston, it is those with the suburban mentality who move into a nice neighborhood and howl for Speed Humps. You've got the "Come yuh" folks who want to make Wadmalaw look like Ion or some other suburban absurdity.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous BlondeonBlonde said...

I also like to ride the back roads. I leave on a long dirt road maintained by the county on Wadmalaw. Thankfully, it hasn't been paved. Every newcomer who moves to property on the road will usually grouse about their cars getting dirty but most would rather have a dirty car than a road lined with litter and more impervious surface. I hope that more roads aren't built--dirt's okay by me.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Another plus to having a dirt road is that the curious are less likely to roam down your way than if it was paved. There's something about an old dirt road that suggests one had better be invited if they decide to enter.

10:58 PM  

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