26 March 2008

Unsealed state highways - please explain?*

Here now the long awaited Roads Scholaring AKA Viatology material!!

(Is 'Roads Scholar' a pun on 'Rhodes Scholar'? Not intentionally, it just comes out better that way.)

And to start this off, a rant (what else?).

The state in which I live has a higher than average number of state maintained highway miles - we rank in the top ten in miles per capita (state miles/all road miles). This does not include Interstates, but does include US, ahem Federal Highways. (CalRog strikes again!)

I have never understood what makes a country back road, which by no stretch of mental gymnastics could be considered of state importance or even a semi-important connecting road, worthy to be included in our, or any, state highway system. Literally thousands of miles of these roads bloat the state system here, to the point where they comprise the majority of miles....and then our solons in state government wonder why they hardly have any cash to improve the overloaded and critically important transportation arteries in our cities.

Of course, roads should be a private sector matter; as with everything else State socialism has produced nothing but failure in the transportation system. But that is a post all in itself.

And to top it all off, we come across this absurdity:

(Captured by my cellphone camera during one of my excursions away from the urban center.)

The green sign is a standard state highway shield here. The road surface, as you can clearly see, is gravel - that is, unsealed (or unpaved, take your pick of words).

Would somebody please explain??!?!

This is by no means the only case of an unsealed state maintained road here - I know of various examples besides this, in just this region of the state. I e-mailed the state DoT with the faint hope of obtaining an explanation, but nothing have been forthcoming so far. Big surprise there;
it's a State bureaucracy, after all.

I know this seems petty. But these are your tax dollars, people. These are rural backroads which receive virtually no traffic. That is why they have remained unsealed to this day. So why is this a state responsibility? The state DoT is supposed to focus on maintaining and improving high trafficked roads such as multilane highways.

I say let the local governments in these areas deal with these farm roads (for lack of a better expression), since they're the folks who (occasionally) have to drive them.

*With apologies to Pauline Hanson.