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It all adds up
« on: November 11, 2010, 07:33:37 PM »
Previously, we discussed a study grant that, a $2 a foot, could only be used toward analyzing traffic patterns and what to do about them on state street and irvine ave from hermitage to the ohio line.

It was a special grant of, i forget how many tens of thousands. And it was just for a study.

Today we have a story in the paper that the hermitage commissioners awarding a half-million-dollar contract to build about 4/10ths of a mile of sidewalk along buhl farm drive from burger king north to Highland along with "pedestrian friendly accessories" at a couple intersections within and beyond the sidewalk area.

The magic accessories, presumably curb cuts, also include "a pedestrian-activated light that flashes a warning that the crosswalk across Buhl Farm is being used." Isn't that special?

Mind you, i'm a fan of the oft-criticized efforts to make the city more pedestrian-friendly by adding sidewalks in the business district but only as developments, road work and renovations take place.

Federal handicapped-accessibility regs already mandate that any time work with a cent of federal money is done on a road, sloped curb cuts must be installed. That's why relatively new concrete at East State and Oakland Ave. in sharon is being dug up right now. It isn't the first or the last time new sidewalk is dug up at corners a year or two later to install curb cuts.

And its why, when some work was done on the freeway at Maple Drive in hermitage a year or so ago, the triangular concrete mass at the SW corner between the intersection and the little ramp for freeway traffic to turn south onto maple, was jackhammered and replaced so that wheelchair-bound pedestrians could cross the 4-lane highway, cross the island then wheel across thatt little ramp and roll with ease onto a 3-foot, dead-end  section of sidewalk built into the grass of morefield cemetery. Yup,  a lot of handicapped mourners wheel across the freeway there and then across a few hundred yards of grass.

 But back to the new sidewalks. Here, however, we are spending about $30 a head for every resident of the city just for this segment. But not to worry. It isn't local tax dollars. It's free money. State money. Which comes from the magic land of... well, it doesn't cost you and I anything, so don't you worry about it.

This is the same state of Pennsylvania whose budget is a couple billion in the hole with no particular plan to balance it.

It all points to the fact that there is too much state, federal and local money allocated to stupid, narrow purposes and programs. Sharon has all kinds of money that can only be remodel the vacant parking garage. Hermitage school district has millions of "oops, we borrowed too much" capital-expense money sitting in the bank that -- how convenient -- can only be used for things like 3/4 of a million $$ turf projects. Yet they have to raise taxes for general operations. And for debt payments.

And the state has no money for everyday operating expenses and has to cut programs because much of the budget it dedicated to repaying bonds borrowed for stupid, narrow projects of dubious value.

It's starting to become clearer how government finances got into such a mess.


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Re: It all adds up
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2010, 07:48:07 PM »
Well since the road suck and will become impassable at some point in the future at least they are planning for more pedestrian traffic. On that note... The spending decisions and funding sources can be mystifying sometimes. That being said there's a lot of money being wasted all over like this. I will not argue the handicapped ramps as some of us may all need them someday since the population is greying. Some of funding for these studies seem to be a waste.
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