Apr. 27th, 2014

mellowtigger: (we can do it)
St. Anthony bridgeI haven't driven my car over this St. Anthony bridge in 2.5 years. I mentioned in 2011 September that it was in bad shape, then weeks later I discovered that city transit buses were prohibited from driving over it. This week when I tried to bicycle for the first time in a year, I noticed that the bicycle/pedestrian trail is also closed. So, buses and bicycles are bad, but cars... sure, go right ahead. No thanks. I'll maintain my boycott.

We did get one new bridge (re-)opened during the past year, and I use it frequently instead of the less convenient alternatives. I still wish this nearby St. Anthony bridge was repaired and safe.  Overall, one in ten bridges in the USA are in "urgent need of repair". The American Society of Civil Engineers has completed another report card of our national infrastructure. They still give us a failing grade, although the 2013 score is up slightly from 2009, now a D+ instead of just a D.

"The 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gives an overall grade of D+ across 16 categories, up just slightly from the D given in ASCE’s 2009 Report Card. Six infrastructure sectors benefited from either an increase in private investment, targeted efforts in cities and states to make upgrades or repairs, or from a one-time boost in federal funding.

Notably, this marks the first time the grades have improved since the American Society of Civil Engineers first graded the condition of America’s infrastructure in 1998. However, a D+ grade is still not acceptable."
- http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/overview/presidents-message

Here's an update of the table that I posted back in 2011.

category201320092005200119981988
AviationDDD+DC-B-
BridgesC+CCCC-C+
DamsDDDDDi
Drinking WaterDD-D-DDB-
EnergyD+D+DD+ii
Hazardous WasteDDDD+D-D
Inland WaterwaysD-D-D-D+ii
LeveesD-D-iiii
PortsD-iiiii
Public Parks and RecreationC-C-C-iii
RailC+C-C-iii
RoadsDD-DD+D-C+
SchoolsDDDD-Fi
Solid WasteB-C+C+C+C-C-
TransitDDD+C-CC-
WastewaterDD-D-DD+C
estimated 5-year cost (7-year for 2013)$3.6 trillion$2.2 trillion$1.6 trillion$1.3 trillionii

I'm still disappointed that Obama didn't resurrect the Civilian Conservation Corps or some new equivalent, that Congress won't tax the super-rich to support the society that they depend upon as much as the rest of us, and that Congress still favors the exploitation of our resources by corporations rather than investment in our shared development for a sustainable future.

And so we continue our stalled society. The USA's disappearing middle class is now affecting big business, and Canada's middle class has officially surpassed ours. Because somebody (I'm looking primarily at Republicans) won't allow us to tax the biggest benefactors of our society in order to continue developing our society.

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