WASHINGTON D.C.-- A taxpayer-environmentalist coalition today called for a halt to 22 wasteful and environmentally destructive highway projects in 15 states. According to the coalition, putting the brakes on these unneeded projects would save $10 billion in federal tax dollars, protect the environment and help preserve local communities.
The 22 projects are detailed in Road to Ruin, a new report by Taxpayers for Common Sense, Friends of the Earth and U.S. Public Research Interest Group -- leaders of the Green Scissors Campaign.
"Wasting billions of dollars on these unneeded projects makes no sense. It's time for the government to pull over for directions," said Ralph De Gennaro, Executive Director of Taxpayers for Common Sense.
The report's release today kicks off a national campaign that includes taxpayer, environmental and grassroots groups united to kill unnecessary road projects like those detailed in Road to Ruin. The projects include:
Many of the proposed roads described in the report face significant local opposition from neighborhood groups of local governments. The report says that new "highways are poor neighbors" that can divide communities, hurt Main Street businesses, and shift residents and tax base elsewhere.
Instead of building the new road projects as proposed, the report recommends exploring cheaper, less destructive alternatives to deal over the long term with transportation problems. Many of the projects are intended to relieve short-term traffic congestion. But the report says the 22 new or enlarged highway projects could encourage more development and urban sprawl that eventually draws more traffic. In addition, the projects would aggravate other problems and are not the best solution.
"Local citizens who know the areas should be in the driver's seat, not beltway politicians who are far too often under the influence of special interests," said Steven Patrick, Policy Associate, U.S. Public Interest Group.
The report highlights proposed new highway projects in 15 states including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC. The report also targets a project in Panama and the nationwide practice of building timber roads in national forests.
The report is being released at over 15 sites across the country. Copies of the full report are available free of charge to the media or for $10 to others.
The report is also available at the Friends of the Earth web site and the Taxpayers for Common Sense web site.
Charles Miller, 202-745-0707
Janice Greer, TC$, 202-546-8500 x119
David Hirsch, FOE, 202-783-7400 x215