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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Say again?

Vista for a view? 26 Aug 2008 - VA Pilot - Pilot Warrior
[Reader Tim Marshall asked
about the trees and brush being cleared in the Interstate 464 median, near Military Highway. “Clearcutting,” he called it.
“If there is a good reason for this, I can reluctantly accept it,” he wrote. “But … I can’t see how there can be any visibility issue at that location. I am at a loss as to understand why they would be un-beautifying the interstate.”
Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman Harry Kenyon said the brush is being cleared so the highway department’s traffic cameras have a clear view of the interstate.]

Wait. So VDOT actually believes that it is cheaper and a better idea to clear cut acres of tree than it is to put up a couple more cameras? The average fuel consumption of an excavator is 10.5 gallons an hour. Assuming $4/gallon diesel fuel, that means that one excavator uses $42 an hour. Add in the dump trucks, supervisor vehicles, worker wages, and external costs, and you are spending way over the cost of a new camera an hour.
If this is how it works, then the next time I don't want to drive around the block, I will rent a bulldozer and clear a new road through the middle of the block because it will be easier later to cut through. Its the same type thing. They don't want to go through the process of putting in a new camera so they will just demolish all obstacles to the existing cameras. You gotta wonder though: someone got paid with YOUR tax dollars to develop this plan.

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