Monday, April 17, 2006

Paving Over South Carolina

I read that we have paved so much of our country (roads and parking lots) that it would equal the area of South Carolina. This may, or may not, be accurate as I have also heard that 47.2% of all statistics are made up on the spot -- including this one.

Bad or good? Shameful or admirable? Are we going to hell in a handcar, or is this a sign of progress?

Depends on whether you are driving to grandma's house in another state for Thanksgiving dinner, or out for a stroll in the woods. PBS had a program about a gent who made the first coast-to-coast trip in an automobile, long before there were connecting roads between towns. It was quite a trip and not one I'd care to make. Remember the photos of troop trucks in World War 1 France? World War 2 France? Those mud holes were what passed for roads.

Assuming you had malls before there were paved parking lots, imagine the fun. On a dry day, not so bad. After a downpour ... well, wheel-spinning, shoe-sucking muck. The mom & pop downtown stores wouldn't look so bad after all.

So, as our towns spread out, we paved over the fields and meadows to make roads; near the major highways, themselves once fields, we paved even more to make convient parking. We paved entire cities, leaving perhaps a park here and there. In a gasoline-based economy, this is necessary.

Next to go, Rhode Island.


Everybody has a story:
Mrs. Meriam Dessoye, a local resident, passed away Sunday. She was a "Rosie the Riveter" during World War II on B-29 bombers.

2 Comments:

Anonymous RuthC said...

"Next to go, Rhode Island."
Sure. Fine. First the City wants to take my home to expand the airport, and now Tom wants to take my whole State!
To quote Scarlett: Where am I to go? What am I to do?

April 18, 2006 9:41 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

I was going to say Delaware, but (a) who knows where the **** Delaware is, and (b) the big corporations are all legally headquartered there, so they pretty much own the state and would not want it paved over.

Little Rhody was next.

Unsolicited Advice: Slip the assessor a little green to raise the value of your house when the city buys it. Get enough so you can live on a cruise ship for the rest of your natural life, with a small cottage in R.I. for times when the ship is in drydock.

April 18, 2006 10:55 AM  

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