Wednesday, November 17, 2010
The Oak beam's at Oxford's New College Dining Hall were replaced in 1860, using trees 500 years old. The trees were from an Oak grove on campus which was planted when the College was first developed.
When a local tri-stater thinks of the George Washington Bridge they don't appreciate it, they dread it. The fear of making a 10 mile trip on the Cross Bronx Expressway and over the Hudson in 40 minutes, has caused us to render the structure as awful. (I do agree in some part, because going to Jersey is nothing to be excited about.)
But wait a minute, heaven forbid we even have that bridge.
That dread we have is a result of NOT DOING, of not building and not enhancing our infrastructure to adapt to our GROWING population. When the GWB was built in 1930 the population of the metropolitan area was 8.6 Million. In 1960 when the bridge expanded to two levels (which luckily the engineer had accounted for when initially designing) the Metro Population was 14.4 Million. Today it's nearly 20 Million.
This past month the LIRR temporarily cut service drastically in order to make way for its self proclaimed "Modernization" campaign. While I am happy to see investments in our physical infrastructure its dumbfounding to hear that the main "modern" adjustments made were to replace a switching system that was 100 years old.
100 YEARS OLD? It takes us THIS LONG to invest in our infrastructure? And I truly doubt the new system will last half of 100 years.
Things that are infrastructure are what people blindly take advantage of.
We have become so accustomed to the bold initiatives of past governments and society, that instead of seeing them as great marks of our country and economic strength, they are instead a burden for taxpayers to maintain.
We are so close-sighted that the future (when it actually does get some attention) looks glum and lagging. Why are we the only advanced country without high speed rail? Why is our energy technology so outdated? Why is it now that we are just starting to TALK about this?
Recently New Jersey's Governor Christie pulled state funding from a rail tunnel between NJ and Manhattan, killing 6000 jobs and the largest U.S. public works project under construction. I'm sorry to tell you this Mr. Christie, but the demand for transit infrastructure and the population of your state isn't shrinking.
We need our infrastructure to parallel the innovative minds of our country.