The Sept. 2 op-ed on the proposed Interstate 75 connector highway stated that "the road could ease heavy traffic conditions on U.S. 27."
Notice they used the word could not would. I contend that logic and reason would argue that the existence of another road linking U..S. 27 and I-75 would greatly increase the already heavy volume of heavy truck and commercial traffic on crowded Nicholasville Road.
This expensive boondoggle would go through the heart of Jessamine and Madison counties and would pave over hundreds of acres of prime farmland and wildlife habitat. It would steamroll historic homesteads, rock walls and cemeteries, and damage the fragile ecosystem of the Kentucky River Palisades.
At a time when public opinion is shifting toward preservation of our natural world, the representatives of the highway lobby claim this "regional roadway will simplify and improve the quality of life in Central Kentucky."
One has to ask the question "for whom"? Certainly not the citizens whose land will be taken, the farmer whose farm will be split in two or the nearby homeowners who will have to endure the roar of semi trucks grinding their gears 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Are the connector boosters really concerned that without it the proposed Nicholasville bypass will never be built because otherwise the project cannot stand on its own merits? Is that in fact the real agenda of these people?
A recent column by Nancy Stone and Jessamine County Judge-Executive Neal Cassity extolled the virtues of building the I-75 connector. A number of their arguments make little or no sense.
For example, they say 15,000 passenger vehicles and up to 2,000 trucks a day will use this connector. Yet, in an earlier paragraph, they clearly state "the road could ease heavy traffic conditions on U.S. 27."
How does adding more traffic to a road ease congestion? That's like the fire department telling you the solution to a flooded basement is to pump more water into it. The politicians who support this road must think we're all nitwits, dimwits or half-wits.
The column continued on by saying the Barren River Area Development District supports the project because of its potential to enhance regional economics and quality-of-life issues. Excuse me? The center of the district is Bowling Green, and it is made up of 10 counties, four of which border Tennessee. Bowling Green is almost 200 miles away.
Another argument is that law officials, EMTs, school officials and others feel a real urgency to act. What rubbish. Nobody (and I have talked to literally hundreds of people) wants this road built.
This road is called the "vampire road" for a reason. Every decade or so, Jessamine officials bring it up. They are willing to sacrifice the natural beauty of the Palisades. And they don't care how many taxpayer dollars they have to waste on this unnecessary road or how many people they have to hurt to get it done.
I found it interesting that Nancy Stone's and Judge-Executive Neal Cassity's recent column about the proposed U.S. 27/ I-75 connector road failed to mention the projected cost of this project: $440 million. How many pet projects such as this end up costing far more than early-stage estimates? Massive cost overruns seem to be the norm.
Stone and Cassity failed to make a persuasive argument for this project; they barely made a case at all. For example they noted that 43,500 cars pass by Brannon Crossing on U.S. 27 each day. That's just a piece of raw data out of any context.
How many of these cars are going to or coming from I-75? The proponents of this project have failed to go beyond saying that it's a good idea because, well, it's a good idea because it's just a good idea.
We already have infrastructure crying out for repair and maintenance, and building a road of dubious benefit (and far too financially and environmentally costly) is just not a smart thing to do.
At issue: Sept. 2 column by Nancy S. Stone and William Neal Cassity, "Jessamine's growth mandates new road; study of I-75 connector based on regional needs; merits final answer"