Do-gooder government, unintended results

Cal Beverly's picture

Two letters on this page take the cap off my own lengthy simmerings on these two related matters.

The first is a super-expensive solution to a limited problem: pedestrians crossing state highway intersections.

These ubiquitous crossing signals with their countdown blinkers are showing up everywhere — except some obvious places they are actually needed.

I have occasion to drive Ga. Highway 16 in rural eastern Spalding County. Out there, literally in the middle of nowhere, with no houses, businesses or even livestock in sight, these expensive pedestrian push-button crossing signals have gone up, forlornly awaiting the possible one pedestrian a year that might use the signal.

Here in Fayette, you see them everywhere — everywhere, that is, except some places they might actually be useful more than once or twice a day.

Like Ga. Highway 54 at Walt Banks Road — you know, within a block of a high school, two churches, two big shopping centers, a mobile home park. But no crossing lights there yet.

But, hey, you’ve got your blinking countdown on Hwy. 54 at Sandy Creek/Norton roads, where there is little reason for any pedestrian to be trying to get across.

And the unintended consequences: Have you noticed longer wait times at red lights that once operated more smartly? Larger clots of traffic back up at these pedestrian-signal-enhanced crossings, timed presumably for the once-a-year aged granny pushing her walker painfully and slowly across four lanes of impatient vehicles.

(Come on, now: How have pedestrians survived until now on these state highways?)

So, traffic backs up, idle time is increased exponentially, more fuel is wasted waiting on the empty intersection to go green. Larger slugs of slowed traffic lead to increased lane changing and probably more aggressive driving. Longer waits, increased fuel waste, more air pollution, lowered individual productivity from more time spent waiting on longer red lights — and for what?

So, the governmental do-gooders who cried, “Let’s make all our intersections safer for Granny,” gets to feel good that one granny inches across one intersection a year while the other 20 signalized intersections languish with little to no pedestrian traffic at all.

No censuses, no studies, no real data that suggests even one-tenth of these expensive new signalized intersections needed any improvements. Just government gone mad with do-gooders’ intentions and our dwindling tax money.

That’s what do-gooder government does with lowly intersections: Makes them into multi-million-dollar boondoggles — a monumentally stupid waste of money and resources.

Imagine what they will do with healthcare.

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Submitted by CombatCorrespondent on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 10:55am.

A couple of months ago, my nine year old son asked why we needed so many crosswalks in places where no one crosses. These are the photos we took of the wasted money at the corner of Ga Highway 314 and Kenwood Road.

Crosswalk photos are on the last two pages:

Please feel free to leave your comments. I think all of our commisioners have seen these photos and have asked the same question, "Why?"

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Wed, 01/13/2010 - 6:28pm.

Obama Fact Sheet - Transportation

Obama will build upon his efforts in the Senate to ensure
that more Metropolitan Planning Organizations create policies to incentivize greater bicycle and pedestrian
usage of roads and sidewalks. As president, Obama will work to provide states and local governments with the resources they need to address sprawl and create more livable communities.

Where the ^$%#*^ is my bike path!!! You know, the one the President promised and Cal is going to pay for? Smiling
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by The Last Don on Wed, 01/13/2010 - 10:48am.

I was sitting at the stop light at Georgian Pkwy and Hwy 74 yesterday. I was turning south waiting for the light to change. I noticed the crosswalk and started to laugh. If you really look at it, it goes no where. If you cross north over Georgian Pkwy the crossing while asthetically pleasing stops abruptly forcing you to either cross Hwy 74 or walk on the grass along 74 or on the grass down Georgian Pkwy. I am sure that most of these new and improved crossings will take you no where.

What a waste of money. The state DOT can only do things one way. One size fits all. Extremely wasteful; taxpayer dollars being used to fund completely unnecessary and unfunctional "improvements".

S. Lindsey's picture
Submitted by S. Lindsey on Tue, 01/12/2010 - 9:19pm.

and see if they care.. Tax and spend.. and what do we get.. Crosswalks at intersections WHERE THERE ARE NO PEDESTRIANS???

Make sense to someone I guess.

"Is life so dear or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" ~~ Patrick Henry

Submitted by PTC Observer on Sat, 01/23/2010 - 10:18am.

and long patient lines where there are no doctors.

Seems to fit the protected pedestrians logic.

Submitted by Xiphosura on Thu, 02/18/2010 - 6:04pm.

Guess you got your health coverage and don't want the rest of us to experience your good fortune. Hope you never lose your job if you have a pre-existing health condition.

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Thu, 02/18/2010 - 9:30pm.

How about "Good for you,for having worked for what you've got." "Fortune" has little or nothing to do with it. I surmise that your next post will be about helping the "less fortunate". What misguided foolishness!

Joe Kawfi's picture
Submitted by Joe Kawfi on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 6:54am.

Anyone with half a brain knows that the definition of fortune is "chance" or "luck" in this context. You'll never be able to explain it to the libs though - they think that wealth is arbitrarily distributed based on "chance" or "luck". If you have more money than your neighbor, you certainly didn't earn it by staying in school, studying, graduating with honors, and then finding a good job. You were just more "fortunate" than your neighbor who partied instead of studying during school and then dropped out.

strong>"If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin." - Samuel Adams

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 8:28am.

"Fortune favors the brave" - attributed to Virgil, Pliny the Elder. Fortune and luck, not hard work and skill, is the progessive justification to confiscate the wealth and labors of others. A wealthy person did not become that way through hard work and sacrifice, they got there by graft and deceit. Fortune does favor the bold. The boldness of living within your means and not as your neighbors do. How many are living by common sense? How many are saving money each month, so that they have the savings of a 1/2 year's expenses to fall back upon in times of trouble? Why is the person that lives plainly, with savings, with foresight, who is able to continue on in troubling times and even prosper--why is that person considered lucky and the child of fortune?

"What do we lose by another’s good fortune? Let us celebrate with them, or strive to emulate them, that should be our desire and determination" - Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Submitted by Davids mom on Thu, 02/18/2010 - 9:55pm.

= having the skills to have a job. There are many in our country today with skills who don't have a job or health insurance or money to pay their mortgage - etc. You have 'good fortune' - and I'm glad we don't have to count you as among the less fortunate. Would it be 'misguided foolishness' to provide you, if needed, with a safety net until we get out of this mess?

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 8:28am.

Appreciate you think of me but I made plans long ago for my own safety net. And yes, I had the skills to help me do that but I wasn't born with them. They accrued through work and perseverance NOT by chance! Wasn't it that way for you?

Submitted by Davids mom on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 12:30pm.

Everyone is not 'born' with the ability to readily read and comprehend. Those who have this ability are most fortunate that they do not need special education to develop academic and social skills. I'm assuming you did not need special education. I was blessed with abilities to learn. I used those abilities to succeed by having a sound work ethic, good health, great parents, supportive community, and a supportive spiritual background. Congratulations that you didn't need anyone but yourself and your hard work. No good 'fortune' for you! You did it 'your way' !!

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 3:18pm.

No, didn't need that--at least not in today's definition. Help? Oh yes, I spent my entire 2d Grade year in bed with Rheumatic Fever (not uncommon in my (and your) early years)and had to study & test at home.
But I did it and moved on to (self-admiration coming up) graduate as the Valedictorian of my High School graduating class (earned me a small (but significant in those days) scholastic scholarship from the U. of North Carolina,Chapel Hill. Many yrs later, my Degree came from the U. Of Maryland, European Divison, but at that point in my life, I had already had had a successful military career and was 4 yrs into my Civil Service career.Regardless, it was something else I persevered at and accomplished. Keep this in mind: I don't mind one bit helping folks who try to help themselves and for reasons beyond their control, aren't too successful. I do mind supporting deadbeats and moochers. The problem comes with analysis & determination of just who is who.

Submitted by Davids mom on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 3:59pm.

I sincerely congratulate you on your accomplishments - at our age - it's perfectly correct that we toot our own horn!! Thanks for sharing. . .and have a great day.Smiling

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 5:21pm.

Appreciate your kind words but I would tell you that I was not blessed with any special talent or work ethic. What I had was very typical of Eastern North Carolina upbringing and values ingrained by daily reinforcement from parents & neighbors. Just ask Hack.

Submitted by Davids mom on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 5:29pm.

I don't think there are many youngsters today who have the benefit of the consistent home training that we were fortunate enough to receive. Having at least ONE parent who offers constructive love is so important to instilling beneficial character traits in children. Hack and you are great examples!!

Submitted by Davids mom on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 9:07am.

I think that at this point in my life my hard work ethic is paying off. I did not invest all of my funds in Enron, I sold property before the housing failure, my retirement funds are well invested and did not suffer from the recession, . .and I assume you are in the same boat. However, we will suffer if those who are not in the same boat are allowed to sink. To sit back and do nothing to prevent an economy failure is idiocy - or politics. . .and it's becoming apparent that there is a lot of hypocrisy regarding 'helping' the American people. The 'me' generation appears to be concentrated in an ideology that puts 'me' first. I'm sick of politics as usual. . and the sick emails that are being sent in the 'conservative' world shows that Americans over 45 are still bearing resentments of old - and very resistant to 'change'. Our hope is in the next generation.

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 8:33am.

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need"
That is the motivation behind besmirching your hard work. It was all luck and should be confiscated by the state and the people.

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 12:21pm.

Yeah, I have this feeling that ole Karl is a'skinnin & a'grinnin at what's going on these United States today.

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Thu, 02/18/2010 - 7:35pm.

To cover pre existing conditions without predujice is an interesting desire that I will make tranfer to another insurance to make a point.
In this example, Joe just wrecked his 2009 Dodge Avenger. He was not insured, but thanks to a newly passed law, he was able to contact State Farm and get insurance on his vehicle and have them retroactively cover the car and cover the wreck. The insurer was not allowed to contest this and had to eat the costs. The insurer, realizing that their ability to make a profit has suddenly become very questionable, has no other choice but to raise the rates on all insurance that they carry. They decided that they could not afford to cover the thousands of "retroactive" accident claims that suddenly hit the company with new policies without substantial rate increases.

I am curious as to how this would work in healthcare. My brother has Fabry's disease and his treatment is $10,000 every two weeks. This is a pre-existing condition that another insurer would be forced to pay if he changed insurance or demanded a new policy. How are these costs covered if we cover everyone's pre-existing conditions without discrimination in the future?

Submitted by Davids mom on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 9:43am.

Hopefully your brother's insurance company will not exercise a 'cap' on his expenditures - and remain in business. He and your family are fortunate to have insurance! What would happen if for some unforeseen reason, he lost his insurance? A simple preventive procedure costs over $9000 for an out of hospital visit. Thank heavens for insurance. First, we can't ignore the need to correct the corruption and fraud in the healthcare system. Next, we must enter the 21st century and convert the technology regarding healthcare paperwork. These two areas alone would save funds. If the escalating cost of healthcare is not dealt with now - more individuals and businesses will be unable to afford 'insurance'. There is no comparison between health insurance and auto insurance in my opinion.

I believe in prayer - and will include your brother and others with his disease iin my prayers.

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