OC Uses Stimulus Funds for 91 Widening, Press Rejoices

6_1_09_octa.gifImage: OC Register

Trumpeting the dubious claim that the answer to regional car congestion is funding highway expansion, Orange County politicians and press are celebrating the federal government’s decision to allocate $68 million in stimulus funds for the expansion of the I-91 between Riverside County and the 241 Toll Road.  As we’ve seen in the past, the governments claims that road widenings are good public policy go completely unchallenged in the press even as the state tries to devise no ways to battle sprawl development.

This short story from Inland Today follows the typical template for a piece on road widening, a couple of facts about the issue are surrounded by claims that the widening will make everyone’s life better.  In this case, the facts are some information about how stimulus funding is allocated sandwiched between two paragraphs about how great the 91 widening is for everyone.

The great irony is, that even as the OC Register declares in its headline, "Feds approve $68 million to help drivers unclog the 91;" the Sacramento Bee reports that drivers really are helping to unclog California freeways.  Of course, we’re doing it by driving less, not by…ok, I’m not really sure how "drivers" are helping unclog the 91 in the Register’s world.

  • Erik

    One thing I haven’t seen. Whenever one of these projects gets funded, they do a study to project what the average speed on the roadway will be after the project is done versus what it is now. I bet w/o even looking at the articles that they don’t quote this number (the LA Times one didn’t) and that the difference between the two will likely only be 5MPH at best.

  • Erik G.

    With all the latent demand presently using the toll lane or the 91 Line on Metrolink through the same corridor, that added lane will just be filled the day after it is open and we will all scratch our heads and wonder “Where did all these cars come from?” like we have in all the past road widening projects throughout history.

  • Ha, what a joke. The OC has always been one giant parking lot. Building more freeway space and lanes, as the person above commented, just fills up quickly with more cars.


    Because that’s why.

  • Erik G.

    BTW, if they want to free up capacity, why not just make the whole thing a Toll Road?

  • Bud

    It must be California Rte 91. I-91 runs NS in New England.


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