Sunday, September 25, 2005

As is my wont...

I have to return with a comment on yet another article from the NYT:

The absurdity is that a dangerous squall can now be tracked almost from its birth off the coast of Africa, but its victims still cannot get out of its way. Despite our amazing ability to foretell the meteorological future, greed and sloth may have overpowered most sane efforts to plan for it.

Highways have clotted as families flee, and some of those without cars end up with nowhere to go but their rooftops. Evacuation plans for hospitals and nursing homes have been washed away by worst-case scenarios that no one envisioned - buildings marooned by deep water and beset by gunfire.

Encouraged by federal flood insurance, islands whose very existence is ephemeral have been lined with vacation homes. Low-lying urban neighborhoods with their asphalt toes resting in swamps have been built below levees too fragile to hold. Hurricane-resistant houses have been designed, but their squat forms have proven unpopular with customers craving ocean vistas.
Does anyone else remember that Ike sold the national interstate highway system to Congress and the country as a national security measure? The interestates would not only promote commerce (the primary reason, of course), but they were to provide evacuation routes in case of civil (or uncivil; it was the beginning of the Cold War, remember) disaster.

Of course, then you find something like this:

Access only by interchanges with ramps and acceleration / deceleration lanes allow vehicles to enter and leave the highway with minimal effect on the through traffic stream. Interstate highways do not have direct driveway access to adjacent properties, grade level intersections, transit stops, pedestrian facilities or railroad grade crossings, all of which interfere with the rapid and free flow of traffic.
And you wonder what planet these guys are living on. Apparently the same one as the editors of the Washington Post.

If it weren't for the concept of irony, we'd never be able to make any sense of human actions.

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