Lorax Hall of Shame: IN DOT
The second Lorax Hall of Shame award for the day goes to clones of the previous winners - the Indiana Department of Transportation! I don't know if this road was built or not.
First, the background:
|Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, situated on the edge of the congested Eastern seabord and increasingly functioning as a suburb of Philadelphia and Baltimore lost, during the 1980s, 3,617 acres of farmland per year to residential and commercial development, and in the first half-decade of the 1990s, the annual loss doubled to 7,855 acres. Farm prices have skyrocketed, reaching $10,000 an acre, or $1 million for a typical 100-acre farm which would have cost $30,000 in the 1940s. Parents do not have excess land or enough money to buy it, and young families are not anxious to begin their lives with such a crushing burden of debt. Thus, the Amish have turned increasingly to emigration or off-farm employment in factories. (Rick Huber)|
Indiana has been a prime destination for Amish seeking enough land to continue living as they see fit. From the 1998 press release:
AMISH SPEAK OUT TO STOP I-69 HIGHWAY
Nearly 700 Sign Petition Imploring Governor O’Bannon Not to Split Their Community
In an unusual public act, an Old Order Amish settlement in Daviess County is pleading with Governor O’Bannon not to divide their century-old community by building the proposed new Interstate 69 highway through it.
In a handwritten petition to the Governor with 692 signatures, the Amish state that the proposed new I-69 highway "would bisect Amish farms and church districts, and cut off members of our community from each other. Many of us would have to drive for miles by horse and buggy to attend church services or visit with our neighbors and families." Bishops in the Amish community mailed the petition to the Governor on Friday.
The petition is highly unusual for the Amish. The Amish live in their own settlements without electricity or modern conveniences, use horses and buggies for transportation, and avoid involvement in government or politics.
"This highway is a great threat to our community," said Harold Lengacher, an Amish bishop whose church district the highway would split. "We are asking the Governor not to damage our community and our way of life."
As currently proposed, the highway would bisect the Amish settlement, which is located near Montgomery, outside of Washington, Indiana. The settlement is one of the largest Amish communities in Indiana, and is known nationwide for breeding "pulling horses," which pull farm implements such as plows. ...
The leading alternative to a new highway is to use existing four-lane roadways instead – upgrading US 41 to an interstate highway between Evansville and Terre Haute, and connecting to existing Interstate 70 between Terre Haute and Indianapolis.
Compared to a new highway, US 41/I-70 would save taxpayers more than $600 million and preserve thousands of acres of farms and forests, according to Andy Knott, air and energy policy director for the Hoosier Environmental Council. It would also avoid harming the Amish.
According to studies by the Indiana Department of Transportation, US 41/I-70 would result in a route between Evansville and Indianapolis only 10 miles longer than the new highway, Knott said.
Somebody already asked me, so:
"Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord" (II Corinthians 6:17)
For three centuries, a small Christian sect known as the Amish has spurned all modern conveniences in the belief that followers of Christ are called to be separate from the world. In their never-ending efforts to avoid "worldliness" and the corruption and sin which inevitably follow, they have drawn strict boundaries between themselves and the outside: they do not use electricity or telephones, they do not drive cars, they wear plain, homemade clothing without makeup or jewelry, they hold their services in German and encourage the propagation of their dialect (known as Pennsylvania Dutch, from the German word Deutsch, or German), and they rely on animals to farm their land.
Throughout the North American Amish diaspora, demography has been pushing young families off of the farm. Traditionally, the expectation was that each family would be able to provide a workable farm for each son. But you can only sub-divide a plot for so many generations, especially when families have an average of 6 to 7 children, before further division becomes impossible.(Rick Huber)
The first part of this article is here.
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