Burros, Mules and Marines
Paradox Valley

Strained Credulity

Santa Fe New Mexican editorial  says Speaker Lujan is making the State Department of Transportation look bad.   The cryptic criticism reads like an anonymous blog instead of a daily newspaper.  No, an anonymous blog would probably be clearer.  If this is speaking truth to power, I CAN'T HEAR YOU.

Highway construction, like expenditures for other kinds of big-ticket infrastructure, is invariably undertaken to the benefit of one landowner over another.  A political patronage system functions to manipulate these investments in plain sight of an uninformed public.   

Highway officials, who fudged figures to justify the semi-freeway from casino country into Santa Fe, say they've seen few crashes at the La Puebla turnoff — so they might as well stay with the stoplight there, and build a mighty structure to serve, well, a frontage road; a goodly number of homes have gone up on the hills and in the hollows east of the highway, and there are a few businesses to boot — so why not put up a cloverleaf or its variations?

Well, because if you do, ingenieros, you're going to be suspected of favoritism toward the speaker and Pojoaque Pueblo leaders, if not dereliction of duty.

And here's where the modesty comes in: He wasn't involved in the relocation decision, he insists — and the transportation department can do as it wishes.

So this is, for Luján and the highly developed pueblo, simply a happy coincidence? Could be. But the speaker can't simply back off and let this travesty take place. He should call for more public hearings on the road plan, since earlier ones were farcical. This is a chance for the department to revive its credibility.

Something like that.


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