Monday, January 30, 2006
I-69 Fence Draws Graffiti
Sound Barrier Along I-69 - One Big Long Canvas for Graffiti
Over the next two days the legislature will be debating the merits of a plan to finance a range of transportation projects in Indiana. Very good economic models exist that measure how adding highway capacity through the addition of lanes or other means will increase productivity.
That is, there are some very good tools to make a cost/benefit analysis of highway improvements. Then there are highway expenditures that don't increase transportation productivity.
The I-69 fence is one of those projects. There may be other benefits advanced by its advocates but those benefits aren't easily calculated. The benefits may flow to private residential property owners. Then there are some losses that attach to certain commercial properties. (e.g. businesses located between the Lima Road and Coldwater Road interchanges).
The benefit to the residential properties are generally going to be related to the property's ultimate resale value. The commercial losses are of two types. One is a decrease in property value relative to the value of the property with the benefit of visibility. The other is the loss of commercial traffic which results in an ongoing loss of potential income.
And, of course, not all of the costs are included in the initial construction contract. There are costs of maintenance and reconstruction. (The hard surface of the fence has already been a factor in one fatality along I-69).
One of the other costs is illustrated above.
The photos were taken January 28, 2005 between the Illinois Road and Jefferson Boulevard/US 24 interchanges.
It's going to get worse before it gets better. And intelligent young people will avoid bitter, dying communities like Fort Wayne because of the implicit messages that walls like ours send:
"Welcome to Indiana. Now don't bug me."
A. What does your comment about getting expelled from School for vandalism have to do with graffiti on sound barriers?
B. You are wrong, students CAN and WILL get expelled from school for this exact type of vandalism. See FWCS records for 1998 for examples.