A fierce storm dumped massive amounts of water in New York City, overwhelming much of the city’s infrastructure, particularly the subway system. It’s a sad reflection of our priorities and an embarrassment to the richest nation in the world.
Flooded Subways New York City – How Bad Will Our Infrastructure Get?
Disturbing pictures and videos have emerged from New York City this week detailing the damage from a torrential rainstorm that overwhelmed the city’s network of drains, pipes, and water treatment systems.
While sewage flowing into the basement of city residents might be the most disturbing side of the news, video of the flooded subway system strikes me as the saddest.
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We are the wealthiest nation in the world, now and over history. This is the best we can do?
It does appear that climate change is going to bring on some very odd weather patterns that will lead to periods of intense flooding. Old systems are not prepared for this. But that is no excuse: the cost of deferring infrastructure updates just makes the final bill even higher. We see the problem coming. We’ve seen it coming for years.
I’m not attacking New York City or any big city in particular. This isn’t simply a red versus blue or a city versus rural issue. Rather, it strikes me every time I visit Europe or East Asia how pathetic our infrastructure is in this country. Isn’t this something we can all agree on? And isn’t this precisely what our tax dollars should be centered on improving?
Starting fresh after WWII may have helped much of Western Europe, but the priority to create functional roads, airports, and train networks that are clean and safe has had such an impact on quality of life and economic efficiency.
I live in Los Angeles. The common excuse is the city is too spread out for public transportation to be useful, but that is not the case. I’d love to use public transport more, but I don’t want to step onto a bus or train and fear for my safety or deal with the smell of urine and pot. And I am not going to use public transport when it takes significantly longer than driving, even when roads are clogged.
This is certainly a complex issue and I don’t mean to reduce it superficially. My point is simple: I wish our elected leaders took our infrastructure issues more seriously and that we the people would realize that nice things cost money. Debate all day about whether our tax dollars should be used to build our roads, not Ukrainian bombs, but the status quo is too little, too late for our infrastructure.
It’s only going to get worse unless all sides unite on this making this a higher priority. Travelers like us should appreciate the problem even more.
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