In the rush to find “shovel ready” projects at which to throw stimulus money, the feds funded a sidewalk project in Warren, Rhode Island, one town over from where I live.
I featured this project in my post in early July, Miles of Sidewalks, and Empty Stores:
Warren, Rhode Island, has new sidewalks from the center of town down Rte 103 to the Massachusetts border, almost two miles away. Thanks to the Stimulus Plan.
I have driven that road hundreds of times, and also have cycled the route many times.
I never noticed any particular problem with the sidewalks. I also almost never noticed anyone using the sidewalks, particularly once you leave the very center of town.
The road is a local main road, not exactly a walk in the park. But there are new sidewalks as far as the eye can see.
I’m sure that the people who built the sidewalks are happy, as are the concrete companies. The people who live on the road also must feel fortunate to be the beneficiary of federal largesse.
But now that the project is almost over, the jobs will disappear. No long term economic activity was stimulated.
Warren, Rhode Island, also has plenty of empty storefronts. The sidewalks will not change that, and neither will the Stimulus Plan.
I was overly optimistic about this project. As reported by a local news station, the sidewalks were constructed improperly:
Voters laid their wrath on congress this past week, voting Democrats out of power.
One reason for the backlash, the more than 800-billion dollars in federal stimulus spending, that critics say has failed to spark the economy.
2-million dollars of the stimulus money wound up in Warren, RI. The money was meant for sidewalk renovations, but people in Warren are outraged over how the project turned out.
$2 million of your stimulus dollars spent on unnecessary sidewalks rushed into construction so that the Obama administration could pretend to be helping the economy.
Just think what they will do with $1 trillion for health care.