New Interstate 69 shows poor judgment

May 15, 2010
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IBJ Letters To The Editor

Two of the principal obligations of government are that it should be accountable to its citizens, and that it should operate at a reasonable level of efficiency. In the case of the proposed Interstate 69 highway, many farmers, business owners and other residents along the proposed route believe that state government is meeting neither of these responsibilities.

My brother and I own several farms in the path of I-69. Of the 800 acres we own, three farms will be impacted in Pike and Gibson counties. It’s a distinct possibility that up to 520 acres we’ve farmed for generations will be taken for the highway. Not only will thousands of acres of farms like ours be condemned by the state, but communities will be divided.

In our recovering economy, small businesses are key drivers for growth. Consider how businesses along the proposed I-69 will be affected. In Martinsville, Towne View Auto Clinic, a locally owned auto repair shop, will likely be forced to move or close because of an interchange. Martinsville Golf Club, a family-owned public golf course, could close because of I-69’s restricted access. Other businesses along State Road 37 worry about their businesses. Indiana Hardwood Mills near State Road 37 will face restricted access and a loss of Indiana’s timber resource due to the thousands of acres of forest that I-69 will destroy.

Sometimes these sacrifices are considered justified for the sake of the public good, but does this 142-mile interstate highway really qualify as a public good, given its high cost in public dollars, the loss of Hoosiers’ homes, farms and businesses, and a degraded environment?

How could the state be acting for the public good when it begins construction on a highway expected to cost over $3 billion without knowing where 75 percent of the money will come from? At the same time, city streets and county roads remain in disrepair. Thousands of bridges are in dismal condition.

Others have noticed. The conservative Reason Foundation’s latest “Annual Highway Report” dropped Indiana from 15th to 31st in its state-by-state ranking of highway system efficiency, because of a sharp decline in urban interstate condition and an increase in spending per mile.

Allen R. Rumble
Investment adviser representativeTotal Financial Group Inc


  • taking the immigration issues to Indiana
    I'm in total agreement with you Allen. The trade route not only destroys rural Indiana but feeds a system of transportation that is expensive and environmentally unsustainable. As a continuation of the NAFTA paradigm it will also drag Indiana into the grievous immigration issues we have here in Arizona. The Indiana lawmakers need to re-visit this economic disaster in light of the recent oil spill and the border wars in AZ. As long as folks in Mexico are forced to desperate measures of survival due to NAFTA, the I-69 trade route will quickly become the drug and crime route ... forcing Indiana citizens to bear immigration and enforcement costs. Not pretty.
  • Get Involved!
    Thank you, Allen, for sharing your personal story about how this monstrosity is affecting your family. We need more people across this state to raise this issue with their elected officials and stop this project before it destroys any more of rural Southern Indiana.

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?