Originally created 12/16/00

Bad DOT giveaway 121600 - The Augusta Chronicle

Augusta State University's History Walk project may be all well and good, but what in the world does it have to do with transportation?

History Walk calls for constructing along Walton Way a 1,900-foot concrete walkway through groves of trees and landmarks that will tell the area's history.

Let's give the plan the benefit of the doubt, notwithstanding that it could inconvenience pedestrians and joggers if it makes parts of Walton Way area less accessible.

But here's the more serious rub. The university is receiving a whopping $700,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation to help fund History Walk. The university is putting up the rest - $175,000.

Our hats are off to ASU's grant-writer. He or she must have worked up a masterful application.

What has us gnashing teeth and rending garments is that we see no rational connection between History Walk and transportation. So why the $700,000 taxpayer giveaway?

Are Georgia's transportation needs in such good shape that the agency can afford to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at non-transportation projects? We don't think so - not while completion of the Fall Line Freeway and the Savannah River Parkway are still years behind schedule.

Those and other projects around the state are real transportation needs that could use money. History Walk is not.

If DOT can find big bucks for such superfluous projects, then priorities are clearly out of whack.

Such careless expenditures also provide evidence that there's too much state money floating around Atlanta and it's time to return some of it to taxpayers.


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