Aug 12, 2006

On DC Construction Projects and Rust Belt Tourists

Share
Construction crane in Alexandria, VA (Washington, DC) I live in a mid-sized city in the middle of the Rust Belt, and the many historic sites in the District of Columbia provide a Midwestern rube such as I with plenty to see.

I think the phenomena in DC, however, that most strikes me is that of near-perpetual construction projects. The ubiquitous sight of construction cranes and new buildings rising, skeleton-like, toward the sky is somewhat jarring to a person who lives in a city where any new construction - even a big box retailer like Costco - is a major news story.

In a city like Toledo, one is more likely to see demolition projects, as vacancies eventually give way to abandonment and blight.

Construction crane in Washington, DC I sat in traffic on I-95 yesterday heading toward southern Virginia, creeping past mile after mile of new development. I suspect that any three square miles of area in and around Washington contains more new construction than the entirety of Northwest Ohio.

I say this not to belittle those living in struggling industrial cities, but to remind people that life can be better. I think that people in a city such as Toledo can become jaded and disheartened by years of poor economic conditions, and that a visit to a growing metropolis such as Washington, DC can be a wakeup call.

2 comments:

Hooda Thunkit said...

”I think the phenomena in DC, however, that most strikes me is that of near-perpetual construction projects.”

Yup! Way too “big government” building an even way to bigger government, and we’re expected to support them all…


”I sat in traffic on I-95 yesterday heading toward southern Virginia, creeping past mile after mile of new development. I suspect that any three square miles of area in and around Washington contains more new construction than the entirety of Northwest Ohio.”

And, as you were going by, did you feel the tug on your wallet, the feel of money escaping from your and other Ohioan’s wallets and purses? Did you also get the sense that government never seems to fall upon hard times, or know the meaning of the phrase “economic downturn?”

Maybe Government needs to feel the lean times, in order to better appreciate and wisely spend OUR money. . .


”Toledo can become jaded and disheartened by years of poor economic conditions, and that a visit to a growing metropolis such as Washington, DC can be a wakeup call.”

Mike, are you suggesting that our local leaders should visit Washington and note the effect that government excess can have on stifling local economies? I think that they might get the idea that more/bigger is better, and become even more like the burrocrats of the feral government and go on yet another, bigger spending spree.

historymike said...

(laughing, hollowly)

Yes, there is an element of truth to the notion that runaway federal spending is at least part of the reason for economic growth in DC, Hooda.

At the same time, DC is representative of what is possible in a metropolis. There are many East Coast and Sun Belt cities that exhibit this sort of growth, or even greater.

When I lived in Dallas a few years back I saw the same sort of phenomenon.