By. Neil Williamson
I was quoted in the article saying,
“This community doesn’t want to build roads. It wants to study roads,” said Williamson of the Free Enterprise Forum. “If I sound frustrated, I am. There are real traffic issues that we’re facing.”
Williamson added that he views Places29 as a “half-billion-dollar boondoggle that, at best, will maintain the current level of traffic frustration and create a 30-year work zone on our most productive commercial corridor.”
The term boondoggle, in the sense of a project that wastes time and money . . .
If also refers to government or corporate project involving large numbers of people and usually heavy expenditure; at some point, the key operators have realized that the project is never going to work, but are reluctant to bring this to the attention of their superiors. Generally there is an aspect of “going through the motions” – for example, continuing research and development – as long as funds are available to keep paying the researchers’ and executives’ salaries. The situation can be allowed to continue for what seem like unreasonably long periods, as senior management are often reluctant to admit that they allowed a failed project to go on for so long. In many cases, the actual device itself may eventually work, but not well enough to ever recoup its development costs.
A distinguishing aspect of a boondoggle, as opposed to a project that simply fails, is the eventual realization by its operators that it is never going to work, long before it is finally shut down.
My use of the term boondoggle, according to this definition, could not have been more accurate. The Places 29 plan is clearly going through the motions as long as funds are available to keep paying the researchers’ and executives’ salaries. Further, the numbers I have seen, Places 29 will only maintain the level of traffic we have today or as stated in the definition “the actual device may work, but not well enough to ever recoup its development costs”.
Yes Virginia, Places 29 is a Boondoggle.