Consider the downside of interstates

To the editor:

Aside from the negative environmental impact of interstates, there is a cultural effect that is not being discussed. We know that interstates are used for drug trafficking. Additionally, studies have found that crime rates increase in cities with direct interstate access. As a community, are we not only prepared but willing to accept the increase in crime that will inevitably occur with the addition of direct interstate access to the city of Jasper? Has the need for funding an expanded police force, emergency services and rehab facilities been considered? Our county jail is already over-crowded. How much larger will a new jail need to be once additional interstate arrests are taken into account?

We enjoy a quality in life in Dubois County that has put us on the national map as one of the best places to live in the U.S. Professionals want to move here because we have relatively small, clean communities with good school systems. There is a high level of safety here and a sense of peace. We are unique and that is what keeps generations here while also attracting new families to relocate here. There is a sense of community where most of us know one another.

There has been a lot of discussion about how great an interstate connection through Dubois County would be among those promoting the project. However, very little input has been sought from the general public. The statement “we need it” has been used numerous times. A comment was made at the Rotary luncheon that “we could be the next Harrisburg, Pa.” In comparison, Harrisburg’s size and crime rate is not reflective of a community that I want to live and raise my children in. Growth is necessary but must be done with care lest it come at a price. I urge my fellow community members to consider the unspoken cost of the Midstate Corridor project in terms of the negative effect on our community and culture when speaking with those who are touting its greatness.

—Leslie Seger

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