Andri Snær Magnason, environmentalist and author of Dreamland, posted on his homepage yesterday an alternative solution to rebuilding Álftanesvegur highway through the ancient Gálgahraun lava field in Garðabær, Pressan reports.
Andri says that the main justification for replacing the current Álftanesvegur road with a new multi-lane, multi-billion krónur highway running through Gálgahraun lava field is based on complaints that the current highway is disruptive and unsafe for children in a nearby neighbourhood called Príðahverfi.
However, Andri argues that the problem could be solved in a much more simple, economical and customary fashion, namely by renovating the current Álftanesvegur road and installing traffic calming features, such as three roundabouts in the strip that runs beside Príðahverfi.
In his article, Andri suggests that complaints by residents in Príðahverfi are receiving far more media and political attention than is warranted by the current road’s impact on the tiny neighbourhood, which consists of no more than 15 houses. He compares Príðahverfi to other urban and suburban neighbourhoods which are similarly located near highways and major roads, such as his own neighbourhood along Skeiðavogur road, which he claims receives triple the amount of traffic than Álftanesvegur on a daily basis without anyone raising an eyebrow.
Andri argues that the proposed new highway primarily supports the interests of construction contractors and speculators at the expense of the national economy, the environment and viable forms of public transportation. He suggests that the plan is further buttressed through distortions by the media and reckless politicians.
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