By HDN Editorial Board
We at The Havre Daily News monitor what other papers in the
state, and in the country, are printing. We felt that our
readers should see the editorial the Missoulian ran on the
bill proposed by Sen. Sam Kitzenberg, R-Glasgow, to expand
U.S. Highway 2 to four lanes. It's important to know what
others in the state are saying, especially about issues of
The Missoulian editorial makes some interesting claims. One
of these is that highway expansion is based on traffic.
Perhaps they should inform North Dakota of that, since that
state is in the final stages of expanding their portion of
U.S. 2 to four lanes. Apparently highway safety also is
never an issue to expansion, in the view of the Missoulian.
The editorial states that "It's not always the safest
stretch of road, but it isn't overloaded."
That raises the question of how much information the
Missoulian has about stretches of U.S. 2. it also raises
what does "not always the safest stretch of road mean."
There were 1,037 accidents on U.S. 2 last year, resulting
fatalities, 155 incapacitating injuries and 588
non-incapacitating injuries, as shown in a Montana
Department of Transportation accident summary total.
If the road is not well-traveled, as the Missoulian claims,
it should be widened just for safety sake alone. Kitzenberg
has said that is one of his main goals.
The other, economic expansion, is the main point of the
Missoulian editorial. The editorial states that the Hi-Line
is too economically depressed for better roadways to help.
Would having faster and better shipping for existing and
prospective businesses help an area? Would having higher
traffic, including travelers, visitors and tourists help an
History has proven improved transportation has been a boon
to economies where ever four lanes have been built. There
is a mushrooming effect, as well. If more money comes into a
local economy, it multiplies into more jobs and more wealth.
Why wouldn't that help the economy in northern Montana?
The writers of the editorial claim not to be in opposition
to the expansion of U.S. 2. In fact, they claim to be "not
at all unsympathetic," just "skeptical," much like a much
wiser big brother might be of a lesser sibling's suggestion.
They write that they certainly won't object if "Congress
coughs up the money" for the project. If that is true, why
did they write a fairly derisive editorial about the
We at the Daily News wholeheartedly support Kitzenberg's
bill, if it simply results in fewer deaths on U.S. 2. The
possibility of strengthening the economy is a reality, which
would make Montana stronger overall. We encourage everyone
to attend tonight's 7p.m. meeting at the Holiday Village