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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government


The New York Times
December 5, 1909

Connecticut Autoists Ask for Commission to Improve Highways.

Special to The New York Times.

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Dec. 4.—The agitation against the roads of Connecticut has assumed wide proportions, and the press of the State is voicing a universal demand for a commission to either supersede or assist James H. Macdonald, the present Highway Commissioner.  Mr. Macdonald has been voted $4,500,000 for good roads during the past two years.  No limitations on his power to spend it have been placed by the Legislature.

Thomas G. Bennett, a member of the Yale Corporation and President of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, calls attention to the superiority of the European roads, and wonders why they cannot be duplicated in Connecticut.

Formal votes have been passed by the automobile clubs of this city, Bridgeport, and Hartford protesting against the condition of the roads in this State.  The first demand they emphasize is that a commission shall take charge of the situation.  As the Legislature does not sit for another year, action is only possible in case Gov. Weeks will order an investigation, and, in case the facts warrant it, appoint a temporary commission.

Complaints from towns all over the State continue to arise at the falling to pieces of the roads built under the State appropriation the past two years.  There is no reflection on the honesty of Mr. Macdonald in the agitation, but the automobilists of the State think that the Legislature has assigned him a larger job than any one man should undertake.

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