Even the best built roads have a lifetime, and many of Madison’s older streets have either been, or will soon be, reconstructed or resurfaced. The price tag? Millions of dollars, and not having that money to spend on such “quality of life” items as golf courses, skating rinks, playground equipment, sidewalks, extended library hours and more. Wide roads in particular are expensive and built as part of what Charles Marohn calls a “Ponzi Scheme;“ a short term illusion of wealth in exchange for enormous long term liabilities. Those roads are old enough now that we are beginning to finally see some of those “long term liabilities” while newer growth is still in the earlier “illusion” stage.