Regarding the May 24 front-page article “Privatizing assets to modernize the rest”:
When did you last take a road trip across northern Indiana? In 2006, the Indiana Turnpike was privatized in a lease agreement that was predicted to solve all the state’s highway problems. When we traveled the entire width of the state in 2015, we learned that the prediction was wrong. The condition of the road itself was deplorable, and the service plazas were even worse. As we entered the hallways to the restrooms, the smell of urine greeted us long before we saw the toilets. Many of the toilets and sinks were “out of order” and the entire area just reeked. I could not have guessed the last time they were cleaned. This experience was so bad that on our return trip we took secondary roads and used public restrooms in gas stations. Our intention now is to never travel the width of Indiana again.
Let this be a cautionary tale: Privatization is not a panacea solving all problems; proceed carefully; stipulate every detail in your contract; and be sure the company that is entrusted with your infrastructure is financially sound enough to take a hit if there is a downturn in the economy.
Marilyn Goodwin, Athens, Ga.