New Mexico is a Big Movie Lot, You’re just an extra

We at the Rio Grande Foundation have long been critics of the massive subsidies — 25 cents on the dollar — not to mention $15 million interest free loans. But imagine my surprise when I saw that one of the two most important roads in New Mexico (I-40) was shut down for 6.5 hours yesterday. In their story on the shutdown, the Journal said the road was shut down for 3 hours, but the article also states “The film shut down Interstate 40 Eastbound just outside of Laguna Pueblo from 7pm to 1:30am.” Do the math.

Anyway, it seems mighty inconsiderate for citizens to be inconvenienced in such a way, not to mention the cost in terms of time and actual monetary losses experienced by trucking companies and others who need to move people and goods from A to B. I’d bet this runs into the millions. Oh, and how about emergencies? My wife is pregnant and someone could have had a medical issue necessitating transport. Are we really going to shut down major transportation arteries for every Tom, Dick, and Harry that wants to shoot a movie?

Rather than shutting down heavily-used and economically-important Interstate highways, perhaps our Governor and his beloved film industry would consider combining boondoggles. From the looks of things, the RailRunner would be a good place to do some filming, especially if empty rail cars are needed.