This is an article I wrote up myself and posted on misc.transport.road as an April Fool's joke in 2002. Although a couple people saw through the ruse early, I had several others going for several weeks on it...as much as a month-and-a-half later. Between E-mails, MTR posts, YahooGroups posts, and even instant messages, I had at least 3 dozen people fall for it. It still stands as among the best of my April Fool's jokes.
April 1, 2002
TUPELO (AP) - Spurred by a grassroots movement to "leave things the way they are," business and community leaders have taken an about-face and have abandoned their plans to push for an Interstate designation along the U.S. 78/Corridor X from Memphis to Birmingham.
Citizen petitions have been submitted to city councils and county governments along the corridor in both states it travels through, in addition to various state legislative members and even Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS). While the signatures are still in the process of being verified, estimates put the number of signatures at over 30,000 corridor-wide.
The citizen push comes as a blow to area civic and business leaders, who have been lobbying Congress to have the corridor designated as an Interstate route. Leaders say an Interstate designation is needed to help bring businesses to the region. Leaders have also cited the natural link between Memphis and Birmingham, two large metropolitan areas, as another reason for an Interstate route.
"We thought there would be a strong push to get this needed corridor designated as an Interstate, to enhance our business potential," Mayor Otis of Tupelo said. "Instead, we have had petitions submitted all along the corridor, asking to leave it the way it is. We had over 3,000 signatures here in Lee County alone."
Staff members for Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) have stated that the Senator, a known supporter of Corridor X, will issue a press statement later.
(end of article)
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