In doing research for work I this afternoon I came across the class of 2001 for the FTA New Starts Program. The Class of 01 in Preliminary Engineering and Final Design of the FTA New Starts Process was an impressive class. Included:
Houston LRT - Above Projections at 40,000
Denver Souteast Corridor - Just opened and over projections 33,000 riders
Minneapolis Hiawatha - 34,000 riders
Phoenix LRT - Under Construction
Salt Lake's First Extension
Seattle Central Link - Under Construction
Portland Interstate Max - Increased Bus Ridership by 100%
San Diego Mission Valley East - Now known as the Green line, way over projections
The list goes on. But i got really sad when i noticed a familiar face that died along the way. Austin. Likely to be up there with these other lines rolling over its projections due to it's alignment, it was supposed to take 37,000 people each day. You can't tell me that is doing too little. But it makes me wonder, what if Austin went back to the original 2000 plan as M1ek always says. We missed a huge opportunity there and here is the worst thing about it. We gave $369 million dollars to someone else in the list above. It probably went to Minneapolis or Portland. Next time I see them, I might ask Jim Skaggs and Gerald Daugherty why they stole our money. Or perhaps Mike Levy, why does he and those other two clowns hate Austin so much that they would not help us get money we pay in gas taxes back to our city for transportation improvements. This lack of respect, just like Tom Delay's blockage of funding for Houston's line, makes me sick.
And who else is in bed with these guys? Ben Wear. He isn't a journalist, but rather a shill for Jim Skaggs and company. In this article he uses Skaggs name again as a source. One of my favorite bands, Piebald, has a line in one of their songs that is apt for him and Skaggs: "We are the only friends that we have". In my old blog I noted that his name is found almost every two months in a Statesman article against Capital Metro sales tax or rail. He must be the only opponent, well him, Mike Levy and Gerald Daugherty. I wish I could use lexis nexus again for this. If anyone can use it let me know because we should nail him to a wall with the rest of them for throwing out almost $370 MILLION DOLLARS! He complains about money for rail here and there, but he lost us that money. And for that neither he nor Daugherty should ever be forgiven or allowed in the city limits. Let them live and shop in the burbs if they hate Austin so much.
If you want to go on a wayback machine trip, even before M1ek, Louis Black told us so. But if you want to look forward, CAMPO is taking critiques of it's 2030 plan. Flood it with comments on light rail.