Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Scapegoat the Train

UPDATE: IT WAS RANDALL O'TOOL that was cited as an engineering expert! The Austin American Statesman printed the article without his name!!! Also, there was no mention of Capital Metro in the national article. Did someone at the Statesman edit the article before printing it? And were they knowingly leaving out RandalL's name when printing an abbreviated article?

An article in the Statesman via New York Times took some potshots at rail transit today. In fact it seems they were a planned hit, something from a Soprano's episode rather than looking at the facts. In this country we are sprawling into oblivion. Many of the developments on the periphery require new roads and addressing the congestion by expanding the roads is like loosening ones belt to lose weight. But if legislators give people a break by building a rail line, its seen as a waste when money could have gone to more roads? I'm sure thats where these phantom expert engineers want it to go.

Give me a break people. Billions upon billions of dollars go into the road system every year, 80% of which is paid for by the federal government for new roads, yet this reporter decides to take a pot-shot at real transit options including I'm assuming the Hiawatha Line. Well what other line carries people as such a lower cost per passenger mile? Not the automobile and roads. If you look at the cost of a freeway and the cost of the automobile the Hiawatha Line will win hands down, so why didn't they do an honest cost comparison? Because they were looking for a political scape goat.

This makes me so sick. I'm sick of all these half baked lies on the part of people who don't like transit. What is so wrong about not sprawling and giving people an alternative to the car? 32,000 people per day take that line. That is reducing GHGs and allowing people to save money. Possibly to the tune of $10,000 a year are saved per person if they get rid of their car. Building more roads instead of repairing them is your own problem. Don't blame it on expansion of capacity that could only come with a transit line instead of ripping down people's homes along the route just as they have done on I-10 in Houston. If you want a scapegoat, blame fellow citizens and government for allowing sprawl that doesn't pay for itself but requires more and more subsidy and road repair every year.

We're choking on our roads and transit is the lifeblood that regions need to live again. Road repairs are important, but don't give me that crap that transit is taking away from roads when there is a whole gas tax dedicated to fixing them. When the McArthur Maze fell down what came to the rescue? BART! In Minnesota, the Central Corridor would have looked really good right now if it were complete, but road monkeys have been sitting on transit expansion for decades. No one will ride it right? Hell yes they ride! Right now regions are choking on their own fat, the fat that is cars, highways, and a way of life based on wars for oil. It's time we got the facts instead of someone's factually incorrect opinion.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Amen to that. I know it can be frustrating, but don't pull out your hair over auto-centric goons like O'Toole and their pseudo-science.

Momentum continues to build against their foolishness, and articles like this are just desperate attempts to sew doubt into the public, not all that dissimilar to the shameful tactics of the global warming denial industry.