Monday, January 28, 2008

Electric Transit Paragraphs Back in Report

As was reported last week, Paul Weyrich was really mad that his paragraphs on the importance of electric transit were taken out of the National Surface Transportation Report. Well this week Renew America reports that it was a misunderstanding and they will be put back in.

Both Weyrich and Commission Vice Chairman Jack Schenendorf — in discussions with us — agreed that a dispute (again see last week's column) over a last-minute deletion of a pro-rail transit section of the commission study was a "misunderstanding."

There seemed to be agreement among the majority commissioners, including Steve Heminger of San Francisco — whose role in the controversy was discussed also here last week — that the situation "wasn't handled right," and that the deletion "should not have been made." The Bay Area Metropolitan Commission executive director has now signed off on a revised draft of the deleted section which was crafted — with Weyrich's approval — primarily by Commissioner Frank McArdle, a contractor from New York. (Bear in mind, again, we are referring here to discussions among the pro-rail majority. Peters and Co. are out of this particular loop.) The wording changed in some emphases, but in the end still stipulated that "Public transportation, especially in the form of electric railways, must and will play a significantly larger role in Americans' mobility over the next 50 years and beyond."
He also went on to say that he wouldn't be voting for John McCain, in part because of his role in trying to kill Amtrak.

Weyrich knows that Senator McCain, throughout his career, has been very anti-rail, and in that respect "would be [even] worse than the present [Bush] administration," whose Transportation Secretary Mary Peters (a big highway booster) has fought tooth and nail (as commission chairman) to block the pro-rail efforts of Weyrich and others allied with his 9-to-3 commission majority.

The Arizonan has said shutting down Amtrak — he's if elected — would be "a non-negotiable issue" for him. Short-sighted, indeed.
I'm guessing thats a deal breaker.

1 comment:

Dave said...

"misunderstanding" my $@$! They clearly removed anything that suggested building more roads wasn't the best option and anything that supported mass transit...