Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Good Training

Eurotram has won the hearts and minds of the people of Strasbourg - "it has given us back our city".

Is it too much of a fantasy to imagine light rail in Atlanta with a nice streamlined bullet train aimed for Savannah? Here is my letter to the AJC:

From The AJC:


For the Journal-Constitution
Published on: 02/08/07


Responses to Jim Wooten's column "Rail reversal may point us to better ideas," @issue, Feb. 6

Atlanta area needs 21st-century plan

Anyone who has traveled the world, including the finest cities in the United States, knows that rail is one of the essential components of success. Imagine Paris without the Metro, London without the Underground, Strasbourg without light rail. Imagine San Francisco without trolleys, cable cars and electric buses, not to mention its rapid transit system.

Rail is hardly the 19th-century relic Jim Wooten imagines. It is ever-wider roadways, jammed with traffic, that have become the 21st-century nightmare of which we need to rid ourselves.

Forget the 20-lane roads, and the tunnels choked with gas fumes. We need Georgia leaders who have the vision and courage to bring 21st-century rail to our state.

Wooten is right that such rail needs to go somewhere: Macon, Savannah, and ultimately Florida, the Northeast and the West. With a Japanese-style bullet train, we could get to Savannah in the time it takes to have lunch in the club car. That's what I call a future we can look forward to.


Tunnels won't fix traffic problems

Jim Wooten's column makes it clear why he and the rest of the "nothing-but-roads" crowd is so opposed to commuter rail. Instead of investing a few million dollars upgrading existing railroad tracks for passenger service, they want to spent more than $25 billion blasting huge tunnels directly beneath the city of Atlanta, primarily for the benefit out-of-town truckers.

I'd suggest that if Wooten likes blasting tunnels so much, we should start by blasting one directly beneath his house.


Stay on Track


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