Are rail plans worth it?
Well it looks like the extremist in the Legislature are out rattling their sabers in order to advance their agenda.
Some points I would like to make about the article:
First of all it was poorly researched.
Here is the biggest example:
The author claims that it cost the same for a mile of light rail as it does for a mile of freeway. Not unless where talking about unusually situations like in Seattle where it is more a heavy rail system than light rail. In most cases a light rail cost about the same as a lane mile of freeway but now the entire freeway. One of the problems of dealing with cost is that politicians add cost to light rail such as urban renewal and other pork that does not have anything directly to do with the line itself but often gets included.
There is always the people prefer cars argument. Well cars may still be a majority of trips but when compare corridor to corridor the figures change. What the road warriors do is lump all traffic on a highway and say...see light rail isn't carrying that much. Yet, the highway numbers including trucks plus people just traveling through. What you won't here is a comparison of people traveling within the corridor and if you do they try to spout of some gross generalizations of the market.
What I always love is statements like Dougall makes in the article. "Cars represent freedom" they try to portray cars as apple pie yet if people like Dougall had a choice they would take your freedom away. Your freedom to choose your from of transportation. Right now you have the choice to ride transit but if Dougall wants your that freedom taken away from you.
Then there is the biggest argument for the investment in transit. It is what the taxpayers wanted. Apparently John Dougall is so arrogant, that he believes he knows better than you do on where transportation dollars should be spent. Obviously he doesn't think much of the voters who put him in office.