As you while away a lazy Sunday afternoon in August, allow me to guide your attention to a few rail policy links bound to infuriate even the most placid of rail advocates. Both of these articles use incredibly misleading arguments and rely on false logic to paint rail options and their advocates in negative lights.
We start with The Overhead Wire’s critique of an anti-rail piece in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. As always, rail opponents are still trumping the power of some Holy Grail electric automobile that’s just around the corner and will save the environment as we know it. Why should we invest in rail options if cars can save us all? As you could guess, The Overhead Wire eviscerates the Texas piece.
If that doesn’t quite boil your blood enough, mosey on over to the Hawaii Reporter and get a load of this gem. The headline: A Vote Against Rail is a Vote for Freedom and Prosperity. The pullquote: “Today’s average car is far more energy efficient than the average rail line.” Need I say more?
These arguments speak volumes about the state of the rail debate in our country, and while New Yorkers, by and large, understand and appreciate our region’s need for viable public transit, many Americans do not. Streetcars may be making a return in theory, but those transit advocates are facing an uphill battle. As funding public transit on a national level gets pigeonholed into the Red/Blue debate that so dominates politics today, everyone suffers in the end.