Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rail service plan could start as far north as Prescott

Here's the money quote from the report: "It will not be possible to accommodate growth and avoid traffic congestion by improving roadways alone, . . .." Not possible. That's a pretty strong statement from a bureaucratic report, and I'm sure the planners would have qualified it if they could.

So all the commenters heaping scorn on the idea of a state rail corridor either don't understand the words in front of them or are happy to accept limits on growth and permanent traffic congestion.

Smart people have known this was coming for decades given AZ's growth-powered economy, of course. It's a big project that just gets bigger the longer we delay starting it. I'm glad the planners are thinking big, because it's the only way to create a system that will really work. No doubt the final report will recommend a phase-in starting with the corridor from Tucson to Sky Harbor and there'll be plenty of foot-dragging when the debate comes to starting the second phase. But for a dozen reasons this needs to be done, and I have little doubt that, barring a new Dark Ages, it will be done eventually.

What I don't get is why the report so far leaves out Williams. Failing to connect with Amtrak and Grand Canyon Railway at Williams (via Drake and Ash Fork) would be dead stupid, despite the expense.

PS: Thanks to whomever eventually corrected the headline fail in the original online version. Too bad about the print version, but at least the editors have discovered enough care about the product to correct where easy.

3 comments:

dovh49 said...

The state always asks for more money for things that don't necessarily make sense. Let's make all roads except roads that are currently public private. Any new roads need to be built with private monies. Then we'll see the true cost. Of course, we can't see the true cost until we get rid of the public roads too, it's hard to compete with "free".

Steven Ayres said...

In what ways do you think "private" roads would be better, d?

dovh49 said...

We would get to see what the true costs of our driving. If it's prohibitively expensive we would live in closer cities and not have so much sprawl. If it wasn't we would see something we have now with everyone living far apart from each other. There's whole books written on the subject.

The Privatization of Roads And Highways: Human And Economic Factors

and

Gridlock: Why We're Stuck in Traffic and What to Do About It

They're on my to read list...don't know when I'll get to them though. It's hard to know the truth when the government skews things.