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May 08, 2007


Ray Hyde

So 650 million would build 17 miles of commuter rail. Experience telss us that at most 5% of the population will actualluse commuter rail. That means that it is 95% more expensive than the same amount of money spent on road improvements, which nearly everybody uses.

You can only increase the number of trains and cars so much. pretty soonyou run into the same problems cars have: congestion, and insufficent parking. Also you have th problem of trains being longer than the station platform.

At some point, we're going to have to look at rail transportation as a legitimate option for our city and our suburbs. When we do we should look at it with a cear eye, and not as a panacea.


The problem is Ray that they're not even considering it at this point. They're considering spending $650 million without even looking at any other options...

Maybe it's not the best idea right now...but it's a lot of money to not even consider other options...


At some point, people who don't want to live closer to downtown will stop working downtown. They will look for jobs in places that are easier to commute to. Businesses will follow the flow of employees away from downtown (as has previously happened) ((okay, so they followed tax breaks too))

I agree that light rail isn't the silver bullet, but I think we all agree that larger roadways aren't the answer. Eventually parking will become a bottleneck downtown (or prohibitively expensive)and we are back to the situation above.

In many major cities where people wish to live outside of the beltline, people ride rail systems in. It's not the only way, but it's a economical way for them to travel.

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