A Desire Named Streetcar[*]: Queen City Express

The Queen City of Cincinnati faces a $51.5 million deficit next year, "its largest ever." So now is a perfect time for the council of elders to give "a green light...to a proposed streetcar system by endorsing plans to spend $2.6 million on preliminary expenses" for a $128 million project (sure to get more expensive the second track starts getting laid). To be fair, the actual city's share of the project is a measly $64 million (sure to go up the second track starts getting laid).

What is it about rail projects that sets elected officials' hearts a-thumping like a horny cartoon wolf in an old Bugs Bunny short? Is it simply a collective unconscious compulson borne out of old Rice-a-Roni ads?

The rest of the funding for this streetcar project will come from the usual sources: a state government that is currently broke and about to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on its stupid rail endeavor and a federal government that is currently broke and about to spend billions on a stupid rail endeavor.

The Cincinnati Enquirer gives a short history lesson about how these projects have turned out in the past. And a glimmer into the mind of streetcar supporters:

The council’s decision, they warned, one day could rank with the biggest transit flop in its history – an aborted subway that left behind miles of empty tunnels and a $13 million debt from a 1916 bond measure that still was being paid off a half century later....

But the vast majority of Monday’s speakers, many of them college students and twentysomething professionals, disagreed, hailing the vote as one that points Cincinnati toward a promising future in which the streetcar’s potential benefits will expand citywide.

“Now is not the time for the same old Cincinnati,” said Casey Coston of North Avondale, who moved here from Detroit. “Build it, and more will come.”

More here.

Seriously: moving into the future with a 19th century technology! It's just crazy enough to work! And sadly, this sort of idiocy is hardly confined to a slump-town like Cincinnati. Variations are coming to a town exactly like yours, alas.

[*]: Hat tip to Cato's David Boaz and Randal O'Toole, who long ago put this phrase into circulation with all of its latent meaning made manifest. Update: As Jacob Sullum reminds me (and as is apparent to anyone who clicks on the link in this paragraph), the reversed title appeared in a 1996 Reason article, which may well be the first usage in a policy setting.

For your viewing pleasure, 3 Reasons Why Obama's High-Speed Rail Will Go Nowhere Fast:

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  • mr simple||

    Wait, are you saying smug college liberals can't save the world with expensive government action? Color me shocked.

    Not to threadjack, but here's another great story from Cincy: Three slugs, not taser, bring down chihuahua.

  • mr simple||

  • ed||

    Sounds like Jack had it coming. Friggin' ankle-biting yapper.

  • West Texas Boy||

    The subway story is actually quite interesting. Funny that they've got such short memories, but hey, those were other politicians and these they've got now are so much better and wiser.

    http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/subway.html

  • ||

    "the actual city's share of the project is a measly $64 million"

    We have a light rail in Phoenix that only cost about $1 billion dollars and during construction sank a bunch of businesses along Central Ave., the main route.

    Tuesday we have a state-wide election on whether or not to impose a 1 cent sales tax for three years to make up the state's approximately $1 billion budget deficit.

    Hmmm...sure could use that billion dollars now. Except for when the damn thing first opened (people rode it for the novelty), I don't ever think I've seen a train that looked even halfway full.

  • West Texas Boy||

    Here in Houston, they've started shutting down peripheral bus routes in order to *force* people to go downtown and take the light rail.

    Now, if you need public transportation to travel between two points on the west side of town that might be a 15 minute bus ride apart, you have to take a 30 minute bus ride into downtown, wait 5-10 minutes for a train to show up to take you for a 10 minute ride to another bus station, then take another 30 minute bus ride back out to the west side to your destination.

    Extreme hub and spoke, if you will.

    The upshot being that METRO gets to claim that ridership is up and the system is popular, thus justifying building more rail lines in other areas of town.

  • ||

    And as expensive as the light rail project is, it is nowhere near as expensive as road maintenance and vehicles for bringing the same people through town on that route. The tracks and vehicles last for decades upon decades. Can't say the same for roads, cars and buses.

  • ||

    That's awesome, tracks and vehicles that last for decades and decades with no maintenance. It might just be as safe (and cheap!) as DCs metro. People just love rail too, you get to haul your crap around with you by hand and rely on cheap taxis to get everywhere once you get off.

  • ||

    Even with the recent accidents on the Metro in DC, it remains safer than driving the same routes. We just take highway accidents for granted. And yes, riding public transit means you don't get to haul lots of stuff in the trunk of the car you're not driving. But it means when the price of asphalt and gravel skyrockets to the point that your municipality is struggling to maintain road quality, the ancient (or new) light rail tracks and vehicles continue zooming right along.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Where is this zooming light rail? I want to see it. I've only seen creeping light rail.

  • ||

    Average car speed in urban areas is under 20MPH, even with people going 40 to reach the next red light. Light rail beats it pretty handily.

  • BradK||

    Ever ridden the Green Line in Boston? I could walk from the Christian Science Center/Prudential stop, across the river, and to Kendall Sq./Lechmere in Cambridge in 10 mins. less time than it took to ride a single LRV with no transfers on the same route.

  • ||

    Very nice. The Green Line takes two sides of a triangle and you can cut across on the Harvard Bridge (which had its own streetcar once). Poor example there.

  • ||

    I've actually had the above argument advanced as a reason I'm an idiot for being skeptical of the so-called 3-C High Speed line, as if the entire highway/road system is 100% one-for-one substitutable for a smaller set of less-flexible routes.

  • Xeones||

    Similar deal happening here in Norfolk. They've been trying to get light rail started for something like fifteen years, and they finally started laying track last spring... tearing up all the streets downtown and rendering the businesses there inaccessible right in the middle of the recession. Lots of shiny new tracks running past empty storefronts. Meanwhile, the project is double its projected budget already, and they keep bumping back the expected finish date. All this for a few miles of rail lines that go from the medical school to a park'n'ride on the border with Virginia Beach, and don't even come close to the naval bases or ODU where, Cthulhu forbid, someone might actually board the thing.

  • ||

    "and don't even come close to the naval bases or ODU where, Cthulhu forbid, someone might actually board the thing."

    From what I hear, you can blame the Navy brass for that detail.

  • ||

    The government train always works; if it doesn't work, it is the fault of some other branch of government.

  • ||

    I am blaming the Navy brass for the fact that you can't put an ampersand in a name on here.

  • ||

    Oh jeebus, how many times do we have to do these boondoggles before people wise up? I'm equally confident in all of the following predictions about Cincinnati's streetcar system.

    Buiding costs will be higher than projected.
    Operating costs will be higher than projected.
    Maintenance costs will be higher than projected.
    Ridership (and revenue) will be lower than projected.
    The sun will rise in the east in Cincinnati when it's all finished.

    Anyone want to bet against me?

  • ||

    "Maintenance costs will be higher than projected.
    Ridership (and revenue) will be lower than projected."

    I will bet against those two. Operating costs and building costs are always volatile, but light rail maintenance is not, and ridership is usually higher than projected for these projects.

  • West Texas Boy||

    See my post above about how ridership stats can be artificially rigged. Just take away bus routes that don't connect to the light rail, thus forcing people to go out of their way to ride the rail and connect to other buses, and *POOF* you have a system that appears to be very popular.

    But hey, they're just poor people and their time isn't worth much and besides, the shiny train looks much better than buses on glossy chamber of commerce brochures.

  • ||

    "See my post above about how ridership stats can be artificially rigged. Just take away bus routes that don't connect to the light rail, thus forcing people to go out of their way to ride the rail and connect to other buses, and *POOF* you have a system that appears to be very popular."

    I will take your word for it being the effect of those bus cuts, but not that it was the intent. Like everyone is saying, budgets are hard this year.

  • ||

    ridership is usually higher than projected for these projects

    I'm gonna need me some sweet linky action on that one, Omri.

  • ||

    theoverheadwire.blogspot.com

  • ||

    Lexington just got the stupid "trolleys" for downtown with a mixture of fed, state, and local funds. They aren't trolleys though, but buses painted brown and green. And they travel the exact same semi-useless route that downtown buses always did.

    They spent all that money on disguising buses as trolleys to get normal humans to ride them, as opposed to the collection of gibbering freaks on there normally.

    I wonder if the federal funds did something about the urine smell.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Consider yourself lucky. Buses made up to look like trolleys is so much more a rational and cost-effective plan than actual trolleys.

  • ||

    Yes. A vehicle with a running life of 10 years on a road paved to last 5 years is so much better than one that will last 50 on tracks that last 30.

  • ||

    As far as I know most transit systems have to completely rebuild or replace streetcars about every ten or fifteen years. Likewise subway cars.

    Combined with a much higher initial cost that makes it less of a bargain.

  • ||

    Then you don't know much. Know what happened to the PCC streetcars we discarded in the 1950's? They still run. In Croatia, Chile, Argentina, and other countries that bought them.

  • ||

    They have probably been rebuilt many times too.

  • ||

    Nope. It's not rocket science. Diesel engines vibrate like mad. Electric motors do not. Buses have to have elaborate suspension systems. Trolleys do not. So, buses die quickly. Trolleys last.

  • ||

    It's been many years but I have been in the shops where Toronto's streetcars were maintained. Believe me, every ten or fifteen years they got a rebuild, from new bogies* to new panelling and upholstery.

    Commuters in Croatia, Chile, Argentina, and other countries my not demand as much luxury as Canadians do however.

    Streetcars may be easier to maintain but you made a statement that could easily be interpretted as stating that streecars are zero maintenance.

    Light rail has its place, busses have theirs and so do highways and automobiles. All done badly have the potential for boondogglery.

    *actually bogies may be switched out as frequently as two or three years.

  • Mike Laursen||

    An extensive network of existing roads, offering numerous route possibilities, that can easily be repaved with no disruption to existing business owners.

  • West Texas Boy||

    One of the smartest things Houston ever did was implement a "free" "trolley" system like that that shuttled people around various parts of downtown. It was convenient, people rode it, and it worked.

    Then they opened the light rail that served one street in one straight line in one part of downtown, so they took away the "trolleys" and said they weren't needed anymore now that we had the rail system.

    It's like government can't help but shoot itself in the foot, even when things accidentally work.

  • ||

    It's not really the trolleys that get my goat so much as the fact that they do everything they can to make downtown a desert and then complain about no one going down there.

    They have let all these lofts be built and that's one justification for the trolleys. But then the trolleys don't take you anywhere near a grocery store unless you change to the piss-bus.

    The trolleys really don't go anywhere you couldn't walk in about 20 minutes.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Wow, everything you wrote could be a perfect description of downtown San Jose, CA.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Do the cops in Houston harass young nightclub goers until the clubs are driven out of business, while the redevelopment agency brings in yuppified national restaurant and nightclub chains to try to draw a more upscale demographic, even though folks in that demographic have no interest in the downtown area?

  • ||

    Yea, that damn fool Cao was in the news yesterday stumping for the high speed rail. What is it about "we're broke" that people don't understand?

  • ||

    "What is it about rail projects that sets elected officials' hearts a-thumping like a horny cartoon wolf in an old Bugs Bunny Tex Avery short?"

  • ||

    Knowing they won't be chewed to pieces by overloaded 18 wheelers within 5 years.

  • West Texas Boy||

    I'm curious how many 18 wheelers are displaced by the light rail through the middle of downtown Houston and the Medical Center.

    My educated guess is zero.

  • ||

    And that is irrelevant to the question asked here. Why do elected officials like rail? Because they are human, and humans like things that will outlast them. Roads won't. Rail will. So elected officials like rail.

  • West Texas Boy||

    Nice job changing the subject.

  • ||

    The subject was why elected officials like rail. The answer is because elected officials like to leave a lasting legacy, and rails can be that, unlike roads. You're the one changing the subject. Reread the first comment on this thread.

  • West Texas Boy||

    You made the comment about 18 wheelers, genius. No?

    Regardless, your comment about political vanity is MUCH more accurate than turning truck transport into a bogieman, anyway, so I will let that one slide.

    Nonetheless, politicians should be about fixing problems (and not creating more if none exist), and not about glorifying themselves.

    Permanent monuments to one's own political greatness is so 2nd century.

  • ||

    "Permanent monuments to one's own political greatness is so 2nd century"

    And quickly crumbling monuments to nothing is very 20th century. I think Emperor Hadrian had the better idea.

  • West Texas Boy||

    And quickly crumbling monuments to nothing is very 20th century.

    All the better reason for 20th century politicians not to be building them.

    Keep going, this is fun.

  • ||

    So you agree that cities should stop funding roadway construction?

  • ||

    You are at Reason.

    Privatizing all means of transportation has a lot of backers here.

    Sometimes getting into discussions about what is actually happening gets us sidetracked away from discussing what should be happening.

  • ||

    Yes, and people assume car travel is already privatized, but when you look at the road system, you see that this is not the case.

  • ||

    I was talking about privatizing the roads (in addition to everything else).

    It can lead to threads that make this one look like a lovefest. :)

  • ||

    “Now is not the time for the same old Cincinnati,” said Casey Coston of North Avondale, who moved here from Detroit. “Build it, and more will come.”

    Thirty seconds ago, I had no idea this person even existed; now, I want to go to his house and throw a big flaming bag of dogshit at him.

  • West Texas Boy||

    Michigan, it's like a virus.

    Need... More... Hosts! Union mentality, SMASH!

  • ||

    the collection of gibbering freaks on there normally.

    Reason number one to DRIVE YOUR OWN CAR. It will never go away.

  • ||

    My plan for fixing the economy is to build a bunch of trains. My opponents, the party of "no," have no plan at all!

  • Xeones||

    From what I hear, you can blame the Navy brass for that detail.

    It strikes me as unlikely that the Navy brass would prefer that their young sailors continue driving drunk to/from the clubs downtown on weekends, but i haven't actually asked any of them, so whatever.

    One issue is certainly that most of the ideal rail route along Hampton Boulevard has already been declared blighted so that ODU could buy it cheap, and it would be egg on the city's face if they eminent-domained it back so soon. Another issue is that Norfolk would rather pressure Virginia Beach into building a connecting line that runs to the Oceanfront. A citizens' referendum there said the nay-no to that, but the state legislature is going to try to make them do it anyway.

  • creech||

    I've loved trolleys for fifty years.
    They save lots of time if on dedicated (expensive) right of ways. If they use existing streets, they make all traffic slower. They aren't flexible -when one breaks down, the whole line is disrupted. When a bus breaks down, the next in line goes around it.
    Trolley lines subsidize urban sprawl by shortening potential commutes from the far suburbs. Highway repair is mostly covered by gas taxes. The Trolley fare box rarely covers more than 60% of operating costs and none of the fixed plant (whereas motorists and truckers buy their own vehicles when they need replacing). Hey, if you are into nostalgia, great - but don't expect me to pay for your hobby.

  • ||

    When a bus breaks down, the next in line goes around it.

    And as we all know, narrowing a road from two lanes to one doesn't disrupt anything!

    Highway repair is mostly covered by gas taxes.

    Just like Social Security has a trust fund.

  • KWebb||

    Someone should tell the college students and twentysomething professionals that trolley tracks eat bicycle wheels. Set the fixed gear hipsters against the rest of them.

  • ||

    The problem is, they think it will get more cars off the road. The real goal of many cycling fanatics is a huge infrastructure of roads maintained only for them. They will ride around tracks to destroy their mortal enemies.

  • West Texas Boy||

    The real goal of many cycling fanatics is a huge infrastructure of roads maintained only for them.

    I don't think that's the goal of "many".

    I think a more accurate depiction is that they want equal access to streets, as most state and local laws are ostensibly written to provide.

    Of course, most cyclists don't help the cause by riding irresponsibly, and doing things that cars can't do, whenever they decide it's convenient - riding on the sidewalk, running stop signs - and then loudly proclaiming that they have "equal access" to the roads.

  • ||

    I nearly kill at least one bicyclist riding on the wrong side of the road a month when making right turns. All the extreme libertarians who think the state screws up everything it regulates need to look at driver behavior vs. bicyclist behavior -- the latter is much more reckless even though it's much more in their self interest to avoid a collision with any other vehicle at all costs.

  • West Texas Boy||

    I agree. I used to be a regular cyclist (until I had kids and got fat) and it amazed me how many cyclists would bitch about how cars didn't respect them while at the same time disrespecting the cars 100 times over.

    Funny thing is, my personal experience was that riding a bike on the road was quite safe when I followed the same rules as cars. It was the guys running stop lights and cutting in and out of traffic who were the most in danger and the most vocal about drivers putting them in danger.

  • ||

    "Seriously: moving into the future with a 19th century technology! It's just crazy enough to work!"

    Clearly they should scrap that archaic streetcar plan and build the sleek, modern alternative: a monorail!

    Hey, I hear Dayton has already started on theirs. We can't fall behind Dayton!

  • ||

    The internal combustion engine, the pneumatic tire, and the macadam road are all 19th century inventions.

  • hamilton||

    Is there a chance the track could bend?
    Not on your life, my Hindu friend.
    What about us brain-dead slobs?
    You'll be given cushy jobs.
    Were you sent here by the devil?
    No, good sir, I'm on the level.
    I swear it's Cincy's only choice...
    Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
    Monorail!
    What's it called?
    Monorail!
    Once again...
    Monorail!

  • Butts Wagner||

    damn. should have refreshed the page

  • Butts Wagner||

    Well, sir, there's nothing on earth Like a genuine, Bona fide, Electrified, Six-car Monorail!

  • Xeones||

    The problem is, they think it will get more cars off the road.

    That's what ALL of the light rail proponents think. The problem is, they all think theirs will end up being the only car left on the road.

    I'm hoping to move out of this area soon so i don't ever have to deal with sitting in stopped traffic on 264 while watching empty trains zip past. In the meantime, i commute by either car or fixie, depending on whichever i damn well feel like.

  • ||

    Thank you for sharing your irrationality. Just using public transit doesn't automatically make you a statist, you know.

  • Joe Kristan||

    Same stupid crap here in Des Moines. Why have a bus system with flexible routes on existing infrastructure that can follow development and growth when you can spend $100 million on fixed routes using technology bypassed by history 80 years ago?

  • ||

    Seriously: moving into the future with a 19th century technology!

    Libertarianism is essentially a 19th century ideology, so those who live in toilet paper houses shouldn't throw shit.

    Streetcars are one of the cheaper forms of rail, the main problem being that they also take up space on the road. It's certainly possible that (a) Cincinnati doesn't have the traffic that would make light rail advantageous, or (b) the planned routes are not going to take advantage of what ridership there is. However, Reason's anti-rail reflexes are just as pronounced as the railfans' love for all things rail.

    As if maintaining roads for the 19th-century automobile technology never goes over budget.

  • West Texas Boy||

    I don't think Reason is "reflexively anti-rail" as much as it is reflexively anti-boondoggle.

    The point of the "19th century" comment is that in most modern cities with dispersed populations, BUSES and MODERN CONCRETE STREETS - 20th century ideas - are an improvement over rails because they can achieve the same goals as rail at a fraction of the cost and are infinitely (literally) more flexible than a train. Ergo, for most cities, it's a waste of money, which is what Reason is "reflexively" against.

  • ||

    Concrete is modern? Julius Caesar's ghost will be amused to hear this.

  • West Texas Boy||

    Good point, but I'm still pretty sure Caesar would be amazed by modern polymers and some of the other stuff that goes into modern concrete, yes.

  • ||

    Very little of which goes into roads. BTW, highways get concrete. Streets get asphalt, sometimes with a concrete bed, because rubber on concrete is loud as hell.

  • ||

    they can achieve the same goals as rail at a fraction of the cost

    infinite (literally) bullshit. The startup costs are higher, but over time (if a route with high potential ridership is chosen) it will not require less of a subsidy than buses do.

    And the flexibility argument is irrelevant. In a developed city, population and employment patterns don't change that quickly. If they did, then the road/bus system would have problems coping too -- you'd have two-lane streets being used as main thoroughfares while old four-lane highways sat empty.

  • ||

    ...it will not require less...

  • ||

    Why do elected officials like rail? Because they are human

    Elected officials are not human; they are vile bloodsucking leeches. Pay attention.

  • ||

    Still not you. But keep taking swings at that libertarian strawman who just loves the DMV.

  • Comrade Zero||

    Trains are the perfect Progressive metaphor. You can only go where you are brought, you are at the mercy of a pre-determined and mostly ignored schedule and the trains run whether they're full or empty. I'm sure there's more comparisons as well.

  • ||

    Are you serious?

    In order to drive, I had to take a class, then a written test, then a practical test, showing ID each time, and now I have to get my vision tested every few years to renew my license.

    To buy a car, I had to file papers to get the deed signed over, show ID, provide proof of insurance, oh, and I could only buy a model that is street legal and had to get it inspected to keep it on the road.

    That's a hell of a lot of interaction with the state, for the freedom to save 25 cents on spatulas by driving to spatula city, or for the freedom to drive at 4AM or other freedoms that are supposed to make up for this.

    And all this is a privilege, not a right, as I am always reminded.

    To ride the trolley here in Boston, I have a card that is not hooked to my name. I charge it with cash, and I ride.

    So, who's the libertarian here?

  • ||

    Still not you, but feel free to keep throwing punches at the pro-DMV libertarian strawman you've built.

  • ||

    Just using public transit doesn't automatically make you a statist, you know.

    Stealing money from other people to fund your hobbies does. Thought I ought to clear that up for you.

  • ||

    The majority of road funding comes from sales, income, and property taxes. Your car runs on roads I am paying for.

  • ||

    Umm, do you have a source for that " sales, income, and property taxes" claim.

    This:

    ... state and federal gas taxes account for 75 percent of transportation funding in the Evergreen State.

    indicates that the majority of highway funding comes from gas taxes and other auto related taxes and fees.

    Washington's figures are pretty consistent with other states.

    It's also worth noting that about 15% of fuel tax revenue is diverted into mass transit subsidies.

    And at one time, gas taxes were high enough that substantial portions of them were diverted to the general fund, leading to the "highway trust funds" which have now been spent down as gas taxes have not been raised over the years at a rate that comes near to matching inflation.

    This is not intended as an argument against subsidizing mass transit but as a attempt to clear up the myth that motorists are massively subsidized from the general fund.

  • ||

    The 6 billion dollar bailout of the federal highway fund is paid exclusively by bonds. Federal bonds are almost never repaid by dedicated taxes, but we'll see I guess. That's just a start at what's been going on.

  • ||

    The shortfall in the "highway trust fund"* is a relatively recent development. But many years ago gas tax revenues exceeded highway spending and the "surplus" was a convenient slush fund for politicos to by votes with.

    *federal trust funds are moderately useful accounting fictions. I suspect that politicians setting up the "highway trust fund" imagined that gas tax revenues would run a surplus over highway construction and maintenance costs (or the federal share at least) forever just as 1930s pols thought the same thing about FICA taxes and Social Security outlays.

  • ||

    Again, my argument (today) is not against mass transit subsidies per se. It is that funds for mass transit subsidies should not come from funds that are putatively collected to "subsidize" something else; in the case of gas taxes, roads.

  • ||

    It's a good thing that roads are built and maintained by pixie dust and unicorn farts, otherwise your conscience would have a problem supporting them.

    Interesting how the starting point of this conversation is always "driving is a necessity" and "public transit is a hobby".

  • West Texas Boy||

    Tulpa, your conflating rail boondoggles with all public transit.

    I think very few people here wouldn't say that public transit is necessary (and good) in most cities. I know I would.

    The point here is that public transit goals in nearly all cities can be accomplished much more efficiently and cheaply with buses, or something other than an expensive inflexible permanent structure in the middle of existing city streets. And in the cities where rail systems do make economic and logistical sense - New York, Chicago, Boston - they already have rail systems in place.

  • ||

    Your comparison fails miserably the moment you calculate road maintenance and bus replacement schedules. Buses tear up the roads just like trucks do. They last 10 years at most, and they get unpleasant to ride within 5.

  • Rhywun||

    I dunno about Chicago, but both Boston and New York have *less* heavy rail than they did 70 years ago, despite today's historic high populations. If you include streetcars, every city in the country has less - and the buses which replaced them typically follow the exact same routes.

  • ||

    Chicago's bus routes follow the old trolley routes block for block. Boston has an even more extreme example. The #1 bus route started as a horse rail car, then a trolley, and is now a bus. The decision to remove the trolley tracks caused a scandal, and the last track removed had to be rmoved under cover of night.

  • Xeones||

    Just using public transit doesn't automatically make you a statist, you know.

    Where the fuck did i say anything like that? I'm not saying that riding on light rail makes you a willing serf, i'm saying Norfolk's program is doomed to failure. Reading comprehension is your friend, Tulpa.

  • ||

    The subject was why elected officials like rail. The answer is because elected officials like to leave a lasting legacy, and rails can be that, unlike roads. You're the one changing the subject. Reread the first comment on this thread.

    Actually, you are the one who should re-read that comment, you humorless moron.

    If you look carefully, you may notice that I (for it was I who made the comment in question) was making a correction to Gillespie's improper "Bugs Bunny" pop culture reference.

    But since your email address goes to "mit.edu" it's not surprising that you are an ignorant clod.

  • Michael||

    “Now is not the time for the same old Cincinnati,” said Casey Coston of North Avondale, who moved here from Detroit. “Build it, and more will come.”

    Mighty Casey has struck out.

  • cynical||

    This is the heart of the problem right here. The sort of jackasses who ruin a city (or state) are free to spread to other cities like a plague. These fuckers should be permanently disenfranchised anywhere outside the place they ran into the ground.

  • creech||

    Reason's anti-rail reflexes are just as pronounced as the railfans' love for all things rail.

    Nice, considering that a railfan named Bob Poole helped found Reason.

  • Kolohe||

    "and don't even come close to the naval bases or ODU where, Cthulhu forbid, someone might actually board the thing."

    From what I hear, you can blame the Navy brass for that detail.

    Not saying your wrong, I dunno, but the San Diego system has a stop at the 32st Street Station, the proposed Honolulu transit heavy rail* system is currently projected to run right in front of Pearl Harbor (with the stop at either Makalapa gate or the Arizon memorial, they keep on changing it up), and the Washington Navy Yard got it's own Metro stop some 10 or so years ago.

    *which is boondoggly enough and has already near doubled in projected cost despite not even breaking ground yet and starts out as a sticks to inner sticks transit system, rather than working ones way out from Ala Moana Center or Downtown first - it's where they have a majority the current bus transfer points.

  • ||

    Reason's taxpayer funded non-economic anti-rail boondoggle reflexes are just as pronounced as the railfans' love for all things rail.

    What did you expect?

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  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

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