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1 Eclectic Cyborg  Sat, Dec 24, 2011 8:35:27am

The resistance to mass transit in North America truly astounds me. What’s so bad about trains?

2 lawhawk  Sat, Dec 24, 2011 8:51:41am

There’s a significant distinguishing factor in Christie’s cancellation of the ARC tunnel - all the burden of cost overruns was on New Jersey taxpayers. Despite the interstate nature of the project, New York and New York City would have contributed nothing to the project and the Feds refused to backstop any of the cost overruns.

That project also was badly flawed in design and would have led NJ Transit to building a project it can’t afford and would not be able to operate. Moreover, it would have rendered obsolete a station that it built for nearly half a billion dollars (Secaucus) that had cost overruns that quintupled the price (80 million initial estimate). The design of that station was also badly flawed - and it had no parking for park-n-ride.

After Christie cancelled the project, Amtrak and federal officials came up with a new project, Gateway, that would do everything ARC would do, except better - Amtrak would get high speed rail access, NJ Transit would get more track/rail access, and higher reliability and place to store trains when not in use in Sunnyside Yards (the ARC would have forced out of service trains to go back to New Jersey). Gateway still needs to be fully funded, and significant portions of the money already expended on ARC can be repurposed for Gateway.

3 Shiplord Kirel  Sat, Dec 24, 2011 10:46:00am
I imagine the mayor’s narrow mind working through the problem with this logic: “If we put in high speed rail then some of those people might come through town - those other people are an existential threat to our {fundamentalist christian} way of life…”

According to A History of Lubbock, the editor of the local paper expressed that very fear in 1910 when there were proposals to extend the railroad to Lubbock. At the time, this was an all-white town. The editor and many others were afraid blacks would come with the railroad, to work on it if nothing else. They compromised by passing an ordinance that required any future black residents to live east of a country road that paralleled the right of way outside town, literally the other side of the tracks. The road was named Quirt Avenue, and renamed Martin Luther King Boulevard in the 80s. Legal segregation was abolished in the 60s, but to this day, that road defines the defacto boundary of the predominantly black part of town. Lubbock is only 7.9% black but there are neighborhoods that are 80-90% black.

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