This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Sometimes it’s hard to be a supporter of “19th-century choo-choo trains.” You read enough goofy op-eds and nasty blog comments, and you start to wonder, “am I crazy to think that improving America’s rail infrastructure would be a smart way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and create more livable communities?” After all, in just the last few years, Seattle voted to kill both the Monorail Project and Sound Transit 2.
But slowly, finally, things seem to be looking up. Global warming, $4 gas, and increasing traffic and airport congestion have made our pundits and politicians slowly realize that something needs to change. Even better, they’re making the realization that solving these problems will require a holistic approach, involving not only new and improved transit systems, but better neighborhood planning as well.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but it occured to me today that we may wake up on the morning of November 5 to a world in which:
- Califonia has voted to begin construction on SF-to-LA high-speed rail
- Seattle has voted to begin construction on the next phase of Sound Transit, and
- America has voted to elect an Amtrak advocate to the Vice Presidency
All in all, not too shabby.