Oh, boy — this is truly amazing. I guess I’m not surprised that the WSJ doesn’t like the idea of providing New York with a European-style system of rental bikes. But accusing Bloomberg and company of being “totalitarians” for the vicious crime of … making bright blue bikes available to tourists … seems like it has to be parody.
On the other hand, let’s not forget George Will’s explanation of why liberals like mass transit:
the real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.
Something about transportation seems to bring out the crazy in these people.
(The post, comments and all, is here.)
Christie: Take yer tunnel and _____ it!
Without comment (from Crooks & Liars via Memeorandum)
On Tuesday, the residents of New Jersey saw the future – in China. On the same day that Governor Chris Christie killed funding for the badly needed second Hudson River rail tunnel, Beijing rolled out its fastest bullet train yet. As it turns out, Christie’s budget ax is just the latest symptom of a growing epidemic. Across the country, the United States is walking away from its crumbling infrastructure even as America’s competitors commit the resources to win in the 21st century global economy.
To be sure, China is making those investments. America’s largest creditor not only dominates the U.S. in launching cleaner coal-fired power plants, but by January leapfrogged the West to become the world’s largest producer of wind turbines and solar panels. Just last week, an Australian study found that the China, the globe’s biggest polluter, is now the clear leader in clean energy efforts.
After all, who needs infrastructure? A single hundred year old tunnel should be good enough to service 4 or 5 million people. Whiners, always want more. But Gov. Christie set them straight. No new tunnel for New Jersey. Can’t afford it he said.
” [now] by any rational calculation, would be an especially good time to improve the nation’s infrastructure. We have the need: our roads, our rail lines, our water and sewer systems are antiquated and increasingly inadequate. We have the resources: a million-and-a-half construction workers are sitting idle, and putting them to work would help the economy as a whole recover from its slump. And the price is right: with interest rates on federal debt at near-record lows, there has never been a better time to borrow for long-term investment.
But American politics these days is anything but rational . . .
It was a destructive and incredibly foolish decision on multiple levels. But it shouldn’t have been all that surprising. We are no longer the nation that used to amaze the world with its visionary projects. We have become, instead, a nation whose politicians seem to compete over who can show the least vision, the least concern about the future and the greatest willingness to pander to short-term, narrow-minded selfishness.”
That’s what Paul Krugman says.
I just experienced a fascinating juxtaposition – first, watching the local public television station which just aired an hour long discussion about public transit – light rail, commuter rail, hi speed rail. Fascinating and full of good information. There’s a vote coming up in Pinellas county this year on funding such a project (Tampa area). The panel on the program spent a lot of time exploring how it went in Phoenix and how many years it took to get things going. Their system began operations about two years ago and is successful in every way – new revenue for Maricopa County, a happy populace.
Right after watching that, I came to my laptop and found this, an devastating look at what the author calls a human landscape, right here in southwest Florida. It is pretty depressing and I hope it’s our past. And I dearly hope that mass transit is in our future. (At the link, there are 26 slides from Google Earth.)