Wednesday, September 1, 2010

High-speed rail is a good thing, right?

Posted By on Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Well, it depends on who you ask and, apparently, if the speedy trains will zip through your neighborhood.

From the News & Observer:

Speakers at a packed public hearing Tuesday night criticized the state Department of Transportation's ideas for routing high-speed passenger trains through downtown, and some of them urged the City Council to call for more study.

Some DOT critics floated a fourth, hybrid option they said would avoid problems caused by DOT's alternatives. But a DOT analysis said that idea wouldn't work, either.

Read the rest of this article, by Bruce Siceloff, here.

Over at the Independent Weekly, however, they're hopeful about the "hybrid" option:

Following the session, City Councilor John Odom said the hybrid option "looked pretty good to me." Regardless of whether it survives scrutiny, however, Odom said, the NC3 option that is so unpopular with his constituents in the Five Points neighborhoods should be eliminated from consideration by DOT. Odom said he hopes the Council will join him in calling for the NC3 idea to be dropped when it decides what position(s) to take — if any — at next Tuesday's Council meeting.

Councilor Russ Stephenson, who's taken the lead in getting the hybrid idea in front of DOT, said he was pleased by Simmons' pledge "to give it full consideration." Stephenson said he concluded from what Simmons said that taking the time to study the hybrid option won't jeopardize DOT's ability to compete for federal funding down the line. Simmons did say, though, that in the new "competitive and discretionary" federal funding processes, time is of the essence — being "shovel-ready" is what helped DOT get $500 million for rail improvements between Raleigh and Charlotte, he said.

Read the rest of this article, by Bob Geary, here.

What are your thoughts on high speed rail?

Here's our president, in January, discussing high-speed rail and the funding behind it:

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