Saturday, March 12, 2011

From Mad Men to Motor City, Advocates Hope Web Video Steers Rail Projects

A little promotion from the people of Mad Men for high speed train travel.  Click title for article on the promotional effort.  Click here for link to support high speed rail and get a bumper sticker to tell the world.

Check this video out too regarding the Detroit light-rail project:  A little home grown effort to promote one of the alternatives.  Light-rail is one of the options being considered for the FEC (east) railroad tracks through south Florida coastal cities, including Lake Worth.

From the article, pointing out how other states are jumping for the $2.4 billion that Florida turned down:

While citizens in Detroit debate how to rebuild their urban infrastructure, high-speed rail discussions nationally are of critical importance. The Obama administration seems dead serious about spending billions on upgrading rail infrastructure coast to coast. Florida Gov. Rick Scott turned down $2.4 billion in federal money last for high-speed rail initiatives in his state, and legislators across the country have taken to Twitter to try and build a case for U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to divert that money to their districts. Last month, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) started an petition targeted at LaHood's Twitter profile — riding on the back of an official letter, of course. In California, Rep. Mike Honda and Rep. John Garamendi also circulated a petition via Twitter.
"There is line outside my door of governors, senators and congressmen," he said Thursday while speaking before the Senate Appropriations Committee's Transportation and Housing and Urban Development subcommittee, according to an item in The Hill by Keith Laing.
Sounds a little like the discussion regarding the takeover of the CRA and the potential loss of the city's $23 million grant award, doesn't it?

Note to those who support tree-sitters and 3 story height limitations:  You are essentially doing the same thing as Governor Scott in not supporting a viable rail alternative in south Florida. Height is a component of density.  In order to support the success of mass transit alternatives along the coast - in areas that have already been environmentally disturbed, communities along the transit corridor need to allow density near the railroad.  This would encourage its use as a convenient alternative to the single passenger automobile and help ensure the financial success of the mass transit system.  And at the same time, the density and height required would provide incentive for redevelopment that would return money to the city's general fund.  Going down the current path of saying "no" to everything and limiting height to 3 stories does not represent "sustainable" development.  If anything, it represents selfishness on the part of our elected officials that would encourage the waste of land and effectively push development further west toward more environmentally sensitive areas.

Continue to perpetuate the myth that you are pro-environment by limiting density and height to the future peril of our city, region and natural environment.  Try being a leader and tell the public the purpose behind wise land use decisions that support transit alternatives.