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View Poll Results: Should the US build or improve it's HSR network?
Yes 249 89.57%
No 29 10.43%
Voters: 278. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 18th, 2009, 09:26 PM   #961
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HSR isn't cost effective, driving will be cheaper... Not to mention we cannot afford to spend hudreds of billions of dollars to build the infrastructure in the first place.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 09:30 PM   #962
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HSR isn't cost effective, driving will be cheaper... Not to mention we cannot afford to spend hudreds of billions of dollars to build the infrastructure in the first place.
But you can to bailout banks or to finance a controversial war. Sometimes I don't understand people's reasoning, we're talking of a long term investment not some leisure spending trend.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 10:45 PM   #963
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But you can to bailout banks or to finance a controversial war. Sometimes I don't understand people's reasoning, we're talking of a long term investment not some leisure spending trend.
We'll only spend on it if it's going to work, and I think the feeling is it probably won't here. The US is not Europe, Japan, or China...which are very tightly built countries and societies. We already built an entire transit system here decades ago, and today car travel is still cheaper than high-speed rail. If we spend all our money on high-speed rail we're going to miss out on the next big thing. Most parts of the country don't even need it, and frankly paying 110 dollars to go from San Francisco to LA one way is appalling.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 07:29 PM   #964
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HSR isn't cost effective, driving will be cheaper... Not to mention we cannot afford to spend hudreds of billions of dollars to build the infrastructure in the first place.
Is this ironic or ignorant? How do you think they build roads or do you propose everyone drives ATV's so you dont have to spend billions on infrastructure?
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Old December 19th, 2009, 07:50 PM   #965
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We need HSR , but i think is what going to happen is Expansion or Building of Mass Transit and commuter lines first , then 4 or 7 HSL in 10 years , that seems to be happening here.

Heres a Video of the Northeast Corridor 150 mph zone.

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Old December 19th, 2009, 10:09 PM   #966
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There is no obsession. I like suburban developments, I see no problem on they being car-centric, but it is under attack from the "cool", "urban-tendy" camp of environwackos and so on. There is no inherently problem with car transportation, for sake! Many peoplw write here like cars, big lots and single houses were essentialy bad because they are "non-European". I guess that, given an opportunity, these people would raise gas taxes to US$ 1/gal.
The point is that suburbs don't have to be totally car centric, not at all. While I like the European style of a city, I do not write the way I do because I am a euronationalist nuthead. A walkable mixed use neighborhood with great PT access is simply a completely different quality of life than car centric suburbia.

While I am living in Vienna, I come from the country side. Suburbia seems to me like combining the disadvantages of both the countryside and the city with each other. But thats not the point here, the point is that even if you want a life in a boring neighborhood with lots of green around, no where is it written that it has to be hostile to pedestrians. You can create suburbs also in a way to make them accessible for PT.

The funny thing is btw, that while fuel is much more expensive in Europe than in the US this is compensated to a very lalge extend by far more efficient cars on average. So actually people are not less mobile, they are more efficient, my point is that the US Americans will follow at some point because eventually they will realize that they can't afford wasting resources and money to such a big extend as they are doing now.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 06:18 AM   #967
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HSR isn't cost effective, driving will be cheaper... Not to mention we cannot afford to spend hudreds of billions of dollars to build the infrastructure in the first place.
What kind of infrastructure is cost-effective? Please don't say highways or driving, because they definitely are NOT.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 08:49 PM   #968
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What kind of infrastructure is cost-effective? Please don't say highways or driving, because they definitely are NOT.
Well, we already have the system in place, so as of right now, I would say it's cheaper than installing a whole new system.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 08:58 PM   #969
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High Speed Rail Can work in The Most of the Midwest & the Texas Network, there is demand there. I don't know anyone these days who flavors Roads over Rail for future mass building. Most of our Roads aren't tolled, and bring nothing but more pollution & Noise to our cities in Suburbs , our Rail Network is growing. Have you seen the Utah , New Mexico , and Minnesota New Commuter Rail Projects , they are slowly but steadily pulling off Cars and people off , they have been successful so far even though the numbers are small for now wait till the economy picks up. Georgia , Kentucky , Oklahoma , Florida are all discussing expanding are building a commuter Rail network. So maybe you should study things before you make , weak claims that it won't work , the key thing is Time.

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Old December 20th, 2009, 11:23 PM   #970
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Well, we already have the system in place, so as of right now, I would say it's cheaper than installing a whole new system.
Not really.

Well, highways like all our infrastructure in general is currently aging rapidly and will need several tens of billions to be updated. Bridges, flyovers, and even entire highways will need entire rebuilding if anyone wants to see them viable in the years ahead, all that good stuff won't be cheap by any means.

Actually compared to all that work (which will be done regardless of HSR projects anyway, don't want another Minneapolis bridge situation), putting money in HSR will be a drop in the bucket, literally. Nobody even knows how much it cost to update the entire Interstate Highway System to a 21st century standard, but it's known that it would be really really expensive!

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Old December 21st, 2009, 04:05 AM   #971
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Not really.

Well, highways like all our infrastructure in general is currently aging rapidly and will need several tens of billions to be updated. Bridges, flyovers, and even entire highways will need entire rebuilding if anyone wants to see them viable in the years ahead, all that good stuff won't be cheap by any means.Actually compared to all that work (which will be done regardless of HSR projects anyway, don't want another Minneapolis bridge situation), putting money in HSR will be a drop in the bucket, literally. Nobody even knows how much it cost to update the entire Interstate Highway System to a 21st century standard, but it's known that it would be really really expensive!
Yeah...but where are the problems? I'm not sure I see them, maybe if your in more rural areas. But large metropolitan areas are fine, there is no need for billions of dollars to fix things. It's already been spent in most places, there aren't any radical changes that need to take place. Bridges yes, but it depends where you are. I don't see any problems with the interstate system in my own state. State and city governments continuously spend money to keep up most roads. Your talking like nothing's been done here since the 70s. How do you define a 21st century interstate system? The Minnesota bridge collapse had little to do with the fact that’s it was built in the 20th century, and more to do with the fact it was flawed design. The bridge really could have collapsed at any time since it was built. Maybe they are building a 21 century interstate system in China, but it's also been very expensive for the government and very expensive for people to use. In fact, the US probably has one of the best all around “interstate” highway systems in the world. I'll stand by that comment.

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Old December 21st, 2009, 04:22 AM   #972
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Yeah...but where are the problems? I'm not sure I see them, maybe if your in more rural areas. But large metropolitan areas are fine, there is no need for billions of dollars to fix things. It's already been spent in most places, there aren't any radical changes that need to take place. Bridges yes, but it depends where you are. I don't see any problems with the interstate system in my own state. State and city governments continuously spend money to keep up most roads. Your talking like nothing's been done here since the 70s. How do you define a 21st century interstate system? The Minnesota bridge collapse had little to do with the fact that’s it was built in the 20th century, and more to do with the fact it was flawed design. The bridge really could have collapsed at any time since it was built. Maybe they are building a 21 century interstate system in China, but it's also been very expensive for the government and very expensive for people to use. In fact, the US probably has one of the best all around “interstate” highway systems in the world. I'll stand by that comment.
Yes i agree with you its a nice system , but regional & High Speed Rail are needed , becuz in the coming decades , more and more people are going to be against widening our Highway system in Suburban & Urban areas and for Rail Projects. We see it slowy happening all over the US & Canada. People when give the option will take mass Transit & Rail over car , if it saves them a Headache or costs less, so ONN it don't really get your perspective? It doesn't make any sense to continue to add to system , what we need now and are slowy building is a Interstate Passenger Rail Service. Half Electric & half Diesel.

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Old December 21st, 2009, 04:27 AM   #973
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Onn, you're absolutely wrong.

The bridge in Minneapolis collapsed due to poor maintenance. Yes, the design was flawed.. but given the proper inspections and maintenance, it was still usable.

The design flaw was that the bridge relied to heavily on gusset plates to hold the joints together at the support pillars. Those plates weren't thick enough and due to heavy corrosion and cracking from weather, weight stress, and of all things, pigeon poop, one of them failed.

Unfortunately, the bridge was not designed to be redundant.. so if one piece fails, the whole bridge falls.

Perhaps the interstates in your state are fine. But honestly.. who are you or I to say whether they're fine or not. I'll leave that to the engineers and not to your anecdotal evidence.

Either way, high speed rail WILL be built in this country and it will provide us with better options. While the baby boomers sure love their cars.. they aren't going to be able to drive them forever.. a true "individualistic" statement of the "ME ME ME!" generation.. but young people want options. We want fast, efficient, clean transportation in an age when oil prices will rise out of control.

But judging from your post above (and forgive me if I'm completely wrong), you probably believe oil is an endless resource and that prices will settle down to $1.50/gallon forever and ever and that the only solutions we need to transportation and congestion is to rip out more homes and businesses (as long as they're not yours.. right?) and widen those freeways so you can be "whisked" (at relatively low speeds compared to rail) to work.

As things are going, for every one of you, there are two of me and change will come. Freeways will no longer be front and center, but a part of a multi-faceted approach to transportation in this nation.

The world is too unstable these days to carelessly throw all of our eggs into the "car" basket.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 04:45 AM   #974
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Onn, you're absolutely wrong.

The bridge in Minneapolis collapsed due to poor maintenance. Yes, the design was flawed.. but given the proper inspections and maintenance, it was still usable.

The design flaw was that the bridge relied to heavily on gusset plates to hold the joints together at the support pillars. Those plates weren't thick enough and due to heavy corrosion and cracking from weather, weight stress, and of all things, pigeon poop, one of them failed.

Unfortunately, the bridge was not designed to be redundant.. so if one piece fails, the whole bridge falls.

Perhaps the interstates in your state are fine. But honestly.. who are you or I to say whether they're fine or not. I'll leave that to the engineers and not to your anecdotal evidence.

Either way, high speed rail WILL be built in this country and it will provide us with better options. While the baby boomers sure love their cars.. they aren't going to be able to drive them forever.. a true "individualistic" statement of the "ME ME ME!" generation.. but young people want options. We want fast, efficient, clean transportation in an age when oil prices will rise out of control.

But judging from your post above (and forgive me if I'm completely wrong), you probably believe oil is an endless resource and that prices will settle down to $1.50/gallon forever and ever and that the only solutions we need to transportation and congestion is to rip out more homes and businesses (as long as they're not yours.. right?) and widen those freeways so you can be "whisked" (at relatively low speeds compared to rail) to work.

As things are going, for every one of you, there are two of me and change will come. Freeways will no longer be front and center, but a part of a multi-faceted approach to transportation in this nation.

The world is too unstable these days to carelessly throw all of our eggs into the "car" basket.
You are way out of control, there's NOTHING wrong with the system! Oil is still far cheaper than high-speed rail, nothing is going to change that in the next 40 years! Use your eyes and ears and stop being ridiculous! The Minnesota bridge wouldn't have collapsed if weren't for the stupid design!
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Old December 21st, 2009, 04:48 AM   #975
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Yes i agree with you its a nice system , but regional & High Speed Rail are needed , becuz in the coming decades , more and more people are going to be against widening our Highway system in Suburban & Urban areas and for Rail Projects. We see it slowy happening all over the US & Canada. People when give the option will take mass Transit & Rail over car , if it saves them a Headache or costs less, so ONN it don't really get your perspective? It doesn't make any sense to continue to add to system , what we need now and are slowy building is a Interstate Passenger Rail Service. Half Electric & half Diesel.

~Corey
We don't need to "widen" the system, there's plenty of capacity! The US is in NO WAY China, Europe or Japan! So people can shut their mouth, this country is huge! Rail travel needs to happen, but it doesn’t need to be high-speed to be effective! Rail travel is not the future either, there is another solution that is not nearly as costly to the government.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 05:10 AM   #976
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We don't need to "widen" the system, there's plenty of capacity! The US is in NO WAY China, Europe or Japan! So people can shut their mouth, this country is huge! Rail travel needs to happen, but it doesn’t need to be high-speed to be effective! Rail travel is not the future either, there is another solution that is not nearly as costly to the government.
I can't beleave i'm this form an American on Skyscrapercity , HSR is the future. Although i Think we should build another Pilot line. DC to Atlanta via Richmond & Charlotte an Ext of the NEC. Onn , our Oil dependency has caused us war, and whenever theres a Natural Disaster oil goes up. It isn't feasible to keep relaying on Oil. Most people have realized that, thats why were building cleaner Energy Sources all around the US & Canada. Where do you live Onn?

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Old December 21st, 2009, 05:23 AM   #977
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Yeah...but where are the problems? I'm not sure I see them, maybe if your in more rural areas. But large metropolitan areas are fine, there is no need for billions of dollars to fix things. It's already been spent in most places, there aren't any radical changes that need to take place. Bridges yes, but it depends where you are. I don't see any problems with the interstate system in my own state. State and city governments continuously spend money to keep up most roads. Your talking like nothing's been done here since the 70s. How do you define a 21st century interstate system? The Minnesota bridge collapse had little to do with the fact that’s it was built in the 20th century, and more to do with the fact it was flawed design. The bridge really could have collapsed at any time since it was built. Maybe they are building a 21 century interstate system in China, but it's also been very expensive for the government and very expensive for people to use. In fact, the US probably has one of the best all around “interstate” highway systems in the world. I'll stand by that comment.
Interesting analysis, let me retort...

The Interstate Highway System, for the most part, is a successful highway system that does it's job well in most areas.

However, it's beginning to show it's age in many areas. There are several bridges in every single state that is in dire need of repairing. The Minneapolis bridge's structural deficiency was known for several years, and there are 150k bridges (or 25% of the total) that are structurally deficient...replacing them isn't going to be "cheap" by any means. There is a common argument that we won't be able to afford HSR, but will we be able to afford updating highways either? LOL, it is a rock and a hard place.

Add this with the fact that the highway system is already functionally outdated in some metropolitan areas (like LA, NYC, DC, Atlanta...). Many highways that have been built in some places were built for a certain number of cars. As the population increases, the congestion will get worse and worse unless we change the status quo.

I'm from Connecticut, where we have I-95. It is a nightmare during the rush hour not only because of commuters going to NYC, but because it is a major trucking route down the entire Eastern Seaboard, 90% of all the freight down this corridor is done by truck, not rail. The no-brainer would be to widen lanes, but the state can't even do that because of cost of land in this area is one of the highest in the nation. So they have no choice but to try to update the rail network, which too is heavily outdated and overcrowded. The state shot itself in the foot in the past by not fixing both when the situation was relatively stable. Ironically, there have been several accidents in the past and they still didn't heed the warnings of the fact that the highway is choking trade and hurting us economically. Only now are there ideas of updating the commuter rail network (no HSR yet).

When I talk about a "21st century interstate highway system", I am referring to a highway system that can adequately take on the growing demands of transport in the future. Some states and cities are lucky because they have relatively small populations and/or less dense surrounding as well as lower costs to make it easier for them to do well as far as updating is concerned. But not all, and many of them that aren't are our largest and more important cities. Unless many billions are spend on updates, I can't see our highway system realistically amounting to much around 2025, at least here in the Northeast.

As far as HSR plays into the question, nobody (and I guess myself) is saying that it will replace the car or highways as the premier mode of travel in this country, but a diversification of modes of travel, like more HSR, stronger commuter rail and public transportation, would help put a load off our highway system and we could tackle the problems of congestion and infrastructure aging better if we could get it done in areas where there is already enough demand for it to be feasible. We aren't asking for a giant network going to NYC or LA or whatever, but something like NYC to DC or Boston, that's what should be where it can be needed.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 05:31 AM   #978
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We don't need to "widen" the system, there's plenty of capacity! The US is in NO WAY China, Europe or Japan! So people can shut their mouth, this country is huge! Rail travel needs to happen, but it doesn’t need to be high-speed to be effective! Rail travel is not the future either, there is another solution that is not nearly as costly to the government.
What's with the defensiveness?

The future is a more diversified transportation network that can deal with the growing demands of the future. It isn't an "either, or" equation. Rail and Road are not "enemies". We should be looking for something that could suit our needs the most efficiently, not look for the cheapest way out.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 07:49 AM   #979
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However, it's beginning to show it's age in many areas. There are several bridges in every single state that is in dire need of repairing. The Minneapolis bridge's structural deficiency was known for several years, and there are 150k bridges (or 25% of the total) that are structurally deficient...replacing them isn't going to be "cheap" by any means. There is a common argument that we won't be able to afford HSR, but will we be able to afford updating highways either? LOL, it is a rock and a hard place.
Well that's great, but how much of the interstate highway system is really made up of bridges? They are mostly in rural areas where no one lives and the amount stress that would take to crack them doesn't come close. We could certainly afford HSR, Obama had an opportunity to do that. He didn't, so it leads me to believe he thinks we don't need it. And I back his point of view. I think you guys are a little crazy, the system still got plenty of juice left. I don’t know about Cali, but in Texas there has been a lot of expanding of highways and the like.

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Add this with the fact that the highway system is already functionally outdated in some metropolitan areas (like LA, NYC, DC, Atlanta...). Many highways that have been built in some places were built for a certain number of cars. As the population increases, the congestion will get worse and worse unless we change the status quo.
Same EXACT thing in China! Expect we don't have as many people...yet. I agree rail travel in many places is needed, by I'm not set on high-speed. And I don't necessarily think the federal government has to play as big of a role of in doing it as you seem to suggest. All of California’s mass transit that has been built recently (subways, computer rails, and HSR) have all been funded by the state. Now I get that that state's bankrupt, but that just means they took off more than they could chew too quickly.

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I'm from Connecticut, where we have I-95. It is a nightmare during the rush hour not only because of commuters going to NYC, but because it is a major trucking route down the entire Eastern Seaboard, 90% of all the freight down this corridor is done by truck, not rail. The no-brainer would be to widen lanes, but the state can't even do that because of cost of land in this area is one of the highest in the nation. So they have no choice but to try to update the rail network, which too is heavily outdated and overcrowded. The state shot itself in the foot in the past by not fixing both when the situation was relatively stable. Ironically, there have been several accidents in the past and they still didn't heed the warnings of the fact that the highway is choking trade and hurting us economically. Only now are there ideas of updating the commuter rail network (no HSR yet).
I don't know, I think if you went back in time you would have found it was the same back then. The major established metro areas around the country have been established for a long time now, it's not like traffic jams are something new to the country. Yes, there probably is a better way of doing it, for some. I can't say rail travel would be good for everyone, it depends where you live. Trains aren't going to go rolling through massive sub divisions, which are very common here in the Midwest. You have to work with what you have. America's sprawl is in many cases to blame, I get it. But that's not something we can reverse right now, it's going to take time to build up intercity cites. New England is a tricky area to navigate, with small states and lots of people, and home to financial hub of the world. But again, it depends where you are. New England is a tiny part of the US, here in the Midwest they've built a lot of new bridges in the last 10 years and spending on road infrastructure has been very high. During this downturn things are bad for the state government, but they aren't that bad. I would go as far to say as the stimulus package has been funding things that didn't even need to be done.

I mean, the state built a new 14 million dollar bridge just down the road from my own house long before the recession hit. It won an architectural award even. I can think of very few examples of decayed infrastructure here, or in the surrounding states. Granted, the Midwest is flat. But that means there are fewer bridges too, less decay in general.

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When I talk about a "21st century interstate highway system", I am referring to a highway system that can adequately take on the growing demands of transport in the future. Some states and cities are lucky because they have relatively small populations and/or less dense surrounding as well as lower costs to make it easier for them to do well as far as updating is concerned. But not all, and many of them that aren't are our largest and more important cities. Unless many billions are spend on updates, I can't see our highway system realistically amounting to much around 2025, at least here in the Northeast.
But I think you would find it the same 30 years ago, I'm not sure anything has changed. I'm not sure how worse it's gotten. Yes the Northeast has a big problem, I've heard Washington DC is a huge mess now because it wasn't built to handle as many people as it has today. I understand, what do you want me to say? I live in a one of the countries largest metro areas where there isn't even bus support. And yes, we do have traffic jams too during rush hours. But it wasn't any different back in the day either from what I hear. And traffic jams are becoming a signature around the world today, they are in no way limited to the US anymore. If the rest of the world can't get rid of them how on earth do we plan to do that? Even our best efforts at mass transit likely would not be enough. States like New York are waking up to reality that something has to be done, but it's no small task.

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As far as HSR plays into the question, nobody (and I guess myself) is saying that it will replace the car or highways as the premier mode of travel in this country, but a diversification of modes of travel, like more HSR, stronger commuter rail and public transportation, would help put a load off our highway system and we could tackle the problems of congestion and infrastructure aging better if we could get it done in areas where there is already enough demand for it to be feasible. We aren't asking for a giant network going to NYC or LA or whatever, but something like NYC to DC or Boston, that's what should be where it can be needed.
Absolutely, I agree. But I don't think it matters what they do things are still going to be overcrowded and people are always going to complain about something. There's no easy way to get a mass amount of people from Point A to Point B.

What would Obama say….there's no sliver bullet.

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Old December 21st, 2009, 08:10 AM   #980
Onn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xusein View Post
What's with the defensiveness?

The future is a more diversified transportation network that can deal with the growing demands of the future. It isn't an "either, or" equation. Rail and Road are not "enemies". We should be looking for something that could suit our needs the most efficiently, not look for the cheapest way out.
The future is air travel, not ground travel. People don't get it. Diversified transportation is nothing more than a fad of the beginning of the 21st century. There's a reason street cars were rejected the first time around. People want something that works. The problem is the technology is not their yet, at least not outside the furthest reaches of the military and NASA. The advantage of air travel is that air is free, it doesn’t cost anything to maintain. And as long as oil continues to be cheaper than high-speed rail, I see no reason to change. We should milk it for all its worth while we can, and I'd say another 40 years is not out of the question for much of the US. Eventually the baton will be passed to something else however, and it will almost certainly originate in the US, not the tight confines of Asian and European cities. There could be easier ways to go from state to state without planes or high-speed rail.
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amtrak, desertxpress, fly california, high speed rail, northeast corridor, texas triangle, united states

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