Now that I have your attention, it would appear that Indiana’s attitude is just about the same as everybody else’s. There is a letter in today’s Indy-Star.com that gives us some useful material. It is from Dennis Hodges of the Indiana High Speed Rail Association.
Over the past 15 years, $15 million has been spent on the study of proposed projects in Northwest Indiana alone. Only the consulting firms are making money. Isn’t it time Indiana spends money on the companies that can supply the products needed to implement the people-moving systems and bring the state into compliance with the transportation realities of the 21st century?
The year 2016, date of the Olympic Games proposed for Chicago and Indiana’s 200th anniversary, offers Indiana that potential. The year sets the stage for serious transportation projects to be a reality. But the Hoosier State mind-set about transportation needs a major overhaul for that to happen. Indiana must document a realistic plan that brings us back into an era of transportation innovation and leadership. With the federal Stimulus and Recovery Package, there is this opportunity. With Indiana being the crossroads of America, our neighboring states are counting on this state to assume its anointed role. A set of younger citizens is looking to Indiana for this leadership. Some of us are doing our part.
At the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville on March 19 and 20, serious-minded transportation innovators will set the stage for Indiana and the Midwest to move these projects forward and to re-establish, by 2016, Indiana’s leadership and innovations in transportation. The seminar is open to anyone who wants to make a critical difference in Indiana. Call (219) 887-1351 or visit http://www.indianahighspeedrail.org.
Let’s give Indiana a break. Things are tough in the rust belt, but that should not be an excuse for a refusal to move into the 21st. century. Indiana is blessed by geography. Plenty of large cities are in good fast train distance of Indianapolis. It is an essential part of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association vision.
The problem is not really a provincial attitude, I would be willing to bet, as much as it is a legislature and transportation department held hostage by special interests. Good luck to the regular taxpayers.