Trains For America

More choices for better transportation

UPDATED: A mirror into the soul

TFA does not normally cover local transit issues. Plenty of other great blogs do that well, and you can probably tell that we have our hands full on inter-city rail. Nonetheless, there is an item in today’s Dallas Morning News about getting to the new sports palace constructed at a cost of over $1 Billion to house Jerry Jones’ Cowboys. The focus is on Arlington’s complete failure on public transportation.

The lack of transit options in Arlington, population 365,000, is deliberate – and comes despite the best efforts of city leaders and regional planners.

Voters in the past three decades have rejected three initiatives that would have dedicated sales taxes to transit, including twice since 2002.

“They don’t want it,” said former Arlington Mayor Elzie Odom, who retired as mayor in 2003. “It doesn’t do any good to argue. We have done that three times. The residents who bother to go to the polls just won’t have it.”

Voters did approve the new stadium, which cost $1.1 billion and was paid for in part by a half-cent sales tax increase. Even the new stadium, and the traffic troubles that come with it, haven’t persuaded voters to think again about transit, he said.

“In the last two elections, I have heard over and over, “We don’t want those kinds of people.’ People say they just want to be let alone.”

Cluck said he has often heard residents opposed to transit cite worries about race or class as their reasons for voting no. But more often, he said, the complaints center on residents’ predictions that a transit system Arlington could afford would involve buses – and big empty ones at that.

UPDATE: I promise to get off this topic AND regular readers are due an explanation for why Mr. Nash and myself have been so absent. I promise to get around to some excuse making soon BUT this story in the Wall Street Journal is just too damn rich. Again, we don’t normally do transit here and would not cover this item except it is just too damn rich.

Brody Mullins reports on money and politics.

Protesters who attended Saturday’s Tea Party rally in Washington found a new reason to be upset: Apparently they are unhappy with the level of service provided by the subway system.

Rep. Kevin Brady called for a government investigation into whether the government-run subway system adequately prepared for this weekend’s rally to protest government spending and government services.


The Texas Republican on Wednesday released a letter he sent to Washington’s Metro system complaining that the taxpayer-funded subway system was unable to properly transport protesters to the rally to protest government spending and expansion.

So let me see if I got this straight. These people do everything they can to destroy transportation policy and funding on the national level. They consistently oppose any expansion of transit systems, even in the poorest areas. They vehemently oppose buses and light rail calling it a plot to take away people’s cars, BUT when they come to the nation’s capitol these tea-baggers expect the full scope of city services they otherwise detest.

Rich. Just lovely.


Filed under: Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy

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September 2009