So there’s all this talk about a so-called brain train (no trademark – no need) connecting our little college burg with the big city. Living in Lower America, you often get the feeling that you’re on the front lines of the culture wars.* And with public transit, it is no different. The reality of SUPER TRAINS blasting across the region is as much a foreign concept as having your passport or speaking a second language. This BT’s only currency whatsoever is as a football that gets booted around occasionally, but it’s going nowhere, and until it begins to get brought out to tailgate at the big home games (stay with me), it’s not going anywhere. We will simply continue to spend inordinate amounts on new road construction, sit in traffic, listening to oldies or talk radio, getting angry and resentful about the wrong things. It is a massive example of our stupid. Ouch. Stove… Hot!
If the intertubes is so special and all, why are hundreds of thousands of people still driving into downtown ATL everyday? They’re not making anything, per se. What is it, to attend productivity meetings?
There are things to get angry and resentful about. Consider:
This is the State Transportation Improvement Program funds in Georgia by category for 2008 – 2011.
Financial summary here. Caution: Need to distinguish between billions and millions.
Building trains, tracks and stations is expensive. No argument there.
But what we have now is very expensive and it’s bad economic policy, bad environmental policy and bad social policy that has resulted in a host of perfectly foreseeable crises, not the least of which is that we’re running out gas to drive the cars on the roads. I’m somehow sure that we will be at the midpoint of blacktopping some new four-lane when the very last barrel of oil is pumped from the ground.
* said front-line proximity may contribute to good art making.
‘bump’ image reproduced from a Sierra Club website with permission of the Sierra Club.