Lines on the map

Actually, little pairs of lines, close together, with cars on them, all fastened together to move a lot of people from here to there:

The state Senate vote authorizing initial funding for California’s high-speed rail project was hailed by backers Friday as a pivotal step in building the controversial project.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who had made repeated trips and telephone calls to California to push for the project, called the vote a “big win” for the state.

“No economy can grow faster than its transportation network allows,” LaHood said in a statement. “With highways between California cities congested and airspace at a premium, Californians desperately need an alternative.”

It is unclear when construction on the largest infrastructure project in the country can begin. The state still needs a series of regulatory approvals to start the first 130 miles of track in the Central Valley. The plan also faces lawsuits by agriculture interests and potential opposition by major freight railroads.

Passing this funding was really hard to do, and not only because the money will go toward building the route in a very rural area, where not many people are. But the whole point of the line is to connect S.F. and L.A. via high-speed rail, and it’s going to go through some rural areas as these two cities are very far apart. Have a look at a map. But it’s easy to demagogue hsr, as it is health care, as it is education, but these are long-term needs that require attention, commitment – and fortitude to stand up to all the whiners that would prefer to give the money directly to already rich people.

Not to mention all the people who will be working to build this route. People need jobs for the whole thing to work. Come on. Better conservatives, please.