Sunday, March 22, 2009

Alabama is a Roadblock for High Speed Rail...

Read the story of how the State of Alabama (where Daily Sprawl resides) is gumming up efforts to garner stimulus funds to develop an Atlanta to New Orleans high speed rail line.

Probably the biggest problem stalling the plan is this:
All taxes earmarked for Alabama’s Department of Transportation are constitutionally designated for roads and bridges, said Tony Harris, special assistant to the transportation director. Harris said the state has no role in transit, although it does dole out federal dollars and serve as a watchdog over those funds.
Truly archaic and a major reason why Alabama is a transportation laggard when compared to its sister Southern states.

Now, I'm not necessarily a huge fan of fancy high speed rail lines. The more comprehensive solution would seem to be to expand existing conventional lines to provide a wider scope of access to different destinations. After that is done (and only after that) should some major lines be configured for higher speeds.

But, alas, if the federal government is determined to spend a certain amount of money on high speed rail, then it really behooves Alabama to serve its citizens by bringing some of that effort to this state.