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Thinking Big: What About an Interstate Rail System?

10:19 AM EST on January 30, 2009

With all the billions of dollars rolling around the headlines lately, it's not surprising that some of the Streetsblog Network members are thinking big. The Transport Politic, for instance, today presents a grand vision for an interstate rail system:

rail_network6.jpg[It] would have an emphasis on connecting destinations separated by 500 miles or less; for such distances, high-speed rail outpaces airplanes and in other countries has commanded up to 80% of the market share on such routes.

Yonah Freemark, the blog's author, acknowledges the enormity of the project, but points out that there's a precedent:

Such a system would require an active federal government funding an expensive national system, maintaining its infrastructure, and running its trains. Our government is currently not capable of doing as much, but with a defined vision such as this -- to provide rail service to all of the nation’s metro areas and to connect the biggest ones with true high-speed rail -- Washington could mature to the task. Back in 1956, the federal commitment to highways was minimal; in one bill, under one president, the system changed.

Also out there on the network: Fort Worthology has an update on the Fort Worth streetcar project, Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space has a post about on-street bike parking in Seattle, and Bike Providence reports on a lock-lending program at a local library.

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