Saturday, March 20, 2010

We Are Far Behind In High-Speed Rail

By 2020, Spain will devote half its transportation budget to rail.

Where high-speed rail is challenging air travel.


Anonymous said...

Spain and the United States have about zero in common.

Well, that's not exactly true, we are both broke.

James Rowen said...

So we have nothing to learn from them? Good ideas and technologies can originate anywhere.

Anonymous said...

The problem in WI is not the so-called forwarding thinking plans developed by SEWRPC and WisDOT; it's the political will to implement the vision in each plan. Wait a minute, SEWRPC's plan is a copy from its previous plans - thus, no vision statement can be found - isn't that right Ken Yunker? Okay, there's nothing new here since SEWRPC's long range transport and land use plans were developed by the same people still working there (and mismanaging that org) since the 1970s and 80s.

The real problem isn't State or regional leadership either. It's not even the lack of auto dependent driving behaviors by the everyday citizen and consumer in WI. In my opinion, it is the lack of an integrated transport network all around WI Cities. Wait a second! Cars have options of moving freely everywhere in WI. Hmm, so why not transit or more specifically - bikes and trains? Oh yeah, that's right, WI thinks backwards. I know this sounds bad for me to say, but honestly, WI is far behind in terms of building an integrated transport network system. Perhaps WI is a leader in env'l conservation and alternative energy, but my point is we are stuck in the 1970s and 80s with both the SEWRPC and WisDOT plans.

Just go anywhere outside of WI and do some internet research on how other MPOs are designing 21st and 22nd Century long range transport plans. Those states and communities may not be perfect, but at least they are already building the integrated transport infrastructure.

Dave Reid said...

@Jim Yup, apparently to some that is exactly what it means. Unfortunately.

James Rowen said...

Anonymous has a good point.

Look at Chicago:

James Rowen said...

In fact, look at the planning effort in Chicago, period:

enoughalready said...

The fact that Spain is so advanced is one reason why I was glad when I heard that a Spanish company will be building railcars here in Milwaukee.

We need to think even bigger than we are when it comes to high speed rail. We need to connect the country from East to West, not just through a hub like Chicago; and we need to use new, specially designed rail beds, instead of relying on retrofitted or shared existing freight lines.