James Rowen has done the sort of blogging I aspire to do on the topics of highways and transit. First, he cites a report rightly predicting a “mass exodus of vehicles off America’s highways” when gas prices hit $7/gallon. (Diesel, by the way, is already at $4.68 in Milwaukee. I paid $67.86 for 14.56 gallons of it just tonight. It’s not going to go down even if we drill in every wildlife preserve in North America.)
The first post, specifically, is the sort of writing that I aspire to. Rowen asks if the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission are doing the same sort of critical thinking and analysis as the authors of this report. The report was not written on behalf of some wacky lefties, but for a Canadian bank. Institutions of that sort want realistic projections of what is likely to happen, not candy-colored descriptions of how great the future will be.
WiscDOT and SEWRPC seem not to share this clear-eyed view, as they still plan to have I-94 widened to no end while making no plans or accommodations for the sort of mass transit that’s rapidly becoming needed. I often brag about my car’s fantastic combined mileage of 48 MPG (a Volkswagen Jetta TDI, if you’re wondering), but at $6 or $7 per gallon for fuel, even I’ll be on the road as little as possible.
Rowen’s second post is short but sweet. I quote it here: “Douglas and Superior Counties want a high-speed passenger rail link to the Twin Cities across the state border.
Maybe our railophobics in the southern part of the state could learn a thing or two from their upnorth counterparts.”
Hats off, Mr. Rowen. Well said.