A couple of days ago, the Press-Enterprise printed a rather nasty editorial about high-speed rail, and I wanted to burst back into the blogosphere in this new year by tearing it apart, sentence by sentence, period by auto-dependent period.
However, the folks at the California HSR blog beat me to it.
So go read that post (I'll wait...), and then let me make two points. First, I'd like to underscore one of the author's points here- doing nothing is not free. We may spend $40bn on a train- but without the train it'd cost (for example) $60bn in highways and $10bn in airports. NOT building the train has a cost, and although accounting for that cost is more difficult and more hidden by our political process, it is non-zero.
Second, is this really the voice of the Inland Empire on high-speed rail? Because it's not what I've heard around town. I've heard from workers eager to apply for rail construction jobs. I hear from students on a daily basis, traveling home to the Bay Area or San Diego, who are practically begging for a better way to get around the state. I see an increasing crop of folks on bikes and buses around town, trading their automobiles for a brighter future. I see a huge population here in Riverside alone who would be happy to see this train built, and the sooner the better. Apparently, none of these folks are on the PE's editorial board.
But that's to be expected, really. The paper has never really been a bastion of progressive thought, which is understandable considering their (dwindling) readership. To the rest of the world- Riverside looks very different from its newspaper.