and now . . . Road Rage with Andy Battaglia -- Episode 1 [ding]

From time to time I'll bring you a totally justified rant from the brilliant cramped mind of Andy Battaglia. Here we go!

"To Whom It May Concern: China is currently building 12 high-speed rail lines that will go upwards of 250 miles per hour across thousands of miles and will open by 2012 effectively making air-travel across short distances a thing of the past. In America we're building a two-mile long subway extension in New York that was first proposed in 1920 and will open in 2017 (maybe), and even that is only partly funded and could be halted (for the fourth time).
If you want crumbling highways and bridges packed with traffic and slow Amtrak trains that take two full days to get from New York to Florida, America is the country for you. For the love of all things, can we invest in rail infrastructure! And by invest, I don't mean talk about it for years and spend millions on "studies" only to delay actual construction for it to eventually be derailed by the automobile industry lobby. France, Germany and Sweden have managed to create the most comprehensive rail systems in the world, and I don't think our being a huge country is a good enough reason for us to not be investing in this stuff. We USED to have fancy things and amazing pieces of engineering and infrastructure in the early parts of the last century. Then we stopped investing and sold off thousands of miles of railroad rights-of-way so that "developers" could replace them with strip malls, and McMansion gated communities with no sidewalks and only cars to get to and from anywhere. Ohh and before that GM bought all of our clean electrified light rail and trolley lines across the country, decreased service to make them unattractive, and then ripped them up so they could be replaced with slow smog-producing GM-made buses. But I digress...Thanks. -Andy"

Thank YOU, Andy.

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