Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blood on the Tracks

I've never been to Waterloo, and I'm sure its a quaint and beautiful town, but a high-speed rail line will not reduce property values and isolate neighborhoods, as a town alderwoman, Laura Cotting, states.

Mrs. Cotting, with typical NIMBYist attitude, is offering nothing but red herrings. Wisconsin's major metropolitan areas are one of only a few in the entire country that do not have some sort of regional rail transit. If Wisconsin's economic indicators - unemployment rate, job growth, etc. - were exceptionally better than the rest of the nation, such a belief may be justified. "They've all tried the rail thing, and they're doing worse than we are." But the opposite is actually the reality. Cities and regions which have instituted cohesive rail systems have seen the best and most stable growth.

John DeWitt, a developer offered his (misinformed) thought, "“Looking down the line there are so many different views on whether high-speed rail is good at all, and, to an extent, I think it’s hard to say.” The consensus is that rail is better for jobs, growth, and the environment.

Most of the country has actually decided rail is a good thing. And, most of the studies done on the subject have shown growth near transit stations and in the neighboring area, alongside increased property values.

For Further Reading:
Average Cost of Owning An Automobile
Economic Development & Smart Growth
Effect of Rail Transit on Property Values
Light Rail Can Turn Into Money Train
Milwaukee Needs to Lose Its Rail Phobia
Public Transportation Produces More Jobs
Trains and the City
Transit Oriented America
True Cost of Owning a Car
Why You're Better Off Not Owning A Car

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