TagFlorida

Posts I liked today

It’s been like two weeks since I last posted. That’s because my master’s project is due in 25 days. I have to finish it.

I still read the news while I’m busy, though!

  • Infrastructurist: How to Make High Speed Rail Fail: Don’t Connect the Lines. Apparently, no one’s taking the lead in Florida to ensure the high-speed rail line (Tampa to Orlando, which received $1.25 billion) will connect with the not-yet constructed SunRail commuter/regional rail line around Orlando.
  • BikePortland: Editorial: When it comes to family biking, size matters. Families use bikeways and streets differently than individual riders and even other grouped riders. How can we plan bicycle-related street upgrades to better accommodate family cycling?
  • Wall Street Journal: Surface Improvements. The New York City Department of Transportation did a great thing when it reallocated street space on Broadway to improve conditions for pedestrians, tourists, residents, and bicyclists. The eight month experiment is now permanent and the City is holding a competition to replace the semi-temporary facilities (epoxy gravel, discount store seating) with more permanent furniture.

Photo: Families in Portland, Oregon, ride together to a nearby event on a recent weekend. Photo by Jonathan Maus.

High-speed rail wrap-up

So let’s recap the week of high-speed rail announcements.

On Wednesday (1/27), President Obama in his State of the Union speech talks about how $8 billion in funding for high-speed intercity passenger rail (HSR) will be a major jobs creator.

Photo: Tri-Rail is a commuter rail service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach. In five years, a high-speed train will whisk travelers between Tampa and Orlando. The hope is that a second link between Orlando and Miami will come afterwards.

The next day, in Tampa, Florida, he announced the winners of the $8 billion dollars of funding. Actually, the White House Press Office “leaked” the press releases the night before.

So what did I do for “high-speed rail week”?

I wrote a few articles and created a couple summaries:

If you want to read some more opinions about this part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (or stimulus), check out these articles I’ve selected:

Rep. Mica of Florida is confused about how best to support high-speed rail

From Associated Press writer Joan Lowy’s article, “White House doles out $8 billion for fast trains,”

Rep. John Mica of Florida, the senior Republican on the House transportation committee, complained that the Midwest lines awarded grants will achieve top speeds of only 110 mph and were “selected more for political reasons than for high-speed service.”

No, John, the Midwest was selected because it had a comprehensive plan with a regional approach, and with all Midwest states on board a collaborative effort to make Chicago the hub of an expansive network of fast trains that go to many, desirable destinations.

The Midwest was also selected because many of the Amtrak routes showed increased ridership over the past three years (2006-2009), and the ones that received a higher state subsidy or targeted improvements (with funding from the states) that reduced travel time and increased reliability showed an especially high increase in ridership.

And excuse me, Florida received a lot of money for a high-speed train between Tampa, Orlando, and Miami.

View more of my articles on this expanding topic.

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