Thursday, July 16, 2009

On Gas, Commuting , and Pure Truth

I don't plan on posting anything too earth shattering today, but there seems to be several articles/posts that are all intertwined and I think worth drawing attention to.

Apparently, a group of businessmen have gone to Washington D.C. (Mr. Smith style) to lobby for an increase in the gas tax, so we can get back to repairing our infrastructure and (most importantly) get back to building new highways to meet our "21st Century" transportation needs. While I agree cheap gas is bad, I do not think that raising gas prices to further our wasteful infrastructure habits is good. Perhaps it's even worse than cheap gas.

Trains For America talks about what if gas was $20 dollars a gallon, and how that would be bad. I think the price of gas does need to be higher, or people will not seek alternative means of transportation, however, a commenter brings up a good counter-point that along with those prices will come increases in raw material/construction costs which may make large capital projects (like HSR) cost prohibitive. I guess my short answer would be to find a price that makes people want to seek alternate forms of transportation but not so high that it would affect transit projects negatively.

Finally, I read a post over at The Radical Middle was truly a treat to read. Sometimes someone makes a point so clearly, and so succinctly, that you are both impressed and envious. Impressed at the clarity and simplicity, and envious that you would be challenged to write the same thing in a manner approaching its common sense and brevity. Enough schmoozing, here's the link. I'd try and recap and analyze what is written, but I wouldn't do it justice.

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