Yesterday, a couple of Connecticut lawmakers said there should be commuter rail service between Hartford and Waterbury. Could I agree with them more? The answer is no. It's not that I love visiting the Dirty Water so much (I don't), or that I am frequently flummoxed by congestion on I-84 west of Hartford (I am not), but what I do love is having a rail connection to other parts of the state that is not in the avaricious grasp of Amtrak. If there were a train to Waterbury, you could go there and take Metro North to Bridgeport or New York or anywhere else on the shore, which would advance immeasurably the cause of freedom.
Naturally, the first response from the Commissioner of the State Transportation Department was to urge patience, caution, and other behaviors of dubious usefulness. He says we're already working on a New Haven-Springfield commuter rail link and the Hartford-New Britain busway, so we can't go crazy with this BeatWater project. (Because the last thing we want is adequte public transportation all over the state, all at once!) Of course, in real life we're not "working on" the New Haven-Springfield thing so much as we're deadlocked with stupid Amtrak over the use of its rails. So what the Commissioner should do is go to Amtrak, grab them by their fat heads, and say, "If you don't make me an offer I like on the use of your stupid rails, I will deal with some freight company, create a link to Waterbury, and steal away from you all of your coveted business between Hartford and New York!" That would be the way to show them what's up. (Except it wouldn't work at all because they're clearly not motivated by good sense or profit, so maybe he should tell the folks at Amtrak that they should help the Springfield-New Haven project go forward because it will help them be better at volleyball.)
I guess what I am saying is that any project that connects Hartford to the world via public transportation and simultaneously connects Amtrak to fuck you via deez nuts is OK in my book. Call your legislator or your governor or Santa Claus and tell them you support the BeatWater Commuterama.
So, after writing this post, I read Rick Green's column, in which he says that the Commissioner of DOT, Joseph Marie, is a super-champion of rail transportation and bike-friendliness and helping old ladies cross the street. So maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt and suppose there's a good reason he's so cool to the BeatWater Commuterama. I mean, is there a good reason to oppose the project? I (foolishly) looked at the comments on the Courant's website, and the posters who oppose the project don't offer much that's coherent (awesomest nonsensical argument: the commuter line would only be used by unemployed people anyway, so let's not build it). What do you say, dear readers?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Posted by El Presidente de China at 11:45 AM