From this week’s Soapbox:
Rail projects unite businesses, environmental activists and new urbanists around a smorgasbord of benefits:
- Urban rail, including both streetcars and suburban commuter lines, spur dramatic gains in property values and development
- Drawing cars and trucks off highways eases congestion, and thus the chronic cost of lost productivity and of fuel burnt by idling and slow-moving vehicles.
- Less congestion means cleaner air. Not only do fewer vehicles mean fewer emissions, but free-flowing traffic creates much less pollution than stop-and-go tie-ups.
- Putting more freight on trains would extend the life of highways by easing the amount of heavy-weight trucks they carry. That has long-term implications for critical roads like I-75, which is in the midst of an ambitious multi-state modernization project that encompasses the new Brent Spence Bridge.
- Trains mean fuel savings, which translate into lower costs and less demand for oil imports.
Read the rest here.