High-Speed Rail vs. Modal Neutrality
Isn’t it curious that an Administration devoted to the principle of multi-modalism is so obsessively determined to promote a single mode of its own preference — that of high-speed rail? All three governors who rejected the federal HSR grants — Govs. Walker, Kasich and Scott — told Sec. LaHood that their states could badly use that money for more urgent needs of fixing roads, bridges and transit systems and, in the case of Gov. Scott, rebuilding Florida’s ports in anticipation of the Panama Canal expansion. Yet Sec. LaHood turned a deaf ear to those requests, insisting that the stimulus money must be spent on high-speed rail — even though money spent on other modes could have been just as effective in creating jobs. After justly condemning “stove pipe” mentality and modal biases in federal decisionmaking it is ironic to find the Administration ignoring its own principles of modal neutrality in such a blatant manner.