February 9, 2011

High-Speed Rail Unrealistic

I've got to admit, I think those that are advocating for a high-speed rail between Buffalo and Albany are delusional. There is absolutely no justifiable reason to spend what will amount to billions of dollars on a rail system that may transport a few thousand people each year.

In addition, there is already a train that runs from Albany to Buffalo and vice versa. There's also the New York State Thruway that, other than during an occasional snow storm, provides an excellent mechanism for travel between the two points.

People advocating for this massive misuse of public dollars seem to believe that the existence of a high-speed rail will all of the sudden drive gazillions of people to Western New York. They're wrong. What will drive people to WNY are lower tax rates, including stopping this practice of homestead versus non-homestead taxation rates, such as in Niagara Falls, and electing politicians who actually will stand up for our community and not allow us to get raped by "leaders" like Sheldon Silver.

Unfortunately, while some WNY advocates do exist in the world of Albany in people like Maziarz, Corwin, Gabryszak and Schroeder, they're counterbalanced by people like Peoples, Hoyt and Schimminger who have their noses so far up Silver's ass that they should be doing porn.

Let's be clear here: there is no panacea that is going to cure what ails Western New York. With Gov. Cuomo finally taking on Albany's unquenchable thirst of spending our money, there is going to be less available for funding special projects. We cannot afford to be spending money on pipe dreams that will do nothing to help WNY get out of its hole - especially some rail line that will do little except help those leaving the state for greener pastures exit just a little bit faster.

Let us not forget that there are thousands of bridges in this state and country that have not been properly maintained and continue to deteriorate every day - this neglect is putting lives at risk. What it will cost to make this hair-brained scheme a reality could go a long, long way towards making what is currently a quickly crumbling infrastructure much more safe. That's an investment that I can live with - literally and figuratively.

I understand that there is this "High Speed Rail New York Coalition comprised of mayors, chambers of commerce, and economic development organizations from the major metropolitan areas across Upstate New York that represents over 13,000 businesses that employ in excess of one million Upstate workers" pushing for this project. That sure sounds impressive. Unfortunately for them, the reality is that it's a bullshit cause banking on a bullshit outcome that should never come to fruition. Find another way to justify your existence.

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