Rail pointless if it doesn't go downtown

Friday, April 24, 2009

A letter to the editor of The Capital Times by Roger Danielsen:

It would be nice if the Wisconsin Department of Transportation would measure what's actually being proposed in regard to high-speed rail in Wisconsin against the words recently spoken by President Barack Obama.

Obama said: "Imagine boarding a train in the center of the city. No racing to an airport and across a terminal, no delays, no sitting on the tarmac, no lost luggage, no taking off your shoes. Imagine whisking through towns at speeds over 110 miles an hour, walking only a few steps to public transportation, and ending up just blocks from your destination. Imagine what a great project that would be to rebuild America."

According to the proposal from the Department of Transportation, no one will be boarding in the center of Madison. You will in fact have to "race" to the Dane County Regional Airport for the train.

As a frequent traveler to Madison, what possible reason would I have to want to be dumped off at the airport? I've asked this question to several state and national officials with no response as of yet. If it isn't going to actually get you to somewhere meaningful in Madison, why bother spending the millions of dollars to get you just somewhat closer to your destination?

I look forward to someday maybe being able to take high-speed rail to Madison, but I have no desire to pay to go to an abandoned former Air Force base in the middle of nowhere.