Sunday, September 02, 2007

Less And Less For More And More

Eva Kosinski does a nice job of debunking the myth that FasTracks was a grass roots effort. It wasn't. There were well organized, non-local political groups lobbying in the state for years before the 2004 vote. In fact, when their original push didn't work in the late 1990s, they re-examined their approach. One of those approaches was to work the PR channels to give the voters the impression that this was a grass-roots effort.

I think the point is a bit lost by the other point that Eva tries to hit on, that as the costs of FasTracks are skyrocketing, it is delivering less and less. Are construction price increases part of the issue? Yes. But so was an overly optimistic sales tax revenue projection. The same with underestimating the costs of building the system right the first time. The result is building smaller stations that accommodate less cars, right of way that require more on-going maintenance, single track construction and other such things. These will help us now but how long before they come back to the voters for another billion or two to rebuild stations? How much longer before they're asking for more funding dollars to address "larger than anticipated" maintenance costs resulting from damage from storm run-off?

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