Thursday, October 21, 2010

oakland airport connector

Streetsblog has a post about the Oakland Airport Connector that finally appears to be going through. I was interested to see that the opposition to the project was cast only in "cost to the taxpayer" terms:
[BART General Manager Dorothy] Dugger said the only thing the delay in the project over civil rights and funding had accomplished was to increase construction costs. “I think one of the sad realities is that these kinds of major infrastructure projects take a long time to get to the starting block. It’s a truth that goes along with any large project: delay is generally not helpful. Delay only adds cost to the taxpayer.”
Does Dugger mean to imply that we should not oppose or question transportation projects at the risk that we might increase costs to the taxpayer? What about making the project more suitable for the individuals who will be using it?

This kind of opposition to opposition comes up often with transportation projects. It happened with the US 95 project and also with the Century Freeway. It's interesting to note that transportation officials feel comfortable short-circuiting the democratic process in favor of getting their favored projects built.

If they instead allowed genuine public participation, perhaps they would see fewer of their projects delayed?

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