In re: Cost to get railroad going in Ohio

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland says the state could restore passenger rail service with $250 million in federal stimulus money.

Strickland’s administration released the estimate Friday. Trains would run along existing freight tracks connecting Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Cleveland, with the eventual goal of making the service high speed.

The governor also estimates it would cost $10 million a year to operate the service, less than 1 percent of Ohio’s $7.6 billion, two-year transportation budget.

via WTTE FOX 28 – Ohio News.

As you may know I strongly support rail travel and I am hoping that the Governors plan to restart Ohio rail travel works.  One thing that people don’t seem to think about but that I read recently was the amount of state employee travel by car and how we could get some of them using rail.  I can attest that I would love to be able to travel this way, fire up my computer (hopefully with wifi) and get work done instead of billing the state for 5 hours of driving, doing some actual work.  Not sure how easy it would be to quantify this kind of information, but companies may also see a benefit here if they travel in state.  Of course we have problems as a lot of our cities sprawl and you would need easy public transport connections, but for a lot of us going downtown to downtown for meetings it would work great.

Advertisements

In re: Passenger trains in Columbus

“State leaders are determined to connect Ohio’s three largest cities by passenger rail as early as next year, an idea that Gov. Ted Strickland endorsed in his State of the State address Wednesday.

The so-called 3-C corridor was abandoned in 1971, a consequence of falling ridership and the breakdown of the national rail network. Columbus, which lost all passenger rail service in 1979, now is the second-largest city in the country without rail service. (Phoenix is first, although light rail reaches a suburb.)

“Our goal is to link Ohio’s three largest cities by passenger rail for the first time in 40 years,” Strickland said during his State of the State speech. “This will be the first step toward a rail system that links neighborhoods within a city, and cities within our state.””

via DispatchPolitics : Passenger trains could roll next year Columbus Dispatch Politics.

 

I won’t go through my rail rant again, but I am excite about the fact Governor Strickland is pushing the 3C project and wanting to get the major cities of Ohio connected by rail, the fact that there is no rail connection for passengers is astounding, considering the distances (i.e. a few hour trip).

Now I know they aren’t talking high speed, just getting anything going is a good start, but people gotta start thinking about the possibilities of high speed rail, imagine an hour trip to Columbus from Cleveland via a high speed rail, suddenly an Ohio state game, even an evening basketball game is a no brainer, and suddenly some of Cleveland and Cincinnati’s atractions can be day or even evening trips.  

For people who think its a garbage idea I’d ask them to check out good rail service in other countries.  Riding trains that run well is a pleasure travel loses a lot of its hassle as you can jump on and read a book, walk about when needed.  I said I wouldn’t rant, so I’ll stop now, but hopefully we are seeing the beginning of rail coming back in Ohio and beyond.

In re: Bring your own bike lane

   0lightlane“Instead of adapting cycling to established bike lanes, the bike lane should adapt to the cyclists. This is the idea behind the LighLane. Our system projects a crisply defined virtual bike lane onto pavement, using a laser, providing the driver with a familiar boundary to avoid. With a wider margin of safety, bikers will regain their confidence to ride at night, making the bike a more viable commuting alternative.”

via LightLane concept creates bike lanes where there were none – Core77.

 

Columbus is actually pushing forward with bike lanes and idea of ‘complete streets’ i.e. that streets should be taking into account more than just cars when being developed.  Its obvious though that not every street is going to get a bike lane and that one major downside of biking is getting caught late, when even with proper lighting can be a scary proposition.  Thought this was kinda an interesting idea, although probably won’t be seeing it anytime soon.