Quote Of The Day

From Steven Greenhut, writing at Reason:

Americans suffer under the delusion that transportation systems are just that—systems for transporting people from one destination to another. What most of us fail to recognize is that the politicians, activists and planners who play the greatest role in creating those systems have far different goals than improving the way we move from Point A to Point B.

To today’s transportation movers and shakers, such systems are giant jobs-creation programs designed to boost the economy and provide high wages to members of influential unions; and the key means by which to remake society in a way that is nicer to the environment and leads to a changed citizenry that is less likely to use automobiles to get around. Think of transportation these days less as civil engineering and more as social engineering.

It sounds like a grand thesis statement, because it is. He goes on in the rest of his article to expand and justify it. But these two paragraphs crystallize why the supporters and opponents of HSR are so exasperatingly talking right past each other.