Quotables July 26th, 1999
- “Politicians and business leaders increasingly understand that effective rapid transit stimulates the economy, creating jobs and generating even more prosperity. Critics continue to circulate tired, discredited arguments against rail transit, but many of these naysayers are nothing more than hired guns who rent themselves to rail opponents in an effort to sway public opinion.” Julian Wolinsky in Railway Age
- [A new freeway creates more traffic woes than it solves] “because it makes everybody drive more. If freeways solved transportation problems, Los Angeles would be heaven.” — Paul Basha, Scottsdale’s traffic engineering director, in The Arizona Republic, 24 December 1999, page B2.
- Rail adds capacity to our existing roads, at a much lower cost than adding yet more highway lanes. Roy Kienitz, executive director of Surface Transportation Policy Project, says: “If more highway investment was a way to reduced traffic, Los Angeles would be the least congested city in America. Instead, it’s the most congested city in America.”
- “See that map? The red lines are eight-lane freeways we’re not using.” â€” ARPA members at Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce trade show, April 8, 1998. With this lead-in, almost everyone who passed the ARPA booth stayed to hear about passenger rail in Arizona. Over 100 signed our petition in support of light rail in Scottsdale. [A single railroad line can carry as many persons in an hour as an eight-lane freeway.]
- “I thought light rail was a boondoggle…Then I had a meeting downtown one day and thought I’d try the trolley. People were standing in the aisle.” â€“ Alan Whisman of San Jose, CA, who previously had voted against two tax measures to fund the construction of the region’s new rail transit system. The service has reported increases in ridership for 34 straight months. As quoted in the San Jose Mercury News 1/12/98.
- “There was a big debate about how beneficial BART would be, if at all…Now we cannot live without BART. In time it may be the same with light rail.” â€“ Mark Lazzarini, executive director of the Northern California Home Builders Association, remembering being told that San Francisco Bay Area commuters wouldn’t ride BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, instead of drive, San Jose Mercury News 1/12/98.
- “I hope with all the new and expanding commuter rail operations around the county our cities will recognize the need to save rail connections, and stop ripping up their tracks. Our freeways are just getting too crowded to handle all the rush hour congestion. It is great to see new and expanding commuter rail really starting to take hold in America.” â€“ Ray Dunbar of Longview, Texas
- “Adding highway lanes to reduce traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to cure obesity.” â€“ Milwaukee Mayor John O. Norquist, in the Chicago Tribune, July 7, 1997.
- “Amtrak said they were too busy keeping their system afloat, that they had insufficient resources, and the last thing they wanted to do was to add any new services.” Fred Friedman, railroad planner for New Mexico, regarding a proposed Denverâ€“Albuquerqueâ€“ El Paso train; at NARP convention, October 23, 1997
- “Twenty-five percent of all baseball fans who attended the Baltimore Orioles’ opening day [in 1997] â€“ some 12,000 fans â€“ traveled to the game on light rail, Metro Subway, MARC commuter rail, and bus systems… MTA’s light rail and MARC systems drop fans off directly outside Camden Yards…” â€“ Railway Age, May 1997
- “I agree with you that it would be terrific to someday see our fans utilize a rail system that would drop them off right outside the Ballpark.” â€“ Blake Edwards, Director of Sales and Marketing, Arizona Diamondbacks in a letter to ARPA member Bob Hart
- Ed Fox, Arizona Public Service Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety, “We think that a [rail] demonstration project… can capture the imagination of the public, and silence some of the naysayers that say it won’t work.” [13 December 1996]
- “Increasingly, residents are likening Phoenix’s transit system to the Dark Ages, and believe something needs to be done to improve air quality” — Peggy Bilstein, Phoenix Councilwoman. [Arizona Republic, 9 October 1996]
- “I find it [rail] a very attractive and exciting idea. Rapid transit is a great idea, but it has to work financially.” — Gov. Fife Symington III [Arizona Republic, 9 October 1996]
- With 310 comment cards were returned and 1,007 mailed in after recent transit forums, Phoenix Councilwoman Peggy Bilstein remarked, “I cannot remember an issue where we had 1,000 people write in.” A 1/2 cent tax for bus and rail garnered 68% approval. Ranking important issues, “More buses” had 72%, followed closely by “Rail” at 68%. “Sunday Service” was next with 52%. [Arizona Republic, 20 November 1996]
- “Most [Chandler] residents want to raise taxes to fund a mass transit plan similar to one recently approved by Tempe voters, according to a poll, even though nearly 90 percent don’t ride buses… 73 percent said it’s very or somewhat important to have rapid transit.” [Arizona Republic, 30 October 1996]
- Editorial by Paul J. Schatt: “A welcome momentum is building. Business and political leaders are envisioning a future that brings mass transit into the transportation mix that includes freeways and major arterials.” “Support for raising taxes to pay for transit jumps when people know what they will be buying.” [Arizona Republic, 11 October 1996]
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