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Light Rail for MI in 2020? Why so long?
I about fell out of my chair when I read last week’s article about the forecast for light rail to start passenger service from Mercer Island in 2020. You have got to be kidding me. Ten years to build a link to Seattle? This is preposterous.
Doesn’t anyone remember that we put men on the moon within 10 years after President Kennedy’s call to action? When we started the program to go to the moon, we didn’t even have a plan, a rocket or any expertise in space travel to get there. And that massive technological feat was accomplished in the ’60s — way before computer simulations and the sophisticated tools and equipment we have today. We are only talking about a few miles of track and a rather simple station stop. And we already have a roadway, a bridge across the water, and a tunnel.
I just don’t get it. Why aren’t people demanding quick action and an aggressive timeline? Our traffic situation is already a mess. We cannot wait 10 years to start changing commuting behavior. Why not something like two years to get the MI link up and running? Deliver the solution in phases. Given the state of our economy, it is the perfect time to source high quality construction contractors, get the best prices on bids, and put people to work.
Come on, everybody. Wake up and let’s stop talking and start doing! This is an embarrassment to everyone involved in this project. It is also a sad commentary on our city, county and state. We appear to have truly lost our focus and competitive edge.