Sunday, January 02, 2005

The Next Big NAFTA Thing

Londont: January 2005
Philosopher/writer, Ayn Rand, said, "Ideas cannot be fought except by means of better ideas. The battle consists not of opposing, but of exposing; not of denouncing, but of disapproving; not of evading, but of boldly proclaiming a full consistent and radical alternative."

The federal transport minister touts intermodal rail and border improvements as answers to highway congestion. With over 80 grade crossings, London doesn't need longer and more frequent trains. London cannot limit thru-traffic, but it can champion a 403 extension with a parallel rail line. Diversion of significant rail and road freight volumes along new links between Woodstock and Strathroy has the same priority as capacity expansions at US gateways. This gives London and its neighbours better access to North American markets. And, closing one of the rail lines slicing its heart, opens up a future east-west transit route through central London. Connectivity is the watchword.
Instead of a ring, capitalize on strategic location through promotion of an intermodal trade corridor. Such bold stroke (together with a regional road on London's west side) helps achieve necessary growth and averts gridlock.
To suggest London and area jobs grow at their dismal historical rate implies acceptance of accelerated brain drain, an ageing work force, and stunted medical facilities. Will our Smart Growth Panel members advance region-wide strategies that are innovative and visionary? Sadly, rather than co-operate on a new deal, our leaders want to spend big on their ring. Who then will save addled London from its insular self ...and from bankruptcy? At the end of the term, it is you ...the thinking voter.
PS Texas is running with this Big idea. Initial federal approvals on the Trans Texas Corridor are expected in 2006!
In November 2007 Connecticut (off the Super N/S highways) objects to massive expansions of I-35 and I-69.
Guest editorial in inaugural edition of the Londoner -August 22, 2002

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