Sunday, October 12, 2008

More Light Rail Imaginings

Apparently, there's something in the air in Pine Hills. Another resident of my 'hood reported his musings of light rail after our mayor uttered those two sweet words at last week's AMD hoopla.

Here's what Casey Seiler had to say in his TU commentary the other day:

I asked Jennings what the announcement would mean for my beloved Pine Hills neighborhood.

"This is going to be great for Albany," said Jennings, who expressed hope that the construction in Malta would make the Harriman Campus the next likely site for a cutting-edge research facility. He added that the time was ripe to revisit plans for a light rail system connecting the Capital Region's urban centers.

Seiler continued:
I tried to imagine a light rail line running south from Malta parallel to the Northway and then taking a wide, smooth turn onto Western Avenue, making a stop a few blocks from my house. Who was that stepping off the train? Why, it was my son, now grown to manhood and gainfully employed as a top engineer.
I chuckled to myself on my morning bus ride heading up Western Avenue. Surely , if Seiler's son was going to be aboard any light rail train from Malta, TQL's daughter would undoubtedly be his engineering colleague winding along that same Pine Hills Express.

He closed his piece with the following:

Several who spoke at the press conference said the Malta plant could herald a new dawn in manufacturing for New York, comparing it to the Erie Canal.

A project which, as my son could tell you, was the light rail of the early 19th Century.

Well, the positive vibe up in Malta last Tuesday didn't seem radiate down to Wall Street throughout the week. It's really too bad that my transit-riding superhero powers only work on public transportation that already exists. In order to turn our collective upstate light rail dream into a reality, the formula will need to include hard cash flowing back into our state's coffers and many more voices clamoring for sustainable transit options beyond the NYC metro region.

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