We've heard it argued that transit embodies the Conservative ideal. It is certainly fiscally constrained and a more efficient use of scarce public resources than investing in single-occupant vehicles. Don't take our word for it. That was the central theme in a report penned by Paul Weyrich, "father" of the right-wing movement and co-founder of the Heritage Foundation and William Lind, a native Clevelander. They argued well for bringing transit back onto the Conservative agenda.
Weyrich and Lind's report, "Good Urban Transit: A Conservative Model" makes the case that public transit investment will drive reinvestment in Cleveland and connect the region by, for example, bringing more pedestrians, the lifeblood of social and economic activity, back to neighborhoods. The pair would like to see:
- Investment in electrified streetcars on Madison Avenue, Clifton, Cedar Hill to Euclid Heights Boulevard to Mayfield Road-parts of the city tailor made for streetcars.
- Extending RTA's existing Blue, Green and Red Rapid Transit lines so they intersect with highways (I-90 in Euclid and I-271 and Chagrin in Beachwood) and build large park-and-ride lots.
- Build a new commuter rail network as both an engine for the region's economic prospects and as a national security priority on little used freight rail lines radiating from the city.
"Prudence demands energy independence, for our cities and for our nation," the conclude. "Building good urban transit based on electric railways promises good long-term results."
Read the original GCBL post "Conservatives offer national plan for transit with Cleveland as the model" which includes a link to the report.