“Without federal funding, bullet train projects across the country have gotten creative.” – Citylab.
That’s the way it should be. Take away clumsy top down federal funding mechanisms. Force states to get creative. End of day achieve better outcomes.
“The Republican smackdown of federal high-speed rail funding was supposed to be the death of the national system of fast trains the White House envisioned early in President Obama’s first term. And yet cities across the country keep trying to make HSR happen.” – Eric Jaffe, Citylab
I am a supporter of High Speed Rail (HSR) in the US. But to use Strongtowns vernacular a top down federal funding source would likely result in an “orderly but dumb” system.
Strongtowns often recites “Carlson’s Law” which states, “top-down innovation is orderly but dumb, bottom-up innovation is chaotic but smart.” Looks like in the case of HSR, a lack of federal funding is forcing states to get creative. That is a good thing.
- Florida is banking on value capture and real estate profits. (TOD)
- Texas is insisting on private investors.
- Illinois is taking an incremental approach
So the lack of a clumsy top down funding mechanism results in incrementalism, private money at stake and insistence on value capture – in other words, all the things you want to hear with a HSR proposal. The items that will go alot futher to ensure projects are successful. And all items that wouldn’t be assured in an orderly but dumb top down framework.