Updates on the billion dollar bridge and high-speed rail

A few updates on some recent items: HYPERLOOP: In July I wrote about tech entrepreneur Elon Musk’s idea to build a 700-plus mph tube system to whisk passengers from Washington D.C. to New York City in 29 minutes using a combination of a near-vacuum and linear induction motors. I noted that Musk has yet to build a working full-scale prototype, and called him “the PT Barnum of technology” offering “more hype than hope.”
At the time, Musk had just gone public after a meeting at the White House saying he’d been given “approval” to start boring giant tunnels for his project. I scoffed at the notion, but have been proven wrong.

There’s more to road paving than you and your automobile know

Tired of driving on potholed roads? Who isn’t? We may not (yet) have tolls, but the terrible condition of our highways takes its toll on our vehicles with bent rims, alignments and other repairs. There are more than 10,000 lane-miles of state highways in Connecticut, of which only 300 are repaved each year. But that work involves more than just slapping a new layer of asphalt on those roads.

The Hyperloop is more hype than hope

Imagine traveling from Washington, D.C. to New York City in 29 minutes, not by airplane but in a large underground tube, sucked along at up to 700 mph.  That’s Elon Musk’s vision for Hyperloop.  But to me, it’s more hype than loop.

Just say no to Connecticut tolls

Some of my otherwise sane fiscally-conservative friends like the idea of tolls, arguing that they have to pay them in other states while citizens from these states get a free ride in Connecticut. This makes no sense. Just because other states are ripping you off, why do you want to be ripped off in your home state too? These same friends also believe the money coming in from the tolls will repair our roads and bridges because the politicians will put the receipts in a “lock box” and only use the money for infrastructure repair.  If you believe this, I will gladly sell you the Statue of Liberty for a mere $1,000.

The MTA management meltdown

It’s not just the summer heat that’s causing an operational meltdown at the MTA, parent agency of Metro-North and the NYC subways.  It’s the years of neglect, under-funding and misplaced priorities that are taking a toll on our vital transit infrastructure. And it’s only going to get worse, as the President of Metro-North has chosen to retire, long before his work is done.

Trump’s transportation plan: Confusing and disappointing

Though it was lost in all the recent Comey kerfuffle, President Trump has finally released his plans for a trillion dollar infrastructure initiative.  And it’s as disappointing as it is confusing. There is no doubt the nation needs to spend on repairing its roads and bridges, its airports and railways.  The question is, where to find the money.  And with a Republican dominated Congress which is loathe to spend any new funds, the alternatives to government spending are few.

Is flying safe?

I hate to fly. It’s mostly an irrational fear of turbulence and crashing… little stuff like that. But in recent years, the whole experience of air travel has turned from uncomfortable to unbearable.

The government is us and taxes and tolls are not theft

A triumph of the conservative movement was getting citizens to think of government as something separate and distinct from the citizenry. In reality, government is not a lurking entity waiting to tax us and give nothing in return. As Abraham Lincoln said, the government is of, by and for the people. The government is us.

Let Tesla sell their cars in Connecticut

Fourteen years after its founding, Tesla is on the cusp of achieving a significant milestone in its mission. The company will soon roll out the Model 3, a mass-market affordable electric car with a 200-mile range. The Model 3 has the potential to make automotive history, helping to usher in a revolution in electric vehicles. Sadly, Connecticut currently blocks Tesla from selling its cars in the state, posing a significant obstacle to achieving their mission. It is time for state lawmakers to right this wrong.