Wednesday, January 10, 2007

LRT may not be so easy in Orange County

Orange County CA - In a comment that will get the pro-rail crowd upset, the new chairwoman of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Carolyn V. Cavecche, has announced that she wants the negative impact of rail expansion explored before slapping down a new line.

Reported in the Los Angeles Times, Cavecche wants more scrutiny of future rail projects in Orange County.

All I can say is that it is about time. Too often the negative impacts of LRT lines are ignored and glossed over by the pro-rail crowd that pushed for the lines. Once built, it's too late to deal with the problem an LRT line can create. This process may help get a better handle on solving problems before they occur and possibly place the bar a bit higher to get an expensive project rammed through.

If Cavecche is successful in pushing her idea, it won't eliminate new LRT lines but will make the process more complete and less one sided. Currently, how rail will effect surrounding communities is often viewed in the idealistic sense. Problems are rarely considered until after the line is built and by then it's too late.

The pro-rail crowd will hate it if she gets her way. They don't want anything brought up that may hamper getting another LRT line in place. By exposing the negative aspects of LRT during the planning stages, it does risk not having the line built and that's blasphemy for the pro-rail crowd. As mentioned, Cavecche's idea will not eliminate any future line unless the negatives far out weight the positives. The risk for denial is still there however and that will not sit well with the pro-rail crowd.

Carolyn V. Cavecche earns a Laurel for wanting to get information on the negatives of future LRT projects before they are approved. The expense to taxpayers for expensive projects need to be scrutinized much more than they are. More operations out there need to do the same before they just slap a line down.

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