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    Las Vegas is to L.A. as New Orleans is to...

    California's high speed rail line plan offers useful analogy

    Sometimes in wrestling with big complex ideas, it is useful to find analogies to cut through the clutter. Analogies can be rife with potential problems, but sometimes, just sometimes, they help make important factors crystal clear.

    Take, for example, California's announcement to add Las Vegas to its planned high-speed rail line. The item that jumped out at me was that Californianos were, wisely, not going to include the rail spur in their initial plan. The Houston Chronicle reported that the Golden State has bigger fish to fry, like connecting up its commercial and economic centers along the coast.

    Las Vegas for its all its real estate boomy-ness and over-the-top spectacle is not part and parcel to the everyday life of California. It's an escape from it. Here's where the analogy comes in. I'd argue a similar relationship exists between Houston and New Orleans.

    That's why the Federal high speed rail plan makes so little sense. (See "Mind the Gap") It leaves Houston disconnected from its real-and-true business partners along the I-35: San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth. Everyday highly paid professionals commute back and forth between these cities - to work.

    Thankfully there are Texans out there pushing for a more reasonable high speed rail solution, in particular, The Texas High Speed Rail and Transportation Corporation. That organization is collaborating with others to pitch the Federal government on the Texas T-Bone plan. If any high speed rail is to be built, let's hope at least the money is spent on something meaningful. .:.

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