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Good News, Bad News

"CAMPO wresting rail planning from Capital Metro" is the headline. Sounds good to me - Wynn and Watson in charge means smarter rail than Capital Metro's stupid useless stuck-in-traffic streetcar plan. Right?

But who else is going to be in charge here? Let's see:

The 14-member group will be led by Austin Mayor Will Wynn and will include among others McCracken, Austin state Sen. Kirk Watson (who had a whole lot to do with creating the group after Wynn called for something similar last month), Williamson County state Rep. Mike Krusee, Travis County Commissioner and Capital Metro critic emeritus Gerald Daugherty, and representatives of the University of Texas and road and rail advocacy groups.

Yes, that's the same Mike Krusee that got us into this mess in the first place - the asshat who screwed Austin out of a good starter rail line like Houston and Dallas and everybody else built. That Mike Krusee. The guy who derailed efforts to build good rail for Austin so his constituents (most of whom don't even pay Capital Metro taxes) could get more transit investments than the residents of central Austin who pay most of the bills.

Shit. We're screwed.

Note that even if Krusee wasn't involved, the implementation of commuter rail has now precluded anything like 2000's light rail line from being built and that's about the only light rail line worth trying around here. In other words, the damage has already been done - we can't recover the 2000 route now. But still - having him (and even Daugherty) involved is the death knell for even a mediocre effort at urban transit - as neither one is likely to support investing enough money in reserved guideway transit in the city core. To them, every dollar spent on the dirty hippies in Central Austin is a wasted dollar that should instead be spent ferrying some SUV-driving soccer mom from one strip mall to another.

If Krusee had just kept his mouth shut in 2000, we'd have had a light rail election in May of 2001, and it likely would have passed. By now, you'd be seeing trains running in their own lane down Guadalupe right in front of UT, and down Congress Avenue right in front of all those big office buildings. Instead, we're seeing test runs of a useless commuter line running out by Airport Boulevard that nobody will actually ride. That's what he got us last time. Imagine what he can do for an encore!

This entry was posted in the following categories: Austin , Don't Hurt Us Mr. Krusee, We'll Do Whatever You Want , I Told You So , Republicans Hate Poor People , Republicans Hate Public Transportation , Republicans Hate The Environment , Subsidies to Suburban Sprawl , Texas Republicans Hate Cities , Transit in Austin , Transportation , Urban Design , Worst Person In Austin

Comments

Not that I'm defending Krusee, as this is a person we both dislike, but he's all on board for rail now. Actually the last time I visited his office he had a map up with about 12 different rail lines.

I think the main positive in this development is that Mayor Wynn is leading it. He has just enough vision and political capital to get something significant accomplished (unlike CapMetro, which lacks both). I'd hope that Krusee's influence will be diminished since he's a lame duck and the Dems are getting very close to parity in the House.

A notice that Krusee is retiring just hit my RSS:

http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/politics/entries/2007/11/27/rep_mike_krusee_to_retire.html

The Statesman says he's retiring at the end of his term and is in line to take a transportation commission job. Shouldn't he be disqualified from this panel?

We can only hope.

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