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Monday, August 5, 2013
Pat Corp (“The logic of rail investment,” Aug. 1 commentary) has a lot of positive things to say about developing the infrastructure of our rail system in Virginia. Let’s quit talking about doing it and just get it done.
In 1959, when I left Winchester to go off to King College in Bristol, Tenn., there was not one mile of Interstate 81 in existence. During my four years in Bristol, I witnessed the building of this important highway. As a matter of fact, I often slipped over on to the new road and ran it before it was opened to the public.
Today, driving on I-81 is almost like bumper cars at the amusement park, except it is not so amusing. The only problem with Corp’s analysis is that it does not go far enough. Where is the visionary who will take the next step?
Virginia owns a wonderful highway that cuts through our state from top to bottom. Actually, there is not only I-81, but I-95 north and south, as well as I-64 going from east to west.
We own the land and the median between the lanes. How about a monorail down the median? It could move at incredible speeds and deliver passengers to hubs where they could use local public transport to complete their journeys.
Or, how about a monorail that could efficiently propel cars along at rapid speeds and drop them off at predetermined hubs? Does this all sound like science fiction? Of course it does. And that is the point.
We are living in a vastly different world, and we need to use all available science technology to enhance our community and corporate life. Because we already own most of the land along the way, the cost would be much less than constructing something entirely new.
Finally, even if we begin rebuilding our interstates now, they will be out of date and inadequate by the time we get the job done. So, let’s leap ahead and envision a system that will carry us into the 22nd century, and begin building now.
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