Thursday, October 01, 2009

On the eve of something big...

It can be best to distract yourself from the anxiety of waiting to see what you'll wake up to. Perhaps we could use a distraction from the tension leading to tomorrow's BIG decision by the IOC about which city will host the 2016 Summer Olympics, so like a kid on Christmas Eve, I have a few things to pass the time until that decision comes down from Copenhagen.

First is a great post by the INFRASTRUCTURIST about Google's new 3D tour of old Penn Station.

Second is an interesting article by The Tribune's Blair Kamin, who says, "Chicago is not floating plans for major infrastructure improvements, like those that transformed Barcelona for the 1992 Games." I am optimistic that the reception of the bid will be a catalyst for those infrastructure improvements, not just in Chicago, but throughout the Midwest, that have long been talked about, but have lacked the necessary funding or hard deadline to get them built.

Finally, our own Rick Harnish spoke today at the Northwestern University Transportation Center about the future of HSR in the US. I had the pleasure the being there and listening not only to Rick, but to a great Q&A afterward that touched on everything from CREATE, freight, rail in Indiana, Cost Benefit Analysis of HSR and a range of other hot button issues.

All that remains to be seen now, is whether Chicago will be adding a fifth star to it's flag.

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Blogger plaws said...

You know, or not. :-)

Unlike many others, particularly in the corporate media, I take no glee in the fact that the USA's bid was rejected. Nonetheless, I can't help but think that there are many in Chicago that are breathing a sigh of relief this weekend.

I think you're right, though, that hosting the "games" may well have done wonders for the movement of people by rail.

Ah, well.


11:19 AM  
Blogger BruceMcF said...

I was living in Newcastle, New South Wales, when the games came to Sydney. The trains did a tremendous job in moving people around - but the opportunity to make substantial long term progress was squandered. It was a well planned effort putting together a schedule that could be maintained in the face of a flood of new patronage, every Olympic venue ticket was at the same time a train ticket, and it was a heroic effort by everyone involved to pull it off ...

... but the next year, it was back to the same run down system it had been the year before the games.

4:30 PM  

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