“Modern Progressivism, It’s about Quality of Life”
The Tea Party machine of Bedford is in full swing this week writing OP-EDs and blog posts trying to spread fear about a study. Yep, you read that right.. a study. Specifically we’re talking about SB141 which would authorize the State DOT to use Federal money to pay for a Design/Build Study. It’s simple, it’s a paper on how we should build if we decide to build it. Hint: We Should.
This hasn’t stopped Jane Aitken of Bedford NH from writing a multitude of blog posts via her Bedford Residents Association Facebook page as well as comments on various social media platforms spreading all sorts of untruths and flat out lies.
The first untruth is that you can’t possibly get an accurate representation from a study of 668 people:
Let’s start with the biggest lie:
Recent media reports that that “75.5% of all NH residents want commuter rail” is blatant stretch of the truth when only 668 respondents were polled — by a local college!
Some folks have mistakenly envisioned this as a “high-speed” train, but this in fact would be nothing but an extension of the old, bankrupt MBTA which enjoys average speeds of 33-44 MPH
A Local College? You mean St. Anslem College? One of the most respected Political Scieince Schools in the heart of the Political Mecca? Yeah that School.
Only 668 People? This is false, Jane…people learn statistics now and understand the concept of sampling in high school. No matter how much you want to defund them.
Sure, the MBTA doesn’t run a profit…no Government agency does, but it’s not bankrupt. The part about speed is a flat out lie.
The second Lie:
We challenged you to find ANY system in the country that is NOT actually in debt. There are at least 10 links in the information file below with articles that point to those debt-ridden train systems
Jane, a simple Google search will yield that there isn’t a single mass transportation system including roads in the world that pays for itself.
Third, that there is some sort of lobby for trains and commuter rail. There’s no proof of this, there is no money in trains therefore there is no lobby. If there was money it would be a private train company providing commuter rail service. There isn’t…which is why the Government is subsidizing it.
The fourth lie is that MBTA is involved in this. That’s comical. Oh and that the MBTA has limited ridership. Two lies in one.
First of all there’s no mention that the MBTA would take care of this anywhere literally and she doesn’t even cite a source. She’s trying make you think Massachusetts is somehow involved…big scary Massachusetts. A lie.
Believe it or not the NH DOT already has a Rail Transportation arm already set up to oversee this project. Second the MBTA has record ridership…too much ridership. As the population swells unfortunately the infrastructure has failed to keep up with it. Do we want that here?
MBTA extended to Concord, with its limited ridership would NOT do ANY of the following:Thanks
– have enough ridership to alleviate traffic
– help the environment (trains use diesel oil, Vermont found its train polluted more!)
– have enough ridership to be sustainable (less than 2% of the population)
– keep youth in NH, when NH is already the top destination for youth
– create jobs (see report on Brunswick, Maine)
According to statistics reported by NHPR, “82,000 people travel from New Hampshire to Massachusetts each day, but only about 2,000 of them take public transit.”
What does that say about transit? It says that transit is a better choice than driving for only two and a half percent of those people. Out of 100 commuters who weigh the advantages and disadvantages of transit versus driving, 97.5 percent of them have concluded that driving is better. This is not the kind of ridership that solves ANYTHING, let alone traffic on Rte 93.
More of a mistruth, but Jane cites an NHPR article stating that only 2,000 people out of 80,000 commuters use public transportation. Well yes, because there are very limited public transportation options available. That is why the numbers are so low. That’s kind of point.
Furthermore she clearly didn’t read the Union Leader article and totally lied about its substance. Read it for yourself it’s still linked.
As usual Jane skews the facts, engages in perception manipulation, flat out lies, or speaks mistruths because she belongs to the party of no fun. Janes does not want her quality of life improved and therefore nobody else’s quality of life should be improved.
The bottom line is this: Southern New Hampshire’s population is swelling. It took over 15 years to add two lanes to 93. It cost $841 billion dollars to add those two lanes. In another 10 years those two lanes will be over capacity.
The money for construction of the commuter rail would mainly come from Federal dollars. The state would be required to come out with about 20% of the outlays for construction. About $11 million a year would be needed for operation and maintenance. The estimated cost to build the infrastructure, would be about $211 million, again 80% built with Federal Dollars. That’s almost a quarter of what it cost to build two lanes of highway, and would most certainly be built in a fraction of the time.
Commuter Rail is economically friendly, can move more persons using less square footage, with far less energy, over a quicker period of time. There is no disputing those facts.
But facts do not exist in Janes or the TEA parties world. The fact that the Government would have to spend a dime on it is the only reason Jane is against it. She is against government spending on any level, at any time, for any purpose. It doesn’t matter who suffers.
Find your legislator and tell them to pass SB141.