With the collapse of yet another high-speed-rail megaproject, this time in California, and with pension and debt obligations in Connecticut stretching to the horizon, no one could blame the public or state legislators for doubting Gov. Ned Lamont’s announced goal, dubbed 30-30-30, of 30-minute travel times by rail between paired cities: Hartford and New Haven, New Haven and Stamford, Stamford and New York City.
But if we are to believe a concise new study by Alon Levy, a well-regarded transportation writer and analyst, the usual planning bugbears of insufficient budgets and so-called NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) won’t be to blame if implementation of the governor’s idea -– there isn’t yet enough available detail to call it a plan -– falls short this time. Levy’s work, sponsored by the preservation-minded nonprofit SECoast, is the second of two collaborations on issues of transportation in Connecticut.
By Levy’s calculations, 30-minute travel times can be accomplished for hundreds of millions, not billions, of dollars above the programmed cost of planned upgrades to moveable bridges along the Northeast Corridor; without the vast expense and inevitable public outcry of constructing new rail corridors; without straightening curves or constructing tunnels or aerial structures. It’s a goal that can be accomplished -– give or take a minute or two -– while still relying on M8 Metro-North railcars introduced in 2011.
Read the rest on the Connecticut Mirror here