Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ken Arnold on Space, Causeway, Rt. 53, High Speed Rail & Road Building Waste

Sometimes candidates come up with ideas that you've never heard of. Take a look at these ideas 8th congressional district Republican Ken Arnold has proposed (found under "Creative Solutions"):

1- Exploration of Space
, suggesting following example of Massachusettes Bay Company of 1629 and Homestead Act of 1862. Finance space exploration privately. Form a multi-national firm that would become completely private in 75 years with some shares allocated to 3rd World Countries.
2- A causeway across Lake Michigan, e.g., 48 miles from Evanston to Michigan City. Inspired by the causeway across the Chesapeake Bay from Virginia to Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Rt. 1 to Key West. It would have “several man made islands, tunnels, and overhead bridges” and be designed to transport vehicular and rail traffic, natural gas and electricity. Arnold argues that the area south of Lake Michigan is highly vulnerable to terrorist sabotage.
3- Extension of Route 53 using a privately operated tollway with bonds guaranteed by the Feds. After a 30-year payback, it would become a freeway.
4- High-Speed Rail Linking Five Airports--Milwaukee, O'Hare, Midway, Gary and South Bend. Most right-of-way is alreay in the public domain. Public construction, but private operation. May be no need for Peotone.
5- Attacking Highway Construction Waste Using the construction, re-construction and still needed widening of Rt. 22 as an example of wasted money and drivers’ time, he proposes that Federal aid not be allowed more than once every 10 years on a given road. Arnold argues this would force state and local governments to plan ahead of, rather than behind, traffic needs. Under such a requirement, Rt. 22 would now be 4-lanes, as I think it should be, rather than narrowing to 2-lanes through Lincolnshire. Would provide “spine transplants” to local officials fearing NIMBY’s, Arnold says.

Other 8th congressional district stuff (including mailings) at McHenry County Blog, as well as questionnaires from special interest groups and newspapers.


Bill Baar 2:35 PM  

4 is interesting. I wonder if the Elgin Joliet and Eastern belt line passenger service is an option to connect all of these airports. I have to pull maps but I think there is rail right-of-way in place and it's just a question of grade crossings.

The Colonel,  4:09 PM  

Yeah, so a Causeway wouldn't be vulnerable to terrorist attack?

Bill Baar 4:56 PM  

It only took a tree limb to knock out the power grid out east.

JB Powers 10:28 PM  

#2 may be the absolute worst idea I have ever heard from any sober person over the age of 7. Perhaps $10 Billion to travel between 2 middling cities.

I live in Evanston, and have had one regrettable occasion to go to Michigan City in the last 5 years. I would assume that Michigan City residents would share complimentary regrets upon reaching Evanston.


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