Light rail

A quick reading of Shannon Fiecke’s Dec. 11 column “Bonding roads is right direction” reveals the following:

(1) Fiecke promotes spending for roads but describes light rail as “social engineering (that) will drown our economy.” In other words, subsidizing rail commutes in the city is social engineering, while subsidizing road commutes to Wayzata is not.

(2) Fiecke asserts that “Approximately $1.29 in taxes will be spent on each light rail passenger per mile traveled,” while “roads actually bring a profit of 2 cents … because of increased commerce,” citing something called “National Transit Profiles 2000,” whose source she does not name. A plain reading says that Fiecke is counting only expenditures for light rail, while for roads she is counting something extra that offsets expenditures.

Jim Hodges, senior research associate, Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health