Saturday, July 17, 2004

One Rail Forward, One Rail Back

The Las Vegas Monorail project opened this week to rave reviews. Running from the MGM on Tropicana Blvd. just north of the airport, across Sands Blvd. to the Convention Center and then on to the Sahara, it runs 20 feet above the densest portion of the strip, though it does bypass some of the older mega-hotels at the north end. Proposed extensions would run south to the airport, and north through downtown to Cashman Field.

Meanwhile, there is yet another petition underway to stop the Seattle Monorail project. Rarely mentioned is that most of this spoiler effort is being funded by Seattle developer Martin Selig, who once controlled as much as half of the office space in Seattle. Many of the signatures have been collected by paid signature-gatherers. Hardly a populist effort. Unfortunately, the Seattle Monorail must defeat every challenge to survive, while the spoilers need win only once. Why isn't the politician driven Seattle Light Rail project encountering similar obstacles?


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