Dear Governor Elect,
I am writing to urge you to re-consider your opposition to passenger rail in Ohio. (3C Corridor project) The following personal feelings are why we must not bypass this great opportunity. I am sure many others will touch on so many issues I have left out, as one letter cannot explain it all, but it is with the strongest plea I ask you to not jump to conclusions about 3C that will ultimately kill a great opportunity for Ohio.
Ohio has for too long had its transportation infrastructure built around the needs of the automobile, rather than the pedestrian. And, part of this has been abandoning a once intricate network of rail lines across the state. Because of the decade after decade steering of transportation funds towards all that is car, we as citizens of this state have been denied the freedom of choice and alternative. To have a freedom of choice, I would think, would be a philosophy you and your party can respect and appreciate....and better yet, help to foster by making the transportation choice a reality.
While I understand that it may be difficult to expect those to fathom any other mode of transportation other than the auto-dependent sprawl model by which they were raised, I want you to understand the importance of a viable transportation alternative from people who DO understand the many benefits and conveniences.
By not supporting this project, we embarrassingly will lag behind other states that will move forward reaping the economic benefits such as job creation and linking our major cities as well as linking markets in our cities with others in the country.
By not supporting it you are driving away the young professional population that will chase and achieve their dreams in other states and cities where rail is an option. Those professionals in my age group 25 to 45 would overwhelmingly support the system.
In your own campaign, you stated that you did not want to see young people leave Ohio and achieve dreams and creating a home someplace else. How then by not supporting this project, do you not see that the results will be exactly what you said you did not want to see?
By not supporting this project, we are faced with an increased cumbersome burden to deal with over crowded highways and a never ending maintenance and construction spending nightmare. The last thing Ohio needs is to make itself more of a slave to road building and/or maintenance. This scene is just making us more co-dependent on oil in a time we need to be reducing it! Few benefit from that. In addition, the added air pollution and other environmental degradation that will have its own set of consequences by being yet another component to fostering an unhealthy populace that will be less productive in our economy. Who can even begin to put a price on that sort of aspect that is never even considered?
On a personal note touching on environmental and personal health---by designing all our transportation infrastructure around the car, you are forcing me to have no choice but to be subjected to the vile emission fumes spewing out of vehicles that are either illegally modified in the exhaust mechanisms, systems that are malfunctioning, or even systems that use a Diesel fuel mix--which to me--is unbearable as it gets sucked right into my vehicle chocking me! And, since your party quite often shuns social responsibility and accountability by wanting less watch dogging on corporate America, I doubt the industries responsible for being party to this this will do the right thing to satisfy those who have not the resources to fight them in court.
By not supporting passenger rail you are denying thousands who do not wish to drive or place themselves on highways and roads---or those who cannot drive---the choice they deserve. By not supporting passenger rail transportation alternatives in Ohio you are essentially forcing many who simply do not wish to drive, to take on all the expenses associated with car ownership and driving. By not supporting the passenger rail you are denying Ohio tourist dollars by those who may be visiting our state wanting to travel it via rail, relax, take their time and take in our state's interesting natural beauty, art, history and culture. By not supporting passenger rail you are forcing many, who cannot afford it, to be a slave to the gas pump.
These funds Ohio was awarded for development of passenger rail cannot be spent for anything else and it would also be embarrassing if another state seized this money gladly at out of expense economically as well as the expense of our integrity and character.By not supporting this project, you may even impair any future federal funding for transportation grants in Ohio.
Do you really want Ohio to be the backwoods laughing stock that closed the door on a major opportunity? Degraded images do nothing at all to attract people to want to remain living here---or to attract new progressive long term investments in Ohio.
All the bad image scene will attract however are those who see Ohio as desperate to take anything...and will simply abuse our state economically, socially, and environmentally---and when they have reaped from us all they can, will move on. Is this the kind of fly by night investment in our state that you really want to see? That which is run by those living someplace else while raping Ohio?
In this wonderful land of choice, you are giving us little to no choice by not supporting passenger rail. And, I, like the thousands of others I know who would open heatedly and overwhelmingly support this service, will likely leave Ohio to seek places where their leadership has far more of a progressive vision as to the countless benefits that can result from this project.
It is for all the above and so much more I urge you to take a far closer look at what you're doing...Look at the undeniable facts about this project so someday you do not look back and say to yourself.. "What was I thinking?...." while other places reap the benefits that will bypass Ohio and leave us in the dust.
One person such as yourself should not have the power to impose your will on a whole state. So, I urge you to not turn this into an "Us versus Them" political ego power and control game. Please do what is right for many instead of satisfying those who simply want to "be right" In a state of 11 plus million, we need a choice. And the only choice should not be to get in your car a drive, period. That in itself is a joke on Ohio.