Two Republic articles on light rail in two weeks must mean the push for it is serious this time.
Beth Duckett’s article today had a great quote from Dennis Robbins, who is shaping up to be the Mary Manross of this decade.
Robbins, an incumbent, said he was on the Scottsdale City Council from 1996 to 2000, when Scottsdale was in a study group on light rail with Tempe and Phoenix.
“We put our vote to the citizens in 1998 and it failed 2 to 1,” he said. “I’m still stinging from that. However, I understand the economic-development needs and benefits of light rail.”
So, the citizens spoke overwhelmingly against light rail, and Robbins–in a Wayne Ecton moment (“The wrong people voted”)–thinks the citizens are too stupid to understand why they should have voted FOR it.
In the very next sentence, he inadvertently explains EXACTLY why they are smarter than he looks: Light rail isn’t about transportation, it’s about real estate development…which results in campaign contributions for him and his cronies on the Council.
There’s nothing light rail can do for us that a better bus system couldn’t do better–and cheaper–with less damage to community character and existing businesses.