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A 30 minute commute to work might become 45 minutes

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Unformatted text preview: ed minimal funding in recent years, leading to a major backlog of deferred track maintenance on the track that Amtrak owns and operates, more than half of which is shared with commuter and freight railroads. 5|Page High Speed Rail Affirmative BDL 1AC 2/5 Contention 2 – Harms First, a lack of high speed rail is devastating for the United States’ global economic competitiveness The current lack of investment putts the US at a global economic disadvantage as well as furthering car dependence and congestion American Public Transportation Association 11 (February 2011, “The Case for Business Investment in High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail”, http://www.apta.com/resources/reportsandpublications/Documents/HSRPub_final.pdf) The Urban Land Institute’s Infrastructure 2010: Investment Imperative asserts that failure to invest could delay economic recovery and put the United States at increased disadvantages in the global marketplace. The report clarifies the need for infrastructure investment including investment in high-speed rail to modernize America’s rail transportation system. High-speed rail is seen as the solution for taking pressure off airports and highways in regional intercity markets as travel demand increases. The report states that: “ Car dependence and ever-escalating driving delays in most large American cities have exposed the need for more passenger rail service to take the pressure off crowded interstates and clogged airports, which struggle to handle current traffic volumes. The urgency of addressing the issue becomes more apparent since the country’s population will increase by 120 million over the next 40 years, with growth concentrated in the nation’s primary urban centers and surrounding suburbs. All these people will want to move around and current systems won’t be able to handle prospective volumes.” And automobile congestion is a massive economic drain Staley, economic development policy analyst for the New York Times, 07 (Sam, November 25, 2007, “A Congested Economy”, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/opinion/nyregionopinions/25CIstaley.html?pagewanted=all) But if congestion continues, eventually it will eat away at economic productivity in the region. Congestion reduces the pool of resources available to businesses and workers by reducing access to jobs and employees. A 30-minute commute to work might become 45 minutes or an hour, pushing the job outside a worker’s “opportunity circle,” which is the amount of time a typical worker is willing to travel to a job. Productivity can compensate for the economic drag of congestion but only to a certain point. If congestion becomes too severe, the economy begins to fragment, which means that businesses drawing on a large metropolitan labor pool will be forced to tap into only those who live within a certain time and distance to the job. A fragmented economy hurts productivity. It’s already happening in the region. The Partnership for New York City, a business group, estimates that eliminating excess traffic congestion would add as much as $4...
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This document was uploaded on 02/06/2014.

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