What Does High-Speed Rail Mean?

From Mad Men’s ode to high-speed rail to Florida Gov. Rick Scott rebuffing federal funds for a new rail line, is high-speed rail just another partisan question?

Just yesterday I was on Twitter debating with Worldchanging author Alex Steffen about the “battle” between core city and suburban agendas. I claimed that the dichotomy between people in cities and suburbs is a false one: we have the same needs for better schools, better infrastructure, better communities. Steffen suggested that the interests of outter-ring burbs and cities are diametrically opposed. He writes: “Mistake to think outer-ring suburban political positions are changeable attitudes, rather than structural, systemic economic interests.”

With Obama already launching his 2012 re-election campaign, we’re entering what could be one of the most searing debates about the direction of this country. There are people like Steffen who believe that we have irreconcilable differences in ideology. And certainly one senses he’s right in terms of watching the debates happening in Washington.

But I tend to think that the country is much less divided than politicians suggest. Of course there are people who love the suburban model — and

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Diana Lind is the former executive director and editor in chief of Next City.

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Tags: infrastructurewashington dcgovernance

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