Letter: Marketing of light rail’s merits fails



“You need to get over the notion that light rail is a socialist scheme to undermine family values.” The Jan. 25 Columbian story “Looking to Clark County’s future economic forecast, with a side of CRC” reports that statement by Professor Tom Potiowsky “brought applause and laughter from the crowd of over 400 people” at the Jan. 24 Economic Forecast Breakfast in downtown Vancouver.

But what evidence is there that light-rail opponents actually believe this? The Columbian story cites none from either Potiowsky, his audience, or anyone else. The numerous criticisms of light rail that appear on its letters to the editor pages focus on light rail’s enormous costs and negligible benefits. Anything even remotely synonymous with “socialism” is rarely mentioned, and “family values” not at all.

Potiowsky’s comment — and his audience’s approval of it — is merely a reflection of the arrogance of both. They presume light rail is incontestably good, and that all who disagree are merely stereotypical knee-jerk reactionaries, whose views can be dismissed without serious consideration.

These condescending posturings of light rail advocates — all attitude, no facts or reason — reveal why neither this project, nor its supporters, merit public acceptance, and why they do not have it.

John Burke