Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ode to Wide Freeways at Rush Hour

It doesn’t take much brain time,
while sitting at rush hour on a 12-lane freeway
that was just 6 lanes wide forty years ago,
to realize that it will have to be 24 lanes wide in another forty years.

In eighty years, when it grows to 48 lanes wide,
it will probably butt up against its neighbor freeway,
with rush-hour traffic going in another direction,
and equally slow.

Will America keep doubling the size of its roads?
Or might we come to our senses
and begin rebuilding our rails?

It is commonly said that “government doesn’t produce jobs.”

Tell that to the builders of the First Transcontinental Railroad
from 1863 to 1869. (Started during the Civil War.)

Tell that to the builders of the NASA space program
and to Al Gore (who invented the Internet).

Tell it to our future generations of Americans—
our grandchildren and their grandchildren—
as they stand on a railway platform at rush hour

Waiting for their high-speed trains.

© 2011 Gozo Rabat

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