So Congressman Gene Green’s media person, Jesse Christopherson, sends out an e-mail to web editor Keith Plocek saying the Houston light-rail system has finally won federal funding.
To the tune of $10 million. Which, in the inexplicably expensive universe of light-rail construction, is a micron of a drop in the bucket.
Keith forwards the e-mail to me, including a quote from Green saying, “We’re going to need more than $10 million to get this project done.” Unimpressed, I reply, “No fucking shit.”
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Except, as is my distressing habit, I send that reply to Christopherson instead of Plocek.
He took it in good grace (“Hi Rich. That’s a good point; we didn’t get the $250 million we asked for”). He also emphasized that getting any funding is a crucial first step.
“Once these funds are in the budget, they’re likely to stay there. Inertia,” he wrote. “It’s easier to ask for more money next year than it would be to try and insert an entirely new project into the transportation bill….It might seem like a weak tide, but it’s really a sea change.”
Okay, we’ll grant you the point. Mostly as penance for our unintended smart-assedness, and for you not taking offense at it. – Richard Connelly