LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A rallying cry about infrastructure for the upcoming election

One rallying cry this upcoming election season by Republicans is the call for a focus on Infrastructure. When Republicans refer to infrastructure, what they mean to say is patching roads.

Infrastructure is more accurately defined as transportation systems, power plants, public utilities which enable a society to function more efficiently.

So do they really mean to address these?

I would like to see the General Assembly address infrastructure by coming with a way to get people off of the highways, which are an old complex that adds more and faster traffic every year. Those who drive to and from Indianapolis and Fort Wayne early in the morning or at rush hour would agree it is a hornet’s nest. We need to look into different transportation options, as in public intrastate rail systems to travel in Indiana. Make them frequent routes to make them convenient, on the hour, from the four corners of the state and shorter localized routes, to a central hub on the east side of Indy, near the airport. Indiana residents could hop the rails for a trip to the Indy 500, Bloomington or Lafayette, to the casinos in French Lick, the Ohio River, or Michigan City, or even eventually connect to St. Louis, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit/Toledo, Battle Creek, or Chicago.

This has been suggested before, by people who have witnessed the ease and freedom of movement in other large cities outside of Indiana, not worrying about taking their lives into the hands of strangers or sitting in traffic jams. It could be constructed along existing rail lines or even in the existing corridors of the interstate highways, and would connect Indiana from the system devised in the 1950’s to the modern world. What it could definitely be done, and it would not only save money in recurring, short-term road repairs, but could save lives in reducing the number of traffic fatalities.

The one positive impact Mitch Daniels had as Governor was to not let Indiana be content in its hokey-ness when he stopped the bi-annual time zone change we experienced, and to update the DMV to modern efficiency. There are many other ways Indiana could join the modern world, and this one is long overdue.

We are not all content with hokey-ness, throwing our hands up and saying that is life in Indiana, all we can do is drive because that is the way it is. We can do better for ourselves. I would urge all those representing our interests to address all of Infrastructure. Don’t just patch it, make it more efficient. Make public transportation a convenient option. Not only that, make a smart decision to renewable energy to power utilities. Do not build any new coal plants that prolong other problems, start to take advantage of the progress already made with wind and solar power, retraining coal miners to operate these facilities instead. These moves would save money, Hoosier lives, and aggravation.

If Republicans really mean to address Infrastructure, I say “what a great idea!” But since they have dominated the General Assembly for such a long time, I would also ask what took them so long, and why they have let it fall into in disrepair and into an inefficient black hole-cycle of temporary quick-fixes of in the first place. I think they have had enough time, and we need to hold them accountable.

— Curtis Nash, Fort Wayne