March 28, 2004, 03:20 PM

Cragg Hines Says We're World Class!

By Kevin Whited

We get a two-for-one from Cragg Hines in the Comical today — cheerleading for rail as an end in itself and open contempt of Tom DeLay:
In fact, the city also seemed more manageable. Not that mass transit is the sine qua non of urban vibrancy, but name a great city where buses and cars (and the resultant freeways) remain the sole means of self-propulsion. Even Los Angeles gave in. Now, a touch late, Houston has begun to get on the program. Metro light rail seems off to a good start, bar the motorists who want to play a sure-to-lose game of chicken. The only thing that would have improved my ride from downtown to the southern terminus and back would have been Tom DeLay splayed to the front of the train as a figurehead.
Hines's argument for rail comes down to, other cities have it, so we should too. It's a variant of Lee Brown's “World Class” argument, which is devoid of any discussion of costs/benefits (a discussion, as Owen has pointed out repeatedly, doesn't favor Houston rail advocates). I'm sure Hines and apparently his editors think it's cute to conjure up images of Tom DeLay “splayed to the front of the train,” since they hate the man, but is it really that hilarious one day after the Danger Train took out a wheelchair, the latest of its 30 collisions? I don't think so. Tasteless columnist, terrible newspaper. A version of this post originally appeared at

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