As the ever-growing RTD FasTracks boondoggle exasperates Longmont (we’ve commented on this debacle before), former Longmont Mayor Fred Wilson tells it like it is with a letter printed in the Sunday Times-Call, Dec. 19…
To the Editor:
As I read the latest chapter in the long and winding tale of FasTracks, many quotes suitable for describing the situation pop into my mind. Like “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”. Or “Go ahead, Charlie Brown, I won’t pull the football away this time”. Or “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”.
Our friends at RTD have been taking our money and giving us false hope for as long as I care to remember. Bus service here is sketchy and FasTracks consists entirely of a a little blue line on a map in a brochure filed under “someday”. There was a time, when I was younger, that I believed I would board a train someday at First and Main and actually go somewhere. I realize now that I was wrong, and I suspect that the better informed members of this community have come to the same conclusion. We are paying for something that we’ll never see. We are the last stop on an imaginary railroad, and that puff of smoke we see down the tracks is nothing more than hot air generated by RTD. The sad thing is that we’ve placed ourselves in a situation that offers no escape. Denver Metro voters who actually see the fruits of FasTracks will likely vote for a doubling of the RTD tax and we, no matter how we cast our ballots, will be stuck with the tab and left standing at the station. Unless we drive down to Littleton and hop a train to LoDo.
Let’s face it, Longmont is at the bottom of the totem pole with the FasTracks plan. If we’re not completely cut out due to funding shortages, any promises for our community will be pushed back 15-30 years and rendered useless. Already useless is the planned Longmont-Boulder spur using BNSF tracks, rather than a direct route south to Denver along U.S. 287 or I-25.
Longmonters shouldn’t be voting in 2011 or 2012 on a possible 0.1% to 0.4% sales tax increase for FasTracks. Instead, we should have a vote to remove the 0.4% FasTracks sales tax we’ve already been paying since 2005–and abandon FasTracks altogether.