The decisions we make, be they about constructing transportation lines or about approving developments, have long-reaching and often permanent repercussions. This is why we need to thoroughly understand the ramifications of the policy direction we take. That said, I have noticed that not every call for additional study on a proposed policy is a call for a deeper understanding of the road we are about to travel. Some of these calls are cleverly disguised exercises in expert shopping – where the individual won’t be satisfied until this “additional study” publishes findings which jive with their ideological views.
Another related phenomenon is a common refrain heard whenever tolls or road pricing is discussed. Many will state that they will not support tolls unless public transit becomes a viable alternative, but this often leaves me wondering if their definition of “viable alternative” is set so high that it effectively defers the discussion on tolls indefinitely.
It is foolish to think that everyone will agree with every policy idea put forth, but why do we need to obscure our agendas? If you do not like the idea of road tolls, or you feel that at-grade light rail will increase traffic, why not just say so? The worst that can happen is an informed discussion and a better understanding of the concerns that will need to be mitigated.