We have a political situation in the United States where Democrats are too eager to build anything if it creates a job and the Republicans are too willing to call a project a boondoggle without first investigating its merit. It is this standstill that Josh Barro argues in How Republicans Made Both Parties Stupid On Fixing Infrastructure:
Republicans aren’t interested in coming up with smarter, more efficient ways to build rail infrastructure. So;Democrats fear that if they don’t defend wasteful, ill-conceived rail projects, they won’t get any at all.
Barro uses the example of New Jersey Governor Chris Christy killing a proposed $10 billion railway tunnel into New York City;
The project was overly expensive and the terminal, in particular, was unnecessary — New York Penn Station, which currently receives trains from New Jersey, has plenty of platforms, they’re just used inefficiently today. We could much more cheaply build a new tunnel to serve the existing station.
It’s hard not to apply a local context. The Southwest Corridor light rail alignment comes to mind. The preferred local alternative is one of compromise: taking federal money while it’s still available, getting it done quickly, and bypassing Uptown in the process.
Great example of “Dumb Infrastructure”:
… So, to read more on this topic you’ll need to jump over to Streets.MN.