To the editor:
Yes, you won again. I never thought the line “there’s always next year” would ever have to be muttered much here in Ann Arbor. Hopefully one of these times it’ll hold true, and we won’t have to fall back on claiming academic superiority in order to make ourselves feel better.
But even though Ohio State prevailed, Michigan can still take comfort in the fact that we are positioned to surpass Ohio’s transportation system and outpace its economic growth by investing in and expanding our passenger rail system, something the state of Ohio is not planning on doing. Ohio’s governor-elect, John Kasich, has vowed to kill Ohio’s 3-C train and return $400 million in no-match federal funding that would result in thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic growth and development for Ohio, not to mention provide more transportation choices, reduce traffic congestion and improve the state’s environmental footprint.
Although this rejection of federal rail funding is irrational and somewhat baffling (particularly as Ohio faces an $8 billion budget shortfall), I have nothing but encouragement to offer because the money will be reallocated to another state — quite possibly Michigan. So let me join you in a rousing chorus of “O-H-I-O!” as you avoid modernizing your transportation system at minimal cost to your state, avoid planning for the future and avoid beating Michigan in a contest that’s perhaps even more important than the recent football game: the competition to attract industry and business, draw young, educated workers to your state and improve the lives of your residents. And who knows, maybe LeBron wouldn’t have left Ohio if he would have had a decent rail system to take to work. Zing!