Although rail made the development of the Western US a possibility, it doesn’t get much respect in many transportation circles outside the major metro areas like Portland, Denver, San Franciso and Salt Lake. Opinions, however, are begining to change.
As Daniel Kemmis, a senior fellow for the Center for the Rocky Mountain West, notes, “Certain economic trends like population increase, business growth and urban development are now occuring in places like Missoula, cars are no longer the best or wisest means of transportation.”
“We’re finally beginning to evolve out of the automobile trend that’s been going on for over 100 years… we have a lot of thinking to do, and we have to be as smart and as wise as we can be,” he said.
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