Last weekend, I went down to Bloomington to watch the Oaken Bucket game. The trip from the north side of Indianapolis to Bloomington took around 3 hours total, with only one quick stop for gas and ice. Traffic was a mess, with a major back-up at nearly every major traffic light along the way. There is a great deal of angst on the IU Football Forum over traffic control issues as well as roads that can not handle the amount of out-of-town fans a big game can generate. Of course, as a general rule, people are calling for additional lanes to the roads to help the flow. This seems strange to take measures like this for 7 home games out of a 365-day year. The real problem, of course, is a lack of traveling options. A person going from Indy to Bloomington has almost no choice but to drive on State Road 37 south of Martinsville.
Fortunately, there can be a better solution. Imagine, if you dare, an electrified high-speed rail link between Bloomington and Indy. Not only would this be popular for game-days, it would also take people off the road, hopefully alleviating some of the massive traffic back-ups without widening the roads to accommodate for a paltry 7 days a year. I realize that a rail line would be much more expensive than new and wider roads, but its prospects for long-term sustainability are much greater than that of the personal automobile. We’re about to enter a new era, where cheap oil is but a memory. It would be a shame to continue down our path of widening roads, and leave ourselves without real options.