On their blog, Pedestrian Observations, Fellow Alon Levy has jumped into a burgeoning conversation and shared their own view of “the high-speed rail network the U.S. could build if it were interested in alternative transportation,” through a map explained over two posts. In the second post, they write:
My map differs from past ones in visible ways—for one, it is not connected. At the time I started to make it, I believed there would be four components: Florida, Texas, California, and the general Eastern network. It turned out late in the process that there’s decent demand for Atlanta–Florida travel, enough to justify connecting Florida to the general network. But Texas and California remain disconnected, as does the marginal case of the Pacific Northwest.
Analytically, I project traffic by a gravity model, depending on the product of two metro areas’ populations; Yonah and the RPA have different methodologies. But the emergent difference is, first of all, that I have a less connected network, and second, that there are some glaring omissions. I believe those omissions are justified and would like to explain why—in effect, why other people overrate connections that I do not include.