America 2050 Videos

A new documentary film entitled, "Local Motives", by young movie-maker and Macalester College student, James Christenson, takes an in depth, balanced look at the motivations that drive the pursuit of high-speed, commuter, and light rail lines, and the process of decision-making that dictates their final alignments. Driven by local economic development plans, many local towns strive to have stations, while other neighborhoods have been unwilling bisected at the expense of local residents and community cohesion.

"Whether it is a state, a county, a city, or local business interest," Christenson writes about the film on his website, "everyone wants a rail route for fear that they will fade into irrelevancy if their territory is not connected to the emerging transportation network. And they will do [whatever it takes to get connected] at whatever the cost."

Local Motives

Local Motives from James Christenson on Vimeo.

Produced by James Christenson and Clay Steinman

(55 minutes, 9 seconds)

Why Build High-Speed Rail in the Northeast? from Regional Plan Association on Vimeo.

High-speed rail in the Northeast Corridor is a critical component to providing the capacity needed to support projected growth in the megaregion. The Corridor's $3 trillion economy, representing 20% of the nation's total on just 2% of its land mass, is the direct result of our nation's historic investments in world-class infrastructure. Its 50 million residents live at densities over 12 times the national average and over 750,000 commuter and intercity passengers depend on the Corridor every day. As its population and economy grow, travel on the Corridor will continue to increase and investments in key infrastructure must keep pace in order to avoid gridlock. However, as our vital transportation arteries clog up, current budgets do not project similar investments to meet future demand.

The Northeast Corridor must invest in high-speed rail, as a pillar of our regional transportation and land use planning strategy, in order to support and maintain the freedom and mobility that economic health and competitiveness of the Northeast Megaregion is founded on.

In this video, produced by the Regional Plan Association, watch Robert Yaro, President of RPA, Al Engel, Vice President of High-Speed Rail at Amtrak, U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro, 3rd District of Connecticut, and Paul Levy, President and CEO of Center City District in Philadelphia, answer the question, "Why Build High-Speed Rail in the Northeast?"  

Produced by Petra Todorovich, Nick Whitaker, Jeff Ferzoco, and Ben Oldenburg at the Regional Plan Association.

For more information, visit the following website: (The Business Alliance for Northeast Mobility)

Watch the video on Vimeo.

In this video, set in 1965, Pete Campbell and Harry Crane, characters from the AMC series "Mad Men," banter about the idea of advertising high-speed trains in America, instead of cars and planes.

"I think you can relax on this whole thing. I read a piece that said that in 40 years gas is going to be almost a dollar a gallon," says Harry. "Look cities are getting bigger. Trains are the most efficient, economical, best investment. It's obvious. We do not need to sell trains." "I suppose you're right again," says Pete. "I know I'm right," says Harry, "Now are you going to fix me a drink? I've got a long drive home."

We can't wait another decade to move forward on high-speed rail. The future is now.  Tell your friends, tell your family, but most importantly - if you agree - then tell your Senators.

Congressional Field Hearing - Northeast Corridor from Steven Skemp on Vimeo.

The U.S. House Representatives' Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held their first field hearing on this Congress at Grand Central Terminal on January 27, where America 2050 Director Petra Todorovich testified on behalf of the Business Alliance for Northeast Mobility. The title of the hearing was, "Developing True High-Speed Rail in the Northeast Corridor: Stop Sitting on our Federal Assets." Other witnesses included former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Thomas Hart from U.S. High Speed Rail, and Robert Scardelletti from the Transportation Communications International Union.
Download Petra's testimony from the Committee's website here. Access the Chairman and all of the other panelists' remarks here. Thanks to the US High Speed Rail Association for making a video of the hearing, above.

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Petra Todorovich, Director of America 2050, was featured on the most recent episode of a segment on PBS called, Fixing America. The segment invites big thinkers from a wide range of areas and asks them one simple thing: "How do we get America moving again in the right direction." Petra weighed in on the issue of investing in national high-speed rail network.

Petra Todorovich - America 2050 from Steven Skemp on Vimeo.

View America 2050 Director Petra Todorovich's recent presentation on the benefits of high-speed rail to regional economies and where high-speed rail works best. The presentation was given at the conference of the U.S. High-Speed Rail Association in Hollywood, California on June 17, 2010.

In this video about costs and benefits of a high-speed rail system in America, Regional Plan Association Executive Director Tom Wright discusses America 2050's criteria for investing in high-speed rail.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made waves last week with a speech he gave at the National Bike Summit in which he declared a new policy that will "treat walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes."

America 2050 Director Petra Todorovich hailed the announcement as a "win-win-win-win." You can read her commentary on the National Journal Transportation Blog here.