Bacon’s blog posts are always thoughtful, usually well-researched and spark endless debates in the comments section. Considering we often blog about similar subjects- transportation options, sprawl, planning and urban development- I’m jealous of the intellectual heft of his posts and of his loyal readers and hecklers.

I wish I were as smart as he is.

That desire is due, in small part, because I disagree with his self-avowed anti-tax zealotry, and I wish I could engage him on a higher intellectual plane. But I don’t have the time or inclination to invest that amount of time in reading, researching and blogging about these issues.

So why am I writing this? Because you all should go and read the latest debate about an important issue for Richmond: the viability of passenger rail.

The now (in?)famous James Crupi report suggested a “dedicated high speed passenger rail system that connects Richmond International Airport and the city of Richmond with Washington/Dulles International Airport.” This rail link would improve Richmond’s role as a major regional player by providing DC-area workers and travelers an alternative to the congested and sometimes-dangerous I-95.

Veteran journalist and Bacon’s Rebellion contributor Peter Galuszka wrote a provocative piece “Forget Passenger Rail.” His honest analysis of Virginia’s political realities (read: willingness to tax) and its impact on our transportation options is sobering, and I’m afraid, dead-on. His conclusion is evident in the article title.

Jim Bacon has responded with a blog post that is primarily noteworthy for the debate in the comments section (20 comments so far at 11:45 AM on 12/11) including posts by Peter Galuszka, Jim Bacon, and many of the Bacon’s Rebellion e-zine contributors.

The debate is refreshing for the variety of opinions on display and the candor with which people lay out their ideological commitments. If only politicians were as forthcoming, this commonwealth would be better off.

At any rate, I strongly recommend heading over to Bacon’s Rebellion and participating in the ongoing debate about the future of passenger rail.