OK, here’s a really bad idea that should be nipped right in the bud. US Senators Cory Booker and Richard Bloomenthal think the TSA should implement some kind of airport-level security for trains and subways. Seriously?
StreetsblogUSA has an excellent take-down of this farcical proposal. The Senators are concerned about an attack like the one in France happening in the US. (Already hazy on what happened in France? Oh, well….) But if new security measures slow down the boarding process—as it seems they inevitably must—the result would almost surely be to drive people away from transit and into their cars and airplanes.
I would just add a public-health perspective here. Given the value of transit in enabling people to have a more active commute, and given the vanishingly small impact of terrorism on population health, the net impact of the Booker/Bloomenthal proposal would be unambiguously negative for public health.
The Senators are dancing with a damaging form of Security Theater, which I would include in what Paul Krugman calls a really “bad…idea propounded by people with an interest in having the government pursue bad policies.”