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More Than a Fairy-Tale Vision

There’s nothing Mickey Mouse about Anaheim these days. The city that is home to Disneyland is also home to some amazing dreams that, if realized, would turn the Orange County city into a major transportation hub for the entire L.A.-O.C. region.

Its leaders are talking big. They’re talking such transportation innovations as a people-mover, a monorail to link up with other cities, a high-speed train to Las Vegas, a toll road down a river bed and several transit centers to coordinate them all.

Those dreams originate in part from Anaheim’s needs. An expanded convention center, an indoor sports arena and the increasing likelihood that Disneyland, which recently bought 23 acres and is maneuvering for more, will expand its empire means that Anaheim will need more transit. A bigger Disney presence would make the people-mover almost a necessity.

The transportation system alone would cost billions, and the plan is to do it mostly with private funds. Initially government would kick in some money, but could help mainly by standing back and letting destiny have its way. How much of this grand design will be built? If Anaheim has its way, a lot of it. Recently, Anaheim shared its plans with the U.S. Department of Transportation. There’s something to be said for a city that thinks big while the rest of the country thinks recession.

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Dreams die hard in California. And they grow large when you live so close to Mickey and Donald, who after all have done quite well for themselves while living the dream.


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