Urban Fold

The Origin Story of Randal O'Toole

The noted "antiplanner" tells the story of how, while riding a train across California, he discovered that transportation policy is driven by corrupt politics - and how he got the girl in the process.

Disguised as a movie review of Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest, O'Toole finds a parallel between himself 32 years ago and Cary Grant's character, who also has the initials R.O.T.:

"In the course of fighting evil government agents, ROT takes a ride on the Twentieth Century Limited, the famous train from New York to Chicago."

"On December 29, 1978–exactly 32 years ago today–the Antiplanner, also known by his initials ROT, got off the Broadway Limited (at one time a direct competitor to the Twentieth Century Limited) in Chicago and boarded the San Francisco Zephyr on a journey from Washington to Portland."

"I was in the middle of an investigation of what I thought were evil government agents who were trying to cut Amtrak's budget. At the time, I idealistically believed that passenger trains were a good thing and they deserved as much government support as highways or airlines."

Full Story: Movie Review: North by Northwest

Comments

Comments

ROT Indeed

Not only his initials, but also a good comment on much of his work.

Charles Siegel

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