Is it far-fetched to imagine an Islamic State Terror attack midst the routine DC traffic commute? Getting in and out of D.C. is a miserable experience for most of the hours of the day. It’s the worst traffic in the nation.  I can attest, it is awful. If you’re an intelligence officer and captured abroad. Let’s hope it’s between the working hours of nine to five, Monday through Friday. You’re better off finding yourself in trouble during business hours because that’s when the personnel recovery offices and the state Department are open for business. Because, if you need help during traffic hours – everyone is in traffic lip syncing to with their radio.

In all seriousness, it would be figured out in-country. But there’s going to be a lag stateside, regardless, and it’ll be worse if you need an answer while decision-makers are driving home. D.C. objectively has the worst traffic in the country. The nation’s senior leaders and policy makers spend time each day bumper to bumper.

No doubt, it affects morale and fuels the mentality behind already mundane government jobs. It’s infuriating that we’ve cooled our heels on transportation in this country in the one place we need decisions to occur promptly. The Department of Transportation is working with industry partners to create intelligent transportation; vehicles still might not be the best answer. High-speed rail might be the agent of transportation we need across the nation.

The High-Speed Rail Association says: “High-speed rail delivers fast, efficient transportation so riders can spend less time traveling and more time doing business.  High-speed rail delivers people quickly to their destinations in city centers.  Fast boarding times, no security delays, and no waiting for baggage (or lost bags) adds up to much less time spent getting to and from meetings.  Adding to these savings, there’s also little or no down time – people can be far more productive and efficient during a trip on a train, than flying or driving, and return to the office sooner with a shorter turn-around time.”

This isn’t just about traffic – it’s a symptom of an infrastructure that isn’t stressed. On the road, there’s no security and everyone is at a near standstill. It’s as credible a target as any other large gathering – except it happens more than frequently, daily on a routine schedule. Intelligent travel would be more of the same – but choreographed.

Terror attacks are meant to evoke fear, instability, among other things. If you didn’t feel safe traveling to and from work, something you must do – it’d be terrifying. The nation’s capital seems a likely target for a terror attack. The easiest and simplest target appears to be 395.

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