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hammersklavier Jan 24, 2012 5:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5560856)
An interesting mix of confusing theory and gratuitous name-calling. Maybe it's just me but I didn't follow the agument very well.

:koko:

I was merely analyzing why it is some of us feel that highway proponents (in particular) maintain a double standard when it comes to other modes of transportation. I found there's a firm philosophical framework for this critique. If you don't like it, tough. If you think it's insulting, well I have this to say: how very Creationist of you.

Quote:

This is why so many previous supporters (including myself) have changed their minds about HSR and the people who run it.
You seem to think I still support CAHSR in its current state? Dream on. I revoked my support for it when you, beta magellan, Clem Tillier, Steve Smith, Alon Levy, and most other technicals did, for the same reasons.

Of those, however, only you revoked your support of HSR on theoretical grounds. It's still needed, and highway expansion is not the answer.
Quote:

Originally Posted by JDRCRASH (Post 5561660)
OMG... Are we really still debating whether High-Speed rail in general is a good investment for California, and not the precise reasons for it's increased costs (grade-sepeation, dedicated ROWs, etc.)?

Unfortunately, it appears some of us need a refresher course on the matter.

202_Cyclist Jan 24, 2012 5:43 PM

I haven't had a chance to weigh in on the debate about the cost of the proposed high speed rail vs the cost of alternative investments for highways and airports and the validity of the PB estimates (and whether UC Berkeley should review this assessment). We can try to make as educated an analysis as possible but this is all just a guess. The high speed rail network won't be complete until 2030-2033 and the useful life of this asset will be at least 50-60 years, as it is for I-5 and our other higways built in the 1950s and 1960s.

It is difficult enough to try to forecast travel demand 15-20 years out. Trying to estimate travel demand in 2060 or 2080 is hopeless, even for Parsons and UC Berkeley.

pesto Jan 24, 2012 5:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5560850)
I haven't taken the plane to SF (from LA where I live) in over two years. The reason for that is that I got sick and tired of delayed departures; security Nazis, and airline personnel who evidently all graduated with honors from the Nurse Rachett School of Customer Care. Driving doesn't take a hell of a lot longer than flying, although admittedly, I cruise along at 80-85 on the 5 whenever I can. Having said that, there are serious problems with the 5, the most serious being that there are only two lanes in each direction for most of its length. Every trip, there are several occasions when I get stuck behind a big-rig that is chugging along at 55-60 and decides it has to pass the big-rig ahead of it that is chugging along at 54. The other problem, of course, is speed limits. There is no way on earth they are going to increase the speed limit on the 5 to allow for driving speeds anywhere near those HSR hits. The drive to SF is going to take 5 hours +, no matter what.

Don't know about the 99, although I can't imagine it's any better than the 5.

HSR is an investment California needs to make.

Well, I fly from Burbank and just walk in within a minute or so (typically I'm not checking luggage). No Nazis, minimal lines.

I don't count getting stuck behind a truck doing 60 as being in traffic. It is a pain, but with a little zen you can work you way through the experience. :haha:

The drive to SF takes 5 hrs. plus. But most people are NOT going to SF; only about 10 percent of the Bay population lives there. In any event, drivers are typically non-business travelers who respond to COST, not an hour difference in time. Cars are a fraction of the cost of HSR for families.

99 is about the same as 5. Through the larger cities it adds lanes, and it can be a little crowded in Fresno or Bako at rush-hour. But not like LA or the Bay.

pesto Jan 24, 2012 6:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hammersklavier (Post 5562272)
:koko:

I was merely analyzing why it is some of us feel that highway proponents (in particular) maintain a double standard when it comes to other modes of transportation. I found there's a firm philosophical framework for this critique. If you don't like it, tough. If you think it's insulting, well I have this to say: how very Creationist of you.


You seem to think I still support CAHSR in its current state? Dream on. I revoked my support for it when you, beta magellan, Clem Tillier, Steve Smith, Alon Levy, and most other technicals did, for the same reasons.

Of those, however, only you revoked your support of HSR on theoretical grounds. It's still needed, and highway expansion is not the answer.

Unfortunately, it appears some of us need a refresher course on the matter.

Well, could be I agree with you then. I still don't follow the arguments, but maybe it's just not in me.

Still going gratuitous and ad hominem with "Creationist"? Old habits die hard.

jg6544 Jan 24, 2012 8:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5562312)
Well, I fly from Burbank

Do you have to drive an hour or so in traffic to get there? Burbank is fine if you live close enough to get there by using surface streets. If not, it isn't.

jg6544 Jan 24, 2012 8:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drifting sun (Post 5562268)
Oh, the ARROGANCE!!!!

(sarcasm)


Just being practical. There needs to be a third alternative to the freeways and the airlines.

jg6544 Jan 24, 2012 8:20 PM

I do believe we need to rethink the routing and take the approach they took in France and Japan, among other places. Build a dedicated right-of-way for HSR with minimal stops between LA and the Bay Area. I'm not sure why we need HSR in places like Bakersfield or Visalia or Stockton. I would upgrade the existing right-of-way through the SJV, to four tracks allowing for the operation of express trains as well as locals and I'd eliminate grade crossings as well. Should have done that years ago.

drifting sun Jan 24, 2012 8:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5562479)
Just being practical. There needs to be a third alternative to the freeways and the airlines.


The (sarcasm) was there for a reason....as I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment, yet, some would think that it is "arrogant" to move past the whole argument about whether or not HSR is right in the first place for regional or cross-state use, in California or other states.

hammersklavier Jan 24, 2012 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5562317)
Well, could be I agree with you then. I still don't follow the arguments, but maybe it's just not in me.

Wouldn't be surprised...
Quote:

Still going gratuitous and ad hominem with "Creationist"? Old habits die hard.
We both started out from Seattle...

My point's in Frisco...

You're in Tijuana.

DJM19 Jan 25, 2012 4:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dimondpark (Post 5561896)

Las Vegas is mentioned a few times in this story and I am not aware that Vegas is part of the plan--is CAHSR saying that?

Its not part of the CAHSR project, but it is a separate private venture connecting Vegas to what the investors hope will eventually be Palmdale. From there it can interface with the CAHSR Palmdale station, or even use the tracks to go down to Los Angeles perhaps.

1Boston Jan 25, 2012 4:39 AM

For a second, forget about whether its a good investment or not(i think it is), don't you like having nice things? It would be pretty cool if this thing got built.

pesto Jan 25, 2012 5:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5562487)
I do believe we need to rethink the routing and take the approach they took in France and Japan, among other places. Build a dedicated right-of-way for HSR with minimal stops between LA and the Bay Area. I'm not sure why we need HSR in places like Bakersfield or Visalia or Stockton. I would upgrade the existing right-of-way through the SJV, to four tracks allowing for the operation of express trains as well as locals and I'd eliminate grade crossings as well. Should have done that years ago.

Generally, I agree on this. I still think it wouldn't be viable (economically or politically), but it would be better.

dimondpark Jan 26, 2012 11:50 PM

Quote:

California Needs a Rail Project, but Not This One

Elizabeth Goldstein Alexis is a co-founder of Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design.

January 26, 2012

California absolutely needs to invest in its transportation infrastructure, including a robust rail network. High-speed rail could help shrink the effective distances between California’s unconnected regions. Voters in 2008 endorsed the vision by authorizing $9 billion of bonds.

At the original price tag of $33 billion and the promise of $55 tickets for a quick trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the debate about high speed rail was more about “want” than need. Costs are now closer to $100 billion, ticket prices will be much higher to attract private investment, and the impact on farmland and cities seems far greater than originally anticipated.

There is an adage in construction: “Good, fast and cheap — pick two.” In this case, we have a trifecta with plans that are bad, take decades and are outrageously expensive. The cost to taxpayers to build the project equates to a public contribution of almost $200 for every projected round trip in the first 30 years of operation. The public will pay 90 percent of the building costs and take most of the risk, and yet the private sector will collect 100 percent of any operating profits.

The current project costs too much and delivers too little. But why?

The state auditor just released a scathing report that gives some clues. The project is being run by layers of consultants undersupervised by a skeletal state agency unable to manage the myriad conflicts of interest that are killing high-speed rail. The project’s primary consultant, Parsons Brinckerhoff, does both the cost estimates and the cost-benefit analysis. It is curious how they have moved in lockstep.

The real challenge is not finances or engineering or cranky neighbors. It is finding the political will to step back and figure out how to make sure public projects are designed for public benefit, not private.

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate...t-not-this-one

In short, if we're going to do this thing, we don't need to rush in order to meet the timetable and price set by some out-of-state consultant.

202_Cyclist Jan 27, 2012 12:29 AM

Elizabeth Alexis is an ardent Peninsula NIMBY who showed a remarkable capacity to make up pure BS during her appearance befoe the House Transportation & Infrastrucutre Committee in December. She has advocated for "fixes" that would add hundreds of millions --perhaps billions-- of dollars to the project's cost. She is as credible on high speed rail as Newt is about family values.

dimondpark Jan 27, 2012 4:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5565669)
Elizabeth Alexis is an ardent Peninsula NIMBY who showed a remarkable capacity to make up pure BS during her appearance befoe the House Transportation & Infrastrucutre Committee in December.

And yet I don't see anything in that article that is necessarily wrong.

202_Cyclist Jan 27, 2012 4:52 PM

dimondpark:
Quote:

And yet I don't see anything in that article that is necessarily wrong.
She is complaining about the cost of the investment yet the desire of her and the Peninsula NIMBYs to have extensive trenches throughout the Peninsula will add billions of dollars to the project's cost.

fflint Jan 28, 2012 2:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5566520)
dimondpark:


She is complaining about the cost of the investment yet the desire of her and the Peninsula NIMBYs to have extensive trenches throughout the Peninsula will add billions of dollars to the project's cost.

Yes, but he wants you to ignore her hypocrisy and take her self-serving NIMBY anti-CAHSR rant as if it were made in good faith.

Meanwhile, we're supposed to look at the consultants' budget projections and ascribe to CASHR officials and supporters wicked, malevolent motives of ruination and thievery. One lenient standard for his side, one harsh standard for the other side. You know, typical "My tribe = good, not my tribe = bad" stuff.

bmfarley Jan 28, 2012 7:55 PM

Let's not delude ourselves... it will be an expensive project.

Also, let's not convienently forget that not doing this project is going to save California money... if not HSR, that means investing further in other infrastructure expansion projects - highway widenings, airport runways and terminals, etc. etc.

jg6544 Jan 29, 2012 4:48 AM

I'm just wondering, if back in the 1950s, people had looked at the Interstate Highway System solely in terms of cost, would it ever have been built?

ltsmotorsport Jan 29, 2012 5:03 AM

Bingo. But in the '50s, most people actually understood infrastructure investments and what they do for an economy. Let's hope that a majority still does.

jg6544 Jan 30, 2012 3:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ltsmotorsport (Post 5568438)
Bingo. But in the '50s, most people actually understood infrastructure investments and what they do for an economy. Let's hope that a majority still does.

And moreover, when the Interstates were begun, the arguments could be made (and probably were) that highway building was principally a state responsibility; that we had plenty of perfectly good roads already; that there was infinite expansion potential in air travel; that it would gobble up too much land; divide farms; bypass towns, etc. I have read that it was sold as a "defense" measure for fear the public wouldn't buy it otherwise.

dimondpark Jan 31, 2012 5:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fflint (Post 5567347)
Yes, but he wants you to ignore her hypocrisy and take her self-serving NIMBY anti-CAHSR rant as if it were made in good faith.

I still dont know what in that article is necessarily wrong? Could you enlighten me?

Furthermore CA voters voted for one thing but now facts have come to light that warrant rethinking this whole project.

I agree wholeheartedly with the opinion of Californians evidenced by recent polls on the subject, that this rail project in its current form is no longer worth the investment.

If we're going to do this thing, we do it right and on terms that are acceptable to us.

How can anyone disagree with that?

JDRCRASH Jan 31, 2012 5:46 PM

My problem with the article is that Elizabeth doesn't offer any alternatives to bring down the cost.

bunt_q Jan 31, 2012 7:05 PM

I only read a couple of pages of this thread, but I have a question: are there any plans to use the HSR infrastructure for freight as well? If not, you should keep that in your minds. People who aren't terribly familiar with transportation tend to not think about that when they compare planes, trains, and automobiles. Airports do both, highways do both, and U.S. freight rail is the envy of the world. Most Americans don't realize that - they look to European and Asian train systems with fawning envy, but it's really the U.S. leading the way on freight, and that is a much larger economic contributor than passenger rail.

I'm not saying anything in particular, I don't know enough about the Cali project specifically to comment intelligently. But I see a lot of politicized highway vs. train banter in here, as if it was somehow a normal liberal vs. conservative issue, which is absurd.

Passenger rail (if it is passenger only) is at an automatic disadvantage when compared to other modes. Partially because it only services a portion of overall transportation needs, and on inter-city routes especially, freight is a significant driver (humans are only one of the many loads we have to move about!). If, for example, I-5 is congested in rural areas because of high intercity traffic, which would be highly unusual - it's rare in the U.S. that expansions are needed outside of metro areas - the better answer might be to divert more freight to rail, rather than focus on passenger transport.

And also the last-mile problem. It's possibly less of a problem in CA (big problem in Colorado), at least in the Bay Area, where non-auto connections would be easy and efficient. Bakersfield, on the other hand...what do you do when you get off the train? Rent a car? Not a deal-breaker, but it reduces ridership in a major way, which reduces the utility/benefit of the investment, relative to other investments. Passenger rail obviously serves denser areas better because destinations are reachable from stations. I don't know about L.A... I do know that a park-n-ride based intercity rail system will lose much of its advantage over air travel.

None of that's deal-breaking in a lot of circumstances. But comparisons to Europe (where more freight moves by road, making passenger movement by rail make even more sense) or Japan (where densities, distances, and connecting passenger transit infrastructure aren't even in the same league) are mostly useless. This "the rest of the world has figured it out" stuff only comes from people with a very rudimentary understanding of the whole transportation picture - different modes/methods work better in different places for different reasons. You really have to look at it holistically, and then decide if a $100 billion passenger-only system is really your best investment (I have no idea whether it is or not). Slogans are a terrible way to plan/design infrastructure.

(Sometimes I wonder to myself what would happen if everybody got as involved and passionate with water/wastewater planning as they are with transportation. Can you imagine the fights about pipe sizes, grades, treatment methods... a random politician screaming about how "that pump isn't needed" - it'd be good fun. And no different from laypeople arguing about runway capacities.)

jg6544 Jan 31, 2012 7:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5571448)
Bakersfield, on the other hand...what do you do when you get off the train? Rent a car?

People in Bakersfield will do exactly what they do now; they'll get into their cars and drive to the nearest station or airport. Neither air nor HSR can serve every town directly.

bunt_q Jan 31, 2012 8:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5571510)
People in Bakersfield will do exactly what they do now; they'll get into their cars and drive to the nearest station or airport. Neither air nor HSR can serve every town directly.

Exactly. But you just cut your potential rail ridership in half - because rail passengers are pedestrians (or local transit riders) once they get off the train, Bakersfield can't be a destination, only an origin. (Or at least, a very limited destination.)

electricron Jan 31, 2012 8:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5571448)
I only read a couple of pages of this thread, but I have a question: are there any plans to use the HSR infrastructure for freight as well? If not, you should keep that in your minds. People who aren't terribly familiar with transportation tend to not think about that when they compare planes, trains, and automobiles. Airports do both, highways do both, and U.S. freight rail is the envy of the world. Most Americans don't realize that - they look to European and Asian train systems with fawning envy, but it's really the U.S. leading the way on freight, and that is a much larger economic contributor than passenger rail.

When will the freight trains use the HSR corridors? Where will they get on and off? Will the catenary wires be hung high enough to clear a double stack container railcar? Will the tunnels be built tall enough? Will the bridges and viaducts be built to hold up a standard heavy freight trains? If you're building light, non FRA compliant HSR trains, why spend more money to beef up the tracks for freights? Why would freight companies want to run on restricted HSR tracks, when they have a perfectly good parallel freight corridor nearby, with industrial sidings, freight yards, port facilities, and everything needed to run their trains already?

bunt_q Jan 31, 2012 8:49 PM

I didn't say anything about running freight rail on the tracks, did I? The operator, whoever that is, could include limited high value cargo services (sort of like airlines do), or carry the mail maybe. Probably not. But that's the point of what I was saying - if you're spending $100b on HSR, you're doing it for passengers only. If you spend $100b on roads and airports, you're doing it for both passengers and freight (or ports, freight only). It's an inherent disadvantage of high speed passenger rail that shouldn't be overlooked in the ridiculous highways=evil, trains=good discussions that go on sometimes, especially on here. (It goes both ways, of course - new passenger options can free up capacity for the other modes too. But that depends on ridership.)

The discussion is very different in cities. But I think a lot of folks who are accustomed (rightly so!) to laying down in front of bulldozers to stop city-killing urban highways transfer that ethos to intercity rail/road discussions, which are an entirely different thing. Very few people give much though to intercity goods movement (the boring side of infrastructure) - they conceptualize intercity transportation problems the same way they would look at an intracity light rail project.

Gordo Jan 31, 2012 8:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5571527)
Exactly. But you just cut your potential rail ridership in half - because rail passengers are pedestrians (or local transit riders) once they get off the train, Bakersfield can't be a destination, only an origin. (Or at least, a very limited destination.)

It can be the exact same destination it is today (if you arrive by anything other than car, you likely need to rent a car). And that's what ridership studies have focused on - they're not assuming that Bakersfield is (or will turn into) a dense city with walkable destinations.

drifting sun Jan 31, 2012 10:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5571448)
I only read a couple of pages of this thread, but I have a question: are there any plans to use the HSR infrastructure for freight as well? If not, you should keep that in your minds. People who aren't terribly familiar with transportation tend to not think about that when they compare planes, trains, and automobiles. Airports do both, highways do both, and U.S. freight rail is the envy of the world. Most Americans don't realize that - they look to European and Asian train systems with fawning envy, but it's really the U.S. leading the way on freight, and that is a much larger economic contributor than passenger rail.

I'm not saying anything in particular, I don't know enough about the Cali project specifically to comment intelligently. But I see a lot of politicized highway vs. train banter in here, as if it was somehow a normal liberal vs. conservative issue, which is absurd.

Passenger rail (if it is passenger only) is at an automatic disadvantage when compared to other modes. Partially because it only services a portion of overall transportation needs, and on inter-city routes especially, freight is a significant driver (humans are only one of the many loads we have to move about!). If, for example, I-5 is congested in rural areas because of high intercity traffic, which would be highly unusual - it's rare in the U.S. that expansions are needed outside of metro areas - the better answer might be to divert more freight to rail, rather than focus on passenger transport.

And also the last-mile problem. It's possibly less of a problem in CA (big problem in Colorado), at least in the Bay Area, where non-auto connections would be easy and efficient. Bakersfield, on the other hand...what do you do when you get off the train? Rent a car? Not a deal-breaker, but it reduces ridership in a major way, which reduces the utility/benefit of the investment, relative to other investments. Passenger rail obviously serves denser areas better because destinations are reachable from stations. I don't know about L.A... I do know that a park-n-ride based intercity rail system will lose much of its advantage over air travel.

None of that's deal-breaking in a lot of circumstances. But comparisons to Europe (where more freight moves by road, making passenger movement by rail make even more sense) or Japan (where densities, distances, and connecting passenger transit infrastructure aren't even in the same league) are mostly useless. This "the rest of the world has figured it out" stuff only comes from people with a very rudimentary understanding of the whole transportation picture - different modes/methods work better in different places for different reasons. You really have to look at it holistically, and then decide if a $100 billion passenger-only system is really your best investment (I have no idea whether it is or not). Slogans are a terrible way to plan/design infrastructure.

(Sometimes I wonder to myself what would happen if everybody got as involved and passionate with water/wastewater planning as they are with transportation. Can you imagine the fights about pipe sizes, grades, treatment methods... a random politician screaming about how "that pump isn't needed" - it'd be good fun. And no different from laypeople arguing about runway capacities.)

So, you claim that supporters of HSR who cite other nation's successful use of rail for passenger transport as not understanding the "holistic" picture of transportation, when it is in fact opinions such as yours that are not understanding the big picture at stake here.

To base your reasoning on the typical business school cost vs. benefits argument is not being very holistic, and it refuses (whether willingly or through ignorance) to acknowledge the other externalities at risk. We know that humans are probably going to continue to procreate at a level that will be unsustainable for the environment, all these present and future humans will need alternate ways to get from place to place, for business, recreation, etc. It takes a massive amount of fossil fuel to suspend an enormous hunk of metal (along with all the obese American passengers) in the sky. Choking our highways (and expanding those highways) with more and more private automobiles is also an insane waste of energy. High-speed rail uses a lot of electricity, but it is from a more centralized source, which can be regulated easier than spending gobs of money trying to make every last automobile owner comply with the latest emission standards. In addition, rail takes up less room for the amount of passengers (and light cargo) that it can accommodate.

You only think HSR supporters are misinformed because you adhere to the classic, market-orientated arguments, ignoring the fact that the environment does not give a damn about our petty notions of economic persuasions. If we, as a global society do not create ways to soften the blow of running up against environmental constraints, now, while we still have a little breathing room, there will be a lot of human (and other species) suffering when crunch time occurs. Laying the infrastructure for a proven, fast, reliable way of commuting passengers now, even though it might not make sense from an "investor's" point of view, is one of those things that needs to be started.

electricron Feb 1, 2012 12:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5569428)
And moreover, when the Interstates were begun, the arguments could be made (and probably were) that highway building was principally a state responsibility; that we had plenty of perfectly good roads already; that there was infinite expansion potential in air travel; that it would gobble up too much land; divide farms; bypass towns, etc. I have read that it was sold as a "defense" measure for fear the public wouldn't buy it otherwise.

But the Interstate highways were designed, financed, built, and maintained under the Highway Department's stewardship. A fully functional Highway Department was ultimately responsible.
Who's responsible for the CHSR, Parsons Brinckerhoff? They're an engineering company, do they have any actual experience running and maintaining a HSR system?
What CHSR needs, before construction anything, is a contract with a train operating company to assist finalizing the designs to achieve the most efficient system. Build only what is needed to provide the services the train operating company will run. That's the only way California can maximize services to cost.

jg6544 Feb 1, 2012 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5571909)
But the Interstate highways were designed, financed, built, and maintained under the Highway Department's stewardship. A fully functional Highway Department was ultimately responsible.
Who's responsible for the CHSR, Parsons Brinckerhoff? They're an engineering company, do they have any actual experience running and maintaining a HSR system?
What CHSR needs, before construction anything, is a contract with a train operating company to assist finalizing the designs to achieve the most efficient system. Build only what is needed to provide the services the train operating company will run. That's the only way California can maximize services to cost.

If you're saying we need a Federal Railway Administration, fully-funded, to see that HSR is built, I'm all for it. If you're saying the State of California should oversee this program to a greater degree, with adequate funding, of course, I'm all for that too.

jg6544 Feb 1, 2012 12:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bunt_q (Post 5571527)
Exactly. But you just cut your potential rail ridership in half - because rail passengers are pedestrians (or local transit riders) once they get off the train, Bakersfield can't be a destination, only an origin. (Or at least, a very limited destination.)

Are you saying people from Bakersfield don't fly because it doesn't have an airport on the scale of LAX?

jg6544 Feb 1, 2012 1:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5571559)
When will the freight trains use the HSR corridors?

Never, I hope.

bunt_q Feb 1, 2012 4:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jg6544 (Post 5571996)
Are you saying people from Bakersfield don't fly because it doesn't have an airport on the scale of LAX?

Huh? No, that's definitely not what I was saying...

fflint Feb 1, 2012 5:32 AM

I previously posted what the CAHSR Authority wrote about carrying freight on its own trains--shouldn't be that many pages back. Basically they're open to carrying light freight on their own consists, but passenger service takes precedence and no "freight trains" as we know them--BNSF, etc.--will share CAHSR's tracks. This will be a separate and electrified system. California's busy freight railroads are already in place up and down the state.

As for the "Bakersfield" issue--smaller California cities with lackluster public transit--the state and cities are already planning to bolster transit to and from the stations, and to redevelop station-adjacent parcels as TOD. Fresno has a really ambitious plan, for example, but for smaller cities like Bakersfield the stations will likely be like airports, used by locals who will likely park and ride if they don't take the bus.

ardecila Feb 1, 2012 9:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 5571909)
But the Interstate highways were designed, financed, built, and maintained under the Highway Department's stewardship. A fully functional Highway Department was ultimately responsible.
Who's responsible for the CHSR, Parsons Brinckerhoff? They're an engineering company, do they have any actual experience running and maintaining a HSR system?
What CHSR needs, before construction anything, is a contract with a train operating company to assist finalizing the designs to achieve the most efficient system. Build only what is needed to provide the services the train operating company will run. That's the only way California can maximize services to cost.

Bingo. PB has a huge conflict of interest - the more elaborate the overall plan is, the more stuff their engineers get to design (viaducts, bridges, grade separations), the more money they make.

Naturally this is gonna drive up the cost of the project unless CAHSR/Caltrans/whoever has people on staff who are willing to say no and force PB to look at other alternatives that minimize complexity and cost while still achieving the project goals of 100% grade separation and 2:40 SF-LA travel time. These people need to have expertise in the area, which (unfortunately) means that some of them will need to come from overseas.

A series of very smart, well-informed bloggers have run circles around CAHSR's planning efforts. If people like this can afford to blog for free, maybe they can afford to work for the State of California as project planning managers. Outside consultants are the reason for the problem, so California needs to hire these people in-house.

bobbyv Feb 6, 2012 9:18 AM

What's everyone's thoughts on this article?
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...3152471.column

202_Cyclist Feb 6, 2012 5:04 PM

SCAG adopts high-speed rail agreement (Pasadena Star-News)
 
SCAG adopts high-speed rail agreement

By Steve Scauzillo, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/05/2012
Pasadena Star-News

"No matter what happens to the controversial high speed rail program in the state, local governments in Southern California are negotiating for some of the early cash associated with the project.

The Southern California Association of Government's Regional Council Thursday approved a memorandum of understanding with the California High Speed Rail Authority with an eye toward claiming $1 billion in voter-approved bonds. The bonds would not go directly to the proposed L.A. to San Francisco bullet train, but rather be used to upgrade local Amtrak and Metrolink lines and stations that can, in turn, help serve the future high-speed line. The improved existing regional systems would work as feeders into the high speed lines.

SCAG recommended that the high speed rail authority use $1 billion out of $9.95 billion in Proposition 1A funds for Southern California rail improvements and make it an amendment to its 2012 Draft Business Plan.

The so-called "blended systems and blended operations plan" concept could be a boon to aging Metrolink commuter rail lines that go to Los Angeles, either from from Anaheim to Industry or from San Bernardino through Claremont, Covina, Baldwin Park and Monterey Park..."

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_19893336

pesto Feb 10, 2012 8:53 PM

600,000 jobs? At 50k per job, that's 30B per year. Sound like the HSR management is about as good at math as the old management.

Upgrading LA and Bay local trains makes a lot of sense, if done right. Not only does this get done much more quickly and cheaply, but it's actually needed, given that freeways are quite congested.

DJM19 Feb 11, 2012 3:08 AM

Pretty sure its job years. 600,000 job years, so divided over the life of the project.

pesto Feb 11, 2012 7:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJM19 (Post 5586528)
Pretty sure its job years. 600,000 job years, so divided over the life of the project.

Thanks; that would make sense.

SPIREINTHEHOLE! Feb 15, 2012 1:50 AM

http://thehill.com/blogs/transportat...in-2013-budget

Obama includes $47B for high-speed rail in 2013 budget

By Keith Laing - 02/14/12 03:24 PM ET

Quote:

The $3.8 trillion budget unveiled this week by President Obama includes $47 billion for high-speed rail development, despite a Republican effort to defund the initiative this year.

The Republican-led House voted late last year to eliminate all funding for high-speed rail in the current fiscal year's budget, but Obama's plan calls for spending $2.7 billion in 2013 on rail and $47 billion over the next six years.
Sadly it won't get out of the house. I was definitely interested to see how the money would be distributed.

twoNeurons Feb 15, 2012 9:56 PM

It won't get out of the house, but people will blame the party that opposes it. These things are usually strategic... especially when followed up with how many jobs generated the bill will bring, etc.

emathias Feb 15, 2012 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twoNeurons (Post 5592032)
It won't get out of the house, but people will blame the party that opposes it. These things are usually strategic... especially when followed up with how many jobs generated the bill will bring, etc.

I had an aunt who didn't get out of the house much. She eventually passed.

aquablue Feb 16, 2012 1:38 AM

Why is there no compromise on HSR?? I.e, Republicans will cede half that figure and democrats will agree to a certain amount of oil drilling or something. If the only way we'll get HSR is to have a majority democratic house + senate + president, we never get it. We have to give and take. Negotiation is the key!!!

The all or nothing attitude is the reason why I'm considering leaving this country.. as nothing will get done in my lifetime. Why wait pulling your hair out living in a country that is really two countries trying to get along but failing big time.

Why doesn't Obama propose such a compromise instead of giving them an excuse to vote the bill down due to this spending and give them a chance to toot their horn to their base.

LosAngelesSportsFan Feb 16, 2012 1:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 5592355)
Why is there no compromise on HSR?? I.e, Republicans will cede half that figure and democrats will agree to a certain amount of oil drilling or something. If the only way we'll get HSR is to have a majority democratic house + senate + president, we never get it. We have to give and take. Negotiation is the key!!!

The all or nothing attitude is the reason why I'm considering leaving this country.. as nothing will get done in my lifetime. Why wait pulling your hair out living in a country that is really two countries trying to get along but failing big time.

Why doesn't Obama propose such a compromise instead of giving them an excuse to vote the bill down due to this spending and give them a chance to toot their horn to their base.

because the tea party douche bags have the moderate republicans by the balls. They have signed ridiculous "pledges" and they are not willing to compromise on their "core issues', especially not with a black guy from a large democratic city

aquablue Feb 16, 2012 2:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LosAngelesSportsFan (Post 5592370)
because the tea party douche bags have the moderate republicans by the balls. They have signed ridiculous "pledges" and they are not willing to compromise on their "core issues', especially not with a black guy from a large democratic city

Of course, how stupid was I to think compromise could be an option in the USA. I forgot a new world order is upon us. These teabaggers are fools... I laugh at their stupidity.

JDRCRASH Feb 16, 2012 5:00 AM

^ If "getting things done" is what your looking for, then yes, I suggest moving to a different country because this one is dying fast. Or, if changes at a city-level are enough for you, go to one that is experiencing rapid growth and change (and will for a long time) a GREAT deal. Like LA.:)

Maybe California should secede from the US. And maybe New York, Florida, and of course, Texas, all should as well. Heck why not make the southern states (except florida) one country. Maybe then well see how far these conservative values get them. Just don't force those values on other states that, for the most part, have clearly said they don't want them.

twinpeaks Feb 16, 2012 5:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aquablue (Post 5592355)
Why is there no compromise on HSR?? I.e, Republicans will cede half that figure and democrats will agree to a certain amount of oil drilling or something. If the only way we'll get HSR is to have a majority democratic house + senate + president, we never get it. We have to give and take. Negotiation is the key!!!

The all or nothing attitude is the reason why I'm considering leaving this country.. as nothing will get done in my lifetime. Why wait pulling your hair out living in a country that is really two countries trying to get along but failing big time.

Why doesn't Obama propose such a compromise instead of giving them an excuse to vote the bill down due to this spending and give them a chance to toot their horn to their base.

Why leave the country? you can't just give up unless you are not a citizen, then go. If you are, you need to fight and help make a difference for the better. We need more sane people likely you.


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