SkyscraperPage Forum

SkyscraperPage Forum (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/index.php)
-   Transportation (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/forumdisplay.php?f=25)
-   -   Merits of CA HSR + other HSR spin-off thread (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=229269)

Pedestrian Jun 3, 2017 7:52 AM

Merits of CA HSR + other HSR spin-off thread
 
Quote:

Want jobs for the ‘forgotten man’? Finish high-speed rail.
BY THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Disparaging California’s high-speed rail project as an overpriced boondoggle is a kind of received wisdom by now.

Self-styled protectors of taxpayers carp. Powerful congressional Republicans go out of their way to undermine the $64 billion project. It’s the “crazy train,” or the “train to nowhere.” Tesla founder Elon Musk says a hyperloop would be a smarter alternative. Advocates of driverless cars say they will be the answer.

But rail is not crazy in Europe or in Asia. And Fresno, Madera, Merced and Stanislaus counties, home to nearly 2 million Californians, are not nowhere. They are, however, too often forgotten.

The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, which opposed the 2008 ballot measure that authorized high-speed rail, long since has come to see the life-changing potential of a transportation system that connects the San Joaquin Valley to Silicon Valley. It’s not too complicated to see the short and long-term reasons why.

San Mateo County’s unemployment rate is 2.5 percent. In Santa Clara County, the rate is 3.1 percent. Statewide, 4.8 percent of the workforce is out of a job. In too much of the other California that straddles Highway 99, times remain tough . . . .

The Central Valley needs to become part of the rest of the state.

An efficient way to get to the Silicon Valley is one way connect it with the rest of California. There will be mutual benefit. Consider housing. In Santa Clara County, the median price of a home is north of $1 million. In Fresno, it slightly more than $200,000.

High-speed rail is at a particularly perilous point now. Its director, Jeff Morales, has stepped down, after withstanding more than his share of shots, many of them cheap. His replacement will need proven skills that include the ability to manage a huge construction project and navigate the fraught politics.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who inherited the project from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, has been an enthusiastic supporter, but knows his successor might not be nearly as excited, particularly if Brown fails to secure stable funding.

The most obvious source is California’s cap-and-trade program by which greenhouse gas emitters such as refineries, food processors and people who drive cars powered by internal combustion engines pay to offset the damage they cause to the environment.

Sen. Bob Wieckowski, an East Bay Democrat, is carrying Senate Bill 775, which would extend cap-and-trade and lock in funding for certain public works projects including high-speed rail which, in time, will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. SB 775 requires a two-thirds vote, tough for Democrats who recently voted to raise gasoline taxes and other fees by $5 billion a year for road maintenance.

But oil companies, always an influential lobby, should become Democrats’ allies, understanding that a retooled market-based cap-and-trade system is far preferable to the alternative: a dictate by legislators and regulators that emitters cut emissions.

A shorter term benefit of high-speed rail can be seen each workday at 14 job sites in Fresno and Madera counties. After years of infuriating delay, 1,100 people, many in hard hats, attest that construction is underway.

There’s foundation work on a bridge spanning the San Joaquin River at the north end of Fresno near Highway 99, and a huge trench, which will carry rail cars under Highway 180 north of downtown Fresno. At the south end of Fresno, work advances for the superstructure of a viaduct that will take the trains up and over major roads and Highway 99.

A new bridge is expected to open for traffic any day, carrying two-way traffic over Union Pacific Railroad tracks and the future high-speed train line in downtown Fresno. It will replace two one-way bridges that weren't tall enough to accommodate high-speed rail.

At last count, 380 small businesses had a piece of the project. A review of high-speed rail documents through the end of March showed more than $1 billion in construction invoices for work between Madera and Shafter had been approved.

In time, $6 billion will have been spent in and around Fresno. Ask experts when the last time was that such a sum was spent on a public works project in Fresno, and they will laugh. Never . . . .

The $20 billion Central Valley to Silicon Valley leg won’t carry commuters until 2025, give or take. But once it does, the forgotten part of California that coastal residents fly over or zip past en route to Yosemite will become connected to the rest of the state and gain their share of California’s bounty. That’s not a boondoggle. That’s fair.
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/editor...#storylink=cpy

BrownTown Jun 3, 2017 11:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 7823762)

This whole meme that people will be taking HSR to get to their jobs is absurd. If you do the math you will see that it would cost $40,000 a year to take HSR from the Central Valley to a job in San Francisco. Even with San Francisco's insane housing prices you're still better off living there than paying for this commute.

Eightball Jun 3, 2017 11:50 PM

Improving overall connectivity is still quite valuable. Obviously only in extreme cases would one commute daily but once a week or once a month for special meetings etc would be very doable.

electricron Jun 4, 2017 5:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eightball (Post 7824151)
Improving overall connectivity is still quite valuable. Obviously only in extreme cases would one commute daily but once a week or once a month for special meetings etc would be very doable.

This is why building HSR before building all the commuter rail lines is wrong.
I'd rather spend rare tax revenues on something most people might use twice a day than in a week week, month, or year....... :runaway:.

The good thing about some of the California HSR preferred route is it will improve commuter rail operations too; like L.A. to Anaheim and S.F. to S.J. But that's just a small part of the entire project.

Eightball Jun 4, 2017 7:20 AM

Why tho as you are quite aware if California was its own country it would have the 6th highest GDP - why penny pinch with transportation in a wealthy state? Honestly Coastal California is obviously one of the wealthiest regions in the world. Why not tie the Central Valley into that? Plus infrastructure creates a virtuous cycle as you quite aware as a lot of economic activity is generated during construction and then in a booming state like California creating additional connections generates more money. Hell look at all the California Amtrak routes they are booming with little investment. The state roads (and airports) are overcrowded way cheaper and smarter to invest in trains between cities. The mileage you have to cover ain't huge

electricron Jun 4, 2017 1:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eightball (Post 7824329)
Why tho as you are quite aware if California was its own country it would have the 6th highest GDP - why penny pinch with transportation in a wealthy state? Honestly Coastal California is obviously one of the wealthiest regions in the world. Why not tie the Central Valley into that? Plus infrastructure creates a virtuous cycle as you quite aware as a lot of economic activity is generated during construction and then in a booming state like California creating additional connections generates more money. Hell look at all the California Amtrak routes they are booming with little investment. The state roads (and airports) are overcrowded way cheaper and smarter to invest in trains between cities. The mileage you have to cover ain't huge

It's not the amount of miles of HSR being built, it's where they're building it.
Ever wondered why there's just 6 highways leading into or out of L.A.? It's surrounded by mountains. They haven't started building one inch of HSR through any of the mountains.
While it's your goal to connect the central valley to the coastal cities with HSR, it's going to be decades before that is accomplished through the mountains.

Pedestrian Jul 11, 2017 6:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 7824369)
It's not the amount of miles of HSR being built, it's where they're building it.
Ever wondered why there's just 6 highways leading into or out of L.A.? It's surrounded by mountains. They haven't started building one inch of HSR through any of the mountains.
While it's your goal to connect the central valley to the coastal cities with HSR, it's going to be decades before that is accomplished through the mountains.

Not necessarily decades. If they get the money it could happen in a few years. They need to find a private partner, which has always been the intent, and they'll most likely find one in China. There've been a lot of Califoria politicians over there looking and selling. Meanwhile, there's nothing wrong with building as much of the flat CV portion as possible and connecting CV towns with no air service. Ultimately Jerry Brown's plan to provde "cap and trade" funds could get the thing at least to Sacramento which does have an airport if not to San Jose (over another low mountain range) which also does and has a rail connection to San Francisco in existence now.

202_Cyclist Jul 11, 2017 3:40 PM

@Pedestrian:

Indeed! Investing in clean, reliable, efficient, modern transportation is creating good jobs in California. Too bad that Republicans would prefer that these people were sitting at home, unemployed, rather than invest in high-speed rail.

Here are some more construction photos that I posted earlier -- someone who had an internship in our office a few years ago is working on this project.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...postcount=1705

Car(e)-Free LA Jul 12, 2017 12:04 AM

I noticed that you can now see CAHSR on the satellite view of Google Maps, and in some places on street view.

TWAK Jul 12, 2017 2:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 7824369)
It's not the amount of miles of HSR being built, it's where they're building it.
Ever wondered why there's just 6 highways leading into or out of L.A.? It's surrounded by mountains. They haven't started building one inch of HSR through any of the mountains.

well no, because people keep trying to stop it.
Quote:

While it's your goal to connect the central valley to the coastal cities with HSR, it's going to be decades before that is accomplished through the mountains.
Well yeah, if it's not there now...it will take a while to be built. Things have to be built before they are there :sly:
Texas gets go have HSR but CA doesen't? We should artifically rip out billions from bond holders?

plutonicpanda Jul 28, 2017 2:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pedestrian (Post 7861288)

There is no shortage of projects that have started construction but never finished. Color me someone who will be very surprised if thing becomes a reality.

They should just widen I-5 and save the other 70 billion for more needed projects around the cities.

Busy Bee Jul 28, 2017 2:28 AM

http://s2.quickmeme.com/img/8d/8dd7a...24baa41f2c.jpg

caligrad Jul 28, 2017 3:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 7878040)
There is no shortage of projects that have started construction but never finished. Color me someone who will be very surprised if thing becomes a reality.

They should just widen I-5 and save the other 70 billion for more needed projects around the cities.

Widen the 5 for what exactly? the section in the central valley really isn't THAT bad in regards to traffic flow, besides the occasional annoying driver who insists on being in the center lane going 45 mph while everyone else is trying to go 80.The truckers tend to try to stay in the right lane and there aren't any problems really.

CAHSR might be a little......late... in the tech department but it should be ok. I wish it was a meglev though. Now THAT would have been cool.

Busy Bee Jul 28, 2017 12:56 PM

If you think 65 billion is expensive, try a budget for a an SF-LA maglev... 150 billion would be the ground floor if I had to guess.

SkahHigh Jul 28, 2017 1:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by plutonicpanda (Post 7878040)
There is no shortage of projects that have started construction but never finished. Color me someone who will be very surprised if thing becomes a reality.

They should just widen I-5 and save the other 70 billion for more needed projects around the cities.

It's known that widening highways doesn't actually reduce congestion because of the induced demand principle.

The United States finally have a chance to catch up to the rest of the world in terms of rail infrastructure and they're seizing it. I think that's great.

caligrad Jul 29, 2017 12:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Busy Bee (Post 7878288)
If you think 65 billion is expensive, try a budget for a an SF-LA maglev... 150 billion would be the ground floor if I had to guess.

I wasn't the one complaining about the price tag HAHA. Long Term though. Maglev would pay for itself. No metal tracks needing constant repair. less energy consumption. Less noise. Not needing to constantly replace the steel tires since...there aren't any. Overall Maglev has been proven to cut maintenance cost because of the lack of friction. And construction in regards to infrastructure is similar to conventional rail. Minus the guidance system. so cost shouldn't double just because of that. Maybe add a few billions to the price tag which seems to be the norm for the systems in China and Japan.

electricron Jul 29, 2017 2:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkahHigh (Post 7878303)
It's known that widening highways doesn't actually reduce congestion because of the induced demand principle.

The United States finally have a chance to catch up to the rest of the world in terms of rail infrastructure and they're seizing it. I think that's great.

Induced demand is basically hidden demand. It's really there, drivers will choose the newer expanded lanes over other slower highways if given a chance. Why do so many suggest it's not a real demand?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induced_demand
Induced demand, or latent demand, is the phenomenon that after supply increases, more of a good is consumed.

Taking it out of the transportation lingo, let's use crops instead. When farmers overproduce, prices for that commodity falls, resulting in increasing sales because the price fell.
The price of gasoline has a similar effect on traffic, as the price for fuel drops, more vehicle miles are driven.

ChargerCarl Jul 29, 2017 7:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by electricron (Post 7879121)
Induced demand is basically hidden demand. It's really there, drivers will choose the newer expanded lanes over other slower highways if given a chance. Why do so many suggest it's not a real demand?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induced_demand
Induced demand, or latent demand, is the phenomenon that after supply increases, more of a good is consumed.

Taking it out of the transportation lingo, let's use crops instead. When farmers overproduce, prices for that commodity falls, resulting in increasing sales because the price fell.
The price of gasoline has a similar effect on traffic, as the price for fuel drops, more vehicle miles are driven.

Yeah i think the whole concept of induced demand confuses people more than it illuminates.

The way I always thought about is that there is X demand for trips, and expanding highways increases the capacity so more trips can be taken.

The reason to oppose highway expansion isn't induced demand, its that highways take up valuable urban space to move a relatively little amount of people. 1 lane of freeway can move about 2,000/hour vs 1 ROW of heavy raill which can move about 40,000/hr.

Pedestrian Jul 29, 2017 7:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkahHigh (Post 7878303)
It's known that widening highways doesn't actually reduce congestion because of the induced demand principle.

The United States finally have a chance to catch up to the rest of the world in terms of rail infrastructure and they're seizing it. I think that's great.

The only thing likely to make the US adopt HSR to the same degree as Europe, China and Japan (because that's really what you are talking about when you say "rest of the world") would be air travel becoming increasingly unpleasant, dangerous or miserable. And that may be happening. But there's a lot of history of deteriorating private passenger rail at a time when air travel was seen as a luxury, and the way to go if you can afford it, to overcome. The middle class still hasn't accepted that modern coach air travel is becoming as dehumanizing and nasty as the railroads were at their worst (in the pre-AMTRAK days). If nothing changes, though, that could happen. Then they could become more suportive of alternatives.

ChargerCarl Jul 29, 2017 7:54 PM

Biggest obstacle is:

1) Extremely high unit costs
2) Only like 3 viable corridors (Coastal California, NEC, Texas?)
3) Lack of transit in destination cities. Even SF and LA have shitty transit.


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:21 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.