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  #1041  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 7:06 PM
jg6544 jg6544 is offline
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Originally Posted by pesto View Post
Just drive them. They move easily virtually all the time.
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.
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  #1042  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 7:10 PM
jg6544 jg6544 is offline
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Fixed it for ya. It was just a minor misspelling in the code.

Air is a bit more complicated, but the key difference is that a double standard is being applied by the highway crowd.

They reason thus: Americans have a God-given right to cars and thus anything to do with them falls under public works. But every other mode of transportation is private and should be expected to turn a profit to have a raison d'être.

The problem with this is that there's a double standard. Only cars apply for the fulfillment of freedom of mobility.

...Part of the problem comes with the usage of that word, mobility. What we really mean is freedom of access. Freedom to go from Place A to Place B, whenever, however.

And so we can see where the problem comes in with a highway. A highway curtails which freedom...? for which freedom...? If you're going to see mobility as the core freedom being expressed, you're going to be able to justify highways as public works. Problem is, that can also be used to justify public railroads and public airlines (which was done in Europe, recall).

But, as I argue, the core freedom that needs to be addressed is one of access--of being able to get from place to place--and when you think in those terms, the only reasonable solution, from the government's perspective, is to provide the most efficient access network possible. That means maximizing the amount of access enabled per investment. That means that the only reasonable network worth public investment is the local streets and roads network.

Curtailing access for mobility is actually a subversion of the expressed freedom, if access is the critical freedom needing public guarantee.

When analyzed with this framework, it becomes clear that highways, rail, and air all express mobility over access. Mobility can be taken as a freedom, a God-given right, as well, which would imply that all transportation systems are in the public domain.

Or...mobility can be taken as a luxury overlain on the core freedom of access. That allows it to be commoditized, and relinquished to the market. Highways, rail, and air in this regard become something worth paying for. Quantifying, as it were, your time.

(Before the passage of the National Interstate and Defense Highway Act--or something with a similar name--this was how the United States' federal government approached transportation policy.)

This would be the theory...In fact, however, the railroads were enabled by the government giving them their land for free. Very few railroads in the United States were built without some sort of capex subsidy--the land one being most dominant. The same goes for air travel, where the actual facilities (airports) are the public's concern while the equipment (planes) are the airline's concern. Prior to this subsidy, most major airlines utilized seaplanes rather than land facilities.

...In rail terms, this approach would be equivalent to a rail approach where the infrastructure--the trackwork, signalling, and gateways (stations) are the public's concern--while the equipment--the train cars themselves--is a private concern. This is essentially the approach being tried in Britain right now.

Good post. Just an historical factoid - the deathknell for passenger rail was sounded when the Post Office quit using trains to deliver first class mail (at one time, "air mail" was more expensive). That was a big subsidy and without it, the railroads began to dump every passenger train they had. Meanwhile, the government was pouring money into highways and air travel.
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  #1043  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 7:10 PM
pesto pesto is offline
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Fixed it for ya. It was just a minor misspelling in the code.

Air is a bit more complicated, but the key difference is that a double standard is being applied by the highway crowd.

They reason thus: Americans have a God-given right to cars and thus anything to do with them falls under public works. But every other mode of transportation is private and should be expected to turn a profit to have a raison d'être.

The problem with this is that there's a double standard. Only cars apply for the fulfillment of freedom of mobility.

...Part of the problem comes with the usage of that word, mobility. What we really mean is freedom of access. Freedom to go from Place A to Place B, whenever, however.

And so we can see where the problem comes in with a highway. A highway curtails which freedom...? for which freedom...? If you're going to see mobility as the core freedom being expressed, you're going to be able to justify highways as public works. Problem is, that can also be used to justify public railroads and public airlines (which was done in Europe, recall).

But, as I argue, the core freedom that needs to be addressed is one of access--of being able to get from place to place--and when you think in those terms, the only reasonable solution, from the government's perspective, is to provide the most efficient access network possible. That means maximizing the amount of access enabled per investment. That means that the only reasonable network worth public investment is the local streets and roads network.

Curtailing access for mobility is actually a subversion of the expressed freedom, if access is the critical freedom needing public guarantee.

When analyzed with this framework, it becomes clear that highways, rail, and air all express mobility over access. Mobility can be taken as a freedom, a God-given right, as well, which would imply that all transportation systems are in the public domain.

Or...mobility can be taken as a luxury overlain on the core freedom of access. That allows it to be commoditized, and relinquished to the market. Highways, rail, and air in this regard become something worth paying for. Quantifying, as it were, your time.

(Before the passage of the National Interstate and Defense Highway Act--or something with a similar name--this was how the United States' federal government approached transportation policy.)

This would be the theory...In fact, however, the railroads were enabled by the government giving them their land for free. Very few railroads in the United States were built without some sort of capex subsidy--the land one being most dominant. The same goes for air travel, where the actual facilities (airports) are the public's concern while the equipment (planes) are the airline's concern. Prior to this subsidy, most major airlines utilized seaplanes rather than land facilities.

...In rail terms, this approach would be equivalent to a rail approach where the infrastructure--the trackwork, signalling, and gateways (stations) are the public's concern--while the equipment--the train cars themselves--is a private concern. This is essentially the approach being tried in Britain right now.
An interesting mix of confusing theory and gratuitous name-calling. Maybe it's just me but I didn't follow the agument very well.

But in any event, it doesn't seem relevant to California; you really should check your facts. Ca HSR themselves EMPHASIZED the issue of profitability while pushing the ballot initiative, claiming that they would make money and return revenues to the state. Presumably they took this approach because they had minimal chance of passing the ballot measure if it was understood to cost 100B up front and large operating losses annually thereafter.

On review, it turned out that their business plan was so flawed that the DEMOCRAT controlled state legislative analyst and 3 other state audit agencies found the documents did not constitute a business plan. The re-did it with no better success. Still no adequate support for revenues, cost or funding sources.

HSR also SPECIFICALLY said that private parties were eager to be involved due to the profit potential. They have gotten zero interested investors. They also suggested that funding would be available from the Chinese, Japanese or others engineering firms. Turned out the Chinese would only extend funds if the repayment (plus interest) was guaranteed by the federal govt. AND if they got their usual profit margins to boot.

A final blow was the arrogance of HSR, basically disregarding those who complained about noise, eminent domain, splitting of cities, etc. Apparently these are little people, who don't count.

This is why so many previous supporters (including myself) have changed their minds about HSR and the people who run it.
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  #1044  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 12:30 AM
DJM19 DJM19 is offline
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I think there has been plenty of private interests in this project, unfortunately none of it Californian or even American.
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  #1045  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 1:24 AM
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Your self-serving anecdotes don't address the consensus among the experts in the field that population increase over the next 30 years will increase intra-state transit beyond what the current infrastructure can handle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pesto View Post
Just drive them. They move easily virtually all the time.

Compare 80, 880, 101 (SJ, Peninsula and LA), 5, 10, 405 and 20 others: they don't move most of the time.

Now tell me where it makes sense to put rail dollars (HSR, subway, whatever).
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  #1046  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 3:12 AM
JDRCRASH JDRCRASH is offline
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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.)?
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  #1047  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 6:03 AM
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Story from This Week in Northern California on KQED
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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?
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  #1048  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 6:28 AM
jg6544 jg6544 is offline
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Originally Posted by JDRCRASH View Post
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.)?
No, I think there's no longer any room for debate. It's a good and necessary investment.
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  #1049  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 4:31 PM
mfastx mfastx is offline
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Originally Posted by DJM19 View Post
I think there has been plenty of private interests in this project, unfortunately none of it Californian or even American.
That might be due to the fact that foreigners are the only ones smart enough to know that HSR works.
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  #1050  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 5:22 PM
drifting sun drifting sun is offline
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No, I think there's no longer any room for debate. It's a good and necessary investment.
Oh, the ARROGANCE!!!!

(sarcasm)
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  #1051  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 5:26 PM
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Originally Posted by pesto View Post
An interesting mix of confusing theory and gratuitous name-calling. Maybe it's just me but I didn't follow the agument very well.


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.

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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.
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Originally Posted by JDRCRASH View Post
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.
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Last edited by hammersklavier; Jan 24, 2012 at 5:53 PM.
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  #1052  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 5:43 PM
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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.
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  #1053  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 5:57 PM
pesto pesto is offline
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Originally Posted by jg6544 View Post
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.

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.
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  #1054  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 6:00 PM
pesto pesto is offline
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post


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.
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  #1055  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 8:15 PM
jg6544 jg6544 is offline
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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.
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  #1056  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 8:17 PM
jg6544 jg6544 is offline
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Oh, the ARROGANCE!!!!

(sarcasm)

Just being practical. There needs to be a third alternative to the freeways and the airlines.
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  #1057  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 8:20 PM
jg6544 jg6544 is offline
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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.
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  #1058  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 8:32 PM
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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.
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  #1059  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 11:02 PM
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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...
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Still going gratuitous and ad hominem with "Creationist"? Old habits die hard.
We both started out from Seattle...

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  #1060  
Old Posted Jan 25, 2012, 4:31 AM
DJM19 DJM19 is offline
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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.
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