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  #121  
Old Posted Aug 22, 2010, 3:52 PM
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This is from today's Sac Bee. CA's state parks are one of the many great things the state has to offer. They are really some amazing areas. I grew up mountain biking in Crystal Cove State Park. That said, the environmental benefits of high speed rail greatly exceed any potential encroachment on the parks. High speed rail will encourage smart growth and infill development, helping to preserve the state's remaining open space. This project will also improve air quality and limit climate change by providing an alternative to auto travel.



Growth puts pressure on California's state parks

Published: Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010 - 12:00 am
Page 1A
Sacramento Bee

"In the decades ahead, tensions between California parks and other priorities – transportation, green energy, private development – are likely to intensify. Over the next 40 years, the state's population is expected to grow from about 39 million to more than 59 million, according to the Department of Finance.

Parks spokesman Stearns said the department has identified high-speed rail as the No. 1 potential game-changer for parks up and down the state in coming years.

That quandary already is playing out at Los Angeles State Historic Park, where a high-speed rail project proposes to tunnel under the downtown park – possibly closing it for years. Supporters of Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park also are gearing up to fight plans to run the state's long-planned high-speed rail line near the park. Some blueprints for the ambitious rail project also would have the line cut through San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area and Pacheco State Park, both in Merced County.

"For every project that gets defeated, there's another one coming up behind it," said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation.

"Because fundamentally, California has very bad laws to protect its state parks."

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/08/22/297...=Top%20Stories
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  #122  
Old Posted Aug 23, 2010, 11:45 PM
PragmaticIdealist PragmaticIdealist is offline
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PragmaticIdealist:


With all due respect, air travel certainly is a key enabler of economic growth but the rate the landing fees are set at at LAX and Ontario has almost no effect on job growth or other macroeconomic conditions in Southern California. High unemployment and one of the most depressed housing markets in the US is a far more accurate explanation of why Ontario has been losing flights.
If an airline has to charge passengers double to fly from ONT, instead of LAX, and, if that premium results in a loss of ridership from ONT to LAX that, in turn, leads the airline to discontinue one or more flights from the former airport, then, for those many desirable employers who located near ONT to have access to one or more of those flights, there becomes a need to relocate, especially as the condition persists.

The fees at ONT are, by far, the highest of those being charged by airports in the SCAG and SanDAG regions. And, some officials with the L.A.W.A. finally admitted recently that they have only been paying lip service to the obligations the agency is under to regionalize air-travel demand at LAX.

Airlines are also desperate to have more assurances that reliable ground access to the airports in the Inland Empire will be available in the medium and long terms. Freeways between downtown Los Angeles and ONT, for instance, are expected to create travel times of more than two hours by 2035. So, high-speed rail to and from the Inland Empire is not an option; the mode and the routes are absolutely necessary for the economic competitiveness of the entire SCAG region. Additionally, San Diego County has no suitable locations for new airports or expansions while Lindbergh Field is currently operating well over capacity. So, high-speed rail is expected to better connect Inland Empire airports with the more southerly urban core, as well.
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  #123  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2010, 2:31 PM
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One poll released today has eMeg up by 8% over Jerry Brown. Admittedly, the people at Rasmussen are GO(B)P hacks but if you want to see high speed rail built in CA, it is essential to vote for Jerry Brown this November.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epo...olls/governor/
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  #124  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2010, 3:17 PM
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I really wanna believe that the CA high speed rail system is gonna get built, but it just seems too good to be true.
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  #125  
Old Posted Aug 26, 2010, 4:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist View Post
One poll released today has eMeg up by 8% over Jerry Brown. Admittedly, the people at Rasmussen are GO(B)P hacks but if you want to see high speed rail built in CA, it is essential to vote for Jerry Brown this November.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epo...olls/governor/
Obviously the election could go either way, but Rasmussen isn't a polling outfit. It's nothing more than a partisan propaganda machine known for cooking its "poll" numbers early in an election cycle to influence the election outcome in favor of its Republican clients. They invent a GOP "winner" and try to get undecided voters to commit to that "winner" long before election day--basic psy-ops stuff.

Rasmussen fabricates for any given GOP client a massive "lead" over any given Democrat early, and they maintain that fake number most of the cycle. Then, as election day approaches, Rasmussen stops cooking the numbers and that crazy outlier "lead" magically disappears by election eve. Why? Because Rasmussen knows polling firms are usually judged by their "final polls" on election eve, and so they need their "polls" to drop those phony leads they invented for their clients and become more aligned with the actual election results.

HSR may or may not get built regardless of the election, but don't let the partisan hacks at Rasmussen rattle you.
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  #126  
Old Posted Aug 27, 2010, 11:01 PM
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Next Contender for High-Speed Rail -- Los Angeles or Fresno?


http://www.fastcompany.com/1685354/n...eles-or-fresno

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A new report, Thinking Ahead: High-Speed Rail in California, from the Center for Urban infrastructure, details the benefits of building a mass inter-city high-speed rail system for Southern California, an area of the state that is sorely lacking in user-friendly mass transit. But the real shocker? The writers of the report suggest that most of the money should be used to link Bakersfield and Fresno, in Central California, an area that is mostly farmland and less densely populated than most of the state.

California is to receive a $2.34 billion investment to boost its economy and urban development plans and the idea is that where there are hubs for transportation, those same cities become economic hubs, which explains the focus on Central California. With the University of California's newest addition to the system, UC Merced, California has been trying to make something of its forgotten region for some time now, beyond farming. (High density development can't hurt the property tax rolls, right?)



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  #127  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2010, 12:06 AM
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The current plan goes through Fresno on its way from LA to SF.

Am I missing something here?
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  #128  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2010, 4:08 AM
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
The current plan goes through Fresno on its way from LA to SF.

Am I missing something here?
They wanna build it in segments.
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  #129  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2010, 5:15 AM
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
The current plan goes through Fresno on its way from LA to SF.

Am I missing something here?

The question is, which segment first?

I think LA-Anaheim first is dumb. I agree that Bakersfield-Fresno would be a much better start, as it's where the trains will go fastest and where the maintenance facility is.

Theres also a good amount of people currently taking the San Joaquin train every day.
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  #130  
Old Posted Sep 7, 2010, 4:15 PM
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Pacheco Pass high-speed rail route wins again


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...BAI91F7CUS.DTL

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(09-03) 04:00 PDT Sacramento --

For the third time in as many years, the High-Speed Rail Authority on Thursday chose the Pacheco Pass to speed trains between the Bay Area and Central Valley.

Despite pleas from those who favor an alignment over the Altamont Pass, and Peninsula critics of plans to run high-speed trains on the Caltrain right-of-way, the authority voted 7-0, with two members absent, to reaffirm earlier decisions and approved required environmental studies.

But the decision may not be the last.

"If you approve this, you are going to be heading back to court again and, I would predict, to another adverse decision," said Stuart Flashman, an attorney representing Menlo Park and Atherton in a suit that forced the authority to revisit the environmental study and alignment choice.



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  #131  
Old Posted Sep 8, 2010, 7:36 PM
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hammersklavier: one of several political decisions that makes the California HSR a questionable case. The Central Valley will have milk run stops, so some trains will go to each city, some to just a few. Very few of the trains will be non-stops so the time to get from LA to the Bay will generally be longer than advertised so that air and cars will be far more efficient choices for most people.

You will also notice that you go through SB and Riverside to get from LA to SD. This will pretty much make that connection non-competitive with cars. The OC, which has a natural connection to SD, will have to go 200 miles (and change trains) to get 70 miles to SD.

And try to figure how to get from Sacto or Stockton to the Fairfield/Oakland/East Bay corridor, which is its natural connection as well.

In short, it needs work.
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  #132  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2010, 2:39 AM
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The population growth is the major factor. Travel times on freeways in many of the urbanized areas are expected to quadruple within the next 10-20 years, and the congestion will be almost intolerable. So, high-speed rail should have no trouble competing with cars, short of them flying in the sky, running on sunshine, and driving themselves.

Interstate 5 through San Diego County is already maddening, and I try to take the train as often as I can to avoid that stretch.
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  #133  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2010, 1:39 PM
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While I'm sure political motivation is a contributing factor, and I'm not sure of some of the details of Cali. geography, I do believe that within the L.A. basin, there are constraints based on the passes to be used, parks, etc.

The Altamont route, for example, clearly offers a superior offering for S.F.-Sacramento than the Pacheco plan--but at the same time it's still inferior to a potential route straight down the river to Oakland (with a potential connection to Frisco proper from there). By the same token, the circular routing between L.A. and San Diego does touch most of the good neighborhoods, and seems designed in part to function as branches to concentrate traffic to Frisco at Union Station rather than to provide an effective fast path to S.D.--perhaps two routings may one day be necessary (I remember the geology of the matter prompting Desert Xpress to choose to terminate in Victorville and one day connect to Palmdale to piggyback on CAHSR's Tehachapi (sp?) Pass route, rather than connect via the more direct, but more geologically unstable and congested, Cajon Pass.)

As far as the first section, getting from Sacramento to Palmdale looks like it ought to be the first priority--it's the easiest part to build. No matter how you look at it, getting into the L.A. Basin is going to entail significant engineering and technical challenges, as is getting over the Pacheco Pass. This route naturally includes Fresno and Bakersfield as part of the initial segment.
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  #134  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2010, 2:33 PM
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Put high-speed rail in San Joaquin Valley first (SF Chronicle)

Put high-speed rail in San Joaquin Valley first

Walter Strakosch
San Francisco Chronicle
September 9, 2010

"High-speed rail has been a fact in Japan since 1964 and throughout Europe (France first) since 1981. High-speed rail is a great way to travel and may become a fact in California. Before that happens, however, the planned system should be structured with the best operating and financial scenario possible in order to protect the taxpayer (you and me) and to attract the necessary outside investors.

The total cost of the planned California system will exceed $40 billion. In addition to $9 billion in bond money, plus local grants and federal funding, the California High-Speed Rail Authority hopes for outside investors to defray $10 billion to $12 billion of the costs. Before that happens, though, those investors will need to see a potential return. The hitch? The way the phasing or building of the system is currently proposed may not produce a return.

Phase one of the California high-speed rail system is planned for San Francisco to Anaheim, followed by Los Angeles to San Diego, and then Merced to Sacramento. Phase One is to be built in segments. They are, with the first two segments having priority:

(1) Los Angeles to Anaheim,

(2) San Francisco to San Jose, and

(3) Bakersfield to Merced. The cost to build the 30 miles from Los Angeles to Anaheim and the 50 miles from San Francisco to San Jose is estimated at $9.9 billion. I suggest a less risky approach: Build the Bakersfield to Merced segment first..."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...EDEI1FAHET.DTL
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  #135  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2010, 6:51 PM
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hammersklavier: I agree with most of your comments but not on ordering.

Ca HSR believes 85 percent of its riders will come from cars. The problem is that it’s 350-450 miles by car and 430-600 miles by HSR from the Bay Area to LA/SD and the roads are excellent and uncrowded except on the busiest holidays. If an electric car is going to make that run for about .10/mile, we have roughly a $70 RT. Putting 2 adults and 2 kids on HSR will cost $400-600RT and you will need to rent a car when you get there (90 percent of the Bay Area does not live in SF and 95 percent of LA does not live in DT core).

The efficient uses of HSR are within the Bay Area and within LA/SD, where traffic is bad much of the time, will get much worse and freeways are about at their limits. My suggestion is to build-out Palmdale, Riverside, Irvine to DT LA, and (as you suggest) Sacto-Oakland-SJ with a BART connection into SF. The Peninsula already has excellent, heavily-used train service from SJ to SF and there is considerable opposition to HSR at the moment.

As PI notes, the OC to SD corridor is jammed much of the time. But HSR isn’t going to help this since it loops north to LA, east to Riverside, and back south to SD. This may serve the IE nicely, but makes the OC-SD connection useless. It goes on hold until a path through the OC is do-able. Everything in the Central Valley (except Sacto.) goes on hold until it’s clear the demand exists (HSR concedes that this is a very small piece of the projected ridership).
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  #136  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2010, 7:01 PM
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Essentially, the question for the O.C. to S.D. connection is whether or not Coaster and Metrolink, as well as Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner, to a lesser extent, need to be improved. For example, I would very much be in favor of integrating the two regional rail services so that transfers in Oceanside are unnecessary.
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  #137  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2010, 8:55 AM
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Originally Posted by jamesinclair View Post
The question is, which segment first?

I think LA-Anaheim first is dumb. I agree that Bakersfield-Fresno would be a much better start, as it's where the trains will go fastest and where the maintenance facility is.

Theres also a good amount of people currently taking the San Joaquin train every day.
They should divide the area between San Jose and Burbank up into a good 50 segments, cherry-pick whichever 10 are the cheapest and most politically expedient first, and move on from there as each one gets completed. The more miles of track they can quickly lay down, the easier it'll become to rationalize the rest of it.
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  #138  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2010, 2:53 PM
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California and China to Collaborate on Railroads...Again.


September 13th, 2010

Read More: http://www.fastcompany.com/1688549/c...railroadsagain

Quote:
China helped California build its railway decades ago and they may be at it again soon; Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has made it publicly known that the great state of California is accepting bids from China to build its high-speed rail connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco. There is a precedent here--Schwarzenegger visited China's railways earlier this year and China has already publicly expressed interest, not only in California but also in linking entire continents.

All in all, it looks as though Schwarzenegger and China are playing a little dance, wooing each other, making public statements, holding meetings, and more. "We look to China to build our high speed rail, to be part of the bidding process that we are going to go through," said Schwarzenegger while in Shanghai. Schwarzenegger is also in talks with neighboring South Korea and Japan, but if China can keep its costs low, it seems likely Schwarzenegger would award the contract to China.



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  #139  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2010, 3:58 PM
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hammersklavier: I agree with most of your comments but not on ordering.

Ca HSR believes 85 percent of its riders will come from cars. The problem is that it’s 350-450 miles by car and 430-600 miles by HSR from the Bay Area to LA/SD and the roads are excellent and uncrowded except on the busiest holidays. If an electric car is going to make that run for about .10/mile, we have roughly a $70 RT. Putting 2 adults and 2 kids on HSR will cost $400-600RT and you will need to rent a car when you get there (90 percent of the Bay Area does not live in SF and 95 percent of LA does not live in DT core).

The efficient uses of HSR are within the Bay Area and within LA/SD, where traffic is bad much of the time, will get much worse and freeways are about at their limits. My suggestion is to build-out Palmdale, Riverside, Irvine to DT LA, and (as you suggest) Sacto-Oakland-SJ with a BART connection into SF. The Peninsula already has excellent, heavily-used train service from SJ to SF and there is considerable opposition to HSR at the moment.

As PI notes, the OC to SD corridor is jammed much of the time. But HSR isn’t going to help this since it loops north to LA, east to Riverside, and back south to SD. This may serve the IE nicely, but makes the OC-SD connection useless. It goes on hold until a path through the OC is do-able. Everything in the Central Valley (except Sacto.) goes on hold until it’s clear the demand exists (HSR concedes that this is a very small piece of the projected ridership).
The 85% is likely political. It appeals to staunch car drivers (hey, less traffic), to environmentalists (hey, it's saving the planet), to price-conscious people (hey, they're targetting drivers... so it'll be cheap).

In reality, I doubt it will be that high for the whole trip. However, it will be used a lot more for shorter trips into the city from the exurbs as a way of avoiding the traffic for occasional trips in.

SF-LA traffic will be mostly previously airplane passengers. In fact, if it's done right, airline travel between those two cities will almost disappear.
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  #140  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2010, 4:03 PM
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I'll believe it when I see it. If California legislature and citizen can find enough wrong with allowing SNCF or DB to participate in CHSR, surely human rights, nationalists and protectionists folks will come out of the woodwork to prevent Chinese companies, which really means China and all that is associated with that come in and build our modern railroad system. The Chinese railroad builders of the 19th Century were essentially grunts working for slave wages, not a modern, cunning and efficient communist government backed, quasi-public, quasi- private billion dollar corporation(s) landing on our shores helping US build a fast choo choo and going home flush with California and American taxpayer cash.
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