Monday Open Thread

Aug 30th, 2010 | Posted by

Another open thread to keep you all busy. I’ll be back from Hawaii on Thursday and regular posting will resume then. There’s at least one guest post coming on the topic of recent meetings in Palo Alto, so look for that tomorrow.

Talk amongst yourselves!

  1. D. P. Lubic
    Aug 30th, 2010 at 22:31

    Gee, for once I get to open up the discussion!

    As Alon has said, not all conservative types are against rail service, although some are skeptical of HSR. Here we have some interesting material from The Infrastructurist (and of course, Alon has beat me to the comments section there):

    From the magazine:

    Other items:


    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    !!&$(%*$((($****!!! stupid program, no edit function, can’t add to original post something I should have remembered. . .so I have to have a conversation with myself. . .

    One thing that I’m finding so strange is that no one, on either the Infrastructurist site or in the American Conservative, including liberal commentator John Norquist, brings up the generational issue that has been seen and discussed here with some frequency. Is this factor still that far under the radar? You wouldn’t think so, especially since it has been fairly widely reported and commented on, including that recent story in Advertising Age, but maybe it still is. . .boy, do we have some educational work to do. . .

    D. P. Lubic Reply:

    Well, this is interesting, my answer to me appears, but the original post is still not up because it’s requiring moderation for something. In the meantime, I either look like a fool or everyone else wonders what the devil I’m fussing about. !!@@#$^&*((()))!!!!

    Brandon from San Diego Reply:

    I get you. But, I am not going to each one of the links you provided. Too many.

  2. Matt Korner
    Aug 31st, 2010 at 07:10

    The comments section of the recent posting regarding the proposed station location at U.C. Riverside or March Inland Port is closed, so I’ll use this thread for my reply.

    All the hand-wringing about the increasing appeal of the March Inland Port station is premature. As someone who received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, at Riverside, I agree wholeheartedly that the Metrolink station adjacent to the campus is vitally important, and I can only hope that the affected residents will eventually see the value in the slower speeds and quieter operation such a facility would provide the neighborhood. But, by almost every measure, this site is not appropriate for a high-speed rail station.

    A station at Downtown Riverside along the L.A.-to-S.D. segment is a non-starter for a number of reasons, but, if a high-speed system of some sort eventually uses the Santa Ana River corridor to connect Anaheim / Long Beach with the Inland Empire, then both downtown Corona and downtown Riverside would be natural station-stops. And, SCAG, the metropolitan planning organization for the six-county region, has proposed as much in the 2008 Regional Transportation Plan.

    SCAG really should be the driving force in many of these decisions since the organization is the most familiar with issues in southern California. And, regionalizing air-travel demand is among the agency’s highest priorities. Airlines, however, are reluctant to locate flights at Ontario and San Bernardino International Airports and at March Inland Port until reliable ground access is made available since freeway congestion is expected to quadruple travel times by 2035. Moreover, SanDAG, the M.P.O. for San Diego County, cannot find any places to situate new airports and cannot expand Lindbergh Field, so high-speed rail connecting San Diego with Inland Empire airports is a major goal of that agency, as well.

    To reach SCAG’s projected aviation numbers at Ontario, San Bernardino, and March will require high-speed rail stations in each city. The brilliant design of the proposed San Bernardino multimodal terminal allows for a fixed-guideway connection to the new and stylish San Bernardino International Airport about a mile away, as well as points beyond. And, a study is now underway to determine the mode, the alignment, and the funding mechanisms for such a system, which is likely to be built as high-speed aerial gondolas since Big Bear Lake is included in the corridor.

    San Bernardino is also among the most impressive sites in the entire State, in terms of intermodal capabilities and development potential, and the municipality is currently in the process of repositioning itself to compete in the category of first-tier cities, like Los Angeles and San Diego. Riverside’s obvious analogue, conversely, is Pasadena, which exists as a large urban center within a complex conurbation that is oriented toward downtown L.A.

    If San Bernardino is able to divorce the Inland Empire from Los Angeles and San Diego and to re-establish itself as the region’s urban core, one would expect a similar relationship to form again between San Bernardino and Riverside. And, a light-rail or DEMU connection between the two cities would become a necessary and welcome replacement or supplement to the existing Metrolink service. Downtown Riverside has great infrastructure, but much of the area is already either built-out or has reached climax, to use New Urbanist terms, since historical preservationists hinder the development of most new projects.

    Moreno Valley, a city of about 200,000, is in desperate need of economic development and better connections to job centers, so the March Inland Port station would be situated between Riverside and a decent-sized city to the northeast. Moreover, new high-quality transit (e.g., B.R.T.) is being developed to connect downtown Riverside, U.C.R., March, and Moreno Valley. And, both Riverside and Moreno Valley see redevelopment of the former air-force base as a major economic engine.

    Interesting mixed-use development has already been proposed for the site and includes the large and elaborate March LifeCare urban village that is oriented toward medical facilities and heavy users of health care. So, while the March Inland Port station may lack the infrastructure of downtown Riverside, the site has significantly greater development potential.

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