Dan Richard: Valley Is The Place to Start Building
On Thursday I discussed remarks made by CHSRA Board Chair Dan Richard about the upcoming revision to the Business Plan, remarks that suggested urban areas were going to play a greater role than earlier thought. While I never assumed Richard was suggesting that the Authority was going to abandon the Central Valley Initial Construction Segment, my post did include a discussion of why it would be a bad idea to do so anyway.
As it turns out, Richard remains strongly supportive of starting in the Valley:
“There are a number of people who would be just as happy to give that money back, and there are people who would say, ‘Let’s take it out of the Valley and put it in other places,’ but I oppose that,” said Richard, who acknowledged that he was originally skeptical about building first in the Valley.
“This is the place to start building.”
I strongly agree. The Central Valley is part of the key missing link in connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco via train. Building there makes sense not only because it’s flatter and cheaper, but also because closing that gap helps bring high speed rail much closer to reality in a way that building in urban areas alone never will.