Majority of Californians Support High Speed Rail Project

Mar 26th, 2014 | Posted by

Great news from the Public Policy Institute of California, which has a new poll out on various political issues in California. The poll shows that a clear majority of Californians continue to support high speed rail:

Today, when read a description of the system and its $68 billion price tag, 53 percent favor it and 42 percent oppose it. Likely voters are less supportive (45% favor, 50% oppose). Majorities in the San Francisco Bay Area (63%), Central Valley (57%), Orange/San Diego (54%), and Los Angeles (52%) are in favor. Inland Empire residents are divided (45% favor, 46% oppose). When opponents of high-speed rail are asked how they would feel if the cost were lower, support rises (69% adults, 60% likely voters). Asked about high-speed rail’s importance, 35 percent of adults and 29 percent of likely voters say it is very important to the future quality of life and state’s economic vitality.

These are very strong numbers for high speed rail. The media may focus on the likely voter number, but even that is just a small swing from the 52% voter support from Proposition 1A in 2008. That’s also due to the lower enthusiasm for voting this year among more progressive Californians.

The key point here is that despite all the criticisms this project has taken from people opposed to passenger rail and their media allies, high speed rail is still popular in California. Let there be no doubt about this. Californians still want this built, even when the supposedly controversial project details are described. Californians still want this project built.

Sacramento politicians need to have this poll burned into their consciousness. What this says is there is no public appetite for undermining or delaying this project. It also means there is no real chance that Democrats would suffer at the polls this November if they continue to support and fund the project – just as they did not pay any political price in November 2012 for their pro-HSR stance.

California legislators should move ahead and get high speed rail built. This poll proves that’s what their constituents want – a high speed rail project that will connect California.

UPDATE: John Burrows makes a good point in the comments – public support for HSR has increased since last year:

In 2013— 48% of all voters favored the project—50% opposed——In 2014—53% of voters in favor—42% opposed (an increase in support of 5 percentage points among all voters)

In 2013—43% of likely voters favored the project—54% opposed——In 2014—45% of likely voters in favor—50% opposed (an increase in support of 2 percentage points, a decrease in opposition of 4 percentage points)

What this tells me is that support for high speed rail in California has increased over the past year, particularly among those less likely to vote. As the economy in California continues to recover, it seems likely that voter support for high speed rail will increase further.

  1. morris brown
    Mar 26th, 2014 at 21:06
    #1

    One would think a poll would at least present accurately the current situation. The key question given was:

    22. Next, as you may know, California voters passed a $10 billion state bond in 2008 for planning and construction of a high-speed rail system from Southern California to the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. The estimated costs associated with the 800-mile high-speed rail system are about $68 billion dollars over the next 20 years. Do you favor or oppose building a high-speed rail system in California? (If oppose: “What if the high-speed rail system cost less, would you favor or oppose building it?”)

    Nobody, including the Authority is claiming 800 miles are going to be built for $68 billion.

    Donk Reply:

    Do you really think that had an impact on the poll? You are assuming that most people have any concept for how many miles it is between LA and SF.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    No surprise that it is going to be a push-poll, given that Bechtel is the major funding source for PPIC. Same for their reports on the Peripheral Canal.

    joe Reply:

    Thinking ahead, how important is the high-speed rail system for the future quality of life and economic vitality of California — is it very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important?”

    Likely voters: 59% – somewhat or very important. 23% – not important.

    Jerry Reply:

    But Mr. Drunk Engineer the survey was funded by the James Irvine Foundation.

    John Burrows Reply:

    From last year’s PPIC Statewide Survey dated March 20, 2013—

    “As you may know, California voters passed a $10 billion state bond in 2008 for planning and construction of a high-speed rail system from Southern California to the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. The estimated costs associated with the 800-mile high speed rail system are about $68 billion over the next 20 years. Do you favor or oppose building a high-speed rail system in California?”

    Normally I don’t pay much attention to surveys of public opinion, but this time is different. Here we have a case where the key question was identical in 2013 and in 2014, but the answers were not.

    In 2013— 48% of all voters favored the project—50% opposed——In 2014—53% of voters in favor—42% opposed (an increase in support of 5 percentage points among all voters)

    In 2013—43% of likely voters favored the project—54% opposed——In 2014—45% of likely voters in favor—50% opposed (an increase in support of 2 percentage points, a decrease in opposition of 4 percentage points)

    What this tells me is that support for high speed rail in California has increased over the past year, particularly among those less likely to vote. As the economy in California continues to recover, it seems likely that voter support for high speed rail will increase further.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Nice catch.

    Lewellan Reply:

    If you’ve noticed, I have softened my stance on the project lately, but not without caveats. Your comment, “There is no public appetite for undermining or delaying this project,” is a misrepresentation of the truth that many will rightly consider disengenuous. There most certainly is ‘growing’ public opposition to the project from rail advocates and directly affected communities along the route, not just from the ideological anti-rail or corrupt. To strengthen support, advocates must not stretch the truth. Serious problems cannot be simply ignored nor remedial route options dismissed. You’re doing a valuable service presenting up to date information, but the project will die on the vine if you keep acting like your viewpoint is unquestionable. The Madera-to-Fresno segment is an unacceptable initial operating segment and needs a thorough redesign for reduced speed. I will continue to argue that 200+mph speeds and electrification Merced-to-Bakersfield is unecessary and the Altamont route should be electrified instead. Otherwise, you keep at it. You’re doing good.

    Joe Reply:

    I don’t know what a rail advocate is. My guess is that’s a reference to people that have a blog about rail systems and strong opinions about how thing should be done.

    The high-speed rail system has begun staffing and gov. Brown has staffed it with senior people with prior experience building large projects within California.

    They know how the bureaucracy works the understand the politics and they understand the local politics. They understand contract law and the restrictions that the state puts on contracts.

    There was competitive bid and after when one was selected, there was not one formal challenge by a losing bid. high-speed rail management was smart enough to offer reimbursement payments for all proposers. That encourage competitive bids and eliminated a risk of lawsuits.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    They know how the bureaucracy works the understand the politics and they understand the local politics. They understand contract law and the restrictions that the state puts on contracts.

    Restriction 1: PBQD and/or Bechtel write all the specs and are in total control of the public agency which funds them. By direct revolving-door of appointment of employees into controlling positions if necessary.
    Restriction 2: Tutor-Saliba is awarded the contracts.

    Pretty simple.

    Capitalism is a wonderful system.

    joe Reply:

    Restriction 3: Reality

    Oh so may scapegoats.

    Jeff Morales has the political and programmatic skill to accomplish a large public works project in CA.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Bay Bridge East Span.

    Mission Accomplshed.

    Heckuva job, Moralie.

    Joe Reply:

    Whoami
    Heck of a job Richard.

    surely I’m not the first one to point out the irony. A guy with a big ego would somehow contribute that utility.

    Nathanael Reply:

    So, Richard, what are you doing to destroy capitalism? Nothing? Right.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Probably not. The gap between likely voters: I.e. Whites over 30, and the rest of the state is growing. In fact the PPIC did a whole presentation on the consequences of this back in 2006. Obama’s win in 2008 appeared to awaken the sleeping giant but the nature of 2012 has some suggesting it was a fluke.

    This would not be a good development: the PPIC prediction made California look like the next South Africa under apartheid. But the rest of the poll has a wealth of interesting data. For example, earners making more than $80,000 simultaneously are more likely to think economic times are good, but the direction of the State is bad.

    John Burrows Reply:

    But in the long term, according to California Department of Finance projections made last year, the number of Whites over 30 compared to Asians and Hispanics is going to decline—

    By early 2014 (right now) the Hispanic population of California will surpass that of the non-Hispanic Whites.

    By 2030 our “prime working age” (25-64) population is projected to be made up of 9.7 million Hispanics, 7.2 million Whites, and 3.1 million Asians.

    By 2060 there would be 12.1 million Hispanics, 7.4 million whites, and 3.2 million Asians of prime working age.

    And this is a good thing for the future of CAHSR because Asians and Hispanics are more supportive of the project. The 2012 PPIC Survey which used a $100 billion cost for the system found that 69% of Asians and 56% of Latinos supported HSR while 55% of Whites were opposed.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    it not just demographics, its who votes

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yes and I know that John. The next 5 years are going be most interesting.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    It’s not like the last 5 have been boring

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Not really.

    The last five years have been mostly treading water. In the next five, Millennials are actually going to take over and start calling most of the shots. I’m hopeful it augurs progressive reforms, but you never know.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Take over…in 5 years..

    Why is it everyone on this blog believes that

    1. Every Republican is 5 years or less from dying
    2. As people age they don’t get more conservative.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry Brown is their template.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It would take a whole blog post to answer your question fully but:

    1) The advantage Millenials will soon enjoy has much more to do with our generation reaching voting age than Baby Boomers dying off. California is a perfect example of where the electorate has done a 180 after demographic changes.

    2) You can’t expect Millenials to get more conservative if you keep screwing them economically. It is way easier to be a token conservative when there was a higher standard of living and more manufacturing jobs subsidized by the Cold War.

    The GOP platform is a shit sandwich to anyone under 35 and the problem is everyone knows it.

    joe Reply:

    I can sneer it in two videos.
    Here’s the GOP’s out reach ad for Millennia voter. No, they are not parodies.
    All of the above
    http://youtu.be/x9qLYZPAQB8
    Paycheck
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PulUKsICY9o

    joe Reply:

    I can answer it, not “sneer it”. (auto spellcheck)

    Nathanael Reply:

    John: Ted Judah is right, but also:
    (1) It’s been studied. The Republican-voting population is skewing older and older every year. I believe last time I looked, the *average* Republican voter was over 55… the average Democratic voter and the average independent voter are younger than that.

    (2) it’s been studied. As people age, their political views don’t change. On average, they’re pretty much fixed by the mid-20s.

    Nathanael Reply:

    I’m not quite as optimistic as Ted, because I think it’s going to take a little longer than 5 years, due to voter suppression and stuff like that. Things will start really cracking loose politically within the next decade, though.

    Nathanael Reply:

    I’m going to make one more point here.

    If you use the DICTIONARY definition of conservative, sure, people get more conservative as they get older — they want to conserve things, they want to save the nice things they grew up with and have more of them.

    But political “conservatism” has *nothing to do with that*. It is a radical extremist movement which wants to destroy American society and replace it with some sort of Christian theocracy / gun-toting Mad Max hybrid. It is not conservative in the dictionary sense at all. People are turning away from this radical extremist movement very fast.

    The dictionary-conservatives would like to have old-fashioned bullet trains, like France has had since before they were born, thank you very much.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Ok Nathaniel. Then how did the current old politically conservative class you so hate come from the young 60s and 70s free love set

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They didn’t, they came from the Young Republican clubs and the Jaycees. Though the Republicans have lost the Jaycees and the Chamber is drifting away. The Junior League wandered off to find something better to do and spend more time with the family back in the 90s.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Really? So all those liberal hippies that were going to end war, tune out, etc, They are still all around. The conservative youngsters were just in closets, waiting to grow old?

    Your claptrap (when the young grow up the world will drastically change) has been around for every generation. Just like “these youngsters are weak, not like my generation”.

    The truth is most energized movement in politics is the tea party at the moment, but that will change. Eb and flow, etc. when I was growing up the GOP was deficient in state politics, now they have more than 1/2 the Governor mansions. If anything I can show the trend for the last 3 decades is a GOP in resurgence.

    The GOP is not

    joe Reply:

    GOP Ad – Paycheck.
    http://youtu.be/PulUKsICY9o
    Insulting Millennial voters.

    California Republicans may have a larger concern. Republicans dropped below 30 percent of all voters for the first time since the state began tracking party affiliation in 1922. Republicans are now at 29.4 percent of all voters, down from 31.4 in 2008.
    Democrats have also lost voter share in the state but unlike Republicans, increased their raw numbers. Democrats now account for 43.7 percent of voters, down from 44.4 percent in 2008. Unaffiliated voters have increased from 19.9 percent to 20.9 percent.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s a good thing the Tea Party is the most energized faction. They are making the Republican primaries a battle to see who can be the most bat shit insane. Which goes over well the bat shit insance Tea Party. Not so well in the general elections.

    joe Reply:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/gallup-poll-young-people-more-democratic

    The poll cites the racial and ethnic diversity of today’s young adults as a major reason youth are likely to prefer the Democratic Party.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    John,

    If you are wondering why the GOP in California needs a 30 year plan to be relevant again, please watch the following video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLIzzs2HHgY

    joe Reply:

    and specifically Prop 187. http://youtu.be/VZI7Q2pduUI

    Wilson gave CA a weggie.

    The Law was never enacted – it was litigated and found unconstitutional. Gov. Davis refused to appeal the case.

    Learning nothing the GOP pushed Prop 8 which was also found unconstitutional.

    Eric Reply:

    There is plenty of support for transit in the Bay Area – but look what trashy projects get built there. Political support is not enough to build a functional system.

    JB in PA Reply:

    Slightly better than Seattle, but that is not saying much. Not quite as good as Portland OR. LA? San Diego? Sacto? Pheonix? Tucson? Denver? The West needs transit improvement.

    Observer Reply:

    The poll also may reflect something that has not sunk in to the anti HSR folks; flying within California, and driving its freeways sucks. People are becoming increasingly sick and tired of this and want an alternative; the young more so than the older population. I think the poll reflects this, since older people vote more and the young not as much; hence those likely to vote are less supportive of HSR – but not by much. In other words you can argue about routes and funding, but HSR will eventually happen; the old guard just does not get it yet.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Well there is a bigger problem. Te reason likely voters skew white and older is in part because minorities tend to be disenfranchised on the whole. Blacks got from disproportionate rates if incarceration, Latinos and Asians from being here illegally.

    There is a researcher at UC Davis that already pointed out at luncheon I went to that basically if minorities vote in California at the same turnouts as whites, they control what happens. If it is less, whites prevail. In 08, guess what happened? And guess what happened in 2010 and 2012?

    As polarizing as Obama has been, he is not running for anything anymore except the US Senate in another state. That means another candidate is going to have to work some magic to get the same type of results. Keep in mind, there are potential options out there but very few minorities that have carried statewide races in CA. Part of this was a white candidate was a neutral third party between competing Latino and black voting blocs, but it was also the Democratic leadership is entrenched and old and doesn’t look like the younger generation.

    Eric Reply:

    I’m generally liberal when it comes to immigration, but somehow I don’t get upset about illegal immigrants not being allowed to vote.

    Eric Reply:

    Liberal as in “liberal”. As in disagreeing with the GOP.

    blankslate Reply:

    Te reason likely voters skew white and older is in part because minorities tend to be disenfranchised on the whole. Blacks got from disproportionate rates if incarceration, Latinos and Asians from being here illegally.

    There is so much wrong with this statement. First off, it has already been pointed out that not allowing non-citizens to vote is hardly cruel and unusual (is there any country with a different policy?). Second, the majority of Latinos and Asians in California are native born, and the majority of Asian immigrants, and about 50/50 for Latino immigrants, are documented. Finally, whites and older people tend to vote in greater numbers even than non-incarcerated, documented minorities, so the whole basis for this statement is off.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The British allowed citizens of the Irish Republic to vote for years. Not sure if they still do.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    In the EU, there’s a reciprocity agreement, in which citizens of an EU member state who live elsewhere in the EU may vote in local elections.

    As for Asians and Hispanics, yes, majorities of them are citizens, but substantial minorities are not.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The UK/Republic of Ireland arrangement predates EU and was for all elections.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I put in that qualifier about minority voting because otherwise I would get accused of implying that minorities were less motivated or inclined to be part of the political process. Disenfranchisement has been a standing GOP strategy since Rockefeller.

    Nathanael Reply:

    In the US, there is aggressive disenfranchisement of the working poor with techniques like limited voting hours (always during work hours), and since this isn’t enough, many states are trying onerous and expensive ID requirements.

    Thankfully most of this isn’t happening in California.

    Eric Reply:

    “limited voting hours (always during work hours), ”

    Not sure how that’s supposed to work. The unemployed, and those who work outside of “regular” working hours, are disproportionally poor.

    Woody Reply:

    In some states limited voting hours were put in place to make voting hard for union members with 8-to-5 factory jobs. The boogeyman then being unions, whose members were primarily ethnics from Eastern and Southern Europe.

    That’s how Indiana came to have laws that close the polls at 6 p.m. Those damn Steelworkers in the plants along Lake Michigan were organized and could be brought to the polls. Unemployed people are not organized and they don’t have gas money to drive to the polls.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes, but most poor people are not unemployed.

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Sign the Guard My Vote petition to get voter ID in California for 2016. Keep elections honest! This ID would not be onerous, and it would be free.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The elections aren’t honest in California? You have a cite for that?

    joe Reply:

    Keep elections honest!

    Mr. Allen, misspelled “white!”.

    joe Reply:

    Wow.

    Guard My Vote supports increased California voter participation by sponsoring a state-wide initiative to protect the integrity and value of every vote by identifying every citizen voter through an equitable process, by exposing and mitigating vote-related error and fraud, and by enrolling, training and coordinating volunteers to preserve and protect the voting rights of Californians through education, signature-gathering, registration and the election process itself.

    I hope the Guard My Vote Volunteers let me vote. I’m kinda tan.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I’m okay with voter ID, as long as it’s a passport. What do you mean, you don’t have a passport? How hard is it to just go to the post office, fill endless forms, produce a birth certificate and other supporting documents to make sure you are who you say you are, and pay a fee? Men died for your right to vote! Go jump through all the hoops if you want your democratic rights, citizen!

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    they same ones who are running around like chickens with their heads cut off because a few dozen people nationwide are the same ones who when it’s explained to them that employers asking for ID would dry up the illegal immigrant problem almost over night get choleric. And the same ones who went ballistic over everyone having a single payer health care card.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So it is ok to get them go jump through those hoops to get a passport to travel internationally.

    Same hoops to just get a state ID

    It is ok to get them to jump through even bigger hoops to get a drivers license (all the documentation requirements plus a test)

    Ok to ask for ID to rent an apartment, get utilities, open a bank account, pick up mail and packages, airline travel, open and use a credit card, file for welfare, social security, etc. basically do anything in your day.

    But to ID yourself to vote is ridiculous??

    I acknowledge that in the past there were requirements and taxes placed on people to repress their ability to vote. That was wrong and anything done to repress the vote continues to be wrong. I am not a fan of putting restrictions in place (limited hours, no absentee voting, etc.). The right to vote is absolute.

    But there is a legitimate need to ensure that a person is registered to vote and only votes once. 1 person 1 vote. An ID requirement is a reasonable way to ensure that happens. I don’t think that voter fraud is widespread or pervasive, but there are rare cases of it in every election and it is a legitimate governmental need to reduce and/or eliminate it.

    As a side note, I know this is the privaliged white guy from a middle class background speaking, but I can’t imagine living without ID. How do you function in modern society, You need ID for everything??

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    To register to vote you have to prove who you are. Most people just check off the box on their driver’s license application. The person checking whether or not you are in the correct polling place has a copy of that signature. So I proved who I was and gave them a sample of my signature to compare. If it’s good enough for my bank, credit card companies and my driver’s license why isn’t it good enough for voting?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Ok to ask for ID to rent an apartment, get utilities, open a bank account, pick up mail and packages, airline travel, open and use a credit card, file for welfare, social security, etc. basically do anything in your day.

    No.

    Not unless you positively relish living in a police state.

    jimsf Reply:

    I have to to check id of every person who buys a train ticket. You truly would not believe how many people do not have id. For over a decade not a single day has gone by where I don’t encounter people with no id.

    joe Reply:

    Driving is a regulated privilege, not a basic right of citizenship.

    In 1990’s CA had Prop187, in 2000’s CA had Prop 8, now we have Voter ID laws.

    GOP identification is sub 30% and success is defined as breaking the Legislative superiority.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Richard

    I live in CA and I had to provide an ID to rent my apartment, then buy my house (notary). I am asked about once every 2 weeks when I use my credit card. People don’t rust signatures anymore. I was asked when I turned on PG&E and cable. Picking up anything (package or layaway). I have been asked to prove citizenship (ID + birth certificate or passport) for every job I have ever gotten. Also when I took the drug test for every job I have ever had.

    I have never applied for public assistance, but here are the documentation requirements for food stamps in CA

    http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/foodstamps/pg847.htm#list

    In short, I could not do jack shit without an ID. I am not being factious or mean when I say I just literally can understand how you could exist in modern society without an ID.

    Getting an ID in CA is the same as a drivers license without the test.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    John, I also live in California.

    I’m also old enough to remember (and youthfully indiscreetly unreflectingly perhaps have put a little credence in) propaganda about “freedom” and “rights” and all that jive.

    I suggest you are not reflecting sufficiently upon the extent to which “the commies” did in fact “win” the cold war.

    In short, I could not do jack shit without an ID

    Indeed.

    Frogs in slowly boiling water and all that.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I do not remember ever having had to show ID to get an apartment. A bank account, yes, but not an apartment. I had to show ID at jobs but only because of visa requirements; Americans to my understanding do not need to show ID at American academic jobs, and neither do Canadians at Canadian jobs. I pick up mail routinely without ID, and I’ve never been asked for ID to use my debit card. At certain bars in New York I could also drink without ID, but I do not drink, so when I entered bars before I turned 21 I wasn’t really violating any drinking age laws.

    So no, not everyone has ID. I don’t have any government-issued photo ID other than my passports. In some countries, everyone has ID, because the government requires people to have ID (sometimes also to carry it with them) and gives it to them automatically at a young age without making them fill endless forms. In Israel there’s an entire first-ID ceremony at 16, together with the ceremonies about being drafted into the military. In the Anglosphere proper, there’s no such thing; you need to jump through hoops to get ID, and if you don’t need it in your daily life, which many people don’t, then you don’t get one.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Every apartment I have ever gotten they ran a credit check. So ID and SSN.

    Similarly, I am a US citizen by birth and I have had to submit to drug testing and US citizen ID proof at every job I have worked for. They did not require security clearance so it was not that.

    Just today the Office Depot person asked to see my ID when I paid for something with a credit card.

    Apparently you guys just look more trustworthy than me.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I got credit-checked at two apartments, without ID. The third apartment I didn’t because I showed my landlord a job offer for the entire year with sufficient income to pay the rent. The apartment I currently live in in Canada (a no-ID land like the US) did not require me to show any ID.

    Does your credit card say you need to show ID? I know some people write that on the back of their credit cards instead of a signature as a measure against identity theft.

    Finally, re proof of citizenship, does this have to be a picture ID? I vaguely remember seeing a list of what documents are acceptable for proof of work authorization, and there were many that Americans could use – I specifically remember an expired US passport is a valid form of ID for this, but I do not remember whether a birth certificate was one. Regardless, not all jobs check citizenship, just as not all jobs do drug testing. I’ve never been drug tested in my life.

    Nathanael Reply:

    “the Democratic leadership is entrenched and old and doesn’t look like the younger generation.”

    True in general. True in California, but less so. True much much more so in New York (my God the Democratic party leadership here look aged and obsolete and unlike the grassroots my age and younger — and I’ll turn 40 soon!)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That’s the way things work. Ya start out on city council and work you way up to county legislature and then the assembly and either the state senate or the House. That takes time. It’s the way things work outside of government too.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Note that the margin of error is 3.6%.

    StevieB Reply:

    The same margin of error as the poll last year which has been highly cited by opponents and the media. The vast majority of the population ignore margin of error and take the numbers as factual. What will be taken from this poll is the change in public opinion from a year ago.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Approval rating among likely voters changed from 43% to 45%. The margin of error is 3.6%. So how is that any different?

    StevieB Reply:

    The margin of error is the confidence that the number in the wider population is near the poll number. The confidence level is usually 95% that the number falls within 3.6% of the poll result with the highest confidence that the result is very close to the poll result and decreasing in confidence the farther away. So this year the number is most likely to fall very near 45% and last years number is more likely to fall near 43%. This is a significant difference.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    You are misusing the word significant.

    StevieB Reply:

    Significant in the sense of pertaining to observations that are unlikely to occur by chance and that therefore indicate a systematic cause.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    No. Just no.. Stop it.

    Derek Reply:

    Nobody, including the Authority is claiming 800 miles are going to be built for $68 billion.

    This poll also doesn’t claim that the 800 miles will be built for $68 billion, only that HSR will eventually be 800 miles long and that $68 billion will be spent on it over the next 20 years.

    Alan Reply:

    Gee… Reality doesn’t support Morris’ little fantasy world. He must really be squirming in his Depens right now…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Then why are the Cheerleaders so afraid of putting Prop 1a back on the ballot? With such overwhelming support from the masses they could even add on Sin City and require government operation ala BART and specify Amalgamated to be the union and PB-Tutor the established State consultant-contractor.

    JB in PA Reply:

    “why are the Cheerleaders so afraid of putting Prop 1a back on the ballot?”

    Stare decisis.

    Alan Reply:

    I’ve told you before–give us a redo on the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections, and I’d be more inclined to go along with a revote on 1A.

    Oh, wait–there’s already been a revote, the one where the pro-HSR candidate for governor beat the anti-HSR, pro-1% candidate.

    Two votes are enough. You don’t get any more.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I guess the Palmdale water grab measure will have to do until the real thing comes along.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Just out of curiosity, I understand why you might feel a 2000 vote is justified (i disagree, but I get the logic). But what was the “deficency” in the 2004 vote that would justify a re-vote?

    I mean do we get a re-vote of 1976 because Carter was such a terrible president?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You mean the guy who started Reagonimics rolling?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Carter converted more people to the GOP than any republican ever did

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Your id is showing. This isn’t a religious war with dogma and converts.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    It’s a political war with dogma and converts

    Nathanael Reply:

    Look up the “October Surprise”. A secret act of treason committed by Reagan’s campaign team converted lots of people to the GOP.

    It’s pretty much been proven by the various witnesses and releases of data, though all the guilty parties who were directly implicated are dead now.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Wow. And I thought the Birthers were kooks. Totally unproven and does not even make sense. Reagan won in a landslide, they didn’t need to cheat. Carter presided over a broken economy, his foreign policy was a disaster. Even his own party hated him

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    50.8 percent of the vote is not a landslide.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Vs 41% (since it was a 3 way race because the Dems hated Carter that much)

    489 to 49 in electoral college, It was a slaughter.

    joe Reply:

    It was a very close race until the final days which of course you fail to recall with any accuracy. And yes Reagan’s guys did make contact with Iran and even sold arms to Iran illegally.

    John Anderson ran as a progressive independent which split some of the vote.
    joe was living in Rockford at the time – Anderson’s home district – and voted for the dude.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    49.2 percent of the people don’t vote for you is another way of looking at it as not a landslide.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    It was never close. Regan won the electoral college by 400+ votes and every state but MN and DC. Think about that for a moment, A republican took Every blue state on the map but 2.

    It’s amazing you would argue otherwise. It was the biggest landslide in modern history

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Correction, Carter took 6 states and DC but the landslide is still the most electoral votes a non incumbent has ever gotten

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Richard Nixon had a landslide in 1972. Reagan had a landslide in 1984. 1980 was not a landslide no matter how many times you insist Saint Ronnie had one.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    489 to 49 is what? A close race?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_1980

    Carter’s loss was the worst performing of an incumbent President since Herbert Hoover lost to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 by a margin of 18%. Carter’s defeat was the most lopsided defeat for any incumbent president in an election where only two candidates won electoral votes. Also, Jimmy Carter was the first incumbent Democrat to serve only one full term since James Buchanan and fail to secure re-election since Andrew Johnson

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You do understand that it is possible ( but very improbable ) to lose the popular vote and win the electoral college? And that it’s quite common to win the electoral college with a plurality of voters but not a majority of voters?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I do, but that has nothing to do with the discussion.

    You do understand that in 1980 Regan got 90+ % of the electoral college setting a record that still stands.

    Your assertions was it was not a landslide, In the face of facts how about you just admit you were wrong,

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    On planet Earth it’s defined by the popular vote. We don’t use the definitions from your planet here on Earth.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    In the US the only vote that counts is the electoral college. The US is still on planet earth right?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    So the only elections that can have a landslide are those determined by the Electoral College?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    US presidential elections…yes. Unless and until you change the Constitution. They have been talking about it for a long while, but it hasn’t happened yet.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    adirondacker12800 Reply:
    March 29th, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    50.8 percent of the vote is not a landslide.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Landslide is not a constitutional or legal term. Legally, the winner is the winner of the electoral college, but politically, the concept of landslide is understood in terms of the popular vote. Someone who limped in 51% of the vote but had an electoral college landslide is not necessarily a very popular leader, and would need significant improvement in the economy or other good news to be guaranteed reelection. But someone who got 59% of the vote has a clearer mandate, and can afford to piss people off or to think that their current coalition is strong.

    The same is of course true in Westminster systems, where you can become prime minister with 30-something percent of the vote if the opposition has enough vote splitting. If you’re in that situation, you have few limits on your power as prime minister, but you are in danger of losing the next election as the opposition regroups. See for example where Cameron and Harper are in the polls lately.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    You got a revote, in 1980. Carter lost. Likewise, the Democrats got a revote in 2008, and won.

    What this has to do with long-term referendums on public investment projects, I don’t understand.

    Derek Reply:

    I think it would be good to put an amended Prop 1A back on the ballot with the identified problems fixed. When faced with a choice between spending $68.4 billion or $158 billion for the same result, I’m confident voters will make the right choice.

    But I’m not convinced putting Prop 1A back on the ballot is worth the effort. Apparently neither do the opponents or they would have done it by now.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The deep pockets rightists, viz. the Koch’s etc., are developers secretly in league with PB-Tutor.

    JB in PA Reply:

    Is this English or are you writing rap lyrics?

    Travis D Reply:

    Why revote? We had a chance, in 2008, to give a nay or yay and it passed. What has changed since then to warrant a revote?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry’s scheme does not come close to meeting the provisos of Prop 1a. They need to place a carte blanche enabler on the ballot. Perhaps the Judge will require this.

    But of course it will be only thumbs up or down on the current PB plan whereas we should be allowed to chose the alignment.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why not a Diner’s Club enabler?

  2. Donk
    Mar 26th, 2014 at 21:09
    #2

    It is ridiculous that we are still debating whether or not we should build HSR in CA.

    I see this as a parallel to where LA was in the pre-Villaraigosa days when there was still opposition to the Purple Line being built because it was too expensive. It amazes me that there were still people in the 2000s that opposed the idea of having a subway between Westwood and Downtown LA. What fools.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Then build it already…

    I keep reading how the authority and Dan Richards keep talking about how the court cases are not stopping them. How construction is still going on. How the voters, the Govenor, and everyone else in Democratic legislature loves it.

    Pass a dedicated tax or use the cap and trade,
    match the fed money and the dedicated bonds
    Find the money for the IOS and build it already.

    The reason they are losing in the courts comes down to money. They are not planning for a system that meets the law and it’s because they don’t have the money. But no republican stands between the money and HSR. The Dems completly have the ability to raise the money in CA.

    So do it or stop bitching

    joe Reply:

    Design Build contracts – they are executing. Condemning property, buying land.

    No court has halted the project or invalidated a contract.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Money…they don’t have the money.

    They can’t even get cap and trade money assigned and it just requires a democratic majority

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Maybe the legislature has different plans for the cap and trade money.

    Zorro Reply:

    Actually it’s way too early to say that John, the legislature hasn’t even made a budget trailer bill out yet.

    Donk Reply:

    Then build it already? The issue is that there are still fools that don’t believe that HSR will benefit the state, and because of them, legislators are scared to support it. Why don’t the Republicans ban abortion, gay marriage, immigrants, and non-Christians already? These are equally dumb statements.

    What is your story? Why are you on this blog? Do you support HSR in principle or are you just here because you don’t want the gubmint spending your tax dollars?

    If the the former, then why don’t you tell us what you are actually for instead of just bashing everything. If the latter, then you are on the wrong side of history. Assuming that the project doesn’t get too screwed up by the political tight-rope it has to walk and its inept contractors, CAHSR will be one of the most impactful infrastructure projects in the 21st century. When it is finished, fools like you will be a footnote in history of backwards-thinking obstructionists.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    they don’t ban abortion because if they did, their mistresses, wouldn’t be able to get them anymore. And it would be one less issues to whip up the base with.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The Democrats have complete control in the state of CA. If it is a benefit (as you assert) then why would they be scared to support it? You may hate the GOP, but they dont have trouble gathering the troops to support core values and projects. If the shoe was on the other foot and the GOP supported HSR and had 100% control of the state including a supermajority to pass taxes this would have been a done deal already. The Dems cant organize a picnic, much less a Megaproject.

    I personally think HSR is an unneeded and redundant mode of travel. But that is irrelevent, the law was passed. I am on this blog to advocate that the to be built must follow the law. All the parts of the law, even the ones that all the “supporters” seem to hate like having the money for useable segments up front and the travel times.

    I am also here to advocate that the people in charge (the HSR authority) actually do their job in an efficient and competent manner as opposed to the last project they were on (Bay Bridge)

    As for what I am for. I am for efficient spending of money and capital to accomplish stated goals. So if the goal is to reduce GHG then ending coal fired power plants is a much more efficient and impactful way of accomplishing that goal. If you insist that it must be a transit project then commuter mass transit (since 80% of travel is 20 miles or less) would have a much bigger impact for the same amount of money.

    If the goal is to reduce congestion then a combination of commuter mass transit and encouragement of telecommuting is a much more impactful way of reducing congestion.

    This project will have little to no impact, and certainly not the kind of impact that a Hoover Dam or a Golden Gate Bridge had. People can already travel easily and cheaply between LA and SF, its not a quantum leap in either. It will be like the Big Dig, a nice to have but looking back not worth the time and expense and not a a game changer except on a local scale.

    Of course that is just speculation, since the “supporters” are so incompitent they cant get it built. First it was a law that did not indentify a continuing funding source and only asked for 25% of the anticipated money (which turned out to be 15%). Add in sections that hem in flexability in financing, design (time), and route. Then staff with people who ignore the citizens on the route. Sprinkle in a complete lack of knowledge about how to build an HSR system and an unwillingness to ask for help from foreign experts. Its nevery going to get built.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    California doesn’t burn much coal. People won’t be able to travel easily between SF and LA in the future unless more capacity is built now. Building things other than HSR would have less capacity and cost more.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    As an example of adding capacity, a recent SWA flight featured a 737-800 with 160 seats. When SWA started out of BUR I believe the 737 had about 95 seats.
    BUR, ONT and SJC have capacity and to spare, with pax numbers down over the past 5 years.
    Just a couple of data points that could change with time, but passenger rail supporters, myself included, need always to be mindful that the competition is not standing still.

    Joe Reply:

    You should also note that the airplane is still a 737 and still requires a large airport which means my trips to BUR are going to initiate from GLY and not SJC airport if high speed rail were offered.

    it is prohibitively expensive to develop new aircraft so the industry refines existing aircraft. There are not going to be any large revolutionary changes in aircraft. The planes are going to get bigger and modestly more efficient engines. They’ll cram more people on. The ride is already like greyhound.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    A lot more people are close to SJC than GLY. Gilroy is not yet the center of civilization. That’s not an argument for HSR although it is one for an enhanced regional system with multiple stops.
    It’s no more “prohibitively expensive” to develop new aircraft than to develop and build a new surface transportation system, and as a nation we are better at accomplishing the former.
    Coach in many High Speed trains is not much better than Greyhound given the new high back seat designs (safety) and seat pitch (cram them in). Do you want an hour of suffering or two?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    A lot more people are close to SJC than GLY. Gilroy is not yet the center of civilization. That’s not an argument for HSR although it is one for an enhanced regional system with multiple stops.

    But I bought a house in Gilroy and I work in Palo Alto therefore HSR needs to run from Gilroy from Palo Alto!
    I bought a house in Gilroy and once or twice a year I need to visit Burbank therefore HSR needs to run from Gilroy from Burbank!

    The evidence is unquestionable. The logic is irrefutable.

    It’s no more “prohibitively expensive” to develop new aircraft than to develop and build a new surface transportation system …

    Niggardly economics are irrelevant when Choo Choo is a moral imperative.

    Obey choo choo. Await the coming of choo choo. Tithe choo choo. Destroy the infidel enemies of choo choo.

    Coach in many High Speed trains is not much better than Greyhound …

    But I rode four intercity trains in first class on a Eurailpass on my ten day European vacation and it was teh awesome! Way cooler than the Coast Starlight, even, except for the confusing accents.
    Therefore HSR = affordable luxury for the average working stiff.

    The evidence is unquestionable. The logic is irrefutable.

    joe Reply:

    “Niggardly”

    Prejudices are immutable.

    Gilroy & Geography both being with “G”.
    I moved to this city because it was central located along historic transportation corridors.

    West Hecker Pass http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hecker_Pass

    East Pacheco Pass http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacheco_Pass S “it has been a major route between the Santa Clara Valley and the Central Valley. ”

    And along the N/S El Camino Real / 101.

    Joe’s on the HSR blog because HSR is coming to my town – simple logic.

    I don’t troll the internet complaining about transit projects. You can have your MUNI subway extension and I am perfectly fine with it.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    In 2040 when they don’t have capacity to spare do you want airplane seats to be assigned on a lottery system or go to the highest bidder?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    perhaps you have heard of the 757…or 777 or 747. Bigger planes exist today, its not rocket science

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    CAHSR came into being in 1996. Track built, zero miles. Extrapolate that to 2040.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    US airlines seem strangely allergic to running widebodies in domestic service.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    they are alergic becuase the demand is not there. If it is 2040 and they need for capacity they can get it with planes, they dont have to build new airports.

    And good news adirondacker, both SFO and LAX are approved across the board

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    which doesn’t help much when you want to get from San Diego to Fresno. Or San Jose to Burbank or Bakersfield to Sacramento.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    If there was demand they would run planes from Burbank to SJ (and in fact they do I have been on that flight). Same with Fresno and San Diego and the others. You may hate planes, you might like trains better, but they currently get people transported just fine with an excellent safety record at low cost

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How many of those flights are 747s or could be?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You don’t need 747s even in 30 years. THERE IS NO DEMAND. Why is this hard for you to understand? The number of people wanting to leave Burbank and go to Fresno does not justify a 747 or a 70+billon dollar HSR system for that matter

    joe Reply:

    “The number of people wanting to leave Burbank and go to Fresno “….

    That a HSR train stop at an urban area the size of Fresno is not warranted is bullshit.

    The problem is the 747 is NOT economical. Frenso is just fine.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Building an HSR system for Fresno is not warranted. If you do build it, sure, put in a station.

    And 747s are plenty economical, when you can fill them up with demand, Which is why they fly turboprops and 727 instead of wide-bodies for the small airports

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You have a cite for that John or have you taken to pulling factoids past your hemmoroids like lots of other right wing sycophants?

    Donk Reply:

    “Building an HSR system for Fresno is not warranted. If you do build it, sure, put in a station.”

    I think you are both saying the same thing here. Nobody (rational) on this blog has ever suggested that building HSR just to Fresno makes sense. Or just to Bako. Or just to Gilroy. Or even just connecting LA and SF with no intermediate stops. But when you build a full system out, then you “sure, put in a station” enough times, it becomes worth it for the whole project.

    The whole value of the goddamn thing is that we get to connect to like 20 cities at not that much more than the cost of building one basic system.

    When this argument starts to stray is when we go tens of miles out of the way at an extra $5B to go to a stupid place like Palmdale.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Aircraft are the most valuable US export. Foreign companies buy 747s to encourage visitors to their countries. The planes use a lot of full which requires those countries to stock US dollars to exchange for oil from the Saudis.

    US carriers prefer smaller planes because they get to carry less mail on them and split the cost of landing fees between multiple airports in a metro area. But yet, with wealth clustering geographically most airports won’t need to be expanded in CA outside of SFO, LAX, and SAN.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    John, the traffic volume between LA and SF, or between New York and Miami, is similar to the volume on domestic Japanese city pairs that do use widebodies. The issue is that the traffic is split between a few more companies and a lot more airport pairs.

    Ted, lay off the conspiracy theories. Companies buy 747s and 380s because those planes have the lowest cost per seat-km, so on city pairs with enough traffic to fill them, it’s cheaper to fly them than to fly smaller planes. Hub-and-spoke networks mean fewer city pairs with more traffic each, so companies that rely on such networks, like Emirates, have entire fleets of 380s. European airlines are in an intermediate position: their intercontinental networks are mainly hub-and-spoke, focusing on service from their European hub to New York, so the bigger ones fly 747s and the smaller ones fly 330s. For example, British Airways from Heathrow to JFK is the largest single-airline, single-airport pair international route out of the US, so it makes sense to fly 747s on this route. US airlines are more point-to-point, because they have multiple hubs, each with flights to multiple intercontinental destinations, so they fly smaller planes: 767s, 777s, a handful of 747s, and no 380s.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Alon,

    It’s no conspiracy theory, it’s what happened to Pan Am during the 1970s before deregulation. (You’ll note the odd parallel between the government-sponsored destruction of Pan Am and the “myth” of General Motors buying up the Red Cars in LA.)

    I know you get real touchy about the economic consequences of abandoning Bretton Woods and the gold standard, but it is what it is. The US has been practicing “soft” imperialism since the late ’60s and there is always a spillover effect into domestic policy. However, because prominent Democrats often tended to want interventionist foreign policies to continue, the vast majority of Americans were kept in the dark by the media.

    For example, why do you think that American foreign policy supports national health care in other counties but not here in the US? It’s because the drug manufacturers want to be protected by US laws and make US style profits while not having to worry about people not being able to afford their products internationally? It’s not a hard line to draw….

    wdobner Reply:

    747s, 777s, 767s, and even some 757 variants, as well as their Airbus counterparts, cannot efficiently utilized at gates now served by 737s and A320s. In some cases they may not physically fit, requiring adjacent gates to remain vacant, while in other cases the wide body must be towed into the jetway. Either way there is a definite upper limit to the number of aircraft larger than the 737 which can be operated into existing airport terminals. Of course we blew billions of dollars accommodating the A380, with none of the debate surrounding far more modest rail projects, so I guess we’re to spend billions accommodating widebodies on domestic flights.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    747s, 777s, 767s, and even some 757 variants, as well as their Airbus counterparts, cannot efficiently utilized at gates now served by 737s and A320s.

    But new airport terminals, runways, roadways, parking garages etc. get built by volunteer elves using free pixie dust just like new lanes on Interstates do, so having to rebuild terminals at airports doesn’t count.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Wdobner, sure, but then you could turn around and ask why Haneda made the investment in accommodating 777s, or why US airlines don’t fly 380s out of airports that can accommodate them. JFK can accommodate the 380. Why does no US airline fly 380s out of JFK?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    …because they don’t have any?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    They could buy some, the way Lufthansa, Air France, and British have. To say nothing of Emirates and Singapore.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How come there aren’t any flying between JFK and London? Airbus says there are a whole four destinations from JFK.

    http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamilies/passengeraircraft/a380family/a380-routes/

    Alon Levy Reply:

    No clue. Possibly British is happy with its mass of 747s?

    Donk Reply:

    John, thanks for your thoughtful response.

    The problem is that you are framing this as Democrats vs Republicans. Transportation should not be a partisan issue. When you say “then build it already” you are lumping Democrats with supporters, environmentalists, BP consultants, etc like they are all one. The Democrats don’t really give a shit about HSR – they just want to get re-elected.

    What you are also missing here is that this is a REALLY hard project to get built in CA. There are so many conflicting rules and laws and interests, that most people in the federal and state govt (both D and R) are inept, and the whole transportation complex is a joke. Your claim that if the Republicans were in charge this would easily get done is ridiculous. They would also fuck it up.

    BTW, I don’t hate the GOP – I get pissed at either party when they oppose something simply because the other party supports it. My main beefs with the GOP are that I hate religion in politics and I hate when people buy politicians, whether it is the Koch Bros or unions. Democrats are obviously bought as well, but EVERY Republican has his hands tied because he/she will get scored for voting for e.g. a tax increase and then replaced with a radical nut job. Yes, the Democrats aren’t able to get their shit together and collectively pass HSR, but at least Democrats have some leeway to make decisions on their own. I would welcome a GOP that didn’t talk about JC and that was able to make some decisions based on their beliefs without having to look over their shoulder.

    Eric Reply:

    There is one good reason why HSR should be harder to build in CA than TX – mountain crossings.

    There are lots of bad reasons.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Political and corporate corruption are worse problems than technical difficulties.

    Leland Yee goes down for piker offenses. Influence peddling the single worst corruption in California government but goes on unabated.

    joe Reply:

    Time to pick up stakes and move to Texas. I understand it’s a very genteel State and you’ll fit right in.

    nslander Reply:

    And many of those fools who formerly opposed the Purple, ne Red Line, extension are now some of its loudest cheerleaders. You can already profile some of their CAHSR sister-wives on this site.

    Donk Reply:

    It’s just pitiful to see history repeat itself over and over again! Waaaa, we are spending too much money! Waaaa, it is going to hurt my property value! Waaaa, it is going to bring undesirable people into my neighborhood! Waaaa, it is going to cause an enormous methane-infused sinkhole to form hundreds of feet below my privledged child’s high school and blow it to smithereens!!!

    Nathanael Reply:

    Donk, you’re precisely right when you say this:

    [quote]It is ridiculous that we are still debating whether or not we should build HSR in CA.

    I see this as a parallel to where LA was in the pre-Villaraigosa days when there was still opposition to the Purple Line being built because it was too expensive. It amazes me that there were still people in the 2000s that opposed the idea of having a subway between Westwood and Downtown LA. What fools.[/quote]

    This is unfortunately an unsuprising parallel. Most of the country is following the same long-term trend, but starting from different places. The political demographics of California as a whole is 10-20 years behind the political demographics of LA. The Central Valley isn’t “Oklahoma” any more, like it used to be, but it’s still exceedingly regressive compared to LA.

    You can sort of track these things, and they do run in parallel. For instance, Texas is going to be fighting the same fights in the coming years that California was fighting back in the 1970s.

  3. Paul Druce
    Mar 26th, 2014 at 21:12
    #3

    The estimated costs associated with the 800-mile high speed rail system are about $68 billion over the next 20 years.

    That right there is a blatant lie. 800 mile system would be Phase 2 which doesn’t even have any costs estimated for it.

    Also, a 19% approval rating for Congress? Could’ve sworn all the other polls had them in single digit approval levels.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    And the follow-up question was “What if it cost less?”.

  4. morris brown
    Mar 26th, 2014 at 21:16
    #4

    Video now posted with Steinberg, asking Leland Yee to stop down and if not, the Senate will force ably remove him. Other members of Senate on this video….

    See: http://www.calchannel.com/live-webcast/

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yee is such small potatoes compared to the real malefactors. He is akin to the Christie staffers, when Christie should have been impeached.

    Why don’t they investigated Jerry Brown for his ties to the Tejon Ranch Co and Palmdale real estate developers, or Nancy Pelosi’s insider trading tips or DiFi’s association with the Resnicks?

    therealist Reply:

    Just starting….they will all get theirs soon !

    synonymouse Reply:

    Forget Shrimp Boy – how about LA Boy Moonbeam, traitor to his own region.

    Yee must have done something to piss off the bosses and they threw him under the bus. If it had been Willie Brown the cops were after the machine would have warned him about it.

    Nathanael Reply:

    In NJ, Christie made his assistants do his dirty work. At least his lieutenant governor is likely to get arrested. The public knows damn well it all points back to Christie and I think his political career is toast, thankfully.

    More problematic is Scott Walker in Wisconsin, who has been *personally* tied to a *huge* list of crimes for which *practically everyone who has ever worked with him* has gone to prison. But Walker still hasn’t been prosecuted, for some reason…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Because they investigated and could not find a crime, The independent investigator has found squat

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes, someone hired by the Governor didn’t find anything. Quelle suprise.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Independent investigator…hired before he became Governor. Found nothing

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Clarify which scumbag Republican governor then. Christie hired someone who didn’t find anything. How very very surprising. How many close aides to Governor Christie are still exercising their fifth amendment rights?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Walkers prosecuted was independent.

    I am still trying to figure out what Crime Christie is accused of? Causing a traffic jam?

    He may be a jerk, but what is the criminal charge, being a bully is not a crime

    joe Reply:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/0110/Bridge-scandal-Could-Chris-Christie-face-criminal-charges
    New Jersey’s “official misconduct” law, which some legal experts say could apply in this case. The law states that a public official is guilty of official misconduct when he or she commits “an unauthorized exercise of his official functions … with purpose to obtain a benefit for himself or another or to injure or to deprive another of a benefit.” The same would apply for refraining from performing a required public service.

    But like Watergate, any kind of coverup that comes to light may prove more serious than the payback scheme itself. Wildstein invoked his Fifth Amendment rights Thursday after being subpoenaed by the state assembly, and Christie has “disassociated” himself from a number of aides.

    “To the extent that somebody may have destroyed an e-mail or lied to investigators, there’s always the possibility of a perjury or obstruction-of-justice prosecution,” Green says.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    He’s probably guilty under the interstate commerce laws….Deliberately impeding impeding traffic between NY and NJ.

    joe Reply:

    Certainly will face civil lawsuits by those impacted by the constructed traffic jam. Who knows what the discovery in these cases will uncover.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Impeding the US Mail. Impeding emergency response vehicles. Impeding traffic in general.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Impending traffic is a traffic ticket and even then he did not impede the traffic. If you believe everything that his detractors believe he green lighted a traffic study that caused a traffic jam to punish a mayor. There is no crime there

    If they charges everyone with impeding traffic between NJ and NY with a federal crime then anyone who runs out of gas on the bridge would be in jail
    He has sovereign immunity from civil cases, this is well established law

    I Agee, however, that if there is a conspiracy they could get him on that, Which is why if he did it he should have just said “yes, I approved the traffic study, it’s not illegal and it had a government purpose”

    There is no crime here, it’s just an attempt to stop him from running for president by painting him as a bully

    synonymouse Reply:

    Christie ought to be impeached but I think he’s through politically in any event.

    The establishment might want to get him ousted before the scandal festers and prompts the public to want blood from the other numerous sleazoids in US politix. Nixonian dirty tricks have been going on for years in both parties. Calling in union goons is one of them that Jerry and Richards like to resort to.

    Too bad the voters don’t have any lobbyists and union goons.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    IOKIYAR?

  5. morris brown
    Mar 26th, 2014 at 22:05
    #5

    Look at this poll, just about 1 month old.

    http://www.calnewsroom.com/2014/02/12/californians-strongly-against-high-speed-rail-new-poll-finds/

    2/12/2014

    Californians strongly against high-speed rail, new poll finds

    Californians would vote to end California’s $68-billion high-speed rail project, a new Probolsky Research poll has found.

    Across the state, 54% of voters oppose the state’s high-speed rail plan and, if given the chance to vote on a statewide ballot measure, 43% of voters say they would definitely vote to end the controversial project, according to the Probolsky Research poll released today.

    “California voters have been consistent in their opposition to spending on high speed rail since 2011,” said Adam Probolsky, chairman and CEO of Probolsky Research.

    While voters initially embraced the concept of a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, Probolsky says that a poor outreach effort has slowly undermined public support.

    “The concept is fantastic,” he said. “The execution, especially the outreach effort that could have garnered public support for the project, has been a fantastic failure.”

    joe Reply:

    Let’s look at the 2010 poll – Jerry beat Meg. Prop1A poll. Prop30 Poll.

    When there’s an open debate – HSR wins.

    Dems losing the supermajoirty is about all you can muster here.

    Nathanael Reply:

    We’re watching the housecleaning of the elected California Dems. Similar things, unfortunately, have to happen in Washington State and in New York (which is going to take a long time, and has already been going for at least six years) before the new political alignment can start to assert itself. The Republican Party is a dead party walking, but its zombie corpse still has power as long as the Democrats haven’t finished cleaning house.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    PPIC > some company nobody’s ever heard of

    Alan Reply:

    A quick Google search shows that Probolsky is a Republican-supporting Orange County firm which specializes in push polling. Someone wants an anti-HSR poll? Voila! Probolsky delivers…

    Joe Reply:

    If there was an election, we would have an open debate about high-speed rail. AGAIN. many of the myths would be debunked and people would recognize the system’s value and support it – AGAIN

    Losers want to Revote and another revote and another revote until they get the result they want.

    If you want to kill high-speed rail vote Republican. It’s really that simple.

    Morris Brown wants to pop the champagne when the Democrats lose their super majority.

    Tony D. Reply:

    Joe, it’s not about myths, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” and the project that we supporters envision lives. Until that happens…

    joe Reply:

    Well Tony, there’s billions to spend between now and 2017 and a plans in place so let’s start.

    If you’re sacred, step aside.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    What billions?

    3.4 from the Feds that you have to pay back wife there is no match
    9 billon in bond funds that they are prohibited by court order from spending.
    A token 1/4 billon in cap and trade that is not passed and given the recent hearing in real trouble.

    With 25 billon needed for the IOS if there are no cost overruns where are these billions you refer to?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    That should read “pay back if there is no match”

    joe Reply:

    Yes – pay back funds rather than spend the same money in state and create jobs and tax revenue.

    It’s like swimming half-way across the english channel and turning back because you get tired and can’t swim the rest of the way.

    When do you think the GOP will drop below 25% of registered voters?
    I think 2 or 3 more Soctt G ads should do it.
    http://youtu.be/x9qLYZPAQB8 [All of the Above]

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You realize there are states outside CA right? It’s like judging Democratic power based on registered Democrats in Utah

    joe Reply:

    How about judgeing the US by sampling one out of every nine persons.

    or a poll. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/Decoder-Buzz/2014/0328/Young-voters-more-Democratic-That-s-not-the-whole-story

    One reason for this trend is the increasing racial and ethnic diversity of young adults, writes Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones. About 45 percent of this demographic is now composed of African-Americans, Latinos, and other non-white minorities, all predominantly Democratic. That’s almost double the comparable figure from 1995.

    Unless people’s ethnicity change as they get older – the trends disfavor the grand old party.

    Tony D. Reply:

    Damn your blind Joe!

    joe Reply:

    Blind people can count Tony.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/14/local/la-me-bullet-risks-20120514
    Rail requires high-speed spending
    The state would have to pull off a $6-billion feat in 5 years or risk losing federal funds for the bullet train.
    May 14, 2012|Ralph Vartabedian

    Oh No’es – too much money.

    Derek Reply:

    “California voters approved a ballot proposition in 2008, authorizing the State to borrow nine billion dollars to help finance building a high-speed train, also known as high speed rail, between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The original construction cost estimates have doubled from 33 billion dollars to 68 billion dollars, and a judge recently ruled that California cannot use state bonds to pay for the high-speed train project. Governor Jerry Brown has proposed using $250 million in new greenhouse gas fees–also known as cap-and-trade funds–to fund the project. If an election were held today on ballot measure that, if passed, would stop the proposed high speed rail project in California, would you vote yes, in favor of stopping California’s high speed rail project or no, against stopping California’s high speed rail project?”

    Push poll, written by somebody who doesn’t understand how inflation works.

  6. Tony D.
    Mar 27th, 2014 at 03:25
    #6

    I love high speed rail! If the system described in the poll were being built I’d be extatic. But that system isn’t being built and may never be built. Again, it all boils down to money. Funny how the current funding situation gets no mention in any of the PPIC questioning. Yes, it’s a push poll…

  7. Jeff Carter
    Mar 27th, 2014 at 04:11
    #7

    Why is it that a poll that shows support for HSR a “push-poll” according to the anti-rail crowd?

    Why is it that a poll that shows opposition to HSR not a push-poll?

    Tony D. Reply:

    I’m not anti-rail (far from it), but I am a realist.

    therealist Reply:

    That is the correct position !

    joe Reply:

    Sur-realist would want to spend Federal HSR & Prop1a HSR money on local, bookend transit projects.

    therealist Reply:

    bike path>>>SF to LA

    Joe Reply:

    GLY can both improve local bike paths and spend funds to study HSR locations. GLY repainted lanes on designated roads, and adds space for bike lanes when doing new road construction.

    Why not get your butt in gear and collect signatures for a statewide bike path ballot initiative.

    Joey Reply:

    Protected bike lanes, or narrow strips next to 50 mph traffic?

    joe Reply:

    Apparently we need to raise the bar to a new level of “seriousness.”

    We just use standard CA bike lanes on city roads OR when there isn’t room, a bike symbol painted on the road’s center indicating the road is to be shared with bikes.

    Joey Reply:

    Maybe I’ve been reading too much Streetsblog, but yes, I’d say that standard bicycle infrastructure in California is woefully inadequate as far as safety is concerned.

    joe Reply:

    A curb separator running along a road isn’t going to help me. Idiots will jump a curve. I think bump-outs that have a path for bikes would be useful. We don’t do that yet – just pedestrian bum-pouts.

    New Gilroy HS.Christopher high school
    http://goo.gl/maps/baHZ8

    Expanded main road Santa Theresa with added car lane and dedicated bike lane. standard stuff.
    Added bike paths along the creek running to other roads that can feed into path and onto the HS
    Added a pedestrian/bike crossing over day creek near the subdivision and they opened some roads for bike traffic but not so good for driver short cuts.

    It’s not perfect but I was surprised.

    Joey Reply:

    The main feature of a protected bike lane is having a dividing space (~5 feet give or take) between cars and bicycles, plus maybe some indicators which drivers will see. Of course it’s not foolproof, but it greatly reduces the risk.

    joe Reply:

    Well these are not going to be everywhere.

    Dearborn Street, Chicago
    Fell and Oak Streets, San Francisco
    Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago – wider lane with markings for bikes. Nice and yes I like it but …

    In San Jose they have a heavily used river path that connects various neighborhoods to downtown. That’s pretty good.

    Tony D. Reply:

    Technically, yes, you’re right Joe. But in reality my position is more akin to starting at the ends and building towards the middle (as funding became available of course); not the current starting in the CV scheme.

    Joe Reply:

    It’s a reality with no money to back it up despite years of opportunity.

    Why should Fresno vote to build better bookend commuter rail? This project as planned is doing both bookend and CV work. That’s called compromise. It’s how dreams are turned into reality.

    I look forward to blended Caltrain service.

    Tony D. Reply:

    So then this is all about Fresno? Really? What I’d like to see is FULL FLEDGED HSR from SF-SJ, SJ-Stockton (ACE) and Anaheim-LA-Palmdale (Metrolink). I’m talking electrification, full grade separations and HSR train sets. I’m sure our $13 billion could pay for that (leveraged with local funds and perhaps even private investments). More bang for the buck from the get go!

    Later, as funding became available, we could then plan for the final Central Valley HSR link connecting NorCal, SoCal networks…

    Joe Reply:

    No it’s not just about Fresno.

    It’s not just about la either not is it just about SF or San Jose.

    It’s a big state.

    Observer Reply:

    I also would like to see full HSR at the bookends. But is that not how we got to the $98B total price tag? Hence the $68B compromise proposal. Using the $13B to build only HSR at the bookends could have very well killed off statewide HSR – good luck trying to get the remaining $85B or in trying to resurrect any HSR proposal after that. I say go with the blended approach at the bookends, build the CV spine, and then eventually fill in the gaps. Not perfect, not ideal, but a fair compromise and doable.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @Tony D……..

    Okay, it’s not directed at you, I just want to know the answers to the questions I posed above, which by the way, have yet to be answered.

    I am a realist too; I prefer to hear/deal with facts rather than falsehoods spewed out by Boondoggle, CCHSR, etc.

    Yes there are issues/problems with the system as proposed by the CHSRA. But, rather than working to correct these problems, groups like Boondoggle, CCHSR, peninsula loons, etc. are out to kill HSR at any cost.

  8. John Nachtigall
    Mar 27th, 2014 at 06:52
    #8

    Ouch

    http://la.streetsblog.org/2014/03/25/report-in-cutting-emissions-cahsr-expensive-compared-to-local-upgrades/

    But I guess HSR is used to coming in last by now. Still, to be smoked by a bike path is embarrassing.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Not that surprising, bike paths are cheap. I would be tremendously surprised if encouraging modal change to walking and biking weren’t one of the most cost effective things you could to do reduce carbon intensity in transportation.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Which is exactly why freeway widenings and subways in “places” like San José are at the top of the transit-industrial list.

    Concrete before electronics before organization!

    Joe Reply:

    The Guadalupe River Trail is an 11-mile (18 km) pedestrian and bicycle path in the city of San Jose, California. The path runs along the banks of the Guadalupe River. The trail is currently composed of two discontinuous segments: a short segment along the Upper Guadalupe River and a longer segment along the Lower Guadalupe River. This trail is heavily used for both recreation and commuting, as it provides direct access to Downtown San Jose from many of the outlying neighborhoods. The trail is paved.

    Joey Reply:

    San Jose needs to start putting protected bike lanes on existing streets if it wants to get serious about bicycling. Of course that means taking lanes, which means it’s never going to happen.

    Joe Reply:

    First some people need to recognize what’s already being done in San Jose rather than pretend that nothing has happened

    Second, why should that policy be the test for bike lane “seriousness “?

    That’s not how carpool lanes are added to the highways. Carpool lanes are not converted conventional lanes. Carpool lanes are new construction such as the construction that was done between Morgan Hill in San Jose.

    My crappy little city builds bike lanes when they expand roads and the paint bike lanes on existing roads including signs that show that bikes share the lane with cars. I think were pretty serious about bikes.

    Joey Reply:

    Carpool lanes are shamelessly used as an excuse for highway expansion.

    In order for bicycling to be effective and safe, you need a full network which is physically separated from car traffic. Shared lanes, and no separation inevitably creates an unsafe environment for bicyclists, particularly at intersections.

    joe Reply:

    I am fascinated to understand how these fully separated network of bike lanes avoid intersections. Will each crossing be an overpass or underpass?

    Possibly an elevated track network of bike lanes. I would love to start the concrete pouring in palo alto.

    Joey Reply:

    Designing bicycle-safe intersections is an ongoing problem. <a href=http://streetsblog.net/2014/02/20/the-next-breakthrough-for-american-bike-lanes-protected-intersections/ is one solution, based on Dutch concepts (noting that they’ve already figured out a lot of this stuff).

    joe Reply:

    We’re pretty close with bump-outs such as what was done to the old section of gilroy when they connected the city to the outlets via 6th street and a new bridge. Bike path prettied on bridge.
    https://goo.gl/maps/7ghNA

    They could carve out a crossing for the bikes at the bumpouts – it’s pretty slow traffic movement.

    Bad intersections on the high income side of the tracks – wide and long walk to cross. Also near elementary school. Death here with small child walking to school – killed by SUV driving mom. https://goo.gl/maps/yPZwi

    Death here https://goo.gl/maps/UaplH – another child walking to school killed by left turn on green light. Now they added a turn arrow only left turn.

    Derek Reply:

    The myth of the “standard Dutch junction”

    Jerry Reply:

    The Great Allegheny Passage is an exclusive bike/hike trail al the way from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington DC.
    http://www.atatrail.org/index.cfm

    Nathanael Reply:

    As with most really long trails, it’s always nearly empty. Trails are fairly popular for short distances, but very few people want to bicycle from Pittsburgh to DC.

    blankslate Reply:

    In order for bicycling to be effective and safe, you need a full network which is physically separated from car traffic.

    False.

    Joey Reply:

    Do tell. Are sharrows on busy arterials adequate? How about bicycling next to 50mph traffic with no protection. Is it acceptable when bicyclists get sucked under right-turning trucks?

    joe Reply:

    Why are you insisting on converting lanes on busy arterials?
    The goal is to allow people to get around safely, not take lanes on the busiest streets for bikes.

    Mountain View to Palo Alto is accomplished with a bike route on side streets that have barriers for through traffic (BRYANT) and allow bikes to pass. Cars are expected to drive on busy ALMA along the Caltrain ROW.

    So no you can’t have a lane on Alma. Use the bike route.

    joe Reply:

    https://goo.gl/maps/9MEz8

    Approximately my bike route to University Ave. from MTV.

    Joey Reply:

    Keeping bicycles on side streets is an interesting solution, but not universally applicable. It seems to work well in your case, except perhaps the large number of turns and I’m guessing a large number of stop signs. But there are a number of cases where this won’t work:

    1) No real distinction between arterials and side streets, as in much of San Francisco and downtown San Jose. In this case all streets have heavy car traffic so bicyclists need protection.

    2) Side streets aren’t connected (usually because they’re cul-de-sacs). I personally think this is bad urban planning, but it happens to be the setup in a lot of Silicon Valley. The only place for through bicycle routes is arterials.

    BTW, I have a few reasons for advocating removal of traffic lanes for bicycles: (1) Bicycles take up less space than cars, meaning that if a modal shift to bicycles increases road capacity (2) Bicycles don’t burn fossil fuels (3) Bicyclists pose less of a safety hazard to other bicycles and pedestrians than cars to to other cars, bicycles, and pedestrians. Of course we know of rare cases where bicyclists kill pedestrians but these aren’t common (4) America has a serious problem with obesity/lack of exercise. Moving people from cars to bicycles, particularly on a daily basis like a commute could improve this.

    Jerry Reply:

    A pedestrian on a San Jose State Univ. pathway died after being hit by bicyclist on Mar. 20, 2014
    http://www.mercurynews.com/bay-area-news/ci_25428195/san-jose-state-woman-89-dies-after-getting

    Joey Reply:

    Pedestrians and bicyclists should be separated, but bicycle-pedestrian collisions are rare and much less dangerous compared to car-pedestrian and car-bicycle collisions.

    joe Reply:

    Dangerous — Pedestrian killed at Castro and Market.
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Cyclist-pleads-guilty-in-Castro-crosswalk-death-4680814.php
    In what San Francisco prosecutors call the first conviction of its kind, a bicyclist who fatally struck a 71-year-old pedestrian in a Castro neighborhood sidewalk last year has pleaded guilty to felony vehicular manslaughter.

    “This was not so much about Mr. Bucchere,” Gascón said. “This was about preventing future collisions and death.”

    Joey Reply:

    The scary part is that this bicyclist is getting punished much more severely than most drivers who hit and kill pedestrians.

    joe Reply:

    Scary? No. He’s being held accountable for killing someone who was in the cross walk. Death by bike is death.

    Felony with no jail time.

    Some say he got off easy. http://bikinginla.com/2013/07/23/killer-sf-cyclist-chris-bucchere-gets-slap-on-wrist-should-we-be-angry/

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Because he went online and put a eulogy for his helmet. He showed 0 remorse until they charged him. And they have proof he was running lights and speeding in the blocks before the accident. He got exactly what a driver would have gotten in the same situation

    Joey Reply:

    joe: most drivers don’t even get charged if they don’t flee the scene. Police department policy is changing slowly in some cities though.

    joe Reply:

    I think you need to find some evidence for that factoid.

    And read the circumstances of this case. He got off easy.

    Joey Reply:

    Here is some info about the issue in the Bay Area. I can dig up more if you’d like.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Streetsblog has been covering the fact that motorists rarely get charged with any crimes even if they drive onto sidewalks and run over people. It’s a recurring feature on all three of the local versions of Streetsblog.

    blankslate Reply:

    San Jose needs to start putting protected bike lanes on existing streets if it wants to get serious about bicycling. Of course that means taking lanes, which means it’s never going to happen.

    Buffered bike lanes were recently added to Hedding and 4th St by taking out auto lanes.

    I’m no fan of San Jose, but some of you San Jose haters on this blog really don’t know what you are talking about…

    Joey Reply:

    Well, it’s a start, but I still think San Jose could be doing a lot more, especially considering how overbuilt the expressway network is. It would be nice to see them not putting parking on the right side which necessarily creates conflicts between bicyclists and motorists. It would also have been nice to see more than a cursory mention of buffered bike lanes in the Diridon Station Area Plan.

    joe Reply:

    “Well, it’s a start, but I still think San Jose could be doing a lot more,………………”

    Blahh…

    What’s so difficult about biking to Diridon? Maybe you want the Guadeloupe River Park bike path closed so they can make buffered bike lanes…

    Joey Reply:

    When did I say I had anything against the Guadalupe River Bike Path? It’s great that it exists, but it’s just one path – it needs to be part of a larger network.

    joe Reply:

    How often have you tried to bike to SanJose Caltrain?

    Here’s a dude that bikes from that no-one-worte-about-buffered-bike-paths.San Jose Diridon.
    http://www.cyclelicio.us/2012/bike-route-san-jose-santa-clara/

    So this current bike connectivity doesn’t suck – and it’s the main station for san jose which so far I haven’t seen a single example of a bike network connecting to any other city main station.

    You have an ideal that isn’t realized anywhere and complain about San Jose which I think has a pretty good start so Blah.

    Joey Reply:

    Let me put it this way – if it was part of your commute would you be willing to make that trip on a bicycle every day? If you had kids in their early-mid teens, would you feel safe letting them do it? If the answer to both questions is yes, then I apologize – clearly I have misjudged and safety is adequate.

    joe Reply:

    Yes.
    I commuted via bike for years – In ID, MT and CA and would kill to have the time b to get back on a bike and commute via Caltrain or VTA. Like you, I wanted to save money so I used a standard bike and walked – avoided a car – for years.

    Here’s a description of one of the weekend trips we’d do from home in Missoula to the rattlesnake rec area.
    http://montanabikegirl.blogspot.com/2013/05/tuesday-night-ride-rattlesnake.html

    Hang over sat ride up patter canyon or loop around the MT.
    http://www.makeitmissoula.com/things-to-do/recreation/mountain-biking-guide/

    Did this two day ride on a Trek
    http://www.missoulabike.org/tosrvwest/

    Spring I’d ride can ride going to the sun Glacier park road before it opened to traffic and a did a midnight ride in late July/Aug during a full moon.
    http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/goingtothesunroad.htm

    Now we ride bikes in GLY and use the bike path streets to teach our son safe biking skills.

    Boy Scouts taught bike safety this year and our den leader is a MTV cop. Most accidents he sees are the bike’s fault – not obeying signals & signs.

    Joey Reply:

    Perhaps there’s an attitude problem, but it’s not always easy for bicyclists to obey laws which were designed exclusively for cars.

    joe Reply:

    It’s an attitude problem – if bikes can’t follow the rules then they are moving unpredictably.

    Also likely to get hit – also rule breaking is a magnet for asshole drivers and road rage.

    Police officer sees the accidents and most all the time, it’s the bike rider failing to follow the rules of the road. That’s why we teach our kids the rules and drill them to follow them

    StevieB Reply:

    Shane Phillips rebuttal to UCLA report titled Why High-Speed Rail Isn’t Less Cost-Effective Than Other Transit Investments (Part One).

    Notice that in the first column the full public cost is actually lowest for high-rail; only after they account for “Net User Costs” are factored in does HSR end up looking so bad.

    So what are “Net User Costs”? They’re the amount you save when you switch from one mode of travel to a cheaper mode…

    It’s in this conversion that UCLA’s working paper so significantly misrepresents the private savings of local transit and bicycling relative to high-speed rail.

    The technical analysis follows in the linked article.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    This rebutal has assertions something that is not true.

    the article says…

    “It completely ignores those that switch from driving to high-speed rail” and “But people generally act pretty rationally, and someone that decides to trade in a car trip for a train trip is probably doing so for completely valid reasons”

    Fact: The HSR plan states that driving will be reduced 1.2% (passenger miles) after the full buildout of phase 1. So the UCLA assumption that people will not switch from cars to rail is SUPPORTED by the HSR authority itself.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Don’t compare trip diversion to auto trips, compare it to HSR trips.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Ow. Shane Philips makes a pretty damning analysis of the UCLA paper, and essentially debunks it. I was willing to believe that local rail was a better investment for GHG reduction than HSR (it often is) but this pretty much debunks the UCLA paper.

    Nathanael Reply:

    The UCLA authors seem well meaning, but they’re trying to get conclusions out of data with very large error bars. This ends up being a garbage-in-garbage-out operation.

  9. jimsf
    Mar 27th, 2014 at 12:23
    #9

    no surprise from OC
    Skepticism dogs Santa Ana streetcar plan

    synonymouse Reply:

    That’s probably Disney in the background.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    True, zee Mouse wants money for its streetcar in Anaheim. Although the City Council of both cities are in effect duking it out to the nexus of regional rail in Orange County. Sad thing is Newport Beach has the best urban design to take on that role.

  10. morris brown
    Mar 27th, 2014 at 18:04
    #10

    Transportation and Housing committee hearing today 3-27-2014

    Seantor DeSaulnier’s committee had a hearing on HIgh Speed Rail today.

    Here are 3 video excerpts from the hearing

    1. Professor Ibbs (Berkeley)

    http://youtu.be/pHvBZo8JW7Q

    2. Paul Dyson (Train Riders Assoc of Calif)

    http://youtu.be/mUvYGzdN5BQ

    3. William Grindley (presenting If you build it — they will not come)

    http://youtu.be/6ijepB3FBT0

  11. joe
    Mar 27th, 2014 at 21:16
    #11

    But Louis Thompson, chairman of the High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group, a state-sanctioned panel of outside experts, testified that “real world engineering issues” will cause schedules for regular service to exceed the target of two hours and 40 minutes. The state might be able to demonstrate a train that could make the trip that fast, but not on scheduled service, he told lawmakers. If public demand for the service supports additional investments, travel times could be improved after the currently planned system is built, he said.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-bullet-train-hearing-20140328,0,3123925.story#ixzz2xE9vK5z0

    synonymouse Reply:

    “If public demand for the service supports additional investments, travel times could be improved after the currently planned system is built, he said.”

    “additional investments” I assume means Tejon.

    “Real world engineering issues”? Gag me with a spoon. Utter crock of manure. The real world issues obtaining here are simple stupidity and corruption. In Jerry’s case add senility.

    Vote no on the Palmdale grab – that is if they have the stones to place it on the ballot.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Palmdale water grab.

    Donk Reply:

    You know, making fun of old people is just not funny and takes away from any legitimacy you may have had in your argument. You guys who make fun of Morris for wearing depends or call Jerry Brown senile are just imbeciles.

    therealist Reply:

    THAT DEPENDS………!!

    Reedman Reply:

    I think Johnny Carson asked Bob Dole if he wore boxers or briefs.
    Dole said “Depends ….”

    JB in PA Reply:

    ???

    http://www.depend.com/mens-solutions?WT.mc_id=DPY&WT.srch=1

    Alan Reply:

    But it’s ok for you to call someone else a fool, as you did further up in the comments? Talk about hypocrisy.

    Donk Reply:

    Yes it is ok and no it is not hypocrisy. When I call someone a fool it is for their behavior not because they are being agist.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I am pushing 70 so I am going to make fun of old people as much as I want. My oldest daughter is always joking that it time for me to go to the “home”. I am regularly made aware of senior moments and the “Get off my lawn!” flinty syndrome that just creeps up on you. All my friends realize how easy it is to slip into the grumpy old man mindset.

    That said Jerry Brown is indeed impaired. Fire the smartest guy in the room and replace him with a hack from wretched PG&E. The Feds are going to charge PG&E for San Bruno but it is too bad that they cannot indict Richards at the same time and force him out of PB-CHSRA.

    And Yee is being compelled to drop out of the race for higher office – too bad as I would vote for him as a real gangster instead of the Kumbaya nannies the Democratic party favors these days.

    But how about feeding the whole project into a computer and letting it decide:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140319085426.htm

    Donk Reply:

    I was more annoyed at the other people who keep trying to discredit Morris by calling him old.

    But you keep on going over and over again with this senile thing for Jerry Brown and it just doesn’t make any sense. He seems pretty sharp to me. You are saying he is senile just because he fired Van Ark? Ok…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yep. Senile is a more friendly conclusion that under the thumb of the Tejon Ranch Co.

    jonathan Reply:

    But Louis Thompson, chairman of the High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group, a state-sanctioned panel of outside experts, testified that “real world engineering issues” will cause schedules for regular service to exceed the target of two hours and 40 minutes. [...]

    let’s see if I have the history straight. Firs,t Joe insists that the Authority can demnostrate compliance with AB 3034’s maximum, not-to-exceed trip times, by doing a one-off, dead-of-night, “Cannonball Run”. Oops, that doens’t work: that only shows a best-case “minimum* time, not a maximum time.which would be an upper bound.

    Then Joe insists that Judge Kenny will toss out the case by Tos and Fukuda, a suit which claims (amongst other things) that CSHRA is not meeting the requirements of Prop 1A. Joe, and his sidekick Alan, insist that Judge Kenny will toss that case out. Judge Kenny doesn’t that.

    Joe insists that the only people whose opnion matters, on the question of whether the Authority’s plan meets the maximum, not-to-exceed times of Prop 1A, is the independent Peer Review Group. Now the Peer Review group says that CSHRA’s planned route won’t allow “regular schedules” to meet the time requirement of 2:40min
    Presumably tha’ts regular scheduled *non-stop* service, as non-stop services are the only ones constrained by Prop 1A’s time requirements.

    What fig-leaf willl Joe hide behind now? The smart money is betting that Joe will continue to practice “science” just as he has in the past: that is, in *exactly* the same way as Creation “Science”. Li,e, Equivocate. Move the goalposts. . Vehemently deny doing any of the above.

    jonathan Reply:

    And how *could* I forget: claiming that ,logical arguments are invalidated by any HTML formatting errors. Same with inconvenient facts.

    Way to go, Joe. Good Creation Science skills.

    synonymouse Reply:

    This constitutes a serious revelation on the the part of the Peer Review Group and won’t gain them any Brownie points. But what’s even ranker is the notion on the part of Richards and the other homies that 2:40 is just a fancy not a stated, qualified and quantified requirement.

    Talk about casuistry – sleazy and greasy enough to offend a Borgia pope. (I have been watching the show on Netflix) Why even have a voters pamphlet argument when the language isn’t even worth the paper it is written on. In fact the Registrar of Voters is trying to get rid of printed ballot arguments and I guess next step is to get rid of any documentation and/or justification at all. And why not? The honchos just make up policy as they roll merrily along.

    Joe Reply:

    Would you consider a serious revelation is actually included in the draft 2014 business plan.

    It would be nice if critics actually read the business plan.

    Apparently this legislative hearing helped. It’s like Mr. Rogers read a children’s book to short attention span ADD children.

    joe Reply:

    Problems with bolding or can’t find the caps lock key?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I would like to thank Louis for getting that in the public record to help out the current court case. Appreciate it

    joe Reply:

    Oh snap.

    Did you fear the opposition legal team of Laurel & Hardy would be unable to find the peer review website?

    http://www.cahsrprg.com/documents.html

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Laurel and Hardy are doing well so far

    joe Reply:

    Failed to invalidate the appropriation, failed to halt work, failed to invalidate contracts.

    The project is proceeding.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Tied up the 9 billon
    Spoke the state bad enough for them to request expedited review.
    Kicking ass on 2nd case with time requirements

    I’d say on average they are doing just fine

  12. William
    Mar 28th, 2014 at 14:10
    #12

    OT: Has anyone given any thought on Capitol Corridor studying to move to Mulford line for its Oakland-San Jose double-track project? Obviously this would skip Hayward, Union City, and Fremont Centerville, but CCJPB said the ridership on these stations is low.

    Tony D. Reply:

    Interesting. Where’s the Mulford line? The aforementioned cities will be served by BART, so your idea would make CC more long distance commute in nature; nice idea ;)

    William Reply:

    Mulford line is the west-most of three rail lines to the Bay coast (Mulford, Niles, Oakland) through Union City/Fremont areas. Mulford line merges with Niles subdivision, which Capitol Corridor currently runs on, just south of Oakland Coliseum station.

    CCJPB staff said in the report switching to Mulford line would save would save ~15 minutes on runs between Oakland and San Jose.

    The study was first mentioned in the Nov 2013 CCJPB Board Meeting Minutes:
    http://www.capitolcorridor.org/included/docs/board_meetings/agenda13novfinalv2.pdf

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    The Mulford line is almost entirely (perhaps all) single tracked, still receives the rare freight train, and something tells me the tracks aren’t in as good as shape as the current alignment. If anything, eyeballing the route shows it has just as many, if not more grade crossings than the extant route.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    My bad, I was confusing it with the Oakland sub.

    Tony D. Reply:

    Thanks for info..

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    The Mulford line between Newark and Elmhurst is miles shorter, has less curvature, and fewer, less busy grade crossings than the Decoto line now used by Capitol Corridor. Amtrak’s trains #11/14 (Coast Daylight/Starlight) have run this way for decades. Upgrade this East Bay UP line via Mulford for HSR and on to the BART overhead in Oakland. From a new transfer station there, BART would run about every 4 minutes to four downtown San Francisco stations in six to ten minutes, and to the West Bay. Direct BART trains would run to all four East Bay legs of BART. HSR could extend to Sacramento without a costly new trans-Bay crossing.

    For a starter, just end HSR at San Jose, with cross-platform transfers there to Caltrain and Capitol Corridor. Don’t squander HSR funds to electrify Calltrain, or for San Francisco subway and terminal. San Francisco service about as good or better than on Blended Rail, which is highly vulnerable to accident, sabotage, and train delays. 2008 Prop 1A wanted HSR Safe and Reliable, which it would not be on Blended Rail. (Google Bourbonnais Train Wreck for what can happen at a grade crossing on 79 mph track, and Caltrain has 43 grade crossings.)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    a Caltrain diesel hitting a road vehicle is going to be safer how?

    Robert S. Allen Reply:

    Eliminate grade crossings. Bad enough on 79 mph track (as Caltrain or Bourbonnais) Blended rail makes HSR vulnerable to accident, sabotage, and train delays.

    Just truncate the first Bay Area phase of HSR at San Jose with cross-platform transfers to Caltrain and Capitol Corridor. Don’t squander any more HSR money on Caltrain mods. HSR would be neither safe nor reliable on Caltrain rail. 2008 Prop 1A called for a “…Safe, Reliable High Speed Passenger Train…”

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    HSR trains are just as safe or safer than Caltrain trains.

    joe Reply:

    Mr. Allen’s ignoring recent acts of sabotage and terror against London and Moscow fully grade separated passenger rail systems.

    BART’s particular vulnerable because people like Allen think they are safe. Milling around in a confined subterranean space like the SF subway.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    …from Wikipedia on the Sarin attacks in the Tokyo subway:

    “As there was a severe shortage of antidotes in Tokyo, sarin antidote stored in rural hospitals as an antidote for herbicide/insecticide poisoning were delivered to nearby Shinkansen stations, where it was collected by a Ministry of Health official on a train bound for Tokyo.”

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    Mr Allen has also claimed that BART trains have never killed anybody.
    Saw it in either a letter to editor or in one of his letters to Caltrain JPB Board of Directors.

    joe Reply:

    The BART Police have – they’re poorly trained and compensated. That makes BART dangerous.

    jonathan Reply:

    If he did, hen he’s lying. Unless he thinks BART workers aren’t people, and discounting all passenger fatalities as “suicide”. I find it hard to imagine even a pro-BART totalitarian like Mr. Allen being that stupid, though.

    I recall reading that fatalities amongst BART workers went up, after management re-organized and eliminated a position which was deidicated to ‘overseeing workers working on active track’, and replacing those specific workers with a general supervisory role.

    maybe Mr. Allen claimed that BART had never killed anyone driving a road vehicle, or BART never killed anyone at a grade-crossing??

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    $250 million (current staff estimate, and you know what that means: multiply by two at least) to allow “up to 11 round trips per day” (up to eleven!) between two points on which the public is already frittering away $10 billion on a BART line, with a staff estimate (and you know what that means …) super mega Amtrak-express travel time of 35 minutes that will be roughly the same time as the all-stops BART service … except that BART will be running 150 to 200 round trips per day, not “up to 11″.

    Does not compute. Not remotely.

    So full speed ahead! Pull up those dump-trucks full of cash, pile it up, and let’s make a bonfire!

    William Reply:

    It took me more than 40 minutes to drive from San Jose to Oakland Airport, so I don’t think your 35 minutes BART all-stop figure is correct, maybe it was from Oakland to Fremont, not Oakland to San Jose?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    CCJPA measures from Coliseum south. The estimated time from Coliseum to Great American in their documents varies from 30 to 35 minutes.

    BART today is 26 minutes Coliseum to Fremont. Subtract a little padding, add 10 minutes to the Montague/Capitol station upon which VTA is already pissing away your and my tax dollars. It’s a done deal.

    VTA Light Rail (already existing!, even worse than a done deal) is 10 minutes from Montague/Capitol BART to Tasman/Lafayette “Great America”.

    So maybe ten minutes slower including transfer, except that there is not actually anything at the Great America station, so everybody from Amtrak has to transfer anyway.

    Fundamentally, Does Not Compute.

    “Up to 11 round trips a day“.

    Stick a fork in it.

    William Reply:

    So in your opinion, Oakland to San Jose doesn’t need double-tracking?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    You and I are paying for BART to do triple-tracking in the most expensive possible way.

    joe Reply:

    So what’s needed is irrelevant. Thanks.

    It’s all about minimizing how much of your money is spent in San Jose. BART is all they get and that’s being generous – right?

    Hey – what about adding a BART Station at 30th & Mission? You might use it so I’m sure it’s a better use of everyone’s tax dollars. Then you can choose to ride the Misison MUNI bus, J line or BART. It’s all about choice for you. win-win for you.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why should San Jose get HSR? They’ll have a perfectly good BART connection to HSR or a perfectly good Caltrain connection to HSR.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I don’t think this has anything to do with BART.

    I think that has to do with the fact that BNSF and UP want the public to pay for more rail upgrades to allow them more capacity to run oil trains to the Port of Oakland. The passenger service is merely the front to justify using public money for this end.

    However, long term it makes sense to rehab track that the Class I’s don’t want for this type of service because it will expedite building a high speed rail link between Sacramento and the Bay Area.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Tis a pity we let the free market fetishists break up Conrail. It might be cheaper to just buy up the Class 1s and then spin off the operating portions. If I did the arithmetic correctly the market value of the big four is 165 billion.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Ted J: The double track Oakland to San Jose is south of Oakland, and btw the oil is going to the refineries N of Oakland, not the Port. There is an interesting exception however. There are plans for oil trains to Phillips 66 at Callender which will take them through JLS. That should be a sight to see.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    BART is commuter rail that with the addition of San Jose will carry over 400,000 riders a day.
    Capital corridor is an intercity rail line, the fourth busiest Amtrak route by ridership, shortly to be extended to Salinas.

    joe Reply:

    Fascinating analysis.

    And I understand that BART subway in SF is not redundant with MUNI. Pay no attention to any rule when they apply to Señor Mlynarick’s playgroun

    Capitol Corridor’s service expansion plans (up to 4 trains Sacramento to Auburn, up to 20 trains Sacramento to Roseville, 30 trains between Sacramento and San Jose, and up to 4 trains between San Jose and Salinas) are all based around a series of capital investments which build from the existing service and its operating characteristics in place today.

    The Rulz are: San Jose residents wanted BART to they had better ride BART and transfer to CCJPA – anyone south of San Jose BART can ride VTA or fuck off.

    Leave Richard’s cash alone & stop spending his money on shit anywhere but in his town on his terms or else …

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Fascinating analysis.

    And your contradicting data would be …?

    BART subway in SF is not redundant with MUNI

    What’s an “order of magnitude”? What are “two orders of magnitude”?

    joe Reply:

    First analysis is not data. You and Nate Silver have a similar problem.

    Second, what’s a hypocrite?

    You should ride MUNI subway in SF. We’ll close the redundant BART stops which are totally redundant with MUNI. MUNI BART transfers at Embarcadero. With MUNI you can reach all parts of SF on the various MUNI rail lines. Right now you’re pissing away my tax dollars and I’m fed up with it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Had the subway bond measure of 1937 passed things would be quite different. Blame it on the Market Street Ry., which opposed it.

    Joey Reply:

    Downtown SF generates enough ridership to keep two subways fed. Can the same be said anywhere else in the Bay Area?

    joe Reply:

    And it can also operate with one subway ust as San Jose is supposed to do.

    Austerity for everyone.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Austerity involves the government investing based on cost-benefit analyses and cutting things that don’t pay for themselves, not the government cutting the most used services for feel-good equity goals.

    joe Reply:

    a situation in which there is not much money and it is spent only on things that are necessary.
    the austerity of the design
    The austerity of their lifestyle was surprising.
    They lived through years of austerity after the war.
    the austerities practiced by monks

    I’ve deemed BART in SF unnecessary just as CCJPA is redundant with BART San Jose and VTA.

    I and propose saving scarce transit dollars and improve end to end travel times by closing BART stops redundant with MUNI service. Embarcadero and Glenn Park are transfer stops for MUNI. Any BART stop between the two should transfer off BART to MUNI. This will improve Embarcadero to SFO travel times.

    If calling this austerity bugs you I’ll call it Mlynarikism.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    It’s not that calling this austerity bugs me. It’s that it misunderstands just about everything austerity proponents actually say about politicized public services.

    Ditto what Richard says. What he actually says is that decisions on where to build transit should be based on competent ridership projections (and no, 30,000 a day for Milpitas is not competent), and not on what lines look nice on a map. Some corridors are strong enough that multiple parallel lines are justified; some are so weak not a single line is justified. It happens a lot with bus service: some corridors are so busy that in addition to the main bus trunk there are relief lines on parallel secondary streets, others are so weak that there’s just one line, with worse financial performance than the strong corridors’ relief lines. I’m sure it exists in SF; I know it does in Vancouver.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Joe
    Streetcar tunnels on both Mission & Geary Sts. are justified.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Alon: in practice, “austerity” in government means cutting useful services for the 99%, while cutting taxes on the obscenely rich and continuing gargantuan subsidies to military contractors.

    That’s what “austerity” has meant since the 1980s. That’s what every advocate for “austerity” in politics today is actually advocating for.

    I realize “austerity” meant something different back in 1940s “austerity Britain”. But nowadays, since the Reagan/Thatcher era, “austerity” does mean the government cutting the most-used services in order to benefit the 0.1%.

    This is just how the words are used now.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    No, I am specifically talking about 1980s-style austerity, which usually means cutting the lesser-used services, and eliminating equity goals. An economy-wide version of the Beeching Axe, which tellingly did not cut the West Coast Main Line. For local transit agencies, this basically means what Jarrett keeps advocating: cut the bus lines that don’t have a lot of riders, even if they’re the only lines serving some suburbs, or the symbolically important but unused lines providing direct service from the poor neighborhoods to the rich ones. The very rich benefit from austerity not because their services don’t get cut, but because they have the income not to rely on government services. So when Thatcher decided to cut NHS funding and raise wait times, the rich could get private health care.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    symbolically important but unused lines providing direct service from the poor neighborhoods to the rich ones.

    They get used, the help has to get to work somehow…..

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The specific one Jarrett brought up didn’t, because it’s a line that zigzags from South Central to Beverly Hills. The trunk lines are frequent enough that people instead transfer from the Vermont or Western buses or the Blue Line to the Wilshire buses.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @ Alon Levy:

    Ditto what Richard says. What he actually says is that decisions on where to build transit should be based on competent ridership projections (and no, 30,000 a day for Milpitas is not competent), and not on what lines look nice on a map.

    Neither was 33,000 at Millbrae…BART Millbrae Extension Final EIR/EIS Ridership “Projections”

    The problem with these “projections” is that they are for entries AND exits at the proposed station, thus each actual person is counted twice in such projections. Ridership as reported by BART is for people exiting each station. The projections for BART extensions are to make the extension look much better than it actually will be, just look at the BART to SFO/Millbrae projections vs. actual ridership.

    joe Reply:

    The decisions where to build are not engineering decisions. They will never be since people have to vote to tax themselves.

    LA for example is planning to pass a bond initiative and it will FAIL if they follow Richard’s advice.
    The proposed projects have to service a larger community to successful and therefore is inferior by Richard’s standard.

    But failure and being right is okay for some. Not for people needing to compromise to build transit.

    joe Reply:


    Transportation advocates back half-cent sales tax hike

    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-transit-sales-tax-20140329,0,1916616.story#axzz2xYZKOaN2

    Metro is considering a measure for the 2016 ballot that could raise $90 billion over 45 years for various projects. A bid to extend a similar tax failed two years ago.

    “What we’re doing here is trying to figure out what wins,” Move L.A.
    Executive Director Denny Zane said.

    The tax increase would need a super-majority of 67% to pass. Metro’s
    preliminary polling says that 58% of residents would support a tax increase.

    Any tax increase that goes on the ballot must appeal to voters in
    Beverly Hills, the San Gabriel Valley and South Los Angeles, county
    Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said.

    The proposal “has to be regional, it has to be rational, it has to
    equitable — all three, all the time, all day long,” he told conference
    attendees. “If we neglect any one of those three elements, it will put
    the very proposition at risk.”

    Guaranteeing projects across the county may be a political necessity,
    but it doesn’t always serve passengers the best, said Lisa Schweitzer, a
    USC professor
    who studies transit funding. She said transit-using
    communities with the potential for highest ridership, a common measure
    of success, tend to be clustered in the core of the county.

    Two years ago, a proposed extension of the county transit sales tax
    approved in 2008 fell 0.6% shy of garnering the required two-thirds
    supermajority of votes. The loss came as a result of weak support in
    suburban, relatively well-off communities
    of the South Bay and the
    Westside, a Times analysis found. The analysis found support for the
    sales tax had eroded significantly from four years earlier, when voters
    initially approved the half-cent sales tax increase for transit.

    “In order to get those areas interested in transit, you have to
    gold-plate it and sugarcoat it” with high-profile projects such as the
    Westside subway extension, which appeal to residents who typically drive
    their own cars, Schweitzer said. “But you can’t win without them.”

  13. morris brown
    Mar 28th, 2014 at 16:53
    #13

    More woes for high-speed rail: SF-LA trip will take longer than promised, experts say

    See: http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2014/03/28/more-woes-for-high-speed-rail-sf-la-trip-will-take.html

    Note this

    Back at Thursday’s Senate transportation committee hearing, a civil engineering professor from the University of California Berkeley said the $68 billion cost estimate, a figure that includes inflation, is far too low.

    “I would not go out on limb and say a factor of four, but I would say substantially more than $68 billion,” said professor C. William Ibbs.

    Professor Ibbs testimony can be viewed at:

    http://youtu.be/pHvBZo8JW7Q

    joe Reply:

    1. The Peer Review Group website has the report. It’s been there for a while.

    2. Professor Ibbs ““I would not go out on limb and say a factor of four, but I would say substantially more than $68 billion,”

    So definitely not 272 Billion. Thank you professor.

    His UC site doesn’t link to his pubs anymore. A google scholar search finds Ibbs has NO publication record on project cost estimating – practices.

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Joe:

    As usual Joe, you full of S#@# right up to your eyeballs.

    see:

    http://www.ce.berkeley.edu/people/faculty/ibbs/publications

    He is a full professor with tons of experience on huge projects.

    joe Reply:

    1. His page
    http://www.ce.berkeley.edu/~ibbs/
    2.The link at the bottom
    http://www.ce.berkeley.edu/faculty/faculty_pubs.php?name=Ibbs

    Page not found
    The requested page could not be found.

    So can someone help this full professor with some of the bit rot on his professional website?
    Richard?

    And which of these is a cost estimation paper?

    William Ibbs, Audrey Bascoul, and Long D. Nguyen, “Modified Total Cost Principles for Cumulative Impact Claims, Construction Lawyer. Winter 2012, 26-38.

    William Ibbs, “Construction Change: Likelihood, Severity and Impact on Productivity,” Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction. 4(3), August 2012, 67-73.

    William Ibbs, “Measured Mile Principles,” Journal of Legal Affairs & Dispute Resolution in Engineering & Construction. 4(2), May 2012, 31-39.

    Lim, B. T.H., F. Y.Y. Ling, C. W. Ibbs, B. Raphael and G. Ofori, “Empirical Analysis of the Determinants of Organizational Flexibility in Construction Business,” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, March 2011, Vol. 137(2), pp. 225-237, doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000272.

    • Ibbs, W., L. D. Nguyen and L. Simonian, “Concurrent Delays and Apportionment of Damages,” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, February 2011, Vol. 137(2), pp. 119-126, doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000259.

    • Ibbs, W. and M. Liu, “An Improved Methodology for Selecting Similar Working Days for Measured Mile Analysis,” International Journal of Project Management, 2011, Vol. 29(6), pp. 773-780, doi: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2010.07.006.

    • Nguyen, L.D., J. Kneppers, B. G. de Soto and W. Ibbs, “Analysis of Adverse Weather for Excusable Delays,” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, December 2010, Vol. 136(12), pp. 1258-1267, doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000242.

    None. None show any experts in project cost estimation.

    He’s publishing on legal aspects of project construction. So he knows jack shit about cost estimation.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Wow this was really hard. I put “cost estimate ibbs” into google and got

    http://www.ce.berkeley.edu/people/faculty/ibbs/publications

    Some highlights

    • Lee, H., E.B. Lee and W. Ibbs, Life-Cycle Cost Analysis Procedures Manual Caltrans, Pavement Standards Team and Division of Design, November 2007, 134 pp.

    Ibbs, W. and L.D. Nguyen, “Alternative for Quantifying Field-Overhead Costs,” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, October 2007, Vol. 133, No. 10, pp. 736-742, doi: 10.1061/ASCE0733-93642007133:10(736).

    • Ibbs, W., L. Simonian and G. McEniry, “Evaluating the Cumulative Impact of Changes on Labor Productivity – an Evolving Discussion,” Cost Engineering, December 2008, Vol. 50, No. 12, pp. 23-29.

    • Chang, A. S., F.Y. Shen and W. Ibbs, “Design and Construction Coordination Problems and Planning For Design-Build Projects New Users,” Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, December 2010, Vol. 37(12), pp. 1525-1534, doi: 10.1139/L10-090.

    And another thing joe, I thought you believe in the peer review committee. The chairman of that committee just said they were going to be 30 minutes over the laws requirements during operation. Didn’t you say they represented the group of people that are supposed to keep HSR on track? You willing to admit they can’t hit the times now?

    Reality stings I know, what stage of the 5 stages of grief are you in? Still denial?

    Nathanael Reply:

    Oh crap, so he’s the author of the manual Caltrains uses for its very bad estimates of pavement costs?

    Sorry, this doesn’t actually make me trust him any more.

    Nathanael Reply:

    I’ve been floating around the academic world for a long time. The first thing you learn is that there are a lot of smart people. The second thing you learn is that there are a lot of people who will bloviate about stuff about which they know nothing, and less than nothing, and that a bunch of them actually get professorships in the field in which they know nothing.

    Credentialism is bad, m’kay?

    Joe Reply:

    One can review a cost estimate by looking at the uncertainty in the major cost drivers and how well those were initially estimated and managed.

    Producing a cost estimate is a different skill. Requires different models. I see nothing in the professor’s track record to show that he can generate cost models. He’s more inclined to look in the risk associated with the project and way that risk against how some other person to the cost estimate.

    If the professor has done this analysis it certainly is not something written down and shared.
    Is a good chance this dude is trolling for some funding and get involved with the project as a paid expert reviewer for a set a disgruntled people.

    The high-speed rail authority in the board members of all stated that delays will drive up the cost of the project. The legal challenges are the push-up the cost.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Oh yeah…this guy is completely unqualified

    http://theibbsconsultinggroup.com/About-Us.html

    You are just making a. Fool of yourself joe

    joe Reply:

    1. I don’t see cost estimation as a stated expertise.

    “His work includes the impact project changehas on labor productivity (both design and construction labor), schedule, and cost. ”

    That’s why he pegged HSR actual cost between 68B and 272 B. A nice spread. I am embarrassed at the show-boasting. He can’t give an estimate.

    2. The Peer review group’s comment on travel time you find so illuminated were quoted by myself and linked to. There is no dispute the system is not going to run at the designed to achieve times. It does not need to – that is the dispute.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The spread could be quite substantial. Just consider the differential between value engineering and cost is no object on the mountain crossing.

    As it is they are up to a base tunnel length just to access Mojave. Nutty.

    joe Reply:

    Yes. If he doesn’t know jack shit about the project then his professional estimate will be a factor of 4 wide. So somewhere between 68 and 272 Billion.

    But this is rank amateur estimation. Serious people use PI, not a factor of 4. The right upper bound is 214B

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Speaking of base tunnels, I see the Brenner Base tunnel is about the same distance as Grapevine to Castaic.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    But it’s not in an earthquake-prone area.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    No earthquakes in the Alps? Really?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I think it pretty certain the alps didn’t form from “mountain seeds”

    ComradeFrana Reply:

    Swiss and Austrian Alps have average seismic risk by European standards. Lower than pretty much anywhere in Italy and Balkans. Which still probably have lower risk than California except maybe the area around Aegean Sea.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I know, I posted the part of the report that said they would not hit the times. But you are being a Revisionist. You previously stated that it was the indpendant peer committee that had the authority of ever sight, not the courts AND that they had said they would meet the times.

    How does a law that specifically says “shall meet maximum service times” not mean don’t go over these times?

    Even better, how can you argue that the system is design to meet those times but can’t? If it was designed properly it could.

    It’s all just crumbling down now. Next is your assertion that they can’t introduce independent testimony at the trial. Now they don’t need to, the peer review committee in swore testimony has admitted they can’t along with the report.

    There is no way Kenny interprets the law to say 1 time only. They specifically put in the word service times. Let’s go at this from the other side. If you wanted to write a law that specifically stated nonstop service times at all times must meet the minimum times how would you write it any different tha what is in the law?

    Even your fig leaf is gone now joe (and Alan). Your noncompliance is showing. And it is really big

    joe Reply:

    The peer review groups reports are on the site, they’ve written about the travel times. I linked to the text and quoted it. Nothing has changed. Just a news article and you trolling for dramatic effect.

  14. Keith Saggers
    Mar 28th, 2014 at 17:12
    #14
  15. morris brown
    Mar 28th, 2014 at 22:26
    #15

    Robert is always talking about the “tea baggers” being the responsible group for trying to kill the project. Well extremely liberal Kevin Drum, MotherJones, has consistently opposed the project and writes this new article.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/03/california-bullet-train-fails-yet-another-test

    California Bullet Train Fails Yet Another Test

    By Kevin Drum
    Thu Mar. 27, 2014 10:55 PM PDT

    Regularly scheduled service on California’s bullet train system will not meet anticipated trip times of two hours and 40 minutes between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and are likely to take nearly a half-hour longer, a state Senate committee was told Thursday.

    ….Louis Thompson, chairman of the High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group, a state-sanctioned panel of outside experts, testified that “real world engineering issues” will cause schedules for regular service to exceed the target of two hours and 40 minutes. The state might be able to demonstrate a train that could make the trip that fast, but not on scheduled service, he told lawmakers.

    And remember: not a single mile of track has been laid yet. In the space of a few years, based solely on planning documents that are almost certainly still too rosy, the cost of the project has already doubled; travel times have blown past the statutory goal; ridership estimates have been halved; and every plausible funding source has disappeared. Just imagine what will happen once they start building this thing and begin running into real-world problems.

    Somebody put a stake through this project. Please. LA to San Francisco is just not a good showcase for high-speed rail. Even the true believers have to be getting cold feet by now.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They need to put a stake thru the DogLeg. LA to SF is a good hsr demo but you must keep your eyes on the prize. No detours. Buy out the Tejon Ranch if necessary and turn it into a park.

    Eric M Reply:

    And a majority of the readers of that article disagree with Kevin Drum. Nice try Morris.

    Joe Reply:

    The 2014 draft business plan includes an appendix with the peer review group memos that discuss travel time is all spelled out for anyone interested.

    Kevin apparently didn’t read the business plan and was surprised.

    The timetables used to calculate ridership and revenue use actual estimated time travel, not be designed to achieve times.

    That means that the estimates are legitimate and based on what they’ve actually think the travel time will be between stations.

    That important detail was also missing from Kevin’s rent. It’s hard to write a column about different topics every day and be accurate and precise. Kevin’s demonstrating just how difficult it is.

  16. Emmanuel
    Mar 29th, 2014 at 13:49
    #16

    Don’t you think public support would increase if Californians actually saw some rails built? Humans are very simple. We can be very skeptical, flip flopping when trying to make a decision. But, once we do we go for it and finish it. That’s why I think we should just start construction of what we can afford to build. Once people see that this is actually being built they WILL vote to increase funding and so will the feds. But, as long as it’s all paper and hot air, people will think that it won’t happen.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    Yup.

    Donk Reply:

    I don’t know. If they see rails built that just go from Fresno to Bako, they probably will still ridicule it. Worse would be if they built rails from Vegas to Victorville.

    All we will read are articles about how the ridership projections for the full line were X and the current ridership on a partially built line is Y. Then once the whole thing is built, and ridership soars past projections, nobody will notice anymore. You only read about ridership when somebody can cherry pick data that makes the line look bad. Or if the line actually is bad (e.g., SFO BART, all VTA).

    The Metro Red Line projections for the built out line were compared to the projected ridership of the original route, the one before they banned tunneling under Wilshire and before the Eastside portion was scrapped. I haven’t heard any criticism of it since it blew past 100K. The Expo Line ridership after the first month with a partially finished line was compared by some to the projected Phase I ridership in like 2020. But they also blew past those numbers and the right wing think tanks have since found something else to attack.

  17. Donk
    Mar 29th, 2014 at 21:16
    #17

    Question: How long is it going to take to get from San Jose Intergalactic Rod Diridon station to Downtown SF via:

    1. BART (via Oakland and the transbay tube)
    2. HSR
    3. Caltrain
    4. Caltrain Baby Bullet now (to 4th/King)
    5. Driving without traffic
    6. Driving during rush hour

    joe Reply:

    What do I do with the car when I get to SF?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Surprisingly, 1. “BART (via Oakland and the transbay tube)” is a surprisingly hard question to answer, because neither VTA nor BART have ever advertised a number, anywhere!

    Incredible, no?

    In fact, travel times for BART Fremont—Warm Springs and Warm Springs—Berryessa are very hard to come by also. One might think that “this is what you as a rider will see in return for wasting five billlion of your dollars” might be front and centre of all project materials, but no, this is America, and the project is entirely about the recipients of the five billion dollars and never ever about the riders or donors of the cash.

    Anyway, digging deeply, we can, accidentally, find VTA staff claiming “61 minutes from San Francisco” (presumably Embarcadero Station, not Balboa Park) to Berryessa. Compare to existing BART Embarcadero—Fremont public timetable trip time of 51 minutes.

    I don’t think anybody should believe a number coming from VTA staffers, who have proven themselves at every single instance to be inveterate liars. The length (platform to platform) of the Warm Springs extension is 6.828km (22401.5 feet), and Warm Springs to Berryessa (platform to platform) is 16.5km. So an additional 23.4km of track (Fremont—Berryessa) with 3 additional station stops (Warm Springs, Milpitas, Berryessa) is supposed to require only ten more minutes than today.

    Hmmm … average speed of 140km! Now 87.1mph average speed on this extension, including stops, is pretty impressive given that BART’s maximum speed is 80mph!

    Conclusion: VTA STAFF ARE LYING.

    OK. so let’s ignore VTA staff, who should, to a man and woman, be lined up against a wall.

    At 80mph 128.8kmh top speed and 23.4km, and ignoring speed restrictions (50mph curves south of Fremont station and south of the site of an out-of-contract future Irvington station and 70mph north of Berryessa station), the minimum transit time for Fremont—Barryessa is 10.9 minutes.
    Guesstimating a 90s stop penalty (BART acceleration is good) for the three additional stops, we end up with 15.4 minutes.

    Fudge in speed restrictions and some pad and it looks like SF Powell Street to Berryessa will take 54 minutes + 17 minutes = 71 minutes.

    Now looking at Berryessa—SJ Cahill Street (aka Diridon Intergalactic), the BART station-to-station route length is about 6.3km. Two intermediate stations (Alum Rock, “Downtown” SJ), and some nice slowing curves to boot (421m radius south of Berryessa, 347m south of Alum Rock) and close-ish station spacing (2.25km Berryessa—Alum Rock, 1.03km “Downtown”—Cahill). At least seven minutes of run time.

    So Powell (BART platform) to Diridon Hyperintersticial (BART platform) is going to be around 78 to 80 minutes, minimum.

    2.“HSR” is easy (disregarding that the only non-insane HSR service enters the Caltrain corridor in Redwood City). 47 minutes under not-unrealistic assumptions (lots of padding because of crap FRA-tastic delay-a-riffic non-grade-separated competing “blended” Caltrain; very leisurely stops at Redwood City and Millbrae.

    3. “Caltrain” depends on the service plan. The best currently known service plan trades off SJ—SF speed for good service in between, making 14 intermediate stops and a cross-platform timed transfer dwell for a trip time of 68 minutes SJ Cahill—SF Transbay.

    With a worse (ie more “Baby Bullet”-like) stop plan and no little regard for integration with other service (ie the America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professional “service” model), 50 minutes SJ Cahill—SF Transbay can be done.

    4. Baby Bullet now: 59-ish minutes SJ Cahill—SF 4th&Townsend

    5. 6. TBD.

    joe Reply:

    Anyway, digging deeply, we can, accidentally, find VTA staff claiming “61 minutes from San Francisco” (presumably Embarcadero Station, not Balboa Park) to Berryessa. Compare to existing BART Embarcadero—Fremont public timetable trip time of 51 minutes.

    Oops.
    Greenline schedule for March 31st, First train departs Fremont at 5:06 and arrives at SF Embarcadero at 5:52. Total time is 46 minutes.

    joe Reply:

    OK. so let’s ignore VTA staff, who should, to a man and woman, be lined up against a wall.

    Well, Let’s bank those 5 minutes for later.

    So an additional 23.4km of track (Fremont—Berryessa) with 3 additional station stops (Warm Springs, Milpitas, Berryessa) is supposed to require only ten more minutes than today.

    Assuming it’s 23.4km, we have ten plus five extra joe-minutes to cover that distance. You guessed 15.4 minutes and I say there’s 15 minutes.

    We need John to quibble about what to do with the fractional minutes. I say round.

    Joey Reply:

    I tried multiple times to find travel times in the BART to SJ EIR. Good to know it wasn’t just me and the numbers weren’t actually there. Or perhaps not good, because that means that the numbers aren’t actually in the EIR.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Dear “Joe”,

    Oops indeeed. I was just using the BART “journey planner”, which defaulted to today, a Sunday, and a six minute non-timed transfer at Bayfair for SF—Fremont trips.

    Weekday/Saturday-before-7pm is indeed advertised 46 minutes, not 51. (I’ve taken this trip many many times, as it happens, usually at times without direct service.)

    Thanks for the correction. It’s such a novelty (perhaps a unique one) to have you contribute something accurate. I do like surprises.

    PS No public timetable, anywhere, “rounds”. To-the-minute departure times are always “floor”, arrival times always “ceiling”, and transit times are always “ceiling”. Anybody with any experience of or who has ever given the most passing thought to the operation of punctual transit network would apprehend this instantly.

    joe Reply:

    Well, the 15.4 minutes was your guess and rounding for error (correctly) is 15. I’m sanity checking a VTA claim.

    And yes, I’m not a serious transit planner, advocate or hobbyist. That’s why I checked the travel time.

    I don’t know ow you came up with 84 MPH. The distances don’t change with a green line. Just eliminating a transfer doesn’t shorten the distance.

    Donk Reply:

    Ok thanks, so bottom line is that BART will be around 80 min and Caltrain is more or less in the same ballpark. I bet most people assume that BART will be able to whisk you between SJ to OAK to SF pretty quickly.

    Is OAK-Fremont-SJ a major commuting corridor? What kind of ridership are we talking about?

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    At BART speeds, and given the mediocre experience of sitting in a BART car, Fremont-Market Street is really about as long as you’d want to be in a BART car anyways (my daily commute). I can’t imagine taking BART from Berryessa to anywhere in SF. At least on a local all stops Caltrain I can take a piss and drink.

  18. Tony D.
    Mar 29th, 2014 at 21:27
    #18

    OK Robert! A majority of Californians still support HSR; we get it. Heck, I still support the concept in theory. That said, what does this “majority” support have to do with actually paying for the f**ken thing?!!

  19. Robert S. Allen
    Mar 30th, 2014 at 00:57
    #19

    Don’t squander HSR money on Caltrain mods and electrification. HSR with grade crossings would be highly vulnerable to accident, sabotage, and train delays. (Google “Bourbonnais Train Accident” about one grade crossing accident on 79 mph track. Caltrain has 43 grade crossings.) 2008 Prop 1A called for “The Safe, Reliable High Speed Passenger Train…” HSR on Caltrain tracks would be neither safe nor reliable.

    Truncate the first phase of HSR to the Bay Area at San Jose, with cross-platform transfers to Caltrain and Capitol Corridor.

    From San Jose route HSR in the next phase along an upgraded East Bay UP/Amtrak route via Mulford to Sacramento, with a transfer station at the BART overhead in Oakland. BART runs about every four minutes to the four downtown San Francisco stations in six to ten minutes. Far better, safer, more reliable, and lower cost than taking HSR into a San Francisco terminal.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    HSR trains are just as safe or safer than Caltrain trains.

    joe Reply:

    Summary:
    Caltrain is not safe.- Riders can cross platform transfer on Caltrain at San Jose.

    Best to transfer at San Jose BART and ride the Easy Bay where all the jobs aren’t.

    Pay no attention to terror attacks in the London and Moscow Subway – BART is safe. Caltrain is vulnerable.

    Spending 1.5 B to electrify 50 miles of Caltrain and Blend HSR is wasteful.
    Spending 1.5 on BART. It could help pay for a mile of tunnel in San Jose. Is that better?

  20. morris brown
    Mar 30th, 2014 at 03:39
    #20

    Robert’s amendment to his post:

    UPDATE: John Burrows makes a good point in the comments – public support for HSR has increased since last year:

    In 2013— 48% of all voters favored the project—50% opposed——In 2014—53% of voters in favor—42% opposed (an increase in support of 5 percentage points among all voters)

    In 2013—43% of likely voters favored the project—54% opposed——In 2014—45% of likely voters in favor—50% opposed (an increase in support of 2 percentage points, a decrease in opposition of 4 percentage points)

    What this tells me is that support for high speed rail in California has increased over the past year, particularly among those less likely to vote. As the economy in California continues to recover, it seems likely that voter support for high speed rail will increase further.

    certainly doesn’t indicate anything in terms of an increased support for the project in the last year.

    The poll has: MARGIN OF ERROR ±3.6% AT 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL FOR TOTAL SAMPLE PERCENTAGES MAY NOT ADD TO 100 DUE TO ROUNDING

    and this perceived increase in support is well within the “margin of error”. As I wrote earlier, and as was presented in the recent DeSaulnier hearing, support in other polls showing marked decrease in support, especially noting that 70% of California voters want a re-vote on Prop 1A.

    joe Reply:

    Voters consistently vote for HSR candidates and support paying taxes for services taxes such as Prop30. Thank god there are polls against HSR to debunk this lie.

    Polls showing a decrease in HSR support are true – polls that ask the same question and show an increase are WRONG.

    Ignore election results.

    John burrows Reply:

    if the situation were reversed and the 2014 poll numbers had shown a decrease in support from 2013 would you still think that the poll “Doesn’t indicate anything in terms of decreased support”?

  21. joe
    Mar 30th, 2014 at 09:49
    #21

    Professor Ibbs also testified that HSR may become obsolete by the time the project is finished.

    Ibbs also warned the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing that transportation technologies may eclipse high-speed rail before the 30-year project has completed.

    In other words, the train may be obsolete before it is finished, he warned.
    http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2014/03/28/more-woes-for-high-speed-rail-sf-la-trip-will-take.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bizj_sacramento+%28Sacramento+Business+Journal%29&page=all

    What a press hound.

    I think Ibbs is angling to be appointed to the HSR review panel. He can then use that experience to attract work for his consulting business. Hat tip to John for pointing out his private consulting business.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What about the PBQD-CHSRA circle jerk? Talk about corruption and nepotism.

    How about Jerry Brown shilling for Palmdale real estate developers and the Tejon Ranch Co.?

    John burrows Reply:

    Ibbs testified that ramping back speeds from 200 mph to 72 mph on a statewide rail system might be preferable. Can’t figure out where he came up with this number, but my guess is that he is someone who you might not want on your rail review panel.

    John burrows Reply:

    Unless your goal was to kill the project.

    joe Reply:

    or further Ibb’s career.

    I’ve seen these kinds of self-promoting turds before on review / advisory panels.

    IMHO angling to get some of that HSR consulting gravy and shameless attention – maybe an appointment by a State Senator Assembly person.
    Dude’s an expert witness testifying on project costs and change impact. He knows how to make money consulting.

    He’s unqualified by Law. See the AB3034 calls for specific expertise which he lacks:

    (b) The peer review group shall include all of the following:
    (1) Two individuals with experience in the construction or
    operation of high-speed trains in Europe, Asia, or both, designated
    by the Treasurer.
    (2) Two individuals, one with experience in engineering and
    construction of high-speed trains and one with experience in project
    finance, designated by the Controller.
    (3) One representative from a financial services or financial
    consulting firm who shall not have been a contractor or subcontractor
    of the authority for the previous three years, designated by the
    Director of Finance.
    (4) One representative with experience in environmental planning,
    designated by the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing.
    (5) Two expert representatives from agencies providing intercity
    or commuter passenger train services in California, designated by the
    Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing.

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