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.

    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)

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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!!!

  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.

  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.

    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…

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

  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

    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.

    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

  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

    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.)

    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.

    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.

  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?

    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.

  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.

Comment pages
Comments are closed.