Another EIR, Another Lawsuit

Jun 5th, 2014 | Posted by

The case for reforming the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) rolls on, as Kern County votes to sue over the Fresno to Bakersfield EIR even though they were told winning was a longshot at best:

County Counsel Theresa Goldner said Wednesday the suit will target the rail authority’s review of the 114-mile alignment proposed between Fresno and Bakersfield. She said the suit will be filed no later than Friday to meet a Monday deadline.

On May 20, Goldner told the board that such a lawsuit was a bad idea. She said her office looked into the possibility of a lawsuit but at that point had not identified any information that would “indicate that such a suit would prevail in court.”

But since then, she said, her office has taken a closer look in consultation with high-speed rail opponents including Kings County and others.

Goldner said the lawsuit will allege:

• The environmental review relied on an inadequate project description that left out things like electrical infrastructure changes, the location of staging areas and parking facilities;

• Inconsistencies between the draft review and the final version, such as a 14 million cubic yard, 127 percent difference in the amount of fill material needed to complete the Fresno to Bakersfield section;

• “Improper piecemealing” of the project’s impacts — specifically, a failure to consider the combined effects of the Fresno-to-Bakersfield section and the Fresno-to-Merced portion;

• The review did not analyze the route’s cumulative impacts on air quality; and

• The draft review neglected to look at how the project would limit access to Central Park at Mill Creek and the Kern River Parkway.

Ah, so when Kern County looked at this on their own they found no reason to sue, but then a bunch of anti-HSR folks came up with a laundry list of stuff they’ve tried before to use failed to win in court, so Kern County is now willing to spend a bunch of money on another lawsuit. Pretty ridiculous stuff.

My guess is this lawsuit goes nowhere. They couldn’t even articulate an underlying reason for the suit, didn’t identify any sweeping route changes they want. Maybe Kern County supervisors don’t want HSR and the jobs it would bring anymore.

But hopefully it gets resolved quickly, and that it acts as another spur to convince Sacramento to fix CEQA so opponents of important projects can’t go on fishing expeditions like this.

  1. synonymouse
    Jun 5th, 2014 at 22:14
    #1

    Kern County is not alone:

    http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/06/05/3963392/kings-co-files-first-lawsuit-to.html?sp=/99/406/263/

    Too bad Kashkari was a Tarper, but maybe he can redeem himself a bit. Expose PBHSR and just don’t stop at the high school editorial level. Indict this betrayal of Prop 1a in detail.

    Zorro Reply:

    Kashkari is a failure, as is this lawsuit, HSR in the CV and in California will be built & anyone who’s against HSR is delusional.

    Observer Reply:

    agreed.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And it is a guaranteed fiscal disaster and end up Queretaro.

    Zorro Reply:

    You are shortsighted and only care about yourself.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Kashkari’s problem is he has no platform. He has everything else in his favor except he has no plan and hasn’t manged anything larger than a Dairy Queen. The CA GOP really needs campaign finance limits to cut down the amount of money plutocrats can pore into elections. The media cost of running a statewide campaign means only Republicans who can afford to run personally do, and those guys don’t have a background in public service.

    EJ Reply:

    I’d never vote for a Republican who wasn’t rich. I mean, I’d never vote for a Republican anyway. But if you’re a Republican and you’re not rich, you’re obviously not too bright.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    As Chris Rock said, “I ain’t talking about being rich, I’m talking about wealth. Shaquille O’Neal is rich, the guy who signs his paycheck is wealthy.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    That is why the genuine tea partyers will eventually leave the GOP. They are rural and traditional.

    Put it this way if you believe in 401k and 603z supplanting Social Security and you like the TARP you are not a leftie but a homie of the late RR and of the extant Koch Bros. Limousine liberals

    Zorro Reply:

    And mostly old and dying off, time marches on.

  2. joe
    Jun 5th, 2014 at 22:36
    #2

    From Tim Sheehan’s article

    The rail agency faced several similar CEQA challenges in 2012, when it approved environmental reports and a route for its Merced-Fresno section. All of those cases were settled out of court by the spring of 2013.

    “This is not about protecting the environment but about Kings County trying every means possible to stop high-speed rail,” Alley said in an email Thursday afternoon. “Our recently adopted EIR is one of the most comprehensive environmental analyses ever prepared in California. No federal or state agency responsible for environmental compliance lodged any objection to our final EIR, nor did any of California’s environmental organizations appear before us to raise issues or concerns.”

    The citizens group, the county and the Kings County Farm Bureau “concluded that litigation against the authority and the (Federal Railroad Administration) is the last option….

    Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/06/05/3963392/kings-co-files-first-lawsuit-to.html?sp=/99/406/263/#storylink=cpy

    Kern Co. and Bakersfield will settle for grants to pay staff salary and some face saving concessions.

    Kings Co is in it for the long haul. The County blocked access to sample land and forced the State to head to court for permission. It took a year and the CAHSRA won.
    http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/news/local/2014/05/23/high-speed-rail-wins-kings-county-court-case/9507667/

  3. Larry Scheib
    Jun 6th, 2014 at 08:01
    #3

    The lawsuit delays only raise the price of the project and yet these same instigators complain about the price going up…their wisdom is astounding.

    Alan Reply:

    The State needs to start pushing harder to recover its costs when these cases are finally decided in its favor.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Maybe the State should worry about recovering the costs of Tutor’s change orders.

    Larry Scheib Reply:

    we need a change order for synonymouse; since he/she is such a proponent of 3rd world living maybe a move to san salvador will suffice.

    synonymouse Reply:

    3rd world, eh. What says third world more than corruption. And corruption, thy name is PB Tutor.

    EJ Reply:

    Well he sure as hell hates California.

    Zorro Reply:

    Agreed.

    NoFortunateSon Reply:

    Synonymous doesn’t understand what a change order is.

    I bet there’s no chance Synonymous could describe the change order process, or iscuss the different types of change orders.

    But I give him credit for constantly posting here against HSR.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Ask Ron Tutor to tutor us in the fine art of the change order.

  4. TomW
    Jun 6th, 2014 at 08:06
    #4

    “Inconsistencies between the draft review and the final version”
    Well, there wouldn’t be much point doing a draft and final version if they were identical…

    Mac Reply:

    Robert, I think you should wait to see the actual filing to see the actual reasons that Kern County is filing suit. Once again you are basing your blog on what the Bakersfield Californian has decided to print.
    At least wait for the real facts before you start throwing rocks.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Apparently the Tejon Ranch CEO sits on that rag’s board.

  5. datacruncher
    Jun 6th, 2014 at 11:25
    #5

    My guess is that many of the items that Kern County will bring up will mirror yesterday’s Kings County filing. Just looking at the items mentioned by Kern County’s County Counsel, the same items appeared in the Kings County filing.
    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1183953-co-kcfb-chsra-petition-for-writ-of-mandate-final-1.html

    For example, the Kings County filing also brings up the fill numbers (page 21), electrical infrastructure (page 21), piecemealing (page 22), and air quality (page 26).

    The Kern River Parkway and Central Park are already mentioned in the Kings County filing on page 31 even though they are in Kern County.

    There of course will likely be some local issues but it sounds like much of Kern County’s filing will probably copy what was already filed by Kings County.

    Alan Reply:

    Interesting that the plaintiffs in the new suit seem to have kicked Laurel & Hardy to the curb and hired a new LA law firm. From a quick review of the filing, the new firm seems to take the approach of throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks. They even argue that the approach of an I-5 alignment with spurs is a superior one, even though the CHSRA proved it to be otherwise nearly a decade ago.

    Joe Reply:

    I think Hermosa Beach.

    Duuuude.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I 5 with spurs is superior

    Alan Reply:

    Superior to a skateboard, maybe. Not to an alignment which serves population centers. You’re about 9 years behind in that regard.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You can either have high speed rail or you can have Valley BART, not both with the same line.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I am very excited to hear about this extension of BART to the Valley. Any chance we could go to Vegas too so that you could have a one seat ride from Market Street to the Strip?

    EJ Reply:

    I’m convince because BART doesn’t have express trains that can bypass locals, Syn literally doesn’t understand the concept.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They are going to blast thru stations express at 150mph. Of course. And the speed limit on urban freeways is going up to 100mph. And planes are going to buzz airports at 200mph and drop off passengers in escape pods.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Visual proof. Timed overtakes, 150mph+ running through stations.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTqNA0E4IBw

    Eric Reply:

    Just because Japanese transit planners are competent enough to run things that way doesn’t mean US transit planners are.

    Zorro Reply:

    Syn doesn’t understand a lot.

    synonymouse Reply:

    TJ

    Harry is going to extend the Monorail to McCarran and then on to connect to BART at the Flea Market.

    Mz kezboard is not working right again ß I hit something bz accident and z and y are interchanged. What language kezboard is that_

    EJ Reply:

    It’s such a shame Eurostar went out of business, you know with that huge detour to Lille. If only it had headed straight for Paris once it got out of the channel tunnel it might have had a chance.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The Chunnel is a boondoogle! It is only a matter of time before it fails miserably!

    Eric M Reply:

    Critics said the exact same thing about the Golden Gate Bridge.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And they said the bridge would be free when paid off. Give that the same credence one should give to anything emanating from PB.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The point is the French all over the country ride trains in a way the Valley does not and will not for the forseeable future.

    Take it directly from the SNCF who ought to know and who got unceremoniously shown the door for their input.

    Clem Reply:

    …and I’m still laughing, ho ho ho

    Clem Reply:

    Oops wrong place to reply.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Chunnel is Tejon much more than Tehachapi, which is more like the Willie Bayconic Bridge.

    Yeah, Lille loves their low riders and rods like the cartropic Valley. American Graffiti in Lille. Oui, bien sur.

    EJ Reply:

    Oh, you hate the Valley, too? What a shock.

    EJ Reply:

    I thought you were whining about serving Fresno and Bakersfield. Since all you do is bitch and moan, it’s hard to keep track.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I needle and the Cheerleaders hype. Different breeds of junkie..

    wdobner Reply:

    We’ve been over this. The most direct route from London to Paris takes you just east of Brighton and through Rouen. Going via Folkestone and Lille adds more than the ten minutes the “experts” here are griping about, yet the Eurostar has never lacked for customers. Lille is Tehachapi. But I guess this is rally more about ignoring what the rest of the world as done.

    EJ Reply:

    Going via Folkestone and Lille adds more than the ten minutes the “experts” here are griping about, yet the Eurostar has never lacked for customers.

    This is exactly my point. Is Tejon a better choice? Absolutely, and it deserves to be said – Clem’s analysis from last year was spot-on. But acting the like the entire project is DOOMED because of Tehachapi is over-stating the case.

    Clem Reply:

    @wdobner: 13 to 18 minutes, not just ten.

    Mac Reply:

    What is the current price tag for the construction through the Tehachapis? Also… Does anyone have any links to the monthly engineering reports on that section? They used to be available on the CAHSRA website. Now they seem to be hidden.

    EJ Reply:

    13 to 18 minutes, not just ten.

    @Clem: isn’t part of the 13-18 minute penalty due to the downtown Bakersfield alignment? Which could be changed even if Tehachapi were retained.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Last time I bothered to look they lose some time to slow down through downtown but net it’s the same for Fresno to Palmdale. i haven’t looked recently.

    wdobner Reply:

    Clem, you started with 10 minutes. What you’ve added to it in order to make Tejon look better in your estimation isn’t worth discussing.

    Joey Reply:

    adirondacker: A 115mph curve was recently added to the downtown Bakersfield alignment. Whether trains will actually be able to go full speed through downtown Fresno etc is still not 100% clear, but 115mph is pretty low.

    Clem Reply:

    My analysis showed +12 minutes for an express, best run time, after downhill speed limits were accounted for. Going from best time to a timetable requires adding some padding (typically 7%) that puts the express at +13 minutes. Stopping in Palmdale adds five minutes, including two minutes of dwell, for a total of +18 minutes.

    That why I state very clearly and unequivocally that the Palmdale detour places NorCal and SoCal 13 to 18 minutes further apart than they should be (if one cared about 2:40)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If I remember correctly the Authority is coming up with 2:39

    Clem Reply:

    As a best run time (not timetable) with 220 mph downhill bombing runs, yes. The thing about run times is that you need to compare apples to apples. As we have seen, there is a large amount of slop in the underlying assumptions.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    So? The 2:40 was always for non-stops.

    jonathan Reply:

    Clem,

    I beleive your +12 best-run includes the difference between a greenfield Bakersfield station,a nd a downtown Bakersfield station. What’s the actual difference, when you assume a downtown Bakersfield station for both?

    jonathan Reply:

    Adirondacker, as I remember, the Authority’s 2:39 number relies on running at ~350 km/hr (220 mph) through downtowns. Ain’t gonna happen.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    trains don’t successfully navigate 115 MPH curves at 220.

    jonathan Reply:

    Clem writes;

    The thing about run times is that you need to compare apples to apples

    I agree. Why *don’t* you do an apples-to-apples comparison?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    I do like the combination of accusation of being “intellectually dishonest” combined with repeated demand that the accused do open-ended (and geographically nonsensical) homework on behalf of the accuser for free.

    Who wouldn’t sign up for that?

    jonathan Reply:

    Clem is the one who advocated apples-to-apples comparisons. I’m just asking that he be consistent, and do that in his own comparisons. That’s not an accusation.

    As for “geographically nonsensical”: Richard, the words you’re trying to find are: “reality-based”.
    Whether HSR goes through downtown Bakersfield or not has nothing, repeat *NOTHING* to do wiht the choice of Tehachapi versus Tejon. Different decisions, different localities, different stake-holders, completely separate decisions. If someone *wants* apples-to-apples comparisons, then they should give an apples-to-apples comparison: downtown Bakersfield to Tehachapi, vs downtown Bakersfield to Tejon; or greenfield-Bakersfield for both Tehachapi and Tejon.

    Clem Reply:

    Whether or not to place the HSR station in downtown Bakersfield is a question that needs to be considered in the context of another question, namely whether or not downtown Bakersfield is on the way to where the train is ultimately headed. For Tehachapi, it is. For BNSF to Tejon, it is most certainly not. Perhaps UPRR/99 to Tejon would have worked well for downtown Bakersfield, but that ship has long sailed… BNSF is a done deal, with EIR and funding pretty much lined up and ready to go.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    going over Tejon or Altamont are ships that sailed a long time ago too.

    EJ Reply:

    I do like the combination of accusation of being “intellectually dishonest” combined with repeated demand that the accused do open-ended (and geographically nonsensical) homework on behalf of the accuser for free.

    Personally I admire Clem’s patience in continuing to discuss it with people who still haven’t bothered to actually read his analysis.

    Clem Reply:

    going over Tejon or Altamont are ships that sailed a long time ago

    Until a project EIR is reasonably complete and funding is reasonably available, these are just lines drawn on maps. There are 5 billion reasons up front (and 175 million reasons annually thereafter) to eventually consider slightly different lines drawn on maps. As I said before, there is no stronger force on Earth than the lack of money.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Just like Altamont was gonna save sooooooooooo much money so that there would a faster trip from San Jose to Stockton how much of the 5 billion saved is for Palmdale to i-5 ?

    joe Reply:

    Politics aside – gaining enough votes to build the system, the annual cost calculation shows no advantage for Palmdale. There will be LAS service, be it private or federal. VP Joe Biden and DC supporters insist that link is very important.

    Clem Reply:

    $5 billion up front and $175 million per year is for switching to Tejon only. I have not yet evaluated the savings for Altamont, but they would be considerable because we would not have to build two parallel and redundant high-speed lines from Gilroy to Redwood City and Chowchilla to Tracy (on the way to Sacramento). Even bacterial slimes have figured out that the best way to serve 3 major destinations, Bay Area, LA and Sac is a star configuration… with a node optimally placed at Tracy in this case.

    I am agnostic about I-5. That is a ship that sailed: EIRs and funding are both reasonably complete.

    LAS service is a distraction, and Biden and Reid will be gone before that fruit ripens, if ever.

    joe Reply:

    LAS service is a distraction, and Biden and Reid will be gone before that fruit ripens, if ever.

    For you LAS maybe a distraction.

    People laugh at the VP for misstating CA’s HSR will reach LAS, laugh at Reid’s push for Xpresswest and laugh at Richard’s calling Palmdale the center of the universe.

    The most connected and powerful people behind HSR are all saying the same thing.

    Clem Reply:

    …and I’m still laughing, ho ho ho

    joe Reply:

    And the alignment’s still heading to Palmdale.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    so getting from Bakersfield to Mojave over the Tehachapi is going to cost 5 billion more than getting from Bakersfield to Valencia over Tejon?

    Clem Reply:

    Valencia? Mojave? How about Los Angeles.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Las Vegas – Los Angeles service is almost certainly going to happen, probably sooner than most of us think. The casino owners are strange people, but they can’t afford to be ideology-bound when it comes to their money. And they can read the same surveys and studies that we’ve been reading, and figure out that they’re going to need passenger train service in order to survive in their current location. They’re probably going to get it.

    Clem Reply:

    The jog to Lille was to efficiently serve Brussels, Amsterdam and beyond. I guess the parallel in California is that the detour might eventually serve Las Vegas, for the benefit of New Yorkers. I think.

    jimsf Reply:

    The jog to palmdale was to serve a developing part of LA County… a chance to put in infrastructre ahead of the congestion instead waiting until its too late…. for once.

    synonymouse Reply:

    developing part of LA County meets Global Warming

    political rectitude canonical emergency

    joe Reply:

    I am the synonymouse, goo goo goo joob goo goo goo joob.

    Way too much Nonsense to take seriously anymore.

    @jimSF
    VP Joe Biden can’t talk about CA’s HSR system without mentioning Las Vegas because it’s what the pro-HSR Feds want with to see out of the HSR money they’ll send to California – a link to LAS.

    Palmdale is a destination and important to LA county

    CAHSRA will go there because it’s YIMBY. There’s not going to be a county lawsuit or city complaining along that alignment.

    Donk Reply:

    One of the main arguments for going to Palmdale was because of the airport. We all know how HSR planners think airports are the destinations that HSR riders want to travel to.

    synonymouse Reply:

    That’s why Sin City is right up there in the preamble of Prop 1a, right. Because so many California voters want to dedicate their tax money to Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Donk, I think what can’t be overstated is the ability of HSR to anchor first tier airports like Charles De Gaulle. SFO would likely take over much of LA’s international routes once HSR is done. I expect Newark, Chicago, and Atlanta to gain the same sort of inherent advantage.

    As for synonymouse’s quip about Vegas it is the most popular out of state destination for both the Bay Area and Southern California. Sure, CA might lose some sales tax dollars if we connect to Vegas, but there will be no shortage of passengers.

    joe Reply:

    SFO would likely take over much of LA’s international routes once HSR is done.

    No way. Population and destination numbers favor LAX. SFO would benefit from HSR station but not at LAX expense.

    Even a Monterey area resident off to Australia/S. Asia would still consider their local Airport to shuttle to a hub airport like LAX just as easily to SFO.

    Donk Reply:

    Ted, why do you think SFO would take over LAX’s international traffic? SFO sucks. It is one of the most delayed airport in the country, and LAX is one of the least delayed airports in the country. Obviously LAX has several shortcomings, and SFO is closer to Asia than LAX. But LAX isn’t going anywhere.

    On a related note, LAX will not be taking over any of SFOs international traffic due to HSR, since it will not have a HSR stop.

    blankslate Reply:

    The jog to palmdale was to serve a developing part of LA County… a chance to put in infrastructre ahead of the congestion instead waiting until its too late…. for once.

    Because the Antelope Valley doesn’t have congestion yet? Ever driven on 14 at 8am?

    EJ Reply:

    Moaner was talking about I-5 vs. Fresno/Bakersfield, not Palmdale, I thought.

    synonymouse Reply:

    PBHSR comes with Fresno Bako Mojave Palmdale inclusive.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The trains to Las Vegas benefit Californians. People east of the Mississippi, who want to go to Las Vegas, go the the nearest airport, even obscure third tier ones, and take the non-stop to Las Vegas.

    EJ Reply:

    No, see syno doesn’t like Vegas. Therefore nobody wants to go to Vegas. Also, nobody goes to Vegas on business, or for a convention, it’s just vacationers going for the weekend to gamble.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Wellllll Las Vegas doesn’t have a BART station so it’s obviously an unimportant back water.

    EJ Reply:

    I should think not having BART would be a point in its favor, since BART makes everything terrible. I guess if he lived in Vegas he could complain about the monorail.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He complains about the monorail in Las vegas, that the train no one took in 1955 doesn’t still run, that the Podunk Bugtussle and Utopia interurban was abandoned in 1917…

    Reedman Reply:

    I recently spent time in Las Vegas on business. The monorail is somewhat of both an embarrassment and puzzle for the locals. Specifically:
    – the monorail is a private company that went through bankruptcy. Even though it cost $650 million for a 3.9 mile system, in bankruptcy, the monorail was evaluated to have a value as a business of only $20 million.
    – in bankruptcy, the creditors agreed to watch their $650 million investment disappear.
    – even with essentially all it’s debt erased, the monorail barely breaks even.
    – one striking statistic: only 2% of the monorail riders are from Las Vegas. In summary, the monorail provides no local transportation service (even though locals are given a special discount $1 ride fare).
    – the cab and limo folks are apparently no longer opposed to extending the monorail to the airport except that they don’t want public money used (sarcasm on: the monorail is such a poor transportation system, it has proven itself to not be competition to cars or buses).
    – extending to the airport would require new rolling stock that would have racks for luggage.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The issue with the monorail is very simple: it was connected through lots of older hotels that are struggling financially. The stations are also far away from the center of the properties and really inconvenient to use. Now that only a couple major firms own the Strip, it might be possible to build something more useful.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    the monorail is an amusement park ride that functions as a horizontal elevator.

    EJ Reply:

    Except of course you can serve Vegas just fine with a spur from the Tejon alignment.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If they build Tejon, Cajon is better for getting to Las Vegas

    Joey Reply:

    adirondacker; Why is Cajon better? With a wye near SR-138, it’s about the same distance to Vegas from LA or NorCal via Tejon or Tehachapi, and you basically have the same number of trains running on each segment. It’s pretty far for people in San Bernardino but that’s the case regardless – the question of whether to build Cajon doesn’t really couple to the Tejon vs Tehachapi debate.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The benefit to a Cajon crossing is that it an happen after the train travels from LA to Anaheim. However even though I am not real sold on Palmdale needing a station, still think Techachapi’s less sudden incline is just better for the project.

    Joey Reply:

    That’s soft logic – your “less sudden incline” is going up against $5 billion cost savings, less tunneling, and no below-grade crossing of the San Gabriel fault. And I’m not even sure the “less sudden incline” thing is true – do you have a citation for the vertical incline ramping up significantly faster or that this even matters?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Joey: San Diego.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Google says its 85 road miles from Los Angeles to Victorville via I-10 and I-15. 105 miles via I-5, 14 and 18, 166 miles via 138. It’s 165 miles give or take for the three routes it offers for San Bernardino to Bakersfield. Tejon and Cajon gets Southern Californians not in Los Angeles that are going to and from Las Vegas out of Los Angeles. Tehachapi and Cajon gets people who aren’t coming from or going to Los Angeles our of Los Angeles.

    Joey Reply:

    Alon Levy: yes, but again, independent from Tehachapi vs Tejon.

    And adirondacker: I fail to see what Tehachapi+Cajon accomplishes that Tejon/Cajon does not. If capacity in the LA basin is really a problem then they’re free to send NorCal-SD trains across the Mojave Desert either way, and SR-138 is pretty flat between I-5 and SR-14.

    jonathan Reply:

    That’s soft logic – your “less sudden incline” is going up against $5 billion cost savings

    False. You cannot bundle the savings from bypassing Bakersfield into a Tehachapi-vs-Tejon comparison. The two choices are independent., The local stakeholders are completelydifferent. More importantly, Bakerisfield might yet get its non-downtown route, even with a Palmdale route. It’s intellectually dishonest to put Bakersfield savings into the Tejon column. Either time savings, or money savings.

    The only way to do a fiar, balanced, Tehachapi-vs-Tejon comparison is to have *both* go through downtown Bakersfield, or have *both* go to greenfield Bakersfield stations. One east, one west.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Unless you are Mike Antonovich, there is nothing Tehachapi solves that Tejon-Cajon does not. Originally I thought it made much more sense to route Las Vegas bound trains from Los Angeles north through Palmdale and then east to Victorville.

    But after looking at FAA data on passengers more closely and running some Pivot tables, I realized that the amount of Bay Area to Vegas traffic is so high that it makes much more sense operationally to have the one seat ride to Vegas pass through LA and SF.

    Tejon wouldn’t affect that part of it, but I do think we keep sidestepping the core fact that the railroads settled on Tehachapi in the 19th century because the incline was too steep to use regular steam propulsion. Electric trains obviously don’t have a stalling problem from inclines, but they do have to compensate for the incline as far as total energy output.

    Once you see how much this could affect design because of selecting Tejon it’s a different argument. Then it becomes saving 6 billion on construction but being chained to a potentially very difficult problem forever versus paying more money up front but less in the future.

    Zorro Reply:

    Tehachapi is going to happen, planning/EIR work for Tehachapi is being worked on, whether some like it or not.

    While Tejon is going nowhere fast and will never happen short of a vote by all of the people of the state of California and that ain’t happening either, Tejon has been rejected and no force on Earth will change that short of another vote, the Tejon fanatics can moan and harp all they want, it won’t change a thing and the lawsuits will be ground to powder.

    That’s a fact Jack.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There’s gonna be people in Glendale who want to go to Fullerton. There ain’t a whole lot of people who want to go from Victorville to Mojave. There aren’t a whole lot of people out there and never will be compared to Los Angeles. There’s a lot less “blended” tracks via Cajon and Tehechapi and what there will be will be less congested.

    Clem Reply:

    no force on Earth

    The strongest force on Earth is money. Or lack thereof.

    EJ Reply:

    Electric trains obviously don’t have a stalling problem from inclines, but they do have to compensate for the incline as far as total energy output.

    IIRC Clem included the performance hit from steeper Tejon grades in his analysis and it still comes out ahead.

    Clem Reply:

    Just to be clear, the baseline CHSRA Tehachapi alignment (New T3) has many miles of sustained 3.3% grades. Also, from an energy standpoint, steeper grades win because there is less drag over a shorter distance. Modern high-speed EMU trains could easily handle between 4 and 5%. The limiting factor is starting on the grade under worst-case adhesion conditions (e.g. rain) with some portion of the motors out of commission. Note that the Las Vegas train was planned with 4+ % ruling grades.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The question is what length of grades are on Tejon and what are on Tehachapi. I realize the T3 alignment is becoming more involved.

    jonathan Reply:

    :But after looking at FAA data on passengers more closely and running some Pivot tables, I realized that the amount of Bay Area to Vegas traffic is so high that it makes much more sense operationally to have the one seat ride to Vegas pass through LA and SF.

    Ted, are you really saying that someone in SF who wants to travel to Las Vegas should first go all the way to LA, and *then* travel LA- Las Vegas?

    i suppose that’s less insane than saying the SF passenger should go all the way to Anaheim, and then Anaheim-Las Vegas. But only marginally.

    jonathan Reply:

    Clem,

    If memory serves, worst-case conditions are more like rain on wet leaves.

    And the constraint isn’t what the train-set can *climb*. Thel design limit on grade is what the train-set can start on, from a dead stop. Which is limited by adhesion weight more than power. I’m not convinced AGV sets do any better than ICE-3/velaro on that score. And the ICE-3 limit is rather less than you state.

    Clem Reply:

    The question is what length of grades are on Tejon and what are on Tehachapi

    I dunno, why not look it up for yourself? I do have to warn you: you might learn something.

    The design limit on grade is what the train-set can start on, from a dead stop.

    Isn’t that precisely what I wrote? Note the ruling grade on Köln – Frankfurt is 4%, the steepest in Europe.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Answer the question, Clem. Is Tejon a steeper climb than Techachapi? I do want to learn something, but you keep trying to obscure the facts. I am not a state license engineer but I can understand a straightforward comparison.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Jonathan, actually you are correct. The optimal alignment to have full trains would have SF passengers pass through LA and Anaheim before heading to Las Vegas. Arizona passengers would have to transfer at Anaheim to continue on to Sin City.

    Clem Reply:

    Is Tejon a steeper climb than Techachapi?

    3.5% Tejon versus 3.3% Tehachapi, for my particular example alignment. The ruling grade is not set in stone; steeper alignments can generally be engineered to be shorter and with fewer tunnels. The Tehachapi crossing is actually two mountain crossings back-to-back, one north of Palmdale and a second (often ignored) south of Palmdale through the San Gabriel range. Please refer to the PDF that I linked above for plan and profile; there is also a KML file to explore everything in Google Earth.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Clem, is the 3.5% grade for Tejon presuming Bear Trap Canyon or another alignment?

    Clem Reply:

    No. It’s hard to have an intelligent discussion if you don’t read this document.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Your document is a fine piece of muckraking, but it’s not very informative for policymakers. The merits of Tejon has to stand on their own, not as the lesser of two evils or as “myth vs. fact”. That is why I asked the questions in a direct way. As we have established, Tejon is steeper, even if not much more so. And Tejon could be cheaper, if we also avoid downtown Bakersfield. But the comparisons shouldn’t require looking at your document. It’s very condescending to take such an approach and it does not help your cause.

    jonathan Reply:

    Clem,

    no, that isn’t at all what you wrote. You wrote that modern EMUs could easily handle 4% to 5%. 4% is the maximum in Europe, as we both know the other knows. How do you get from there, to saying modern EMUs could easily handle 5%. That makes no sense at all, and that’s why i was a little more precise about the limiting factor..

    jonathan Reply:

    Ted,

    How do you *know* that Clem’s Tejon route’s being cheaper than Tehachapi *requires* avoiding downtown Bakersfield.? That’ is a question which Clem has pointedly refused to answer, ever since he posted his 2012 document.

    joe Reply:

    From Clem’s assessment:

    Is Palmdale really a political no brainer, as claimed?

    1 The Las Vegas connection and Harry Reid
    Express West is floundering, and even Harry Reid’s connections in Washington haven’t unlocked federal loans. Should California taxpayers be funding a casino train?

    2 Lawsuits from Palmdale • Once Palmdale understands that its economic interests are better served by conventional rail service to LA, for less capital investment and far sooner than HSR, such lawsuits might not be forthcoming

    3 Lawsuits from Tejon Ranch • The case for traversing Tejon Mountain Village is technically very strong, and a perfect example of where expropriation makes sense. Any lawsuit is sure to be won by CHSRA since savings to the taxpayer are greater than the entire market capitalization of the Tejon Ranch Company

    4 Unraveling the conservation deals made with Tejon Mountain Village • HSR through TMV is not the end of TMV. Environmental groups will understand the environmental benefits of a faster CA HSR backbone that stays close to an already impacted transportation corridor.

    #1 – XpressWest investors cannot meet the buy American Equipment loan requirements at this time. One CAHSRA objective is to create a domestic source of HSR train sets. Fed ARRA $$ is funding the system today thanks to Reid. We are not doing this system alone.
    Reid’s NV interests in Palmdale are part of the current support for HSR and a firewall that protects the House from rescinding funding. “casino train” ?

    #2 – A Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Once Palmdale is given a funded high-speed conventional train project in place, they’ll consider abandoning the HSR route.

    #3 Maybe.

    #4 Environmental groups “Understanding” and accepting a TVM impact runs contrary to how environmental groups evaluate value in CA. A “faster” HSR backbone is not in their trade-space.

    jonathan Reply:

    The optimal alignment to have full trains would have SF passengers pass through LA and Anaheim before heading to Las Vegas

    Ted, what variable does that route *optimize* for? Clearly not travel time.
    Have you considered the total SF-LV travel time? Just how many people do you think will take an SF-LA-Anheim-LV train, given that travel time?? How is your proposed route “optimal”?

    Clem Reply:

    How do you get from there, to saying modern EMUs could easily handle 5%

    This is one of those areas where you will find that the internet is not the entire record of facts and figures. There’s a wealth of people and documents outside of the internet that know a thing or two that the internet doesn’t know. So you want a link? Sorry, I don’t have one for you.

    jonathan Reply:

    An actual citation for in-service ability to start from a stop on a 5% incline would be fine.
    Doesn’t have to be a link.

    Reality Check Reply:

    List of steepest gradients on adhesion railways

    1 in 6.9 (14.5%) – Calçada de São Francisco, Lisbon, Portugal
    1 in 8.6 (11.6%) – Pöstlingbergbahn, Austria
    1 in 9 (11.1%) – Cass Scenic Railway (former logging railway) West Virginia, USA
    1 in 11 (9.1%) – Allentown light rail line Pittsburgh, USA; Saint-Gervais–Vallorcine railway, France
    1 in 12 (8.33%) – Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Tamil Nadu, India
    1 in 12.6 (7.9%) – Uetliberg railway line, Sihltal Zürich Uetliberg Bahn, Switzerland
    1 in 13.7 (7.3%) – Montreux–Oberland Bernois railway, Switzerland
    1 in 14 (7.1%) – Hopton Incline, Cromford and High Peak Railway, United Kingdom
    1 in 14.1 (7.1%) – Erzberg Railway, Austria
    1 in 14.2 (7.0%) – Bernina Pass, Switzerland; Sacramento Light Rail, Sacramento, California, USA
    1 in 15.9 (6.3%) – Alishan Forest Railway Taiwan.
    1 in 16.4 (6.1%) – Hunsrückbahn between Boppard and Buchholz, Germany. Built as rack railway
    1 in 16.6 (6.0%) – Ligne de Cerdagne, France; Arica, Chile to Bolivia, with 100m radius curves.
    1 in 18 (5.5%) – Near Alausi, Ecuador on line to Quito; Flåmsbanen, Norway; Höllentalbahn (Black Forest), Germany
    1 in 19 (5.3%) – Camden Tram, New South Wales, Australia; Foxfield Railway, Staffordshire, England; Kangra Valley Railway, Himachal Pradesh, India
    1 in 20 (5.0%)/1 in 25 (4.0%) – Matheran Hill Railway/Matheran Light Railway (Nr. Mumbai), India
    1 in 22 (4.5%) – Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, India
    1 in 22.5 (4.4%) – Thamshavn Line, Norway
    1 in 25 (4.0%) – Cologne–Frankfurt high-speed rail line, Germany; Chosica – Galera, Central Railway of Peru; Selketalbahn, Germany; Cumbres Pass, Colorado
    1 in c25 (4.0%) – Batlow, Oberon and Dorrigo branches, all New South Wales
    1 in 26 (3.85%) – Iquique Railway, Mexico
    1 in 27 (3.7%) – Werneth bank, United Kingdom.; Mauritius Railways
    1 in 28 (3.6%) – LGV Sud-Est high-speed line, France

  6. Jos Callinet
    Jun 6th, 2014 at 16:30
    #6

    I hope this lawsuit goes nowhere, but there are probably one hundred more such waiting in the wings, and very predictably, they’ll be rolled out one after another – each biting a little more chunk of time and money that should instead be spent on building the line.

    FURTHERMORE, in a post I placed in Robert’s comments on the upcoming elections here in CA, there are worrying signs that any support HSR might get from Washington appear to be diminishing daily. I’m reposting those comments here as well, as I think we need to keep these developments in mind:

    HERE THEY ARE: Two news reports currently circulating may not directly impact how Californians vote in November, but each in its own way should give us pause.

    The first report focuses on President Obama himself and his rapidly deteriorating approval ratings more likely than ever suggest that the Democrats may be swept out of control of BOTH houses of Congress this November on Obama’s rapidly-fraying coattails. Definitely worth the read! http://finance.yahoo.com/news/relentless-incompetence-americans-giving-obama-100000019.html

    The second of these two articles focuses on Congress’ missing out on a great opportunity to take action to rebuild America at a time when optimally-low borrowing costs should be a prime incentive to take action NOW – Congress is squandering what may be our last best chance in a long while to come to get the job done at the lowest borrowing cost: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/congress-blowing-huge-opportunity-rebuild-101500509.html

    California’s chances for building its HSR project may very well be harmed by these unfortunate developments taking place outside its borders, as well as by the never-ending parade of obstructive legal shenanigans outlined in this article!

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Well geez. Thank goodness the Highway bill expires before the election in November…I mean, I am sure there’s no chance the GOP blows it’s chances yet again. I mean when is the last time anybody can remember Republicans choking on some major political issue. It just doesn’t happen.

    Observer Reply:

    All the more reason to try and obtain the $20B FRA loan as soon as possible, then figure a way for California to finance the rest itself. This current congress is totally worthless, and it will only get worst. The democrats will probably lose both houses of congress, and it will not be a very pretty last 2 years for Obama. I just wonder if Jerry Brown has anything up his sleeve after the November election.

    Alan Reply:

    Are you kidding me? The Financial Times? Hardly objective journalism, and not even well-written opinion pieces (except maybe in Syno’s World(tm)). In fact, the first link in particular reads like a Mitt Romney stump speech. With the clowns and fools that the GOP is nominating, the chances for the Democrats look better every day.

    Even so, it would be good for the state to start working on the FRA loan.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Indeed, Democrats aren’t looking good, but Republicans are looking *far worse*.

    If there are seats where Republicans are not even running, look for left-wing third-party candidates to enter Congress.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    the places Republicans can’t scare up a candidate are the kind of places that have vigorous primaries for the Democrat.

  7. jimsf
    Jun 6th, 2014 at 23:40
    #7

    Have we decided what color to paint the trains?

    Observer Reply:

    I say California gold, ocean blue, along with a little sea green. Can there really be any color scheme in California? Something like a white train with the logo painted on it will simply not do in California.

    EJ Reply:

    Go retro. Avocado and Harvest Gold.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Stainless steel doesn’t need to painted or repainted.

    Clem Reply:

    Stainless is not a good material for making light weight high speed car shells. Nobody uses that anymore. Try extruded aluminum panels, welded together. Stainless is a great material (cheap & strong) when you don’t care about weight.

    jonathan Reply:

    I guess this is what you get, when someone genuinely thinks Acela is HSR.
    ,

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You need to get out of the carport and get laid.

    jonathan Reply:

    I see, another instance of “civility”.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    i wasn’t in the mood to type ‘go fuck yourself but you need a dick for that”

    EJ Reply:

    You’re awfully obsessed with other people’s genitalia.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    he’s awfully obsessed with things people said years ago.
    You don’t have anything to say when other people are assholes but anything i say gives you the vapors.

    jonathan Reply:

    EJ: Adirondacker said, two days ago, that HSR tarinsets could be made of stainless steel.
    That’s not “years ago”, that’s the very same day as I replied.

    Also, my reply wasn’t directed at Adirondacker.. He’s just as much of a kook as Synonymouse. But he’s far from the only person that thinks HSR is going to be baslically like a Metroliner, or an Acela, only faster.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    where does it say “Acela” or “HSR” in ” Stainless steel doesn’t need to painted or repainted.”
    If that wasn’t what you were referring to just what were you referring to asshole?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    adirondacker 12800 – competing for “Bore of the Year”.
    As a former railroad person I find it tedious when someone constantly repeats the same insults. I worked with people who could cuss for an hour without repeating themselves. Variety is the spice of life. Alternatively of course you could just be civil, it’s only a blog. Nothing here will change the world, or anyone’s opinions for that matter.

    jonathan Reply:

    Gosh, here we are talking about what livery to use for California HSR.
    Someone contributes that stainless steel doesn’t need to be painted or repainted.

    If that isn’t a genuine suggestion that California HSR trainsets be made of stainless steel, I can’t imagine what it is.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    both of ya need to go get laid

    EJ Reply:

    You don’t have anything to say when other people are assholes but anything i say gives you the vapors.

    I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. I didn’t realize you were such a sensitive soul.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    you did hurt my feelings. I fond it hard to empathize the touchy feelly lets all sing kumbaya types.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Clem: you don’t generally paint aluminum these days if you can avoid it, either, though.

    It’s all about vinyl wraps these days…

    Alan Reply:

    Use the SF Muni Landor scheme, since Muni isn’t using it anymore. Make Syno’s head explode…

    EJ Reply:

    TBH I quite like some of the blue and gold schemes that CAHSRA has published in their concept drawings.

    Jerry Reply:

    Blue and Gold? Has CAHSR filed an EIR on those colors?
    The noted scientific journal – The Onion – reports that those colors make cows stop giving milk and bulls get angry.

    Michael Reply:

    Like

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I like the scheme that’s on the official website. But I generally have a very positive reaction to blue – I also like the current TGV paint scheme, and dislike the original orange one.

    EJ Reply:

    Blue and gold are the official state colors so seems pretty likely we’ll end up with some permutation of that. I like the one on the website as well.

    I do miss TGV orange – but then I think I have more appreciation of the overall 1970s/early 1980s aesthetic than a lot of people do.

    Michael Reply:

    The old Daylight paint scheme is beautiful. I assume the French were inspired by it for the early TGV schemes.

    http://www.cardcow.com/394581/southern-pacific-coast-daylight-transportation-trains-railroad-locomotives/

    That’s where 280 currently covers the ROW.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    White with a blue accent.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    something that doesn’t show the desert dust

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I am thinking something like the discontinued whale tail license plate: https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&biw=320&bih=460&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=v9iUU4_FNIGbyAT_qICgCA&q=wyland+whale+license+plate&oq=wyland+whale+license+plate&gs_l=mobile-gws-serp.3…97483.103208.0.103704.18.17.1.0.0.10.353.3372.1j9j5j2.17.0….0…1c.1.45.mobile-gws-serp..12.6.1490.qAkwk9bmLd4#facrc=_&imgrc=_6CgjREp9Wq6bM%253A%3BemReQf-iwNAaVM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fapps.dmv.ca.gov%252Fimages%252Felp%252Fwhaletail_150.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fapps.dmv.ca.gov%252Fonline%252Felp%252Felp.htm%3B150%3B74

  8. Zorro
    Jun 7th, 2014 at 09:15
    #8

    Here‘s some HSR support, right in Bakersfield, California.

    KATHLEEN ELLIS FAULKNER: Let history be our guide on rail project
    By The Bakersfield Californian

    What has made this country great is its nonstop progress. We moved from horse and buggy from my father’s birth to the Space Age in a very short period of time. What if his parents and the people of his times had said, “We are happy with things the way they are. We don’t want to spend the money for roads. A horse and buggy are just fine. Railways and highways only take people’s property, and airplanes are just a fantasy; and no one in their right mind would travel anywhere in them. Everybody has a horse and buggy and we are comfortable with this means of travel. No one would want to ride in one of those stupid contraptions such as automobile and trains. They are too expensive anyway”?

    Well, those machines built an economy and created and connected communities. Imagine what it would be like to ride a stage coach from San Francisco to Los Angeles or carry goods in wagons. The roads and highways are now packed with cars and trucks. We cannot build enough roads fast enough or keep them in constant repair. The rail system carries hundreds of passengers and loads without each of them in one single car or truck congesting the air unnecessarily. High-speed rail is the fastest way for our community to proper and grow.

    So where do things stand now? Bakersfield has made numerous blunders and U-turns on the high-speed rail project over the past 15 years. Now we are about to make another, quite possibly catastrophic one. But before we get too caught up in blaming each other, let’s remember when things started to go wrong and take responsibility for our own errors.

    In 1999, before partisan politics and administrative incompetence got in the way, our city officials wanted to have the HSR station located downtown. It was a fantastic idea whose moment had finally arrived.

    More can be read at the linked article at the above link.

    Mac Reply:

    Yes, there is more. Here is the counterpoint:
    • a day ago
    Ms Faulkner’s article reflects more of her opinion than any sort of factual analysis of the current dilemma that Bakersfield faces with regard to the High Speed Rail (HSR) project.
    In 1999, conceptual plans for the HSR project were just beginning. No one knew when/how funding would occur. There was no Prop 1A plan. Cities were asked to “propose” where they would like a station location. The EIR for the current system-wide project didn’t begin to unfold until 2005…also prior to any funding plan..Prop 1A.
    Indications were that plans would be more formalized once a full plan and funding source were identified.
    Nearly a decade passed (1999-2008) before Prop 1A (first source of possible “partial” funding) passed. By this time, Bakersfield had grown exponentially. Another 6 years have passed since Prop 1A passed. The original 2005 EIR is now 9 years old, outdated and in dire need of updating as it has been changed and re-worked many times over. (Note: 2010 Census to present, Bakersfield population has grown over 45%)
    You suggest that Bakersfield should have left all potential paths leading to a downtown station undeveloped during this time span? Bakersfield has never been against the high speed rail project. It’s beef is that the High Speed Rail Authority ( HSRA ) has refused to study other alternatives and possibly other station locations once the LARGE NUMBER of adverse impacts of the proposed alignment were actually published for us all to see. A revision is reasonable given the new facts about adverse impacts.

    One of your statements I can wholeheartedly agree with is this:
    “The HSR project is mired in misinformation and mismanagement.” The HSRA should be held more accountable.

    The Downtown Business Association (DBA) is an amazing organization, but I do not believe that you should infer that all members oppose the city and county’s action here. Our local government is simply trying to get answers and appropriate change/ mitigations for a project that, as you note, has been “mismanaged”.
    As I recall, I saw you protesting when you felt the plan/mitigations for the 24th Street project was inadequate.
    I support your intention there and see that some very good changes/mitigations occurred. Why then, shouldn’t the city and county do the same for its citizens? Be realistic…the impacts are on more than a “few buildings”. Stop catastrophizing and work toward a reasonable solution. Stop being part of the problem.

    Mac Reply:

    Correction: 2000 Census to present, Bakersfield population has grown over 45%

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    The original 2005 EIR is now 9 years old, outdated and in dire need of updating as it has been changed and re-worked many times over

    (citations needed)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Well that’s how ya spread FUD. In one breath complain that it the EIR is obsolete and in the next breath whine that it’s been updated.

    joe Reply:

    Factually correct and Fresno somehow figured out how to work the CAHSRA.

    She writes:

    So where do things stand now? Bakersfield has made numerous blunders and U-turns on the high-speed rail project over the past 15 years. Now we are about to make another, quite possibly catastrophic one. But before we get too caught up in blaming each other, let’s remember when things started to go wrong and take responsibility for our own errors.

    The State has power to build infrastructure. No City can stop HSR which is why it was very, very important to accept responsibility and participate.

    Suing an EIR isn’t going to change the alignment. That trick was tried when Peninsula Cities sued and tried to force the HSR Authority to use the Altamont alignment.

    Bakersfield doesn’t have a alternative route – Kern Co, Kings Co. and Bakersfield can join in a suit against the EIR but none of these governments can propose a mutually acceptable alternative which I would bet is made crystal clear by the Authority.

    Zorro Reply:

    Mac I never said ‘Mismanaged’, the article did and I didn’t write the article, I just quoted part of the article and linked to the rest of it. I suggested nothing at all, so don’t put words in My mouth. If you don’t like this and that in the article, that isn’t My fault.

    I will say this, I do think the CHSRA is being managed ok now. Could they be more transparent? Yes, they might have to release more pdf files and such, but that might require more staff and more funding for extra CHSRA staff and a mandate to be more transparent from the California legislature.

    Mac Reply:

    Sorry Zorro…didn’t mean to imply these were your words. I should have said “the author’s”.
    I do think that things are getting a little better with the new staffing. Howevder, the transparency is still quite poor IMO.

    Nathanael Reply:

    You really have high standards. Here in NY, we’d kill for half as much transparency from *any* part of state government as you guys get *routinely* from the CHSRA.

  9. J. Wong
    Jun 7th, 2014 at 19:42
    #9

    Since when have any of the lawsuits actually delayed the CAHSR project (who seem to be going pretty slow on their own anyway)? The project has started, earth will soon be turned, this year. It will get built.

    Larry Scheib Reply:

    heck, for the merced to fresno section alone:

    “The project approvals drew three CEQA lawsuits in June 2012. The City of Chowchilla and a group of Valley landowners dismissed their two suits earlier this year. In November 2012, Judge Frawley denied the Farm Bureau petitioners’ motion for preliminary injunction to halt HSRA activities in furtherance of the construction of the Merced to Fresno section. A hearing on the merits of the petition was to be held on April 19, 2013.”

    Tell me these constant legal tussels aren’t slowing progress. Also 9 billion in bond money tied up in courts would go along way in speeding things up.

    jonathan Reply:

    So you’re saying that having the bond money tied up in court *is* slowing down CAHSR?

  10. joe
    Jun 7th, 2014 at 20:58
    #10

    SAP Arena Wants Parking Crater Around San Jose Diridon Caltrain Station
    http://sf.streetsblog.org/2014/06/06/sap-arena-pushes-parking-glut-at-san-jose-diridon-caltrain-station/
    SAP Center, the corporation that owns the 19,000-seat arena across Santa Clara Street from San Jose’s downtown Caltrain station, doubts that the next 30 years of transit improvements will bring more visitors to events at the “Shark Tank.” Instead, they insist that 20,000 new car parking spaces be built within its redeveloping neighborhood.

  11. Keith Saggers
    Jun 8th, 2014 at 12:33
    #11
  12. Ben Pease
    Jun 8th, 2014 at 18:20
    #12
Comments are closed.