Appeals Court Vindicates CHSRA, Overturns Troublesome Lower Court Ruling

Jul 31st, 2014 | Posted by

The summer of 2014 is the summer that high speed rail in California made its great comeback. First came the Legislature’s approval of spending cap-and-trade funds on the HSR project, ensuring billions of new dollars would flow to it and thus giving it a critical financial boost.

Now comes the long awaited ruling in the state’s appeal of last year’s decision that threatened to destroy the project entirely, the ruling that said the California High Speed Rail Authority had violated Proposition 1A by approving a funding plan that didn’t secure all the money it needed. Today the Third District Court of Appeal reversed the lower court ruling and handed a huge legal victory to the CHSRA:

In a huge victory for Gov. Jerry Brown, a panel of appellate court judges Thursday affirmed the state’s bullet train funding plan, paving the way for California to sell $8.2 billion in bonds it needs to construct the embattled San Francisco to Los Angeles rail line.

Opponents of the project argued that the state needed to show how it would pay for the $68 billion project before it begins construction, and with only a fraction of the money in hand, doing so would have been impossible.

A lower court late last year ruled in favor of the Kings County farmers and residents who filed suit against the state, but the Third District Court of Appeal’s three-judge panel ordered Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kinney to vacate his decision….

In a decision the judges call “quite narrow,” they found the High-Speed Rail Authority’s finance committee acted properly last year when it voted to approve issuance of bonds.

They also refused to force the Legislature to rescind and redo a bullet train funding plan it approved several years ago that was at the heart of the opposition’s case for killing the project.

“Because the Legislature appropriated bond proceeds following receipt of the preliminary funding plan approved by the Authority, the preliminary funding plan has served its purpose,” the judges wrote.

This is exactly what HSR proponents like myself said would happen after Judge Kenny made his obviously flawed ruling last fall. We pointed out that the court had no power to reverse the Legislature’s action authorizing the expenditure of the bond proceeds. The final arbiter on whether the preliminary funding plan was sufficient was the Legislature, not the courts, and the Legislature had pronounced that plan sufficient. The appeals court today found that logic was obvious and compelling.

It’s not clear yet whether Kings County and the other parties to this lawsuit will appeal to the California Supreme Court. But it’s hard to imagine them winning even if they did. The appeals court’s reasoning is solid and ironclad.

Presumably the appeals court ruling will allow the CHSRA to finally begin full-scale construction near Fresno. Demolition of property on the right-of-way has already started. We should see a proper groundbreaking and construction of new structures soon, perhaps by the end of summer.

There may be more lawsuits to come, but this one was the biggest threat to the project. With today’s ruling that threat has been neutralized. Combined with the cap-and-trade funds, the California HSR project has had an amazing few months of overcoming challenges. A better, more sustainable future lies ahead.

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  1. synonymouse
    Jul 31st, 2014 at 21:17
    #1

    Back to normal in the uniparty state: machine appointees do what they are told if they know what’s good for them. They might as well have had Kimiko Burton write the decison.

    Great victor for PB and PG&E and Tutor and all the other grafters. Queretaro or bust.

    joe Reply:

    Well pay up dude.

    http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Kashkari-s-campaign-almost-out-of-cash-5661172.php

    With a little more than three months to go until the Nov. 4 election, Republican Neel Kashkari’s campaign for governor is almost dead broke.
    ..

    Kashkari isn’t the only Republican facing the fall campaign with empty pockets. In the race for lieutenant governor, Ron Nehring, former state chairman for the GOP, had $10,545 in the bank as of June 30, compared with $2.31 million for Democratic incumbent Gavin Newsom, former mayor of San Francisco.

    Republican Greg Conlon, who is running for treasurer against termed-out state Controller John Chiang, had less than $7,000 in the bank and nearly $3,000 in debts. The GOP’s Ronald Gold, who’s challenging Democratic incumbent Kamala Harris for attorney general, was $870 in the red.

    Comments on a blog aren’t going to pay the bills.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry’s flush with corporate and union bribes. The Ranch owns him.

    nslander Reply:

    Yes, “The Ranch”. If you play Cadillac Ranch backwards, you’ll end up moving to Palmdale where the Ranch will prepare you for the imminent race war,

    synonymouse Reply:

    “Don’t bother to protest. It won’t do any good.”

    – Gen Prayuth

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Joe, you mean to say that NEEL doesn’t have enough campaign KASH to KARI him thru to the November elections?

    joe Reply:

    Very Punny.

    Neel made headlines with his jobless stunt and job killing opposition to HSR. Unfortunate for the three blind mice on the Fresno Co. Board of Supervisors that this stunt and the Appellate court happened the week they voted against HSR and put the maintenance facility back into play.

    Fresno Co was the only CV County behind HSR. They had a sure thing.

  2. RubberToe
    Jul 31st, 2014 at 21:19
    #2

    Sell the bonds Friday morning, and start construction in the afternoon. Get it started, then get it done. I love the new tunnel concept from Palmdale to Burbank. Cuts travel time and SoCal jobs for the next 5 years.

    RT

    Observer Reply:

    Right on.

    nslander Reply:

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

    There’s just a boatload of “suck it” to be inflicted.

  3. RubberToe
    Jul 31st, 2014 at 21:34
    #3

    Kashkari is pretending to be homeless in Fresno this week looking for low wage jobs. The Governor should offer him a high paying job on the HSR system. Surely he can do something productive! Kill two birds with one stone.

    RT

    joe Reply:

    This stunt the same week the Fresno Co. Supervisors voted to pull support from all HSR construction.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Was about to write on both those topics (Kashkari’s stunt and the Fresno County Supervisors’ stunt) but the appeals court decision trumps all of that.

    Alan Reply:

    The Governor should offer him a high paying job on the HSR system.

    That would be the photo-op of all time!

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    RT, like take his sledgehammer to the full-size HSR trains instead of the little plastic ones he’s been smashing to smithereens on the tree stumps in his campaign ads?

  4. IWillRide1st
    Jul 31st, 2014 at 21:39
    #4

    Well said RubberToe..I second the motion!!! Glad to see that Judge Kenney’s flawed ruling has been overturned…and rightly so. Let’s get back “on track” and don’t pay any attention to all Republican naysayers, haters, and obstructionist. Let’s GO!

  5. les
    Jul 31st, 2014 at 23:07
    #5

    This ruling will shoot Kashkari and Frsno Sups to hell. They better all start looking for jobs with Jerry and crew.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Exactly – Kashkari is going to look even more ridiculous. And the Fresno Bee already slammed the three Supes who voted to oppose HSR.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    I have several full-time toilet-scrubbing jobs they can apply for at various local fast-food joints! LOL

  6. michael a.
    Jul 31st, 2014 at 23:14
    #6

    :-) Thank you Robert for all your years of tireless advocacy for this project. Your great skill at explaining complex issues has allowed thousand of citizens like myself to follow and understand this complex project. It has been a real roller coaster and your excellent reporting and analysis has given your audience a reason to tune in weekly and follow this project in detail. What a wonderful service your skill and the internet has brought to me. And, you have maintained this high level of excellence and frequent reporting while raising your newborn son. All I can say is Thank You and Job Well Done!

    Donk Reply:

    Agreed. It is a lot of work maintaining this site and keeping everyone informed. It’s also pretty hard to have an opinion every day and to keep at it even after us curmudgeons around beat your enthusiasm down a daily basis. Thanks Robert

    Alan Reply:

    Agreed here, as well. Some of us do get a bit cranky from time to time (raises hand), but that does not mean that your efforts are unappreciated…

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I also thank Robert for covering these details so well that I can actually follow the news. He’s redefined what the next generations of bloggers should be about. Now of we can recruit more writers…

    Scramjett Reply:

    Well said! If it were not for this site and Robert’s hard work, I would not be anywhere near as optimistic about HSR as I am now.

    Observer Reply:

    I would like to give my thanks and appreciation to Robert also. Excellent information, clarification, and analysis. I can not say the same about certain other media outlets.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    I will be happy when real construction starts!! its been 5 years since prop1A and work was to start in 2012…

    elfling Reply:

    Amen!

    Neil Shea Reply:

    No doubt, thanks Robert!

    Andy M Reply:

    I’d like to join in the prâise and thanks too. Even if my opinions can sometimes be unorthodox and go agiants the grain, I do want to see this project completed and I am very grateful to Robert for keeping us up to date on what’s going on (or isn’t) and keeping up the enthusiasm despite the boorish nonsense some of his detractors here are spouting.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly with all of the above, re: Robert Cruickshank and his steadfast, devoted and intelligent discourse on this at-times-very-distressing subject.

    Truly this blog is chronicling superbly well the intense birth-pains of this first-of-a-kind-in-USA project. My thanks and appreciation to you, Robert, as well as to all the other regulars on here, whether pro or con CAHSR. Each and every one of you add spice (and unique perspective) to this on-going dialogue and commentary.

  7. J. Wong
    Jul 31st, 2014 at 23:19
    #7

    This is great news, but unfortunately it is not the end of the lawsuits. They’ll try to block disbursement of the funds once the bond sale has been made. Maybe they’ll try to argue that the plan doesn’t meet the requirements for HSR. What do you want to bet that based on prior case law, the court will grant discretion to the Authority in how the plan is implemented? Like maybe initial construction followed by subsequent electrification and signaling.

    joe Reply:

    Prop1a was passed to build HSR. It’s been used and argued as a way to stop HSR.

    The courts have been particularly attuned to the fluidity of the planning process for large public works projects. In fact, the Supreme Court has allowed substantial deviation between the preliminary plans submitted to the voters and the eventual final project, admonishing: “[T]he authority to issue bonds is not so bound up with the preliminary plans as to sources of supply upon which the estimate is based that the proceeds of a valid issue of bonds cannot be used to carry out a modified plan if the change is deemed advantageous.” (Cullen v. Glendora Water Co. (1896) 113 Cal. 503, 510.)

    Similarly, the court broadly construed the purpose of the proposition approving the Bay Area Rapid Transit District and sanctioned the relocation of one of the terminal stations. The court wrote, “Obviously, the statutes, the notice of election and the ballot proposition itself contemplate a broad authority for construction of a three-county rapid transit system. In the wide scope of this substantial transit project, the deviation of 1 1/2 miles in location of a single station is but a minor change in the tentative plan which was relied upon only to forecast feasibility of the project as a whole.” (Mills, supra, 261 Cal.App.2d at p. 669.)

    The development of a high-speed rail system for the state of California is even more complex than a regional water or transportation system.

    Donk Reply:

    So in other words, all of the details that people around here love to argue so much about don’t matter. Stop arguing about the 24 station cap and meeting the LA-SF travel time of exactly 2:40 – these are just ballpark estimates that just won’t matter when the time comes. The legislature can do whatever the hell they want, and Jerry Brown happens to be in charge for the next 4.5 years.

    On the flip side, next time you vote for a ballot measure, whether it is HSR, Dumbarton rail, or anything else, you better not count on the details of what you voted for actually being implemented.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Although I am no expert on California rules of civil procedure, this is basically a decision that defines “ripeness” as a condition of when suits can forward. It doesn’t mean that opponents can’t force changes via lawsuits. It just means using legal actions to flat out detail the project or indefinitely suspend it won work.

    It’s good news because transit opponents had been using these tactics recently to run out the clock on time limited federal funds and the like. Now at least, the opposition will actually have to win on the merits.

    Alan Reply:

    And they won’t. They simply cannot. The precedents cited in yesterday’s decision signal very clearly how the Court would look upon such a case coming before it, even if ripe.

    There’s also the small matter that even before they can get to the merits (such as they aren’t), the Tos plaintiffs have to convince the trial court that their very tortured reading of CCP 526a allows them to introduce new evidence after an agency has made a formal, quasi-legislative decision after public comment and hearing. Not gonna happen. Even if Judge Kenny were to allow it, the Court of Appeal will surely smack it down.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yes, but they can always allege injury after the Authority actually builds something and let the court rule. However, they can’t get an injunction to stop construction so it’s really pointless.

    Travis D Reply:

    I always thought the arguments about minutia were stupid and it turns out the courts agree with me on this.

    Suck it haters!

    joe Reply:

    Laws to protect citizens from gross negligence, waste and fraud require proof it exists or will absolutely exist.

    If critics go to court suing over waste and fraud then prove the details, such as 2:40 travel time, is not achievable. There’s a peer review group overseeing the project and project design and performance characteristics meeting this requirement. What are they reporting? It’s achievable.

    In their filings CA refers to past cases where the government openly planned to not adhere to bond initiative requirements or intentions. They lost in court because they provided a record of intentionally not complying very early in the project lifecycle. Here critics have argued about travel time precision down to seconds. WTF.

    Dumbarton rail – the details on that initiative listed it as a possible project. So yes, pay attention.

    Alan Reply:

    What’s going to sink the PAMPA mob in the end is the clear signal from the Court of Appeals that it will not allow projects like this to be tied up by minutae, nor will it condone the creation of remedies when none exist in the law.

    The Court of Appeals made very clear the criteria it would use when deciding cases based on challenges to the project’s plans. Judge Kenny, and any other trial court judge hearing HSR cases, have little option but to pay heed. No judge likes being overturned, and ignoring the guidance of the appealate courts is one way for that to happen.

    If the Authority declared, “We’re going to take the bond proceeds and give half back to the state for the schools”, then somebody would have a lawsuit. Obviously, that’s not going to happen. And given yesterday’s ruling, if some opponent should make it to the appelate level with an argument over minutae like a few seconds of travel time, the court will essentially respond by saying, “WTF? Why are you wasting our time?” In careful legal terms, of course. The comments about the BART and EBMUD cases cited in the decision make very clear that the courts will allow the Authority leeway in constructing the project.

    And I agree, Joe–if it comes down to a “he said, she said” between the Authority and its experts, and the opponents with theirs, the courts are not only likely to defer to the Authority’s expertise, they are bound by law and precedent to do so.

    Even if the courts ruled against the Authority (unlikely as that may be), what remedy is there? What remedy exists in Prop 1A? None, and the court made clear that it will not entertain suggestions to create remedies.

    The opponents refuse to admit it, but they had the rug pulled out from under them yesterday. It was a smackdown.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    If critics go to court suing over waste and fraud then prove the details, such as 2:40 travel time, is not achievable. There’s a peer review group overseeing the project and project design and performance characteristics meeting this requirement. What are they reporting? It’s achievable.

    The Peer Review group said 2:40 was not achievable. Even the Business Plan says the fastest will be 3:00.

    So like Donk said, the Prop 1A requirements are now irrelevant.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Not quite. What this ruling does is not force courts to preempt plans based on Jude’s trying to interpret technical specifications. So let’s say the system is built, Prop 1a funds are exhausted, and the maximum physically feasible time is still three hours.

    A plaintiff can still sue the State and demand it improve the system to meet those requirements, it just can’t do so until the Authority actually completes enough of the project to evaluate a complaint without having judges act as technical experts…

    Alan Reply:

    No, they’re not irrelevant, and your interpretation of what the PRG said is incorrect. The PRG clearly said that the 2:40 LA-SF and :30 SJ-SF times could be met in the design. (Final Draft 2014 Business Plan, PDF page 97) In practice, with real-world passengers and real-world operators, regular schedules would likely be somewhat slower. That’s reality. Nothing in Prop 1A requires that every train, every day be operated to meet those times. Doesn’t even require that *one* train per day do so. Otherwise, we’d be in the ridiculous position that a train delayed 5 minutes due to a sick passenger could cause a violation of Prop 1A. No court would ever agree to that.

    The PRG also indicates that with the system alignment still being at a 15% level of design, and rolling stock performance still based on generalized designs, a lot could change.

    This tells us two things:

    1) The Authority is acting within its broad discretion as to how it meets the goals. Anyone challenging that has a substantial, if not insurmountable burden, to prove otherwise.

    2) Any legal challenge to meeting the design requirements is grossly premature, and the Court of Appeal made clear that it will not entertain premature cases.

    jonathan Reply:

    Nonsense . The Peer Review Group noted that actual service times — which is what Prop 1A mandates — for SF-SJ would be 40 minutes. 40 is not 30.

    joe Reply:

    Actually you interpret the times to be service times. There’s no supporting document for this assertion.

    At the end of this argumentative rainbow is a full build HSR ROW with electrified Caltrain. L&H’s clients are dim enough to throw away the political, blended, compromise and litigate for a full build in the court room.

    Some disgruntled property owners will not stop the project after their lawsuit invalidates a blend system and forces the state to design a 4 track system.

    Alan Reply:

    Quite true. And most of us wern’t dumb enough to buy property uncomfortably close to an active railroad line.

    Alan Reply:

    Nonsense. The PRG members, like most rational people, understand the difference between design metrics and real-world operations. The Court of Appeal demonstrated its clear inclination to do the same.

    And at this point, it’s irrelevant. Again, the Court of Appeal clearly stated that it would not entertain any cases that were unripe. And being at only 15% design, the only thing more unripe is a blank sheet.

    Besides–what’s your remedy? What remedy does Prop 1A provide for your alleged violation?

    Eric M Reply:

    But SF-SJ CAN be 30 minutes service time, if the peninsula is a full build out and completely grade separated. This is still the ultimate goal.

    So you see, opponents can argue travel times do not meet Prop 1A (SF-SJ) with the blended approach, but it is those opponents that fought for the blended plan in the first place. In the end, full build out will have to be allowed so travel times can be met on the peninsula, or a judge will allow it to stand and not be in violation of law. Opponents can not have it both ways.

    Alan Reply:

    Exactly. At some point, the Legislature will have to repeal the restrictions of SB 557. And they will. Once that decision is made, at full build-out and system completion, the requirements will be fully satisfied. Until then, any challenge is unripe. And even Judge Kenny has written that the objections of the Peninsula JPB to a 4-track alignment is a political decision which can change.

    There are simply too many variables still in play to make a formal legal decision that the current Authority plan cannot ever be compliant with Prop 1A.

    J. Wong Reply:

    I think from the Appeals Court ruling, they are inclined to give the Authority leeway on meeting the legal requirements of Prop. 1A, which means they aren’t going to hold them absolutely to a 30 minute trip time.

    joe Reply:

    I see it as verify versus validate.

    The 30 minute travel time is a requirement.
    The State can verify the 30 minute design requirement is achievable in simulation or demonstration or test…

    Validation is assessing wether the requirements specified the right system. Validation for travel times would assess if the travel times HSR achieves produces a desired level service to cover fares and reduced air travel. That validation is done in the ridership and revenue model.

    Alan Reply:

    There are details, and then there are details. Ignoring the 24-station limit, I think, would be stretching the point. I don’t think the Authority could get away with that one. As far as a few seconds on the travel time–I think the courts will rule that the project still would be in substantial compliance with the promises made.

    I also think that the suit against CARB is going to go down in flames. Again, the courts will likely find that AB32 gave the Board considerable discretion in how to achieve the law’s goals with the cap-and-trade funds. Before that, however, I think there’s a threshold question: Is the case moot, given that the Legislature and the Governor have written into law the 25% annual allocation for HSR?

    Donk Reply:

    I don’t understand why people around here give such a shit about the 24 station limit. This number is totally arbitrary. There is no advantage to capping it at 24. Speed is not the issue, since many of the stations will be bypassed by express and semi-express trains anyway. And plus, the 25th station won’t be built until we blow thru the Prop 1A funds, and probably not until like 2040.

    So for the love of god stop worrying about the 24 station limit!!!

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Donk, you are asking for people to be logical, and also hoping they have a basic knowledge of railroads. Both sadly lacking. You should read Dick Spotswood’s column in the MIJ about the SMART Board, and by extension rail governance in general.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Here’s the link:
    http://www.marinij.com/marinnews/ci_25710285/dick-spotswood-smart-train-could-use-smarter-board

    joe Reply:

    The 24 station limit is about explaining the way prop1a can interfere with building today’s project.

    Under Prop1a Plans are required and so are reviews. Plan to put in a 25 station system and produce a revenue model and ridership model will run up against a prop1a lawsuit.

    Plan to put 5 stations closely space in the East Bay to build a commuter system and it will get challenged in court.

    Planning is a facet of the project some find interesting and I wish some of the more savvy people accepted realities about how stuff gets funded and reviewed.

    synonymouse Reply:

    SMART is irrelevant; previous attempts at express Northbay only quasi-express bus service failed due to costs.

    The primary purpose of SMART is to provide a free repair of the NWP trackage for the freight operators. That conflict is ongoing and might end up in court.

    It will be fun when SMART tries to raid bus op subsidies.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Syn, the discussion about the composition of transport and transit boards is the relevant point. Given the comments here about the BART Board it is a universal problem.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It’s a symptom of how transportation is governed in California. State officials create regional authorities controlled by officials in local government. Add in the prevalence of federal funding being routed to urban centers and States always trying to divert the money to the ‘burbs…

    Jon Reply:

    The BART board proved themselves equally useless at the recent “BART Vision” discussion. The presentation from staff contained a mix of existing projects grandfathered in (BART to Livermore, eBART to Brentwood) and new projects that were mostly good ideas (new Transbay tube, new SF lines on Geary and 19th Ave, improved Transbay bus service, infill stations in the urban core.)

    One board member complained that BART to Silicon Valley had not been studied, and argued that there was no assurance that SF would remain “the center of the universe” and that we should instead be investing in better transit to Silicon Valley, Pleasanton, and Walnut Creek (!!!). Another argued against infill stations in East Oakland in a rambling, racially loaded comment where he complained that the breeding rate of different ethnic groups had not been taken into account in the analysis.

    The planning from BART staff looked good, but there’s never going to be progress with idiots like these on the board.

    synonymouse Reply:

    IBG on Geary? Does TWU 250A know about this?

    Oh well the new Siemens pretty much cattlecars too with longitudinal seating.

    Jon Reply:

    I can’t wait for IBG on Geary. Muni can’t get their act together, so someone needs to.

    Joey Reply:

    If nothing else some branching on the west side of the bay would make BART’s peak flows more manageable.

    Mattie F. Reply:

    Another argued against infill stations in East Oakland in a rambling, racially loaded comment where he complained that the breeding rate of different ethnic groups had not been taken into account in the analysis.

    Wow! Seriously? Is there a transcript or account of this somewhere?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Muni cannot get their act together due to BART machinations on Geary, which cannot even get trolley coaches.

    joe Reply:

    San Maeto Co. pulled out of BART because the proposed design was to SF centric. This is a long standing complaint.

    One board member complained that BART to Silicon Valley had not been studied, and argued that there was no assurance that SF would remain “the center of the universe” and that we should instead be investing in better transit to Silicon Valley, Pleasanton, and Walnut Creek (!!!)

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    San Maeto Co. pulled out of BART because the proposed design was to SF centric.

    First, you’re wrong. As you are every single time you type anything. Read history and learn, don’t just make things up.

    Secondly, even if you weren’t wrong, “SF centric” as opposed to what?
    Half Moon Bay centric?
    Belmont centric?
    Pacifica centric?
    La Honda centric?
    Hillsborough centric?

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Gilroy centric

    Joe Reply:

    Here’s an MIT paper on BART SFO extension with history.
    http://ardent.mit.edu/airports/ASP_exercises/ASP%202013%20reports%20for%20posting/ASP%20Wenzel%20BART_to_SFO_Extension-report.pdf

    Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum.
    Don’t agree and don’t know what it means.

    Joe Reply:

    “In 1961 San Mateo County officially dropped out of the BART District. County leaders stated that it was not because the county was opposed to improved transit, but they were worried that the specific plan was too costly and oriented towards San Francisco’s interests, not the entire region’s. In parallel the West Bay Rapid Transit Authority (WBRTA) was created in 1964 by the California legislature to further investigate rapid transit in San Mateo County. 5″

    datacruncher Reply:

    That is a paper from an undergrad so I was cautious about the info, too many undergrads at any school can do poor summarizing/research (or poor editing, note the typo in that paper).

    The endnote (5) indicates the San Mateo info came from this paper at the Mineta Transportation Institute.
    http://transweb.sjsu.edu/PDFs/research/2503/2503_cases/2503-cs7-SFO-BART-Extension.pdf

    The only comment I see in the Mineta paper is on PDF page 15 “However, San Mateo and Marin counties subsequently withdrew from the planned BART District, citing the high costs of the new system.”

    Nothing in there about a San Francisco orientation that I see, if you see something let me know. The MIT student may have seen some other reference about a San Francisco orientation, but it was not in the paper cited as the source for that info.

    Many of the references I have seen typically say San Mateo dropped out due to a combination of the cost and having the then-SP commuter service. I have seen sources that also say there were some San Mateo political leaders opposed due to several other reasons.

    Joe Reply:

    I would be cautious about Richard who I’ve seen make errors and distortions to further his agenda. Misreads Bart schedules, cites BP oil sponsored research on climate change and carbon emissions. He’s too busy to bother with any thing but bully people to stfu.

    I’m interested in any links.

    The paper referenced ridership and cost estimates. These show more cost per ridership in San Mateo. Maybe that’s wrong too. If you look at station density in SF and cost contributions one can understand what SF centric might mean.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Marin and San Mateo pulled out of BART over the winter of 61/62 largely because of cost. The original funding stream was a property tax levy that would disproportionately affected larger homes and estates.

    However it is true that white flight and a surge in car ownership probably dimmed chances that there would be support. Add in the 60% threshold requirement to pass and if San Mateo and Marin had been part, the vote could have failed easily and it BART would have never been built…

    Michael Reply:

    I’ll drop my two cents…
    San Mateo was suburbanizing at the time, and the players with the money, especially the folks who just built Hillsdale Mall, were concerned that shoppers would continue to go to Union Square if there was BART, hence the concerns about “SF interests”. When San Mateo pulled out, the removal of the LARGE and established property tax base, along with the low construction costs down the Peninsula, basically the same mix of aerial and at-grade of the Fremont line, threw the plan out of economic balance. Marin was “asked” to leave. A Marin line would be going to a place with a much lower property tax base and require HUGE costs to build a second subway across SF and through the hills behind Sausalito to the old NWP, only to require two more tunnels to get to San Rafael and then the Marin Civic Center.

    In summary: San Mateo- Low cost construction, high property tax rolls/ Marin- High cost construction, low property rolls. Please, remember this was the very early 60’s.

    john burrows Reply:

    At the time I was opposed to bringing BART to San Mateo County because we had the Southern Pacific commuter line. And if memory doesn’t fail me, most of the people I knew were opposed for the same reason. SP was less than perfect, but it was good enough and we didn’t need another commuter rail line.

    Probably a good thing for BART that San Mateo County did bail because had we been voting with the other three counties in Nov. 1962, the measure may not have received the required 60% yes vote.

    The measure barely passed with 61.2% of the vote. Only San Francisco approved with 66.9% voting yes vote. The vote for approval was 59.7% in Alameda County and 54.2% in Contra Costa county. Had the San Mateo County yes vote ended up in the low fifties or below the measure likely would have failed.

    Justin Walker Reply:

    You’ve each hit on some of the key themes that led to San Mateo county’s withdrawal. Here are some excerpts from a 1975 MTC report on the development of BART:

    “Unlike Santa Clara, San Mateo made its decision to withdraw AFTER the District had been formed… This key decision was the product of several factors.

    First, the [San Mateo County] Supervisors did not want to have their county pay for a system which would serve large numbers of Santa Clara County residents (since the planned San Mateo route would terminate near Palo Alto on the Santa Clara County border) if Santa Clara County would carry none of the tax burden (a result occasioned by Santa Clara County’s earlier withdrawal).

    Second, there was general recognition that the configuration of the system, at least during operation of the first stage, would tend to promote the development of San Mateo County as a bedroom community for San Francisco… This was precisely when the peninsula was becoming one of the country’s leading centers of the aerospace industry.

    Third, the anticipated withdrawal of Marin County — which was forseen during San Mateo County’s deliberations — resulted in the District’s redesign of the system in a fashion which the San Mateo County Supervisors perceived as disadvantageous to San Mateo’s interests. [i.e. the Marin line was to be replaced with a SF-only line down Geary Blvd.]

    Fourth, the Southern Pacific Railroad exerted a substantial influence on the decision of the San Mateo Board of Supervisors. Southern Pacific was opposed to a BART system which would force them to operate the unprofitable remains of their commuter service in Santa Clara County after BART was built in San Mateo County.”

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    What is “IBG on Geary”?

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Infernal Bus Gas?

    Jon Reply:

    Indian Broad Gauge. It’s synonymouse speak.

    Derek Reply:

    The (perceived) advantage to capping the number of stations at 24 is that it caps the total cost of California High-Speed Rail as described in Prop 1a. An economic case against the cap might be strong enough to overturn the 24-station limit, but that’s for the courts to decide.

    joe Reply:

    Possibly. What if a station is paid by another pot of gold?

    Maybe a 58 station HSR system might not appear to the public as being designed primarily high speed for high speed intra-state travel.

    We haven’t the full context of why these precise numbers were put into the proposition.

    If adding stations increases revenue and has little impact on travel times then it’s a different case than the opposite where it slows service and turns HSR into non-competitive, meandering commuter rail.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Trains can go past platforms without stopping.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nozomi_(train)

    Alan Reply:

    The best court to decide a change in the 24-station limit will likely be the court of public opnion. Once construction really gets going, and especially once we see trains being delivered for testing, there’s going to be a demand for more stations to more places.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Caliente, Tehachapi, Mojave

    Observer Reply:

    To me HSR will eventually lead to more and new regional rail systems that will work in conjunction with and complement each other. To me people look at the 24 station limit and think that is it, no more. But nowhere does it say that more regional stations for regional systems can not be built; people do not get this.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Thank you, Donk.

    We don’t need no stinkin’ Prop 1a.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    It is not the end of lawsuits, that’s true, but this makes future suits less likely to prevail.

    Alan Reply:

    Agreed. Anyone can sue anyone else at any time for any reason, but that doesn’t mean they’ll prevail.

    We’ve gone from uncharted waters to much more clearly defined territory. There are now two published appelate decision laying down some ground rules, and the entire, tortuous process of the Atherton litigation has undoubtedly taught the Authority some things–so they won’t repeat the same mistakes on other segments. At some points, though, if the same litigants with the same lawyers keep filing suit after suit, the Authority should ask that they be declared “vexatious litigants”.

    Zorro Reply:

    Here’s a link for “vexatious litigants” as it applies to California.

    Alan Reply:

    That may make it a bit more difficlut…still, there has to be a way to stem the tide of lawsuits against every little thing. In the CARB case, Flashman is demanding attorney’s fees from the state. Perhaps the state should start demanding the same when it wins cases.

    joe Reply:

    “Perhaps the state should start demanding the same when it wins cases.”

    That’s too strict. Not getting paid for all work is a pretty stiff penalty.

    These are a set of unique conditions that encourage lawsuits: Matching funds are required and Fed Funds are one of a kind that expire. Any lawsuit need only delay the project to de facto stop it from starting.

    A bad ruling by Kenny de facto ended HSR until the Supreme Court approved the expedited appeal request by the Gov.

    IMHO Judge Kenny will take the State’s arguments much more seriously. He’s been embarrassed (or should be) by having his ruling overturned for lacking any legal basis and also accused violating separation of powers with the Legislature.

  8. StevieB
    Jul 31st, 2014 at 23:38
    #8

    Stuart Flashman, plaintiffs attorney, says voters do not read the text of the law but instead rely on the ballot summary so the court decision was too technical in that it followed the actual law.

    “The ruling is a microscopic examination of the ballot measure. It parses and analyzes it to death,” he said. “When most people read a ballot measure and decide how to vote, they consider what the measure means, read the arguments for and against and decide. This decision destroys people’s trust in what is put on the ballot.”

    J. Wong Reply:

    Pot calling kettle black much?

    As if Flashman’s arguments against weren’t so much arguing the minutiae of the Prop. rather than the general intention of it. Yes, voters just read the ballot summary: “Yes, build HSR”. And we all know how they voted.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Desperate people say desperate things. Stuart has lost two HSR cases in the last two weeks. His hopes of stopping this in the courts are fading fast.

    Lewellan Reply:

    “The point of this lawsuit was to prevent the state from moving forward and starting construction on a project they couldn’t finish. Today, the court reduced the requirements of the ballot measure to something that’s meaningless — and that’s not what voters intended. The authority went right around the requirements agreed upon by the voters, and got away with it. For political reasons the Legislature made this approval and now the court is saying there’s nothing we can do about it.”


    That’s the full quote, FYI, Robert and here’s to hoping you understand the points about
    Altamont v Pacheco and Tejon v Tehachapi are not going away. The engineering must NOT be substandard, but Madera/Fresno/Bakersfield certainly fails that important measurement of success. There, I got the word success in there for you and yours. Enjoy. Maybe we can stop the worst shovelling for the hell of it. That’s my hope at this point for CAHSR plus Caltrans electrification. Whee!

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    “Today, the court reduced the requirements of the ballot measure to something that’s meaningless — and that’s not what voters intended.”

    What do You mean, are you second guessing the California State Court of Appeal?

    Alan Reply:

    Actually, it’s Flashman who is second guessing the Court of Appeal. A desperate man, realizing he may soon have to go back to ambulance-chasing.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Flashman is correct. A little while ago I queried exactly how LAHSR would “liquidate” Prop 1a. Now we have the answer from Jerry’s running dogs. “Republic credits will do just fine.” PB’s jedi mind tricks are all that’s required to obviate any and all provisos of Prop 1a.

    I guess Kerry will just go thru the motions with what’s left of the litigation. If it were me I would rule PB’s scheme is illegal under Prop 1a – not meeting either 2:40 or no subsidy – and let Jerry’s stooges overturn it on immediate appeal.

    Smart money will figure out a way to avoid paying Jerry’s huge near future tax increases and let the Cheerleaders pony up for PB’s crazy train. The corps are fleeing out of state and off shore. Why pay taxes for money pits? The old school automakers are hoping Tesla locates in the principate of $150k station agents and 13 undocumented no-shows and PG&E blowing up towns..

    joe Reply:

    Flashman is correct. A little while ago I queried exactly how LAHSR would “liquidate” Prop 1a. Now we have the answer from Jerry’s running dogs.

    Wikipedia: Running dog is a literal translation into English of the Chinese/Korean communist pejorative 走狗 (Chinese: zǒu gǒu).

    What a tangled mess of fear and misplaced resentment.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Nah, more like indignation, of the type that infuses Tacitus. Nostalgia for the Republic; contempt for the Empire.

    But in my case, screw democracy. It’s a joke. Who needs rigged elections? Dispense with the nonsense – just make Moonbeam Caudillo of California.

    “fear and misplaced resentment”? Now that would be more like what characterizes and motivates those crazy-asses in Mosul with the heads of the out of favor on pikes. The elite that really runs the world could summarily incinerate those clowns but I am beginning to think it is all part of the circus in panem et circenses. Sorta like gladiatorial games.

    Perhaps a more telling cartoon image would be Jerry & Nancy & Barack eating out of the Zuck’s hand. He and the other instant bazillionaires provide the best role model for the up and coming. Do whatever is necessary to amass a fortune and then you can luxuriate in enclaves throughout the world, exempt from taxes, nannies, greasy politicians. Surrounded by lawyers, sycophants and bodyguards.

    For those “youts” who don’t enjoy the makings of becoming a tycoon join a gang or Party machine.

    joe Reply:

    my purpose is to relate … without either anger or zeal, motives from which I am far removed.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    To add to which, beiing so mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence.

    joe Reply:

    A zinger, but for whom?

    Tacitus’s own declaration regarding his approach to history (Ann. I,1) is well known:

    “inde consilium mihi … tradere … sine ira et studio, quorum causas procul habeo.”

    my purpose is to relate … without either anger or zeal, motives from which I am far removed.

    Well maybe Tactius’s approach to history is not so well known.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Was I second guessing the California Court of Appeal?
    That’s a good question. Ask it again and again to again side-step
    other important issues principally engineering, reliability, plausibility, etc.
    Et tu bruta? il mechaniloca bocaracha este muerte/acidentilo gringos.

    Fake Irishman Reply:

    I’m sure the solution is for his clients to throw more money at him.

    agb5 Reply:

    If the voters only read the summary, this is what they are expecting:

    To provide Californians a safe, convenient, affordable, and reliable
    alternative to driving and high gas prices; to provide good-paying jobs
    and improve California’s economy while reducing air pollution, global
    warming greenhouse gases, and our dependence on foreign oil, shall
    $9.95 billion in bonds be issued to establish a clean, efficient high-speed
    train service linking Southern California, the Sacramento/San Joaquin
    Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area, with at least 90 percent of bond
    funds spent for specific projects, with private and public matching funds
    required, including, but not limited to, federal funds, funds from revenue
    bonds, and local funds, and all bond funds subject to independent audits?
    Fiscal Impact: State costs of $19.4 billion, assuming 30 years to pay both
    principal and interest costs of the bonds. Payments would average about
    $647 million per year. When constructed, unknown operation and
    maintenance costs, probably over $1 billion annually; at least partially, and
    potentially fully, offset by passenger fares.

  9. Paul H.
    Aug 1st, 2014 at 02:16
    #9

    Some highlights from the ruling by the 3rd Court of Appeals:

    “Neither the Bond Law, the Bond Act, nor any of the validation cases we could find
    support the trial court’s highly unusual scrutiny of the Finance Committee’s
    determination that it is “necessary or desirable” to grant the Authority’s request to
    authorize the issuance of the bonds. The Attorney General, supported by amici curiae,
    argues the trial court’s notion that the voters intended the Finance Committee to serve as
    the “ ‘ “keeper of the checkbook” ’ ” not only thwarts progress building a high-speed rail
    system in California, but jeopardizes the financing of public infrastructure throughout the
    state
    by interfering with the Legislature’s exercise of its appropriation authority, invents
    judicial remedies where none are provided by law, and subverts the very purpose of the
    validation statutes. We agree.

  10. Tony D.
    Aug 1st, 2014 at 07:57
    #10

    Caltrain electrification!!!

    Donk Reply:

    Union Station run-thru tracks!?!?

    Derek Reply:

    Double tracking through Miramar.

    Mattie F. Reply:

    UTC Tunnel???

    Donk Reply:

    Seriously, does anyone know what the impact is of this ruling on the $950M connectivity projects? I got bored with all the lawsuit discussions and stopped paying attention a few months ago. Does this mean that these are going to go forward? Have they finalized the list of connectivity projects? Is the funding available now or do they need to match it with local and/or federal funding?

  11. Trentbridge
    Aug 1st, 2014 at 09:24
    #11

    http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/pend_sig/init-sample-1648-073014.pdf

    Goodbye Six Californias!

    the “proponents” have turned in 1,039,000 signatures to the California Sec of State and require 808,000 to be valid in order for this to make the ballot. In my experience, getting 75% plus of signatures on a proposition to be valid voters is a very tall order. This ballot proposition requires 77.5%. I’d say that there’s a biiger chance of Neel Kashkari being Governor than this making the ballot. Sigh! No Trans-Silicon Valley Express!

    Mattie F. Reply:

    That number doesn’t include Ventura and Alameda counties, which together make up about 8% of the state’s population. If the signatures gathered are proportional to those counties’ population, then they’ll only need 72% of the signatures to be valid, which is much more reasonable than 78%.

    And if they manage to have the 1.3 million signatures they claim to have, they’ll only need 62%.

    It’s unfortunate, but we will likely have to waste more state resources on this turd of a proposition.

    Mattie F. Reply:

    Just to add to that, on the other initiative currently undergoing signature verification, Alameda + Ventura came out to 8.3% of the total signature count, suggesting we’ll see 1132 signatures submitted for 6 Californias. But only 68% of its submitted signatures are valid so far (with about 1/3rd of the total submitted counted so far), which if it held for the Draper initiative, would fail by only 30-40 thousand signatures.

    Trentbridge Reply:

    I’d still bet the “under” rather than the “over”. I still think 72% is going to be a stretch.

    Alan Reply:

    In the end, it’s an exercise in futility. Even if the prop gets on the ballot and wins, the Legislature will never approve. And even if *they* approve it, Congress surely will not. No way the other states are going to give California 10 more Senators.

    joe Reply:

    We’re in a deep, state wide drought – a never before recorded event in intensity. It may last decades (based on historical records they can). What better way to remind ourselves of the interdependencies and common risks we need to work together to solve than this dumb-ass split the State initiative.

    Where does bay area water come from again? What state restricts coastal pollution to relieve central valley air impacts. Who drinks the milk and guarantees a base the price? Fruit pests are monitored and managed by which state?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Who gives a damn about the drought? Sprawl out the high desert. Turn PAMPA and Geary St. into a concrete jungle of tenements.

    joe Reply:

    blahhhhhh…sprawl….blahhhh

    Must grow more rice and cotton in desert. 2% of the economy uses 80% of the water.
    http://www.amazon.com/The-King-Of-California-American/dp/1586482815

    Jon Reply:

    Please do turn Geary into a jungle of concrete tenements. It would be an improvement on the gas stations, parking lots, and shopping malls that currently plague the street, and we need the housing.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes it would be awful if it turned into something like the New York’s Upper East Side or Chicago’s Gold Coast.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Manhattanization fanboys – come on out and scream it. Pray towards your mecca.

    Jon Reply:

    SF needs a bit of Manhattanization. If SF doesn’t become more like Manhattan, the Bay Area will become more like Los Angeles, with low density development paving over every available land area. Which would you prefer?

    synonymouse Reply:

    You are fated to get both at the same time: the worst of NYC and LA. horizontal and vertical sprawl. Concrete high-rise jungles and 20 lane freeways. Jerry is the guru of developers.

    Guangdong has 100 million souls – the Cheerleaders should be able to equal that in short order. After Hetch-Hetchy Californicate Washington and Oregon water. They will be told to “share”.

    Donk Reply:

    I gotta say, people always make fun of LA for having low density sprawl. But the OC actually is far worse. LA actually has relatively high density in many parts. OC is a sprawl wasteland. The biggest buildings are some scattered hotels that are fortresses with parking and roads around them that are completely unwalkable. LA actually isn’t that bad and is getting infilled pretty nicely.

    Jon Reply:

    That’s a fair comment. LA has a long way to go, but it’s improving faster than the Bay Area is.

    Donk Reply:

    San Diego County would be a sprawl wasteland as well if it was’t for all the hills, coastline, and lagoons.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    L.A. is considered the poster child of sprawl because historically that was policy. But as the demographics of the City changed from Iowa white to golden brown, density increased in all the way undesired by City fathers. Traffic worsened, transit was built, and infill followed.

    joe Reply:

    http://la.curbed.com/archives/2014/04/los_angeles_is_the_biggest_antisprawl_success_story_in_the_us.php

    According to a study from Smart Growth America that factored in density, land use mix, robustness of “activity centers” like downtowns, and street accessibility (length of blocks, etc.), the LA metro area is now the twenty-first least sprawly place in the US, and the seventh least sprawly among metropolitan areas with more than one million residents. (The study also reminds us that LA is the second densest place in the US overall, after New York.)

    synonymouse Reply:

    And naturlich, Joe, that is why LA s demanding a base tunnel to Palmdale to erect another LA in the high desert.

    James M in Irvine, CA Reply:

    I just hope we don’t get more into fracking in CA. With the drought and potential for ground-water spoilage, we can’t afford it.

    Jim

  12. Keith Saggers
    Aug 1st, 2014 at 09:47
    #12

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/01/thailand-junta-approve-china-rail-link-23bn

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    CHSRA 2014 Business Plan
    Environmental Review Process
    Anticipated Record of Decision
    Bakersfield to Palmdale Fall 2015

    Eric Reply:

    Truly a rail link from nowhere to nowhere. Most of the cities with stops listed have populations in the tens of thousands. Bangkok-China would make a reasonable slow freight line, but the mountains in Laos make it a bad choice for HSR. If Thailand really wants HSR, they should build to Ho Chi Minh City.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    China is looking to build a 3,000km (1,860m) high-speed line from Kunming all the way down to Singapore, passing through Laos, Thailand and Malaysia — a project that would increase China’s GDP and those of the involved nations by $375b, a former Chinese railway chairman told the China Daily

    Eric Reply:

    That’s why I said a freight railway would be justified. None of the sections of that 3000km line are justified as HSR.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Singapore-KL?

    Eric Reply:

    Correct, I was thinking of the sections that concerned Thailand.

  13. RubberToe
    Aug 1st, 2014 at 13:02
    #13

    Note to Governor Brown’s campaign staff: Remember the last time around when someone dug up some footage of Meg saying something like: “30 years ago, anything was possible in California…”, then they fade to black and ask: Who was Governor 30 years ago? Jerry Brown. Then they go on to list the things he accomplished, and say thats why anything was and is still possible:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEPlZYp5-Pk

    That was one of the more brilliant commercials that I have ever seen.

    My advice to the Governor: Do the same thing to Kashkari. Kashkari likes to show himself chopping a train engine in half calling it the crazy train. In politics, you don’t play defense. You play offense. And when you can outspend your opponent 100-1 you go on offense and you demolish and eviscerate him with the same tool that he is trying to use on you.

    Jerry needs to run an ad where he goes “all in” on HSR. Start with clips of Kashkari walking around Fresno trying to get a job as a short order cook, only to be told there are no jobs available. I saw 4 different clips of just that yesterday. Then you have Jerry talking about how the train will create 10,000 high paying jobs in Fresno. Let alone all the other interrelated jobs, including short order cooks. Cue to shots of HSR trains running all over the world. Then the California train running through Fresno, with a shot of the new station. Last shot is the Governor saying that there will be so much work to do, that Neel Kashkari will finally be able to get that short order cooks job he was looking for.

    RT

    Zorro Reply:

    A 100 to 1? From what I’ve read on Calitics, Kashkari’s campaign is nearly broke.

  14. datacruncher
    Aug 1st, 2014 at 13:54
    #14

    SacBee Editorial: On poverty, Kashkari makes a point but misses the train
    http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/01/6596384/editorial-on-poverty-kashkari.html

    …………………
    However, Kashkari spends much of his time on the campaign trail blasting Brown’s efforts to bring a very lucrative high-speed rail line right through the heart of where the GOP candidate spent the week. Kashkari refers to it as a “crazy train.”

    While we certainly have questions about the train and its funding, perhaps the project and its attendant job creation from which Fresno and the entire Central Valley can benefit isn’t so crazy.

  15. datacruncher
    Aug 1st, 2014 at 14:49
    #15

    Fresno Bee Editorial: Advice to ‘homeless’ Kashkari — take a shower, encourage investment in Fresno
    http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/08/01/4050723/editorial-advice-to-homeless-kashkari.html

    ………
    Now that he has left Fresno, we have a question for Kashkari: How about you convince a few of your Wall Street friends to invest in worthy Valley companies and start-ups?

    ………
    Undeniably, Kashkari has a point. But, as a millionaire, Kashkari can return to his lifestyle after the week is over. And if Kashkari really wanted work while on his trek, he would have showered more than once and offered a resume to prospective employers. He also might have sought work in parts of Fresno other than downtown.

    We don’t question Kashkari’s sincerity in taking a week to see what homelessness is like, and he has made poverty a theme in his campaign. However, Kashkari spends much of his time on the campaign trail blasting Brown’s efforts to bring a high-speed rail line right through the heart of where he spent the week. Kashkari refers to it as a “crazy train.”

    While the California High-Speed Rail Authority has made mistakes and funding questions remain, the bullet-train project — not to mention the jobs it would bring to Fresno and the entire Valley — isn’t crazy.

  16. Emmanuel
    Aug 1st, 2014 at 15:25
    #16

    Can we finally start construction now? This was scheduled to begin in 2012. If we want to see any network by the next decade we need to start today. No more delays.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    Yes ..really..im going to china in spring 2015 and Im going to ride 2 HSR lines that were not even built in 2008 when our bond passed !

    Alon Levy Reply:

    It was also scheduled to open in 2018, all the way from Anaheim to SF. We are closer in time to the opening date promised in Prop 1A than to the Prop 1A vote.

    Derek Reply:

    They’re doing demolition and structural test work now.

  17. Eric M
    Aug 2nd, 2014 at 10:18
    #17

    And not a peep from Anti-HSR spammer Morris Brown…….What a surprise

    synonymouse Reply:

    I always thought Morris was being naively trusting of the system and discounting the sad reality that California is likely the most corrupt state in the country. Yee and Rizzo are just fall guys – the cops are on notice to leave the big kahunas strictly alone.

    But while you triumphalize also recognize that established PAMPAonians are there because they still like the place. If and/or when it declines too far they can sell out quite handsomely and decamp to a more pleasant enclave. You’ll be packed into cattlecars with bums and bangers.

    Eric M Reply:

    Don’t assume

    synonymouse Reply:

    Why not? Jerry & PB & Tutor & PG&E are assuming the electorate are patsys if not cretins.

    synonymouse Reply:

    One thing that is surely not an assumption is that Jerry & Nancy & Barbara & DiFi will not be riding the cattlecars save for once in a lifetime photo-ops.

    joe Reply:

    Considering the projected 2029 competition date for SF to LA and their age (Brown was born in 1938, DiFi ’33, Pelosi and Boxer ’40), this is progress. You flirted with reality.

    You’ll be packed into cattle cars with bums and bangers.

    White flight. Sell now.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I thought it was white flight into the cities.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “[Brown] will not be riding the cattle cars” except that he does. Given that he takes economy to SoCal today, I would expect if HSR existed today, he would be riding it for LA trips.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Tejon Ranch gravy train.

    J. Wong Reply:

    What hard evidence do you have that Brown is getting money from Tejon Ranch? Or is it merely your supposition?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Willie Brown laid down the rules: never put anything in writing. It is all done in goodwill, winks and laundered consideration. Use your imagination to grasp how the Ranch became “le saint des saints”.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Hard evidence can end one up with the piker fall guys Yee and Rizzo.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    the rest of us don’t have access to the same high quality hallucinogens

    synonymouse Reply:

    I am sure the Machine hierarchy has access to all they would desire to supplement the viagra.

    I believe it was Vito Genovese who supplied the drugs to the Mussolini and Count Ciano entourage.
    RHIP.

    jonathan Reply:

    Synonymouse makes 3 replies, for zero on-point answer.

    Mattie F. Reply:

    You expect logic from a troll? Recalibrate your expectations!

    synonymouse Reply:

    troll roll-de-roll

    You expect logic from a PB shill.

    Mattie F. Reply:

    That reminds me, they missed my paycheck. When’s that coming?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Dunno, but the devotion, the fealty, the zeal of the Cheerleaders at the feet of PB does indeed call for remuneration.

    But Jerry plays cheap. Excepting the Prison Guards and Amalgamated.

    Mattie F. Reply:

    It’s all a big conspiracy. The fact that there is no visible evidence of a conspiracy just shows how deep it goes!

    synonymouse Reply:

    No conspiracy – it is all out in the open. Is the British royal family a conspiracy? Unless you suspect the Queen had Princess Diana offed. I think the Cheerleaders are closet monarchists. Or would you prefer a duce or even better an imperator. Jerry picking up an historical campaign slogan: veni, vidi, vici.

    Why bother with such NIMBY delays as elections or ballot measures? Rule PBRail by diktat.

    Decree in Xanadu IBG is the new black. Even the UP must bow to Bechtel.

    For visible evidence try PB written policy that Tejon Ranch Co. property is sacrosanct from eminent domain.

    Travis D Reply:

    Awesome! I want more of this kind of conspiracy and corruption because it is turning the state in to just what I want.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    “PB written policy”, where can I see this?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Check out the PB hatchet job on Tejon.

  18. Lewellan
    Aug 3rd, 2014 at 09:48
    #18

    Was I second guessing the California Court of Appeal?
    That’s a good question. Ask it again and again to again side-step
    other important issues principally engineering, reliability, plausibility, etc.
    Et tu bruta? il mechaniloca bocaracha este muerte/acidentilo gringos.

  19. Useless
    Aug 3rd, 2014 at 18:05
    #19

    The Japanese government and the JR Central is building Dallas-Houston High Speed Rail in Texas through Japanese funding. No subsidy will be sought from the US Federal Government as it will allow bypassing FRA regulations, and the construction of a Shinkansen line as is and allow a direct export of Japanese rolling stock and signaling equipment from Japan.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/08/02/business/economy-business/private-u-s-railway-wants-bullet-train-line-for-texas-by-2021/

    nslander Reply:

    Nice. The only drawback is, once you arrive, you’re in Texas.

    Useless Reply:

    Actually this Texas High Speed Rail is a closed system not connected to existing rail, because doing so will trigger an automatic FRA compliance which the Shinkansen can’t meet. In exchange, the Texas High Speed Rail becomes operational much quicker than the California High Speed Rail.

    This is basically the State Of Texas selling the Right Of Way to the Japanese government and the JR Central that will build it.

    joe Reply:

    It’s not a done deal yet.
    Let’s see where they put the Houston and Dallas stations and update the cost.

    Useless Reply:

    Going by the Japanese practice, Houston and Dallas stations will become high-rise shopping malls with train stations underground. Japanese will insist on this to recoup some of their construction cost via retail rights.

    joe Reply:

    That’s what the Texas investors initially described with one exception. Te plan was to do this cost recovery development on their land outside city centres. The down-town/near down-town stations will increase costs (IMHO). Perhaps Texas will help them acquire this urban land.

    TomA Reply:

    We’ll see if it ever happens and in what shape. If Cali just wanted to build from the outer boroughs of LA to the outer boroughs of SF that would be alot easier and cheaper (basically the Musk plan with trains.), but also much more useless.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Actually this Texas High Speed Rail is a closed system not connected to existing rail, because doing so will trigger an automatic FRA compliance which the Shinkansen can’t meet. In exchange, the Texas High Speed Rail becomes operational much quicker than the California High Speed Rail.

    Wait, why didn’t somebody think of that for California?

    What do you mean, somebody did?

    What do you mean, they don’t work for PBQD?

    Never mind. Obviously it can’t work then. Special Local Conditions.

    Useless Reply:

    A private closed railway wouldn’t work in California because building a brand new railway through the peninsula corridor is too cost prohibitive; you would basically have to drill a 60 mile long tunnel to get around the opposition.

    With Texas High Speed Rail, there is little property development between Houston and Dallas, so building a brand new railway from scratch becomes much more feasible as you just have to drill access tunnels or build viaducts for the last few miles of the railway at each end.

    This is the reason why Japanese specifically chose Texas and not California or the Northeast corridor.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    A non-FRA railway would work perfectly between San Francisco and Redwood City or between San Francisco and San Jose.

    Useless Reply:

    Non-FRA trains cannot run on Peninsula Corridor. I am counting UIC as “FRA” since the FRA is now allowing UIC. Shinkansen is not UIC compliant either, and must run on its own dedicated closed tracks not shared with any other train type. The Japanese argument is that transplanting Japanese system as is on US soil is cheaper than trying to go through any sort of FRA Harmonization.

    http://www.cahsrblog.com/2013/10/fra-to-allow-european-hsr-trains-on-us-tracks-by-2015/

    Useless Reply:

    I used to be skeptical of Japanese claim that importing Japanese system unmodified as is and building entirely new closed tracks, but I am beginning to believe the Japanese logic after having witnessed endless delays with California High Speed Rail trying to get the FRA-compliant trains run through the Peninsular Corridor and the wave of lawsuits from Silicon Valley residents.

    So maybe the California High Speed Rail could burrow a trick or two from this Texas High Speed Rail, by utilizing reguaged BART tracks from San Francisco all the way to Fremont, then build a dedicated track from Fremont all the way down to LA.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Non-FRA trains cannot run on Peninsula Corridor. I am counting UIC as “FRA” since the FRA is now allowing UIC.

    I said non-FRA.

    Clem Reply:

    The problem is funding. Federal funding: their house, their call, with Buy American and all the rest of the usual baggage.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    It’s not the issue. BART between SF and SJ will surely score funding, and will surely not be FRA regualted.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Different pot of money, Richard, different rules.

    Useless is blithely unaware that Amtrak is going to sabotage Lone Star High Speed Rail just as much as Desert Xpress and now CAHSR.

    This is really a tit-for-tat game now between the Class I’s and the airlines. Both of those industries were flat on their backs in 2008 and had no ability to stop federal funding for HSR. Now both are much stronger economically and trying to use Amtrak as a poison pill to turn all these other proposals upside down. If you set rules that only work for the Northeast Corridor, where do you think all the funding is going?

    There’s a reason that CAHSR hasn’t taken foreign investment yet, and it is because they need both public and private funding. They don’t want to take a few bones from Alstom or Rotem in exchange for permanently being on the Chairman’s shit list.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Prop 1a is now a paper tiger, effectively inoperative, thanks to Jerry’s Judges. PBRail can do whatever they want. Kerry should dismiss summarily the litigation and be quit of it, since any honest rulings will be thrown out by Jerry’s puppets.

    Donk Reply:

    I went to their website. I hate it we\hen they don’t show a map.

    EJ Reply:

    IRC they’d promised to have one by April of this year – not a great sign that it still has yet to materialize.

  20. joe
    Aug 3rd, 2014 at 22:01
    #20

    Harrowing VTA
    http://www.mercurynews.com/southbayfootball/ci_26269137/49ers-find-plenty-levis-stadium-issues-work-out

    Perhaps the most furious complaints came from the 8,300 Valley Transportation Authority light rail riders to and from the stadium. Most raved about the pregame transit, where they arrived in a spread-out fashion with minimal waits. But the postgame crush was a different story, as it took up to 90 minutes for many just to get onto a train, VTA says, and then the rides took up to an hour.


    The good news? VTA is set to finish building a “pocket track” that will store extra postgame trains by the time the 49ers first hit the field in two weeks, allowing for quicker postgame service.

    http://www.vta.org/getting-around/light-rail-service-overview
    During upcoming special events at Levi’s Stadium, and when local BART service begins in late 2017, VTA will be able to store three 3-car trains on the pocket track.

    Capacity per car:
    66 seated and 105 standing (maximum capacity 171).
    Can operate singly or in trains of up to three cars.

    171 * 9 is about 1500 people. Not enough.

    Joey Reply:

    And we learn the perils of building a stadium in a location with few transit options. Weren’t they planning to locate it near Diridon at some point in the process?

    On the bright side, VTA light rail is actually getting used for once.

    joe Reply:

    I’m curious how “they” all adapt after this first 43K event experience. The good news is the VTA worked inbound.

    Are 9 (3×3) added VTA cars enough? I don’t think so but I’m not sure if they’ll use the pocket track to also turn trains around.

    There’s the Mountain view double track project which will allow more frequent and better timed service northbound but that’s next year. Project construction will begin in summer 2014 and will be completed by fall 2015.

    jonathan Reply:

    *turn trains around*? You mean have the driver go from one end to the other?

    joe Reply:

    And do you mean have the driver stop and reverse the train on the same track?

    BTW I found this so yes they can turn trains round at the double cross over. Too bad Mr.s smarts is less smart and more ass.

    Santa Clara Pocket Track and Double Crossover

    What is the Santa Clara Pocket Track and Double Crossover?
    The Santa Clara Pocket Track involves construction of a third track on Tasman Drive, north of the existing westbound track, between the Reamwood and Old Ironsides Stations, east of Calabazas Creek and installation of a Double Crossover.

    Why is VTA building a pocket track and double crossover near the new stadium?
    The additional storage and turn back capacity will enable flexibility and reliability for VTA’s service, supporting the 2017 BART LRT connection, and also Levi’s Stadium events.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    And do you mean have the driver stop and reverse the train on the same track?

    Please note the cab on both ends

    joe Reply:

    Yes, sarcasm never works in text. Thanks for the pic.

    Here the VTA station we often use at MTV caltrain. http://subwaynut.com/updates/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/vta-light-rail3.jpg

    It’s single track which limits train frequency – they have to dwell until the track clears. It limits capacity.

    The NEW VTA Pocket Tracks also have a double cross over to turn back trains. When this is finished in two weeks we’ll see if they improve the service for the football preseason games.

    When they double track to MTV in Fall 2015, service frequency will improve and trains can be timed with Caltrain.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    At major events, the peak load is outbound rather than inbound, for obvious reasons.

    joe Reply:

    Stadium capacity is 68,500, expandable to approximately 75,000. This was the first event and only 43,000. 9 additional cars are not enough.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    And we learn the perils of building a stadium in a location with few transit options

    Problem? No problem. The corporation that owns the 49ers “persuaded” the City of Santa Clara to subsidize it the tune of at least $200 million. The corporation that owns the 49ers will now “persuade” Santa Clara VTA to spend tens or hundreds of millions more to “fix” the “unforeseeable” traffic problems.

    Sounds like the system — the same system that defrauds the public of tens of billions of dollars while enriching PBQD and associated mafiosi swilling away at the CHSR tough — is working perfectly!

    There’s no peril. Not unless you pay taxes like some sucker.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/how-the-nfl-fleeces-taxpayers/309448/

    In California, the City of Santa Clara broke ground on a $1.3 billion stadium for the 49ers. Officially, the deal includes $116 million in public funding, with private capital making up the rest. At least, that’s the way the deal was announced. A new government entity, the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, is borrowing $950 million, largely from a consortium led by Goldman Sachs, to provide the majority of the “private” financing. Who are the board members of the Santa Clara Stadium Authority? The members of the Santa Clara City Council. In effect, the city of Santa Clara is providing most of the “private” funding. Should something go wrong, taxpayers will likely take the hit.

    The 49ers will pay Santa Clara $24.5 million annually in rent for four decades, which makes the deal, from the team’s standpoint, a 40-year loan amortized at less than 1 percent interest. At the time of the agreement, 30-year Treasury bonds were selling for 3 percent, meaning the Santa Clara contract values the NFL as a better risk than the United States government.

    Although most of the capital for the new stadium is being underwritten by the public, most football revenue generated within the facility will be pocketed by Denise DeBartolo York, whose net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion, and members of her family. York took control of the team in 2000 from her brother, Edward DeBartolo Jr., after he pleaded guilty to concealing an extortion plot by a former governor of Louisiana. Brother and sister inherited their money from their father, Edward DeBartolo Sr., a shopping-mall developer who became one of the nation’s richest men before his death in 1994. A generation ago, the DeBartolos made their money the old-fashioned way, by hard work in the free market. Today, the family’s wealth rests on political influence and California tax subsidies. Nearly all NFL franchises are family-owned, converting public subsidies and tax favors into high living for a modern-day feudal elite.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    And there’s a recent example of when sports development deals go sour. Look up what has happened in Glendale, Arizona since they built Jobing.com. They had to use local tax revenue to pay the team and cut services….

    Joe Reply:

    I oppose public funded stadiums. Let them move the team to Kansas or where ever they can get a better deal. The bay area is a large and wealthy metropolitan area. Someone else will move in.

    It would interesting to get a wag on the estimated value ( by Santa Clara) of the out if stadium revenue – or loss of revenue because people avoid stadiums at game time.

    jonathan Reply:

    Except.. how many NFL teams are there, and how many conurbations/metropolitan areas with populations above, oh, 450,000? (Rounding Kanasa City down to 2 significant figures.)
    Oh, how about 400,00? (Hint: 32, and freely-available census data. Doesn’t look good.)

    Friends don’t let friends be innumerate in public.

    joe Reply:

    I forget, what’s the name of the Los Angeles, CA national league football team?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yeah you just destroyed your own argument.

    The NFL has let L.A. stay vacant for now almost 20 years because publicly funded stadiums are crucial to their business model. It’s like how Walmart needs it’s workers to be eligible for welfare to be profitable.

    I’m no fan of public subsidies per se, but pro sports and especially don’t care about a state which doesn’t share a time zone with the other 75% of America. College sports is another example where the West Coast is told to take it or leave it.

    Joe Reply:

    My argument was to not build a stadium. Call the bluff of any franchise proposing to move.

    Jonathan apparently thinks there is no large market without a NFL franchise to lure away a Bay Area team. LA is a market.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    LA is just as snakebit as a the rest of California in regard to public funding of stadia. There are some potential suitors but it’s complicated as Jonathan points out the city population and it’s ability to borrow debt and the regional population for the purpose of television ratings. No team in LA makes it really tough to abandon the Bay Area.

    Moreover, the NFL plan worked perfectly. I pitted Bay Area cities against each other and got the best deal for itself.

    jonathan Reply:

    No, Joe. *Your* statement was to hang out for an NFL team, but without public subsidy of the team’s stadium. I pointed out that that was a losing proposition. *Now* you say that your argument was to not build a stadium. But that flies in the face of what you said.

    Or is your “someone else will move in” not supposed to refer to another NFL team??

    jonathan Reply:

    .. but, as usual, one can rely on Joe to fail to comprehend.

    joe Reply:

    Yes, I fail to comprehend what I write. No use of block quotes because your both reliable and honest.

    Except.. how many NFL teams are there, and how many conurbations/metropolitan areas with populations above, oh, 450,000? (Rounding Kanasa City down to 2 significant figures.)
    Oh, how about 400,00? (Hint: 32, and freely-available census data. Doesn’t look good.)

    Friends don’t let friends be innumerate in public.

    Since I’m enumerate, why isn’t LA Metro Area one of the above 450,000 metropolitan areas without an NFL team?

    Just answer the question. I think you forgot LA market but I’m enumerate.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Evidently linguistically challenged too :-)

    in·nu·mer·ate
    /iˈn(y)o͞omərit/
    adjective
    1. without a basic knowledge of mathematics and arithmetic.
    noun
    1. a person lacking basic knowledge of mathematics and arithmetic.

    e·nu·mer·ate
    /iˈn(y)o͞oməˌrāt/
    verb
    1. mention (a number of things) one by one.

    joe Reply:

    Indeed.

    jonathan Reply:

    That said, I also oppose taxpayer-subsidized private, professional sports stadiums.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Epic fail VTA … way to go!

    Ruben Gonzalez, 61, of San Jose, had been waiting in line with his wife after the game for more than an hour when he took a call from his son, who drove to the game and said he was home in Santa Clara already and wanted to know if he should come back and get them. He wound up taking the train.

    “Never again,” Gonzalez said of VTA. “It was supposed to be traffic jam that kept people from getting home.”

    Others were so frustrated by the train lines they gave up: Chuck Konrad said he wound up taking an Uber back to Willow Glen in San Jose after walking a ways to a pick-up point. Another woman said she just walked a few miles to her car at a VTA lot — and got there before some riders.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    So it was VTA’s fault that the new stadium owners didn’t invest in transit

    Joey Reply:

    No, it’s the city of Santa Clara’s fault for approving and subsidizing the construction of a stadium at such a transit-poor site.

    joe Reply:

    It’s the first event at a new stadium. Let’s not give out a final grade yet.

    I’m very confident the York family insisted a Soccer game be held before their NFL football team played a game.

    Also note:
    Vendors ran out of hot dogs, some bathroom lines were long and others under used.
    WiFi didn’t work as planned. and etc.
    Police I’m sure haven’t mastered how to direct traffic out of the stadium.

    VTA needs to do a better job BUT the VTA pocket track for the stadium is not done and will finish in 2 weeks. The Mountain View expansion to double track to Caltrain and increase capacity Northbound finishes Fall next year.

    I don’t think a 9 car pocket track is enough capacity for an NFL game but maybe the pocket track will allow them to turn trains around quicker.

    They blew the first quiz. The test is the preseason game and final the Bears 49ers in week 2.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    VTA didn’t blow things up, Joe–

    The Yorkshire never secured enough parking from the get go and no one was sure how it work out. The NFL even avoided scheduling prime time games there to see what shakes out. Expecting a light rail system to magically disperse 30,000 is laughable.

    Reality Check Reply:

    So VTA, the local official transit agency, with all its planners and board of local elected officials, was somehow made to look bad by insufficient parking for more fans to drive instead of ride?

    America’s Finest Transit Apologists, anyone?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The light rail station was there before the stadium. All the VTA could do would be is mass trains there potentially for the end of the game. They can’t magically add capacity.

    Joe Reply:

    The first event at Levi Park had unacceptable problems. From running out of food to restrooms to VTA.

    The VTA promises to fix their problems which includes more trains and turn back track. They should be able to take out the ridership they carry into a stadium.

    They didn’t carry 30,000 to Levi Stadium. About 8,300 got there smoothly for the game.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It works just like the parking lots. they filter in over a long period of time and then all want to leave at the same time. it’s going to take a while to haul away the people. or let them out of the parking lots.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I thought that was the idea of television. Watch it at home, why strain the infrastructure?

    Reedman Reply:

    If BART would agree to spend $500 million on a ‘connector’ (like it did in Oakland) …

    FYI, it took hours for fans to get out of the transit-rich Meadowlands at the Super Bowl earlier this year.

    Check out the cartoon in the article below …
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/nj-transit-probe-eyed-super-bowl-train-bus-woes-article-1.1601175#

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yeah, well when you have set of platforms that can carry away 10,000 people an hour and 30,000 of the want to leave at the same time it takes three hours to carry them all away.

    Reality Check Reply:

    49ers unfazed by soccer-game jam and will stick to transit plan

    [...] officials with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which serves the stadium with light rail and express buses, promised to make improvements, but boasted that the system hauled more than 9,000 people to the stadium.

    Special express bus service on five lines worked particularly well, said Colleen Valles, a VTA spokeswoman. But she acknowledged that postgame lines forced some fans to wait 45 minutes to an hour. Some trains were also slowed significantly because of traffic and people on the light-rail tracks, she said. One pregame train lost power and, when restarted, had to run without air conditioning.

    “We are going to be looking at our entire service plan and whether we can make any changes,” she said. “Waits are inevitable. But long waits are not necessarily inevitable or acceptable.”

    The South Bay transit agency already has plans for one big change that should shorten waits and ease traffic congestion. A pocket track — “a place we can put trains in our pocket,” Valles said — is under construction and should be finished in time for the 49ers’ Aug. 17 preseason game. It will allow VTA to store three three-car trains, each capable of holding 350 people, that can be pressed into service when crowds build.

    [...]

    The 49ers operate the stadium — including parking and traffic — under an agreement with Santa Clara. A transportation plan, prepared over four years, designates parking areas, street closures, changes and detours. The plan projects that 18,000 cars will be driven to each of the 49ers’ home games, and the team has secured access to about 25,000 spaces, mainly in lots owned by businesses and Mission College.

    Trentbridge Reply:

    Let me make the “size of this problem” clearer:

    Number of Regular NFL home games = 8 – so why devise a complete transit system for 8-12 games (including pre-season and play-offs).
    MLB = 81 home games
    NHL = 41 home games
    NBA = 41 home games
    English Premier League = 19 home games.

    I’m baffled that any urban area would think that an NFL stadium that’s used ten or twelve days a year for its primary purpose is worth getting.

    Would anyone want to pump tax dollars into an HSR network if it only ran on weekends?

    joe Reply:

    The VTA system improvements serve two purposes. The more significant purpose is to improve travel time, reliability and capacity to Mountain View CA Caltrain terminus when BART connects to this VTA line in San Jose.

    jonathan Reply:

    Really? Richard M’s viewpoint is that the _primary_ purpose of capital investment in VTA is to benefit the transport-industrial complex. Richard’s viewpoint has both explanatory and predictive power.

    joe Reply:

    Richard who?

    TomA Reply:

    Agree. From an ubrna development stand point, a football stadium is basically the most useless thing you can built. NO matter where you build it its going to need to be surrounded by parking, thus creating an hole in the grid.

    Better to a – just stick it out in some undeveloped land off the highway and deal with the fact that 12-20 (including events like concerts) times a year you will get alot of traffic or b) if you are going to stick it in a city, stick in in the edge of the industrial area – like Baltimore has.

    Either way, not worth spending alot of money on. People will get there. 10-12 sundays a year traffic will be a nightmare wherever you build it.

    Jon Reply:

    Not true at all. This stadium has 74,500 capacity, is right in the center of downtown in a midsize city, and has no parking.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@51.4772661,-3.1823705,706m/data=!3m1!1e3

    The key is the heavy rail and bus station directly to the south. Put stadiums where there is a plenty of transit capacity that is not being used during the weekends, and you don’t need to build parking.

    Piers 30-32 was a great location for the Warriors arena, probably the most transit accessible location in the whole of the Bay Area. Shame about the Prop B idiocy.

    Jon Reply:

    The other reason this stadium succeeds is because people disperse throughout downtown after the game ends (usually to bars) rather than all trying to get on transit at once. If your stadium is on undeveloped land surrounded by parking there will be nothing to do after the game other than head home.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    No – Baltimore’s stadium is immediately southwest of downtown with many bars, restaurants and other activities. And it is adjacent to the I-695 ring and I-95 and the Balto-Wash Parkway to points south including Washington.

    Its better for the city and the fans if they can enjoy (and spend in) a downtown area before and after stadium events.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    I think that was the possible A’s stadium they were thinking of putting near Diridon. Ah, good old VTA.

    Donk Reply:

    The lesson is to Never take public transit to a large event until it’s been in operation for a while and other Guinea pigs have tried it out first. Same thing happened opening day this year at Dodger Stadium with the shuttle buses, back when they first opened Petco Park, in the Sochi Olympics, and in many other places.

    The Expo Line for U$C football games should be a good model for the VTA to follow. It is a light rail system with 3 car trains that seems to work reasonably well.

    The problem is usually when a game ends with a walk-off hit or a last second TD. When everyone is leaving at the same time, it is nearly impossible to get everyone out efficiently with light rail, no matter what you do.

    Mattie F. Reply:

    The problem is usually when a game ends with a walk-off hit or a last second TD. When everyone is leaving at the same time, it is nearly impossible to get everyone out efficiently with light rail, no matter what you do.

    I’ve driven to enough games to know that problem is not unique to rail / public transportation.

    TomA Reply:

    Exactly. Its simply a matter of trying to get 10s of thousands of people out of an area in a half an hour that is enginered to normally not move that many people in a day.

    Jerry Reply:

    Is there any word on the Great America Train Station usage for 49er games?
    Such as special ACE trains for the game, or special Capitol Corridor trains?
    It is a single track at that station, but it is just several hundred feet from Levi Stadium.

    Jon Reply:

    http://www.vta.org/sfc/servlet.shepherd/document/download/069A0000001OB77IAG

    PDF page 8:

    “ACE currently does not operate weekend train service. However, ACE plans to operate special
    train services to the Santa Clara ACE/Capitol Corridor station on weekend 49ers game days.
    Trains will be timed to arrive sufficiently in advance of game start times and will be scheduled to
    depart with returning customers shortly after games end. Exact schedules have yet to be
    determined and must be coordinated with other train schedules in the corridor. ACE staff
    anticipates 600 customers will use the game-day services.”

    “Capitol Corridor currently operates weekend train service and will be reviewing potential service
    and schedule modifications on game days to better serve patrons attending 49ers games.”

    This is from an April document. Sounds like VTA haven’t been on the ball in co-ordinating this, though to be honest, moving a few hundred people by heavy rail is not going to make a dent into the crowd. Levi’s stadium will be a transit/traffic nightmare until someone (BART?) builds a high frequency, high capacity rail link to the stadium.

    Eric Reply:

    Seriously. You could run 10 car trains along the ACE line (just need to extent the low platforms), and clear out the crowds MUCH faster. What if North Bay residents could park at the Oakland Coliseum (giant parking lots not generally used on 49ers game days) and then take a nonstop train to Santa Clara? The same would work going southbound to San Jose. Maybe you could even figure out how to send trains up the Peninsula.

    Where are people going to go on VTA anyway? Back to their jobs in Silicon Valley?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Where are people going to go on VTA anyway?

    Nowhere in particular. And very, very, very slowly.

    Jon Reply:

    “You could run 10 car trains along the ACE line and clear out the crowds MUCH faster”

    Due to the single track and limited slots provided by UP, this isn’t going to happen. In rough numbers a 10-car train holds 1,000 people seated or 2,000 people standing, so you need about 35 trains to clear a stadium full of people. That’s more than UP allows on the line in a day. Powell BART could disperse a stadium full of people in an hour.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    So you use a combination of the resources available, not wonder what might have been.

    Jon Reply:

    It would just be nice if we didn’t keep continuing to make the same land use mistakes over and over again.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    There are plenty of consultants to tell you what you did wrong but no managers to do it right.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    You make more in consulting. As one friend in law school said to me, “I’m studying to be a transaction cost…”

    Michael Reply:

    Serious question- How many passenger cars does ACE have? 20?

    Jon Reply:

    25 cars + 6 locos

    Neil Shea Reply:

    ACE doesnt need to clear the full stadium. If it can help with just 3-4k folks headed on its corridor that will relieve the need for over a thousand cars. Cap Corridor and Caltrain can handle some folks in other directions. Overall it would be great to handle 30% of the traffic via transit

  21. Keith Saggers
    Aug 5th, 2014 at 08:15
    #21

    RUSSIA: ‘The most powerful AC electric freight locomotive in the world’ was unveiled by Transmashholding’s Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Plant and Russian Railways as part of Railwaymen’s Day celebrations in Rostov-na-Donu on August 3.
    The four-section 4ES5K has a 1 h rating of 13·12 MW. This is intended to be sufficient to haul 7 100 tonne freight trains on the Tayshet – Taksimo section of the Baikal-Amur Magistral route without needing additional locomotives, or 9 000 tonne trains on less steeply-graded routes.
    RZD certification is expected in November, with 53 locomotives scheduled to be delivered by 2020
    Railway Gazette

    Lewellan Reply:

    All electric cars run DC.
    Nikolas Tesla in his grave, rolling over,
    wonders how his namesake car runs DC.
    How can that be?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battery_electric_vehicle#Motors

    DC motors are difficult to control and need more maintenance than AC motors.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Bzzzt! Wrong.

    Batteries are DC — but state-of-the-art electric cars, such as the Tesla Roadster or Model S, use 3-phase AC induction motors.

  22. Keith Saggers
    Aug 5th, 2014 at 15:00
    #22

    “There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”
    Raymond Chandler

  23. joe
    Aug 6th, 2014 at 07:49
    #23

    NYTimes

    Instead of putting the $11 billion directly into high-speed rail projects, they say, the administration made the mistake of parceling out the money to upgrade existing Amtrak service, which will allow trains to go no faster than 110 m.p.h. None of the money originally went to service in the Northeast corridor, the most likely place for high-speed rail. Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin, all led by Republican governors, in the meantime canceled high-speed rail projects and returned federal funds after deeming the projects too expensive and unnecessary.

    Some Jeff Morales
    More Jeff Denham advocating HSR in FL and TX.
    And Professor Ibbs explaining why HSR in the US makes little sense. He is so full of shit.

    joe Reply:

    Can anyone see the glaring error in the above quote paragraph.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/us/delays-persist-for-us-high-speed-rail.html?_r=0

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Glad to see Jeff Morales has a sense of humour

  24. Keith Saggers
    Aug 6th, 2014 at 11:04
    #24

    Instead of putting the $11 billion directly into high-speed rail projects, they say, the administration made the mistake of parceling out the money to upgrade existing Amtrak service, which will allow trains to go no faster than 110 m.p.h.

    This is not true, the Midwest High speed Rail Project is a step by step project, first 110MPH then further step ups.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    http://www.midwesthsr.org/vision

    Ted Judah Reply:

    No one will tell you this, but Midwest HSR failed because there was never a route that could generate as much demand as SF to LA or NY to DC. Minneapolis to Chicago had marginal potential that was undone by Scott Walker’s obstinacy in Wisconsin.

    The 110mph plan is a fallback to encourage freight railroads to electrify. Or if you like, it’s a “German” solution in the absence of a “French” approach.

  25. Keith Saggers
    Aug 6th, 2014 at 11:59
    #25

    US mega regions that could benefit from High Speed

    Railhttp://www.america2050.org/content/megaregions.html

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