Opposition to San Gabriels Tunnel Stiffens

Jan 23rd, 2015 | Posted by

It’s the same old story: anytime high speed rail is proposed in a particular location, residents freak out and assume that the California High Speed Rail Authority is plotting their doom. The latest example comes from Southern California, where residents of the Lakeview Terrace area, along the Tujunga Wash, are up in arms about the Authority’s study of a tunnel under the San Gabriel Mountains.

The study was pushed onto the Authority, which was happy with their Highway 14 routing, by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich. Antonovich’s district includes the northern half of Los Angeles County, including Santa Clarita, Palmdale, Burbank, Sunland, and Tujunga – but not Lake View Terrace.

The Antonovich tunnel has generated a lot of angst in these communities just south of the mountains. Now the LA Daily News, which has vehemently opposed HSR, is joining their fight:

As Staff Writer Dana Bartholomew quoted one of the opponents in a story last week: “These new alternatives, from the yellow banana to the East Corridor, we got blindsided by them,” said David DePinto, a board member of the Shadow Hills Property Owners Association who helped form a group called SAFE, or Save Angeles Forest for Everyone, to battle a bullet train around or beneath Valley equestrian neighborhoods. “We feel like we were attacked. This came out of nowhere.

“This area has earned a reputation as the last intact equestrian community in the city of Los Angeles. It is now under threat.”

It’s amazing that a megalopolis such as Los Angeles still does have a middle-class neighborhood with horse country and semi-rural delights. Our Angeles National Forest is an extraordinary recreational resource that simply doesn’t need another intrusion of big infrastructure. Don’t build this bullet train — but if you do, stick to the route along Highway 14.

It’s hard to be sympathetic about concerns regarding a tunnel being bored underneath you – most residents won’t notice a thing. An at-grade or elevated track would certainly have more of an impact. But would the impact be so different from the construction 40 years ago of Interstate 210, which bisects the communities of Lake View Terrace, Sunland, Tujunga, and many others?

Of course, this tunnel proposal could just be a move by Antonovich to relieve his constituents in Santa Clarita at the expense of constituents who live in Sheila Kuehl’s supervisorial district. Then again, there are people living in Sunland and Tujunga – in Antonovich’s district – who aren’t happy about this plan either.

The thing everyone needs to keep in mind is that the tunnel is a concept at best. It’s something the Authority has agreed to consider, because that’s what they do – they look at various alternatives. The folks living in the Lake View Terrace area are up arms about it – but residents in the Santa Clarita area have been raising the same concerns for years.

Ultimately, the HSR tracks are going to be built, and they’ve got to go somewhere. That means some NIMBY, somewhere in Los Angeles County, is going to be unhappy at the final result. The Authority is going to do more than they need to in order to address the mitigation needs that come from construction. But their decision on this tunnel ought to be made on the basis of what it means for the project’s overall ability to be funded, built, and provide the people of California with a bullet train.

  1. Clem
    Jan 23rd, 2015 at 23:10
    #1

    What it means is a four-minute-shorter trip between Northern and Southern California for every HSR passenger in perpetuity, and ten fewer route miles of track to maintain. And wait for it: quite possibly fewer route-miles of tunnel to cross the San Gabriel Mountains.

    Joey Reply:

    How do tunneling costs scale with tunnel length?

    agb5 Reply:

    Many recent long tunnel projects have been bored as a series of small tunnels, so there must be a point where the supply chain to the cutting head becomes uneconomically long.
    You would probably want to drill from the bottom to the top to avoid flooding problems.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    It’s not the length of the “supply chain” (spoil out and concrete in is readily manageable, ventilation and dewatering can be somewhat less so) to a single heading; it’s rate of advance and years earlier service start that primarily drive simultaneous drives.

    Long tunnels through varied geology may also use different construction techniques in different drives.

    Emmanuel Reply:

    Well we all know CHSRA. They would probably manage to contract out each tunnel to someone else, so a single tunnel might be a lot cheaper and faster to build. I for one find the whole section completely ridiculous and overpriced.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    But as we keep going over: is that the safest idea going through the San Andreas fault zone? And remember, in Southern California people are far more averse to tunnels and subways. There’s no TransBay Tube to educate people on the risks. Not many big bridges either.

    EJ Reply:

    How do you get from Palmdale to the San Fernando Valley without crossing the San Andreas fault?

    And remember, in Southern California people are far more averse to tunnels and subways.

    Uh, really? You mean the people who take the red and purple lines to work every day? Or the majority of LA who voted to fund the Wilshire subway extension?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Although you might never realize it getting on the Metro Rail when its crowded…

    there’s a whole lot of people in Southern California who vote for transit that never use it.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I vaguely remember that someone cited, along with other cites, that the small percentage of people who do use rail in Los Angeles is keep things from collapsing into permanent gridlock. From when rail was on strike and things turned into permanent gridlock. People who would never think of getting in anything other than their personal car recognize that having rail available means those people aren’t on the road.

    Eric Reply:

    Even with rail, it’s not so far from gridlock…
    http://goo.gl/maps/la65b

    EJ Reply:

    So what? Your contention was that people in SoCal are opposed to tunnels and subways; when clearly they vote to build them. Not to mention the dozens of highway tunnels (on the 110 between Pasadena and downtown, under the runways at LAX, under bunker hill, etc., etc.) that handle many thousands of cars daily.

    Clem Reply:

    Non sequitur. All proposed alignments cross the San Andreas fault zone at grade, and crossed it must be to connect SF to LA.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Did I say the word “grade”?

    I understand the current alternatives cross the fault itself at grade…but the risk is not just there…as the plate shifts there’s going to be displacement through any tunnel built that close to the main fault. The question is, do you want a very long tunnel or a bunch of short ones?

    I freely admit that I’m not a geologist, so I don’t know how far away from the main fault we can get before the risk of the big, long tunnel and the minutes it saves outweigh the shorter tunnels.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    You say lots of words.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    So do you, what’s your point?

    Your deep and thoughtful commentary on the TransBay Terminal could perhaps enlighten us mortals on what to do for Palmdale to Burbank…if you cared about anything south of Gilroy….

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Gilroy isn’t on his radar either. Livermore and Tracy are for some reason.

    Joey Reply:

    They all fall into the category of “put a station here if you’re going that way anyway but shouldn’t drive large-scale planning decisions.

  2. Roger Christensen
    Jan 24th, 2015 at 00:02
    #2

    Someone should make a collage of all the great Daily News headlines of how Metrorail will destroy LA County and how the Valley should secede from the City of LA (so that the Daily News can be the voice of Valley freedom). They remain wildly out of touch with the voters.

    Donk Reply:

    You mean Camelot, not “the Valley”

  3. Jerry
    Jan 24th, 2015 at 00:30
    #3

    It looks like there are three options in the Hansen Dam/Sunland/Shadow Hills area.

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/Palmdale_Burbank/Palmdale_Burbank_Public_Meeting_Large_Plot.pdf

    Which one are they complaining about?

    Jerry Reply:

    E1, E2, or E3

    Darrell Reply:

    All of them.

    Darrell Reply:

    Looks like the Shadow Hills E2 and E3 are in Supervisor Antonovich’s district, just not alternative E1 farther west.

    synonymouse Reply:

    SCS looks good – tightest curves and most surface. Now is it where the poorest people live?; that’s the determinant.

    Where are the lawyers? I thought these people had money.

  4. agb5
    Jan 24th, 2015 at 03:10
    #4

    The Authority should propose to offset the construction costs by drilling horizontal oil fracking wells from the inside of the tunnels. The Authority could then let the environmentalist negotiate them down to just boring the tunnels with no fracking.

  5. les
    Jan 24th, 2015 at 07:38
    #5

    They can do grade separation for the horse track. Maybe even offer a mile of horse track for every mile of train track.

  6. joe
    Jan 24th, 2015 at 09:44
    #6

    start planning to build in the north.

    this nimby bullshit works when there isn’t a penalty for appeasing the vocal few.

    bring hsr from Fresno to Gilroy. More,tend HSR to Sacramento. make the socal politicians work it out.

    Clem Reply:

    The Gilroy-first strategy does have its proponents.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Honestly, if we think about momentum, San Jose to Fresno should have been the first segment all along…as it would link the most economically vibrant part of the state with the biggest backwater.

    But as you noted, the fly in that ointment is that Prop 1a would then require SJ to SF to get built before going south from Fresno. And given the fighting and lack of federal funding for the Peninsula segment, the logical thing to do was build as much flat track in the Central Valley as possible and then figure out the rest.

    Honestly, what they should do is revise Prop 1A by making SJ to Palmdale one operating segement, Palmdale to San Diego another, and San Jose to Sacramento/SF a third…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It wasn’t ready to spend the money by 2017. Fresno to Bakersfield was. If California didn’t want the money Amtrak has all sorts of things they could have done with it that haven’t been done because there is no money for it. Getting a FONSI for dropping 2 or 3 billion on the NEC for instance could have happened in a twinkling of an eye compared to Fresno to Bakersfield. The main problem would have been getting stuff from the suppliers.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The Feds insisted to spend as much money in the CV as possible. That is why PB made this mistake.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    if California had been ready to spend the money someplace other than the Central Valley it would have been eligible for the money. California wasn’t. It was either spend it on the segment they are spending it on or watch the NEC suck it all up. There was no third alternative unless you consider having Michigan suck some of it up and Massachusetts suck some of it up and New York suck some of it up to hurry along the second track between Rensselaer and Schenectady.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Nope. The EIR was scheduled once the White House made it clear where the HSR money had to go.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The White House made it clear that the EIRs that couldn’t be completed in time to spend the money by 2017 wouldn’t be approved. What part of that is hard for you to understand. The one that got great big gooey gobs of Federal money was the one that had any hope of meeting the requirement to spend all of the money by 2017.

    Observer Reply:

    I also would have liked Fresno to San Jose built first; for me personally it would have been preferable. But, “closing the gap” as it has become known is all important. I think the CAHSRA will stick with the HWY 14 alignment. I would be very surprised if they switched to the Antonovich proposal of tunneling through the San Gabriels. Mr. Antonovich could have brought up this new proposal simply to cover his butt; this way he could tell his constituents – look I tried.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    SJ—Fremont—Livermore—Tracy would have been the ideal Northern Calfiornian initial segment, killing many birds with one stone and saving $10+ billion public dollars.

    Too bad.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Assuming anything got built south of the tunnel portal on the west side. Which could easily have been put off because of cost overruns until a later date. And then put off because there are a lot of more pressing priorities for state money. And never built.

    Clem Reply:

    Fremont to San Jose either is a priority or isn’t. Which is it?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ask the people who imagine it is. I suspect that more people in the state want to get to San Francisco. Versus the bright lights and hubbub of downtown San Jose.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Charitably, Altamont is a relic of Bay Area regional planning that ain’t coming back. There’s a reason BART is going to San Jose before pushing down towards Tracy.

    In short, wage stagnation and no housing bubble means demand for housing in places like Stockton and Manteca (and Tracy, Elk Grove) are too soft to sustain commuters and much of any ridership.

    Of course, I realize your main goal is to submarine BART financially and get Steve Heminger indicted…

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Charitably, you don’t know what you are talking about. Altamont has a huge amount of commuter traffic.

    From 2013 Caltrans weeday traffic counts:

    Los Banos Hwy 152 AADT: 25k
    Altamont pass I580 AADT: 150k
    Bay Bridge toll plaza AADT: 246k

    Expect Altamont numbers to go up when the new I580 lanes are completed later this year.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Hold on, there–

    The Bay Bridge has a toll and also is supplanted by 400,000 BART riders alone. So Altamont is still pretty small compared to other choke points. But my point is that these people aren’t goig to spend $40 a day commuting to San Jose over driving. People live in the Valley because they want or have to spend much less on housing and though they might switch modes to rail, it won’t be for the cost of an HSR ticket.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    You don’t have a point. Stop typing.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Funny, because it seems clear to me that the same tortured argument you make against Palmdale is the same tortured argument you make for Altamont.

    Clem Reply:

    Altamont is a bit quicker for SF – LA and a lot quicker for SJ – Sac, so I fail to see the inconsistency.

    jimsf Reply:

    the point everyone is missing is that altamont isn’t going to happen. So the pros and cons are irrelevant and teh argument is a waste of blog space.

    Clem Reply:

    You might consider eschewing the subject, if these are your convictions.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    In the greater scheme of things people in Los Angeles don’t give a shit how long it takes to commute on the Altamont pass or how long it takes to get to Sacramento from San Jose. Nor do people in the parts of the state not commuters in exurban San Jose on the east side of Altamont pass. You don’t give a shit how long it takes them to get to Las Vegas they can not give a shit about how long it takes to commute to San Jose.

    Alan Reply:

    Lack of a point has never stopped you.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    so in nice round numbers the number of people who go over Altamont pass in day are roughly very roughly half the amount of people who go through BART turnstiles in a day. Which doesn’t count the people who use the various bus companies that serve San Francisco-Suburb travel. Or inter suburban travel or intra county travel on buses and trolley buses and streetcars or cable cars.

    Clem Reply:

    Altamont (with its daily traffic jams) carries as many commuters as half of the entire BART system, all branches included. Strange comparison, but it sure illustrates the point that an alternative to sitting in traffic would be welcome in the Altamont corridor. Something better than a few pokey diesel trains.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Ah so everybody going over the pass is going to an office that can be walked to from a train station eh?

    EJ Reply:

    You got it, adi. Clem’s arguing that every single commuter would switch to HSR. Good for you, gold star.

    joe Reply:

    Stations with Pacheco Alignment are Fresno, GLY, SJC, RWC, SFO and STF.

    Altamont would drop GLY and keep SJC, RWC, SFO and STF.

    You add three: Fremont, Livermore & Tracy. The system has a cap on station. Building this first wouldn’t withstand a simple lawsuit. Two birds but no stone to throw.

    Clem Reply:

    Altamont blended, like Eurostar + Javelin. Any commuter stations won’t count against the HSR tally any more than Hillsdale or San Antonio on the peninsula are counted. As for Prop 1A lawsuits, when has one ever been won?

    jimsf Reply:

    why is the 580 traffic more important than the 101 traffic?
    With BART to livermore altamont -sf will be well served
    with ACE upgrades, altamont – san jose will be well served.

    jimsf Reply:

    HSR isnt going via altamont.
    The IOS from Merced south will be used as a way to establish and bolster ridership in the new norcal unifored service – combined network of san joquins capitols, and ace, including expansions of routes. These will be configured in such a way as to a) feed all of the bay area and greater sacramento into the hsr at merced while at the same time building ridership and what becomes a permanent local/regional network.

    Once those goals are accomplished hsr will connect from merced to san jose via pacheco. The end result will be a norcal rail network that is very comprehensive.

    joe Reply:

    Altamont blended, like Eurostar + Javelin. Any commuter stations won’t count against the HSR tally any more than Hillsdale or San Antonio on the peninsula are counted. As for Prop 1A lawsuits, when has one ever been won?

    The reason CA wins Prop1a lawsuits is the Authority isn’t reckless. They State cannot use the HSR funds to plan or build a commuter rail system. Those requirements levied on the system under construction would be out of scope and not legal.

    Hillsdale is there already and the system is not accommodating requirements to eventually add stops inbetween the existing ROW.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Blended service isn’t going to happen on the Peninsula, on Altamont, or anywhere else. It’s not politically feasible.

    It is a great idea for the Midwest and South, but on the coasts the end product will be much more like the French system than the Germans.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    On the coast I’m closer to blended service is a necessity in light of the total lack of space for carving new ROW for getting into the cities. Even Amtrak’s diamond-plated plan involves some blending with NJT on the approach to Penn Station (although it’s more French-style last-few-km blending than actual blending).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    get SEPTA to touch MARC or vice versa and SLE to touch the MBTA trains and you could take commuter trains from Boston to Virginia. Since all the trains have “Amtrak” specs any Amtrak train could in theory go to any commuter station on any of the systems. They just choose not to. And Acela could go to Morristown or Matawan, Or Paoli or West Trenton. I’d have to check if Paoli and West Trenton have level boarding. They choose not to. Hitch any unpowered car to an ALP-45 and it could go anywhere in the country.
    ALP 44s, 45s and 46s in both flavors are spec’d for 125 MPH operation. So that someday they can “blend” with the 160 MPH Acela IIs. It’s why the next generation of long distance cars are spec’d for 125. So they can “blend” between Harrisburg and New York or DC and New York.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Alon,

    I realize the NEC seems to be the epitome of a blended system, but that’s part of the issue. If you want 220mph high speed rail from DC to NY…you are going to have to upgrade various parts of the track that in the end, might be cheap to start from scratch.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    why is the 580 traffic more important than the 101 traffic?

    More people?

    joe Reply:

    What’s with the lame comparison?

    Los Banos Hwy 152 AADT: 25k
    Altamont pass I580 AADT: 150k
    Bay Bridge toll plaza AADT: 246k

    The Pacheco alignment follows 101 from GLY to SJC and on to SFT. Why leave that out ?

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Because I’m comparing inter-regional traffic. GLY-SJC lies entirely within the Bay Area.

    But since you asked:
    I580 at Pleasanton : 191k
    101 at San Martin: 109k

    joe Reply:

    Unfortunately the I101 corridor is impacted well into San Jose along the Pacheco corridor.

    The usual back up on 101 south county occurs with Morgan Hill traffic, not in your assessment, pushing backups to San Martin.

    They do write about this commute corridor that Pacheco would, with a GLY Station, service in current configuration without adding out-of-scope stations.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/traffic/ci_22328900/key-source-bay-area-traffic-headaches-revealed-by

    Take the southeast San Jose region along the Highway 101 corridor, where residents spend more time in traffic than just about anywhere in the Bay Area, including people living in denser districts around downtown. That’s because downtown San Jose residents drive off in several directions, spreading out the traffic flow, while residents on the south side are all driving north together to jobs in the heart of Silicon Valley, jamming the freeway.
    If a driver from southeast San Jose can avoid rush hour, he would not only commute faster but also contribute toward speeding up commutes for his neighbors driving north on 101 and Interstate 280 and people from different neighborhoods going to the same destinations. The same thinking would hold true for people in the East Bay who drive west to work, often across the Bay and San Mateo bridges or through the Caldecott Tunnel, and North Bay commuters who head south across the San Rafael and Golden Gate bridges.
    Tim Hyde, who joins the slog from his Morgan Hill home up Highway 101 to his structural engineering job in San Jose’s Willow Glen district, wasn’t surprised by the report’s findings. He sometimes leaves extra early or rides his motorcycle to avoid being part of the traffic problem.

    The general pattern I see is:
    GLY is mentioned without reference to Montery Co. which it does service.
    Commute traffic is unfairly compared: I580 to 152 Los Banos/San Martin.
    Altamont benefits include additional out-of-scope stations.

    The actual, in scope, differences are a station at Livermore and a station at Gilroy. The corridors are I101 and I580.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    CHSR is about long distance inter-city airline surrogate travel only. Altamont bad!

    Except when it isn’t. Palmdale good! Gilroy double plus good!

    joe Reply:

    You guys set up some rules and don’t follow them fairly.

    If you want to play RR Tycoon then do it right. I-152 Pacheco is not representative of the corridor and San Martin is well before the Morgan Hill I101 backup that NPR reports every day. Strange such experts to make these silly mistakes unless they are not mistakes.

    GLY is the Central Cost stop. Pretend it’s rounding error. Okay. It’s your game.

    If you think your GI Joe Altamont doll can fly and has laser beam eyes that’s fine. Maybe Pacheco’ GI can’t fly and is near sighted. It’s your game guys. Just pointing out the game is rigged because … well I suppose you want Your GI Doll to win. Okay he wins. You have the best GI Doll Ever.

    We’ll Have HSR Pacheco and a GLY stop. Anything else we need to cover?

    joe Reply:

    Sounds like a great idea too bad it wasn’t put on the ballot for a vote.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Going up against BART-MTC is like Intel: many have tried and many have died.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Some Cheerleaders want to build north instead of south. It will bleed red ink. Who the **** really wants to go to Fresno? Pretty soon Jerry will cut off Valley wells and little guys won’t even be able to farm. What’s left but meth houses?

    I love nowhere to nowhere.

    synonymouse Reply:

    That was supposed to be a reply to EJ below. Dunno what happened there.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    It’s always the same comment regardless of to whom you are replying.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    More ARM licensed processor ship than x-86 processors these days. Once you decide to let go of the Wintel monopoly lots of things are possible. Even Windows 8 can run on ARM. I think they sold about 3 dozen of them but Windows 8 can run on ARM processors.

    Joey Reply:

    Such an initial segment is not disallowed by 1A.

    synonymouse Reply:

    HSR to Sac first means Altamont.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The people who aren’t mesmerized by the possibility of the thundering herds of people who want to travel between Sacramento and San Jose saw the other alternatives in a different light.

    EJ Reply:

    SJ-SAC is a big travel market. Why do you assume it’s not?

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Cheerleaders live in a parallel universe with a different Planck Constant.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    SJ-SAC doesn’t compete with the airlines, who are the main rival to high speed rail… so even though it could a really smart idea, private investment sees no dollar signs…

    Jerry Reply:

    Main rival to HSR????

    Ted Judah Reply:

    In the US, airlines are the primary commercial carrier between metro areas…in Europe…it’s often HSR.

    No one is investing that much money to compete with commuter rail…but the airlines are a different story.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Not between some like the New York combined statisical area and the Philadelphia CSA. Some people walk between them. Or the NY CSA and the Hartford CSA. Or the New York CSA and the Baltimore MSA or take your pick of any MSA along the NEC and flying is important for Boston to DC. Just barely.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    And in both the US and Europe, car travel dwarfs both.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    For all intercity trips between metros cars dominate in Europe?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I think so, yes. The thickest routes have HSR and there trains dominate, but there’s a long tail of thinner routes with no HSR. How do you think people get between any two provincial French cities that are not collinear with Paris?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Oh no, I understand that what would be considered “micropolitan” in the US is always going to favor car transport. But I would assume there are still some metro pairs where HSR dominates.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    There are quite a lot of them.

    EJ Reply:

    Over distances on the order of SF-LA its main competition is airlines. Over shorter distances like SJ-Sac it’s competing with car travel.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not the dominant one in the Bay Area or even the secondary one. It’s a big one compared to the one between Eureka and Ukiah. People saw the other priorities in a different light. Perhaps with higher priority.

    EJ Reply:

    It’s not a big air market. There’s plenty of travel though.

    synonymouse Reply:

    SJ to Fresno as your US HSR proof of concept?

    Please go for it.

    EJ Reply:

    Please learn to read for comprehension.

    synonymouse Reply:

    In the real world of pr and mass opinion the initial IOS stands as the US HSR proof of concept, absent something happening in Fla. or Tejas, which I doubt.

    So it had better break even. Please go for it.

    EJ Reply:

    I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not the dominant travel market in the Bay Area. Or the secondary one. It’s a really important one to people who want to go from one side of the pass to another but all the other people in the Bay Area may have other priorities.

    EJ Reply:

    Altamont gets you SF-Sac, SJ-Sac, and the beginning of a connection to points South. Gilroy gets you upgraded Caltrain and cuts of Sacramento entirely. I realize you tend to get cranky when someone asks you to look at a map, so just trust me.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If it gets build from the western portal to San Jose. If ever. Why does it need to be built if there is that nice shiny BART train that can do that just as well and needs more traffic? Why is that so awful when people in other places not named San Jose are expected to take BART or AC Transit or Muni or even GGT to get to an HSR station?

    EJ Reply:

    Who are you replying to? What in God’s name are you blathering about?

    joe Reply:

    GLY services Monterey Co.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Ah, Monterey, vassal state of the Greater Gilroy Co-Prospority Sphere.

    So, let’s see what the California High Speed Rail Authority’s ridership projections have to say about “GLY services Monterey Co.”

    Oh, so here’s what America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals at Cambridge Systematics, the officially sponsored “Pay for Play” Spreadsheet Providers of CHSRA, and PBQD have to say in the official “CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED TRAIN PROJECT RIDERSHIP AND REVENUE FORECASTS”:

    1.4 million annual riders “Monterey Bay/Central Coast regions – LA Basin” of their total projection (nudge nudge wink wink) of 93.1 million system-wide California HS riders in 2030. (That’s a mode share of under 2%, with 93% automobile.)

    I do believe the word for that is “rounding error”.

    To tie it all together, don’t neglect the equally significant and apropos fact that GLY services Las Vegas.

    joe Reply:

    It’s not rounding error – it’s a part of the state of California which, as many other places of CA are derided.

    HSR will have 24 stations. If each station were equal then each would have 1/24 the 93 million riders or 3.8 million per station. 1.4M out of 3.8M is not rounding error.

    You also note that the ride share is low which means capturing a single precent more of auto trips would have a large increase in rider-ship.

    I do believe the word for what you often write is “bullshit”.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Joe, that’s quite possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen written in this blog’s comments.

    Joey Reply:

    Unfortunate that the CHSRA doesn’t put actual error bars on the ridership numbers.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    Yeah, gotta support your exurban lifestyle.

    joe Reply:

    Gilroy is not exurban. It has decades of history as a part of the region, commuter rail and a google bus ferrying people to work. You people are so petty that someone else, somewhere else might benefit from a public project.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Joe, I can understand your desire to have HSR serve Gilroy, but to continue to argue that Gilroy is more important than it actually is is just being obtuse. No one is being petty about Gilroy getting benefit from a public project like HSR, but just pointing out that on a cost/benefits basis it’s not really significant.

    Instead of arguing that Pacheco and by extension Gilroy somehow “deserve” HSR, just be glad that the Authority has chosen that alignment.

    joe Reply:

    I make no such argument. Gilroy deserves nothing but equal treatment.

    It is not an extraburb city – it is at the end of Caltrain. In Chicago and any other place that terminus would not be defined as extrburb.
    Google runs a bus for employees – no less distant than the SF Noe Valley stop. Middle class homes are part of the county growth plan.

    When anyone omits Monterey they are being sloppy or disingenuous about the GLY station.

    Comparing Altamont I580 to Pacheco HW152 while omitting I101 is not fair.

    Gilroy is geographically located at an E/W and N/S corridor. It has a station because of the geography. I moved here from Noe Valley for that reason. I took a chance that the Caltrain terminus and geographic location would support future growth and expansion.

    Politically the way to LA from SF runs south on 101 to San Jose and by chance Gilroy. Pacheco was picked and I am not surprised.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    “I moved here from Noe Valley for that reason.”-No, you wanted to be able to afford a nice big house and the benefits of a smaller town lifestyle, with heavily subsidized Caltrain that is unaffordable, and making Gilroy out to be the Nexus that it isn’t so you don’t have to drive as much. This is what California progressivism is!

    joe Reply:

    No Amanda.

    I wanted to live in a old home near the city core and rail station and walk rather than drive my car from Noe Valley to 22nd Street Caltrain. Mlynarik also uses Caltrain subsidized as do all others who ride the system and those companies that benefit.

    The train trip from SF to Google is about the same distance as from Gilroy, the stations are on the same legacy rail line going back to the 1860s. No one is asking for anything new, it’s been here since before the silicon valley started.

    That’s what is so silly about your value system – it based on prejudices – not fact.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes, but one is a relatively busy commuter railroad and one is a 3 roundtrips per day operation.

    joe Reply:

    What’s your point Amanda ?

    That distance is not important. It’s who you are and what clothes you wear and music you listen to and your area and zip code. I get it. 40-45 mile commute from SF to a south bay job rocks. Same distance from Gilroy is evil.

    Napa wines taste better too.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    If only I’ve ever been able to have lived in San Francisco!

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Joe, another issue, besides traffic density: commuting from SF to SV is reverse-peak, which means the trains’ marginal operating cost for that traffic is zero.

    nslander Reply:

    “California strawberries, at least the ones that make it this far east, have all the taste, smell and texture of red styrofoam.”

    Did it ever occur to you that fruit was picked unripe for a market 3000 miles away might have something to do with that?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No it never occurred to me because strawberries don’t ripen off the vine. I would assume that growers and buyers know that. They can ship strawberries to me without them becoming a moldy soggy mess dribbling out of the bottom of the box from Florida they can do it from California too.

    nslander Reply:

    The distance from the market determines whether the product is picked unripe. And Ventura County is twice that distance as Southern Florida, so the same exact fruit is more likely to be soggy upon arrival. I know you know this.

    jimsf Reply:

    amanda is an ideological urban elitist. I know the type having spent so many years in the bay area. Its sort of like the way parisians view the rest of france, or the rest of the world for that matter. The new left, far from liberal, has become rigid, unpleasant and a generally obnoxtious pain in the ass which is why they turn so many regular folks off nowadays.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    I bet dollars to doughnuts joe has a fuck ton more privilege than I do. But then I’m just an urban elitist who can’t even afford to live in the city.

    Joey Reply:

    As opposed to an ideological rural elitist?

    jimsf Reply:

    Difference being, having lived in california for 50 years and having lived the SF lifestyle, walking and using more public transit than all ove you combined over the years, and having gornw up in rural yuba county, and having lived in southern california, and the central coast and wine country and the sonoma coast as well as in marin and the southbay, and the eastbay, and the central valley, and central coast and still having friends and family in all of those locations and now living in the sierra —-I have a much broader understanding of where californians are coming from 9 and where they want to go) than the narrow minded – my way is the only right way to live folks. I don’t have disdain for regualr working families who live in a tract home in modesto who are just trying to get by. They don’t need san francisco asswipes telling them how they live is wrong.

    People in the mountains, ALL own guns. most of them own several guns. They also drive trucks with big snow tires. Because is snows and they have work to do. Soem of them even drive great big trucks that they use to plow the snow off the roads so the other people can get to their jobs. And none of them is all too happy about paying for subsidies for things that san franciscans want.

    The bottom line is that everyone needs to be a little more understanding.

    You can’t call me a rural elistist because I already put my money where my mouth is all these years of urban living. been there done that as they say.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    I’m probably a suburban elitist- too many years of being poor and getting by in Santa Clara County using the VTA. I haven’t owned a car since 2008.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    Relying on the post 9/11 Gi Bill for income and relying on the VTA to get around-yep I’ve been such an urban elitist!

    jimsf Reply:

    then you should have a better understanding of how other people live and stop badmouthing them.

    jimsf Reply:

    If joe wants to live in gilroy and take the train good for him. And if you don’t like the fact the its subsidized too bad. Guess what, nobody likes paying for other people’s stuff but its what we all do.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    well….. they don’t pay for things in San Francisco. San Francisco pays for the snow plow and San Francisco pays for the state portion of the food stamps they all love so well and the state portion of the Medicare and Obamacare they all love and the Social Security all the retirees suck up that then make it possible to run the businesses that cater to the retirees in one way or another that makes it necessary to have the snow plow go out. They really really like that rich people in Omaha and Chicago and Toronto and Montreal and New York and Boston and Pittsburgh and Cleveland like to eat salad in the winter time and that makes it possible to have I-80 run through that part of the state too.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    then you should have a better understanding of how other people live and stop badmouthing them.

    If only Americans applied that lesson to the other 95% of us…

    Ted Judah Reply:

    This is a ridiculous conversation on a couple of levels.

    Gilroy is not about serving Gilroy, it’s about getting around the urban growth boundary that San Jose voters imposed in 1974 which has flummoxed developers for 40 years who want to build starter homes in south Santa Clara county.

    But even if Gilroy, land of garlic, ne ver gets a station…what other option is there for all the people who live in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Salinas, etc. to have a nearby station other than general area? I’d love to see the Capitol Corridor offer a Tahoe to Monterey option, but that’s not a substitute for HSR travel.

    joe Reply:

    CC will eventually run to Salinas. CC should replace south county Caltrain when Caltrain electrifies. Transfer to electric-Caltrain at Diridon.

    Stops at Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Castroville, Watsonville & Pajero. Self-proclaimed Mushroom, Garlic, Artichoke, Strawberry Capitals of the world.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    “But even if Gilroy, land of garlic, ne ver gets a station…what other option is there for all the people who live in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Salinas,” You are aware that there is no extant trackage in the city limits of Monterey, new track will have to be laid to replace track that has been dormant for decades, and you’ll have to have all the fun of ripping up a very popular walking/biking path in Monterey (the old row, perhaps still owned by UP?) to make way for a station.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    I *suppose* you could build a station in Seaside, at the end of the extant trackage near the old Borders, etc?

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    “CC will eventually run to Salinas. CC should replace south county Caltrain when Caltrain electrifies. Transfer to electric-Caltrain at Diridon.”

    I actually agree with this fully.

    Joey Reply:

    The state of trackage between Castroville and Monterey is mostly irrelevant because of other problems.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    California strawberries, at least the ones that make it this far east, have all the taste, smell and texture of red styrofoam. I lie. Styrofoam has more smell and taste. I buy strawberries from Florida or local in the spring.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If you run a commuter-oriented service from San Jose south…it’s going to fail on a couple levels.

    If you extend the Capitols, however, you can actually create a sort of regional train service, paired with Sacramento and Tahoe would actually do okay on ridership.

    Monterey, though, is a far bigger tourist lure than Salinas…and while I have nothing against John Steinbeck’s hometown…it’s not going to be anything more than a banlieue for Silicon Valley and have very limited commuter rail appeal….

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    Joey-I agree fully, its just I’m more interested in the physical layout, having lived there for a couple of years.

    joe Reply:

    @Amanda I am aware the Monterey bike path was the old rail line.

    Alon somehow knows about the traffic better than I – he’s an expert on this stuff including 156 and it’s long backups. He’s really hung up on Salinas and equality. CA will extend CC to Monterey Co. It’s going to happen.

    Not as sexy as Sacramento I suppose but the area is growing and growing. It’s affordable and cheap to live there and pleasant weather.

    Ted is right, the Monterey city has a damn airport for a reason.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    In New York, going “south” from New York the place that far away is usually defined as Philadelphia

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I forgot to drop the hint. Philadelphia is it’s own CSA with MSAs in it, And just for fun Milwaukee is it’s own CSA with MSAs in it. As far from Chicago as Gilroy is from San Francisco more or less. And without any agricultural festivals as far as I know.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Cheese festivals, no?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Cheese is an industrial product in Wisconsin…. almost like that other industrial product they are famous for, beer.

    joe Reply:

    What retard convinced you the centre of the bay area is san francisco?

    I never worked there and the hipsters like to live there and ride to their bay area jobs on the peninsula.

    Ask Mlynarik whose been doing it for decades. It’s not the distance, it’s the culture – some cultures are inferior like Ag. based cultures with Mexicans and food festivals.

    jimsf Reply:

    I thought everyone loved a good food festival ! what’s not to love!

    Joey Reply:

    CalTrain’s ridership statistics suggest that SF’s CBD is still dominant, if less so than previously. This is despite the fact that CalTrain doesn’t really even directly serve SF’s CBD.

    Clem Reply:

    …and when it does, SF’s dominance will re-emerge.

    Joey Reply:

    Gilroy is pretty exurban as far as CalTrain is concerned – CalTrain provides commuter service from Gilroy to points north with little in between.

    As far as comparisons with Chicago go, it depends on what line you’re talking about. Kenosha is pretty exurban as far as commuting to Chicago is concerned, as is Michigan City. Places like Aurora and Elgin it’s more difficult to say because there’s less of a development gap.

    joe Reply:

    Caltrain makes no such cultural judgement.

    The train ride distance is approximately the same from GLY as it was from SF. Same distance on the same line.

    The development gap is irrelevant – that’s cultural bias. The damn ride is what matters. It’s an IQ test I see many fail. Why judge distance by culture? Use measurable units of distance and time.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That far from New York on either the former PRR or former Reading you are in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. Or that far from Chicago on the line to Milwaukee. Downtown Baltimore is closer to downtown Washington DC than San Jose is to San Francisco.

    Joey Reply:

    CalTrain’s south county schedule suggests that said judgement has in fact been made.

    jimsf Reply:

    The fore thought of running hsr via pacheco brings hsr to that region helping close another transortation gap, that of the central coast. The Monterey bay area will have decent access to points north, east and south, via gilroy. San Luis obispo south have rail service via surfliners.
    putting hsr over altamont puts it where ace and bart already exist with expansion plans.

    Joey Reply:

    A station at Gilroy serves Monterey/Salinas poorly and anything south of there not at all. Most of the population centers on the Central Coast are closer to LA than SF.

    joe Reply:

    Fascinating.

    Would you drive from LA via 101 or HW 1?

    J. Wong Reply:

    He’d drive from LA on I5 and I580 like most people, neither 101 or CA1.

    Joey Reply:

    Most of the population centers are along 101 and closer to LA than SF – Santa Barbara (~200k including Goleta etc), Santa Maria (~100k), Five Cities (~45k), SLO (~45k).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’ve driven to LA from SF on the Pacific Coast Highway. And to New York City on US 9W and Montreal on alternates for US9 and I-87. Sometimes you take the trip for the trip. Like the masochists who take the train from Montreal to New York or vice versa. I dunno how many times I’ve abandoned the limited access highway to get on a alternate because the highway was a parking lot. I’ve even gotten on the alternate to the alternate because everybody else is diverting to the alternate. Twice that I remember to the road that’s been there as long as the road that was formerly a colonial era toll road. Even back then they had alternate routes.

    joe Reply:

    @J Wong. No I-580. I-5 to 152/156. That’s the best way to Monterey and South Bay. I-580 is a bridge crossing for the south peninsula and as we all know it is also longer for San Jose residents.

    @ Joey – Most of the time when you run away for a question it’s because you don’t like the answer. When you decide to come back you can tell me about the route you’d use.

    joe Reply:

    @J Wong. Used my old NoeValley Zip 94131 to LAX and Google map routes via 101/152/5. That saves 15 minutes over 580 and no bridge crossing.

    Joey Reply:

    joe – what route would I use to get from where to where? You didn’t specify a second endpoint.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Remember, the minarchists here cling to the idea that

    1) BART will never expand, again, ever.

    2) That if HSR uses a blended approach, it can prevent what ever expansion BART could do because there would be no need.

    3) That if BART cannot expand out for these reasons, that Bay Area transportation will be adequately funded yet locally controlled and it will be as easy to travel between Silicon Valley and North Beach as if riding on one of Van Jones’s unicorns.

    In other words, pure, unadulterated fantasy.

    Clem Reply:

    Do you mean to say that BART will some day be extended from Millbrae to San Jose? Because that notion is fast receding into the realm of fantasy.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The only thing holding back a massive expansion of transit is Congress, which will become far more receptive to big infrastructure projects over the next decade as Millennials start demanding better wage and economic growth, similar to what happened with the defense industry in the 1980s.

    One Ring the Bay to rule them all, and the darkness bind them….

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    That far from New York City puts you in Pennsylvania. Those parts of Pennsylvania just got sucked into the New York City vortex of a CSA. About the same size as Bakersfield and about as far from Philadelphia as San Jose is from San Francisco. Get back to us when Gilroy stops having a garlic festival.

    joe Reply:

    The ride from SF Caltrain to Mountain View Google puts you into Pennsylvania. It’s done all the time in the silicon valley and more distance with stops away from the station across the city via bus but the same distance on the same train in a different direction is evil.

    Same commute distance, different direction.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    50 miles from Penn Station in Manhattan on the Lehigh Valley Railroad and you are still in New Jersey.
    Pennsylavania isn’t that far but you are still in New Jersey. 90-ish and you are in Bethlehem PA. Or just short of Allentown.

    http://streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track3/blackdiamond194012.html

    On the New York Central you are half way to Chicago and still in New York State. Someplace around Buffalo. Never left New York State either. Poughkeepsie is 72 miles from Grand Central where the last bitter ends of Metro North go to on the Hudson line. Technically Wassaic is farther north and I’m not in the mood to go find mileage charts for the Harlem Line.

    http://streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track3/commvandblt194805.html

    On the Erie they maintained a fiction that you were leaving from New York but you didn’t get on a train until you were in Jersey City or later on for a few years, Hoboken. You get to New York State in Suffern which is only 30ish from the western shores of the Hudson in New Jersey. Port Jervis is 88 miles from Jersey City. Port Jervis sucked Matamoras and Pike County into the NY CSA a few years ago. There’s only 57,369 people in Pike County so a few of them commuting to Orange County or points east make metro New York a commuting destination. Maybe even Port Jervis. A brief sojourn in Pennsylvania and then back into New York State until you get to Buffalo where the Erie stops running trains and you transfer to another railroad. Like you would have done with the Lehigh Valley or the Delaware Lackawanna and Western.

    http://streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track3/erieltd195103.html

    The DL&W redid all their mileposts after cutting 11 miles from the trip to Pennsylvania from Hoboken. They also maintained the fiction that a ferry boat ride across the Hudson made the train go to New York. Blairstown New Jersey, which is still quite rural in 2015 is 65 miles from New York. East Stoudsburg PA is 88 from New York. Last time I looked it was still in it’s own micropolitan area. I’m not gonna go look. It recently got sucked into the New York CSA too.

    http://streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track3/phoebe195407.html

    How about the Central of New Jersey? The CNJ didn’t do anything that was intercity enough to make it to Streamliners.com. I had to drag out the Official Guide from 1956. Phillipsburg NJ is 73 miles from New York with a ferry ride to what is now Liberty State Park in Jersey City. 60-ish is Hampton which is past the current commuter service to High Bridge at MP 53.2. 90 to Allentown PA.

    Ah the Reading! Which along with the CNJ tried to compete with the PRR for the Philadelphia-New York trade. West Trenton is 60ish miles from New York just like Trenton is and 90 miles from New York puts you a few blocks away from the PRR stations at 30th or Suburban. Take your pick, you could walk between all three if you had good weather and some time to kill.

    http://streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track3/crusader193809.html

    The Baltimore and Ohio got into the act with their crack trains. Good weather and some more time to kill you could walk from their station in downtown Philadelphia to the Reading or the PRR’s Suburban or 30th Street.

    http://streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track3/royalblue193809.html

    How ’bout the New Haven. New Haven is 72 miles from Grand Central. I’m not in the mood to drag out the Official Guide agian and find out Bridgeport is 60 miles from New York or where it actually is.

    http://streamlinerschedules.com/concourse/track3/merchantsltd193302.html

    New London CT is 106 miles from South Station in Boston. Didn’t have commuter service until a few years ago. Someday may have commuter service to Providence and on to Boston someday.

    Clem Reply:

    Who cares about distance? The point of a commute is to link where people live with where people work. That’s why SF to MV should be prioritized in a heartbeat over Gilroy to anywhere.

    joe Reply:

    I made no argument about prioritizing.

    We lived in SF Noe and decided to move to a place that is no more further from work on the same train line.

    If it’s cool for Mlynarik to get on his man-bike and ride Caltrain to work along the peninsula then its cool for me. Easier now that I don’t have to get from Noe to 22nd. I used to walk to the 22 MUNI.

    That area at upper Noe needs a Caltrain stop after 22nd and before bayshore and 30th St. BART stop.

    Clem Reply:

    It’s cool for him because hundreds of others do it with him, the load factor is high, and that train more than recovers its operating cost. It’s less cool for you because the train is almost empty and your fare does not even begin to stem the flow of red ink from operating the Gilroy branch. What’s next, you made no argument about cost?

    joe Reply:

    The rules are that commuter systems have to recover costs. Who made those rules?

    I’m happy to see you guys have some rules for the way you play commuter tycoon.

    I followed the actual rules – the ones that are in place. There is a train station and train in town. I pay my fare and ride the train. I pay a VTA fare and ride the bus. Pay taxes and get Santa Clara Services.

    I followed the rules and did some basic ecology and geography and picked this nice place.

    Didn’t mean to upset anyone but there are far too many people worrying that someone else is getting something they don’t deserve. Sell that overpriced home and buy one down here.

    Clem Reply:

    If the new rule is that cost is no object, I demand to know why the bus doesn’t pick me up at my front door and drop me off at work!

    joe Reply:

    GLY had Caltrain service long before I moved from SF to GLY.

    Picked property near the train station. Simply following the actual rules Clem. There’s a train and station and it has service.

    Where one gets on and off Caltrain does’t make them better for worse off than any other rider.

    Jerry Reply:

    Alternative solutions, to the multitude of problems of the ever expanding economy, and society, are necessary.
    Require a cap and trade type program to capture the expenses a traffic generator creates.
    Sports stadiums are traffic generators. As are malls and work locations.
    The further a person travels to the game/activity/work location, the more the traffic generator would pay for the expenses involved.
    Points in the cap and trade type program could cover some of the new housing expenses (sewage, water, clean air utilities) and also the expenses of the transportation involved.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    stadiums tend to generate traffic off peak which means they get to squeeze more revenue out of the infrastructure. Without screwing up rush hour. The MTA provides unscheduled service to Yankee Stadium and Citifield that gets dispatched as the game lets out. Meadowlands station is inadequate for certain events. They really should have built the five platform run-through option that was considered too costly.

    Jerry Reply:

    @Clem
    ” I demand to know why the bus doesn’t pick me up at my front door and drop me off at work!”
    That might also be a good question to present to your employer.

    Jerry Reply:

    Some companies provide vans for use of car pooling their employees to work.

    Jerry Reply:

    And they get tax credits for doing so.

    jonathan Reply:

    I made no argument about prioritizing.

    Not today, perhaps. But you *have* said that CA should make it a state priority to electrify to Gilroy, so that you don’t have to wait an extra decade for an electrified Caltrain commute. That Calfiornia should spend “lawyers and money”. Even though the only realistic way that could happen is for the state to buy UP.

    jimsf Reply:

    Amanda where is your criticism of the altamont pushers who want to support the central valley/Tracy commuters to Sf. That is truly an exurban commute.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    Like the Pacheco fans who want to turn Fresno, Bakersfield, et al into far flung commuting outposts for the Bay Area?

    jimsf Reply:

    The point is not to turn them into commuting outposts for the bay area. The point is tie them into the restof the state’s economy so that people don’t have to commute – or move to the bay area in order to find a good job. Putting fresno within reach of sf and la, makes it possible for fresno to attract more industry and makes it a better place to live and work.

    jimsf Reply:

    and you didn’t answer the question.

    jimsf Reply:

    and in case you are confused as to what;s happening this should clear it up

    Jerry Reply:

    You are right jimsf, it’s what’s happening.
    I’ll be really happy when old records are broken. Such as when in the mid 60s jet engines were attached to a NY Central locomotive for a short 25 mile run between Butler, Indiana and Stryker, Ohio. (In the middle of nowhere.)
    That run set the fastest speed record for a train in the USA.
    The speed was 183 + mph.
    The three construction packages for CAHSR totals about 90 miles.
    When CAHSR gets its train sets, and does some test runs, I hope to see the old record broken.
    That will be a real ‘happening’.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    They’re seriously considering going from Palmdale to LA on legacy track?

    Joey Reply:

    110 mph in Soledad Canyon? Did the people who drew this map even thing about it for 10 seconds?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I don’t know how old that map is but the idea of 110mph south of Palmdale on the 19th century alignment was effectively trashed by LACMTA. It’s on their website under Antelope Valley. Since then CHSRA “brought forward” the Burbank Palmdale segment so that it would precede Bakersfield – Palmdale, so it is a moot point.

  7. trentbridge
    Jan 24th, 2015 at 10:30
    #7

    There’s no doubt in my mind that the tunnel route is gaining favor with CA HSR because it needs to find a shorter route to maintain credible end-to-end transit times. Ten miles shorter allows far more leeway on designing the track curves in more urban areas and still maintain the required journey time. The reality is that CA HSR has to bend to the requirements of all the major urban areas to compromise the route to avoid hospitals, schools, and other obstacles. Ten miles gives HSR the ability to deviate from the ideal route to appease local opponents. Shadow Hills Property Owners Assoc is way down the list! Even if it costs twice the alternative it may be a required adjustment to the current route.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Antonovich tunnel takes away commute stations that the developers who control PB-CHSRA decision making want. No fly.

    Schiff’s opposition tells all. He’s stronger than Jerry Hill; he’s in Congress.

    synonymouse Reply:

    He could threaten to go over to the Repubs who want to pull the ARRA funding.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Prop 1a provisos are vacated. Fuggedabout 2:40.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They can still be commute stations like the stations on branches in other North American cities are still commuter stations. That lost their intercity service in the 50s and 60s and 70s.

  8. synonymouse
    Jan 24th, 2015 at 11:11
    #8

    “Ultimately, the HSR tracks are going to be built, and they’ve got to go somewhere.”

    overconfident much?

  9. synonymouse
    Jan 24th, 2015 at 11:36
    #9

    “This came out of nowhere.”

    What a blinking airhead. Is it the smog that lobotomizes LaLa?

    Surf’s up.

    Lawyer up and litigate if you want Jerry Brown to acknowledge your existence, moron.

    EJ Reply:

    You’re a really nasty human being.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Who do you think those people in Acton are going to rate “a really nasty human being”, me or Jerry Brown?

    Wake up – lotsa time when dealing with government you absolutely have to have a lawyer. Ever deal with Immigration? It is the price of admission. Did this dude with it came out of nowhere think CAHSR was proceeding via Tejon?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry Brown is giving free lawyers to illegal immigrants.

    Maybe he should allocate some to the people in Acton.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    This post is not about the folks from Acton, syn, but of course you will still post the same unhelpful rant regardless of the topic. Why aren’t you on auto post like the dude from BART, Robert Allen?
    The folks from Shadow Hills have a point. They were not on the route until Antonovich tried to help his voters in Acton and Santa Clarita. Now they may be. And they organized themselves very quickly.
    So what is the lineup look like today?
    Palmdale: Strong support.
    Acton: Locking and Loading.
    Santa Clarita: No HSR no matter where it comes from or where it’s going.
    Sylmar: Not really awake yet.
    San Fernando: Vehemently opposed. May be vehemently in favor if they get a station.
    Sun Valley: Going to get it either way.
    Pacoima: Environmental racism allegations inevitable.
    Burbank Airport: Would like E2 or E3.
    Burbank: Still brewing. Some want to ensure that it is not the terminus.
    Glendale: Not thinking about it.
    Shadow Hills, Tujunga etc.: So pissed off they can’t see straight.

    Antonovich: Probably can’t wait for his term to be up after pissing off half his district.
    Fuentes: Screwed, Pacoima one end, Lake View Terrace the other.
    LACMTA: Blithely planning to run diesel trains to Burbank to give HSR riders the 21st century experience.
    Mayor Garcetti: Don’t let it mess with my plans for the L.A. River.
    Schiff: Jumping on NIMBY hay waggon. What an idiot. If he got one vote from the equestrian crowd I’d be shocked. That’s tea party central.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Burbank Airport: Would like E2 or E3.

    Presumably salivating about a big chunk of an incredible construction budget.

    I don’t think “would like” would begin to describe the priapic lust that would be involved.

    A little backwater fiefdom with about a $6 million annual construction budget, stagnant passenger numbers, no crazy big grand project on the horizon, and a piddling sub-$50m operating budget would strike the jackpot with terror-nexus tunnels under the runways, 400m long station platforms, land-wide and air-side security for both air and rail, and a certainty of complete rebuilding of the terminals, parking lots and access roads, all in the name of “intermodalism”.

    Oooh oooh oooh FAA please don’t throw them in the briar patch of special aviation construction needs. TSA-FAA-FRA nexus FTW!

    EJ Reply:

    Leaving aside the admitted likelihood of gold-plated, excessively expensive construction, what’s so wrong with BUR getting better connectivity? LAX is maxed out, Ontario and John Wayne are too far away from LA – if this enables BUR to be more of a real regional player, isn’t that a good thing?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The north – south alignment of E2 and E3 with a sharp eastward hook to bring the HS line onto the VC line, followed by fun times at Burbank junction before following San Fernando Road, will not sit well with the residents in that area and much of the city. They both also make it much more likely that the terminus will be at Burbank and be there for a very long time as the construction south from the terminus will be very expensive. An approach to Burbank along San Fernando road either from E1 or the SR-14 route transitions into the Metrolink route and makes a blended service immediately doable.
    The question for the airport is, how much short haul traffic would HSR abstract and would it be replaced by longer haul flights or not? 70% of the traffic is SWA. United may well pull out and put their SF passengers on a frequent HS train rather than run 4 regional jets a day, for example. They have almost given up the Denver market to SWA.
    And Richard M is correct, they’d just love the slush fund.

    Clem Reply:

    Crazy question–would the land that Burbank sits on have enough development value to offset the wholesale conversion of the airport into an HSR stop?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Clem, not at all a crazy question. (Never fret; there’s an abundance of ripe crazy to make up for it in nearly every other comment here.)

    The exact same thought occurred to me while doing my elementary research (research! numbers! facts!) earlier today.

    Total capital assets FY2014 net $363,113,761
    (Land: $159m; Buildings and improvements: $138m; Runways and improvements: $ 93m; Construction in progress: $111m; Depreciation -$178m)

    Another exercise for the reader: what might be the highest and best use of the San Jose International Airport site? (Valid answers include: “Undeveloped oakland and burrowing owl habitat which removes FAA-imposed height restrictions on downtown SJ buildings” as well as others such as “condos out the yin-yang” and ‘self-perpetuating self-regarding net-negative atavism, similar in that nature to the Port of San Francisco.”)

    Darrell Reply:

    Paul – How about the E1 Burbank airport station and then curving in tunnel like E2 or E3?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Darrell, I am not an engineer.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Clem, the airport property would be very valuable, even though it would no longer be near an airport! It’s worth reading the history. it was almost closed in 1976 and could be again but very unlikely. Too much big money GA business (big money patrons that is.) As it is there is a 58 acre ex Lockheed site that the City and Airport are about to bicker over once again. That is the land CHSRA is eying and could be the HSR station and be adjacent to the proposed new air terminal. It’s going to get ugly before it gets uglier.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    EJ, no real opinion on “real regional players” (other than minor considerations such as that any mass air travel dooms the planetary ecosphere.)

    I have a real opinion that there’s a grand opportunity for at least a billion dollars of cost escalation just by touching the airport property. Probably more. The airport guys have that stuff down.

    But, whatever. Intermodalism.

    joe Reply:

    “any mass air travel dooms the planetary ecosphere.”

    Shifting trips from LAX to BUR doesn’t cause the planet to collapse. It stops LAX from expanding while capacity at BUR is left underutilized.

    It also gives Central Valley Plebeians easier access to affordable air transportation. That’s a waste of your hard earned and tax dollars.

    And if you did believe mass air travel dooms the ecosphere, then HSR eliminating air travel between CA cities would be a positive.

    Eric Reply:

    “any mass air travel dooms the planetary ecosphere.”

    I appreciate your carefully considered, rational, scientific statement.

    Let me
    “any mass air travel brings Armageddon to the planetary ecosphere.”
    “any mass air travel causes the Rapture”
    “any mass air travel is a sign of the Antichrist”

    So the world is going to get a bit warmer. Sea levels are going to rise a bit, and ecosystems are going to change a bit. Likely a bit for the worse.

    No reasonable commentator would call this “doom”.

    Eric Reply:

    Should have read [“Let me rephrase that statement a bit.”]

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Yes, do let’s be reasonable.

    datacruncher Reply:

    I don’t think BUR provides any reason for most of the Central Valley to use it, maybe Bakersfield area residents but that is about it.

    The only out of state nonstop destinations at Burbank these days are Denver, Las Vegas, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City and Seattle.

    The out of state nonstop destinations at Fresno are Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City and Seattle. (Fresno also has nonstops to Guadalajara but lets stay just with domestic).

    Burbank has New York flights; Fresno has Dallas flights. But other than that the out of state destinations from the two airports are identical.

    Adding the time and cost of an HSR ticket to use BUR instead of FAT to fly to a destination already served by both airports will not attract very many from the CV.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Wikipedia says there are 1.8 million people in the San Fernando Valley. Lots of them have all sorts of things to do in New York and Chicago. Just slightly smaller than the navel of the Universe San Jose. More less the same size as Indianapolis and Austin.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Adi, a glance at a map will indicate that BUR is at the eastern end of the SFV and that from about the 405 west it is just as easy to get to LAX. While BUR is easier to use there are many more choices of non-stop flights from LAX. The destinations cited by datacruncher from BUR, other than the SWA flights, and Alaska, are now all regional jets which are much less popular and usually don’t offer upgrades to first. Add in the voluntary curfew at BUR with no takeoffs before 0700 which fouls up the connections at DEN and PHX and BUR does not have a competitive edge. From a pre 2008 peak of about 6M pax the airport has only “recovered” to about 4M.

    Lewellan Reply:

    What would become of the world as we know it without ever so delightful luxury air travel? Without the endemic infestation of motorized vehicles commuting rush and off-rush hours? Without Walmart, Costco and assorted MegaloMart big box warehouse shopping arenas for pre-packaged goods produced in 3rd World wage-slave states? Without oil wells which ran dry? The .01% surely have their golden parachutes ready to land in sustainable recluses far from the unwashed masses to await a few decades of planetary cleansing.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Fine close it down I realllllly don’t give a frig any more about how California is gonna screw itself. As long as they don’t want Federal dollars to do it.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The easiest way to understand the whole “regional player” calculus is that home prices in Latino-dominated parts of Southern California are weak and never recovered from the housing bubble. Asian and white dominated areas recovered.

    Thus, the only two airports with capacity worries down south are LAX and John Wayne (San Diego too, but obviously we are not talking about them here). Ontario is likely going to close soon, and Burbank could be not that far behind.

    So obviously, given that neither LAX or John Wayne is likely to get HSR connectivity like SFO, there are those who think a great compromise is HSR at BUR.

    But as Paul correctly points out, nearly all of Burbank’s passengers fly to destinations that will served by HSR too and thus would be more of a candidate for longer-range or overseas flights, but the runway is too short: http://transtats.bts.gov/airports.asp?pn=1&Airport=BUR&Airport_Name=Burbank,%20CA:%20Bob%20Hope&carrier=FACTS

    Now again, you might think there’s still some logic of shifting some flights to Burbank, but because the cities in Southern California own their own airports…LA does not want to share any of the revenue from LAX and if that means every other airport in a 200 mile radius closes…they will do that.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’d think it would be wonderful if JetBlue or Southwest decided to start flying to California from Albany non stop on the “slots” freed up by not flying intra California flights Oakland or Burbank. I can rent cars in Burbank or Oakland as easily as I can in LAX or SFO. I’m sure people in lots of other places where the Southwest or SkyWest or Alaska or Mesa or JetBlue flys are eyeing those possibilities too. Just like lots of people fly into Midway because O’hare is so crowded.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If you follow the link I provided, you would see that demand for a LA area flight to Albany is not that strong. Sometimes airlines will snag a route purely to have it so that others’ don’t…but for the most part they concentrate on a few big hubs…

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Adi, Jet Blue already dropped BUR – JFK except for one round trip, red eye from BUR. Do you think flights to Albany would do better?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If they can make money on it instead of shuttling people to the Bay Area they might. Google says there are lots and lots of options for ALB to LAX. And ALB to SFO. And ALB to ONT. And ALB to BUR. Apparently Southwest is the option with a layover at Midway if I want fast. But not to Burbank. I’m not booking a flight to California at the moment. It’s usually cheapest to fly out of ALB instead of one of the NYC airports or Logan in Boston. It costs a lot of money to get to them from Albany. And faster even though I have to change planes.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    You are missing the point:

    Airlines that like a fortress mentality are more likely to be the one to serve some far-flung corner of the universe like Albany, population 100,000. Now, the reason the airline can afford such a luxury is the profit they have by locking out competition at their fortress hub. Thus, when they serve Albany, population 100,000, they have to do it from a fortress hub to discourage passengers from switching to the competition.

    Southwest, which is currently not a fortress mentality airline, can’t afford that sort of potential loss and hence won’t serve Burbank with anything but the most in demand destinations.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    it’s metro area is the same size as Bakersfield’s give or take a few tens of thousand. It’s big enough to be the core of a combined statistical area. The CSA is almost a million. The nearest airports with the same level of service are Bradley outside of Hartford, Logan, Montreal and the New York City airports. Syracuse and Rochester are closer but don’t even have the same kind of service Albany does. It’s real easy to fly to a hub and get almost anywhere. All those flights from Albany to Philadelphia and Baltimore and Dulles that are cheap are gonna go away some day because it’s going to be faster to get on a train in metro Albany and get to DC and maybe even Richmond by the time a plane would be touching down from Albany.

    I haven’t looked recently, I haven’t had a reason to go see the relatives in California, partly because some died or moved to Cleveland. Last time I looked the fastest and cheapest way to get there was to fly non stop to Las Vegas, from Albany, and change planes. The cheap flights to Southern California are gonna go away….

    Southewest is gonna be wondering what to do with all those planes. So are their competitors.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Southwest probably won’t be around Lon enough to worry about sellin it’s planes to airlines in the developing world…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    some other bunch of suckers will be grifted to invest in the next airline that is going to change the paradigm and fly to places where they can skim the major’s passengers.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    …people move to Cleveland?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    People move to Providence? Or Stockholm? Yes people move to Cleveland. They can’t all move to Columbus can they?

    Joey Reply:

    Cleveland’s population growth has been negative since 1960. Of course that’s net growth, so a few people still move there but not many. Columbus, Providence, and Stockholm are all growing at the present time though Providence and Stockholm were both bleeding population for a while.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Providence… I’ll take that criticism, although I’d also defend it as doing better than Cleveland (which admittedly is a low bar to clear). Stockholm is actually one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe, due to Sweden’s very high immigration rate.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Metro Cleveland. The extended family hasn’t lived in the city of Cleveland since the trolley got out to the suburbs. My maternal California cousin married someone from the same suburb as her paternal family. When they met in college in Manhattan. They did the living in a one bedroom in Hoboken thing for a while and then a good job in metro Los Angeles and decided to go back to Cleveland where the spouse’s family has a thriving business. Yes people move to Cleveland.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ….and Manhattan’s population peaked in the 1910 census…. It probably will never recover…

    Joey Reply:

    Metro Cleveland.

    Has basically zero (slightly negative) population growth.

    ….and Manhattan’s population peaked in the 1910 census…. It probably will never recover…

    Perhaps not, but it’s currently growing at a decent rate and is the highest it’s been since about 1960. The limiting factor is likely ground area that has since become occupied by office towers, rather than the demand for people to live there (as is Cleveland’s case).

    synonymouse Reply:

    It is not a question of how many people live anywhere, but how many rich people live there.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    So? Metro areas grow, metro areas shrink. Core cities practically collapse and the metro region does really well. Just because metro Cleveland isn’t doin’ so hot right now doesn’t mean it won’t in the future. My cousin and her husband evaluated staying in metro Los Angeles or going back to metro New York or maybe deciding on metro Austin and decided that Cleveland has the best balance. if Alon had been offered something attractive as Case Western Reserve he would have taken it. And may end up spending a year or two there some time in the future. There’s more to life than what happens in Silicon Valley. Just to filet something from WIkipedia: The University is associated with 16 Nobel laureates. Other notable alumni include Paul Buchheit, creator and lead developer of Gmail; Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist.org; and Peter Tippett, who developed the anti-virus software Vaccine, which Symantec purchased and turned into the popular Norton AntiVirus.

    Eric Reply:

    My ex-girlfriend has an engineering degree from Case Western. She isn’t especially smart.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Half of all doctors ( lawyers dentists accountants etc. ) graduated in the bottom half of their class. She must have other charms you found engaging.

    Jerry Reply:

    I graduated in the half that made the top half possible.
    Without me, they’re NOTHING.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And greedheads like Larry Ellison own the f*****g campus wherein and wheron the class convenes.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Palmdale: Strong support.
    Santa Clarita: No HSR no matter where it comes from or where it’s going.
    Sylmar: Not really awake yet.
    San Fernando: Vehemently opposed. May be vehemently in favor if they get a station.
    Sun Valley: Going to get it either way.
    Pacoima: Environmental racism allegations inevitable.
    Burbank Airport: Would like E2 or E3.
    Burbank: Still brewing. Some want to ensure that it is not the terminus.
    Glendale: Not thinking about it.

    Why, it’s almost as if somebody is planning to build a Flight Level Zero airline surrogate right through people’s back yards, with fuckloads of FL0 flyover downside and zero Electrolink-y-type S-Bahn-istic upside.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Paul, thanks for the update from the San Gabriels Front. Makes me think of Teruel – no pasaran.

    My rants are not automated as yet – strictly chewing the carpet.

    Sorry, but I have no sympathy for the complaint of the Shadow Hills jefe as the much humbler folks in the San Joaquin Valley have had routes changed on them numerous times.

    You can take it to the bank that the poorest hoods will get the crazy train.

    If they want to get Jerry’s attention the Fronde needs to go sniper on the ARRA money.

    elfling Reply:

    Shadow Hills/Lake View Terrace/Tujunga is not particularly tea party nor for the most part would I consider it all that wealthy. (Wealthy people with horses live in Calabasas.) It’s hot and dry and the main amenity is that you’re isolated. Rattlesnakes and dust instead of fancy stores and restaurants.

    There’s a reason these mountains were swept up into a National Monument, and I guess there’s also a reason this little bit, which is highly accessible to anyone, was excluded. It’s a beautiful and special area and I think both the canyons and the HSR project would be less if this route were chosen. I think the opposition here has a lot more substance than simply “NIMBY” as is being dismissed here.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The definition of NIMBY is having the audacity to question PB.

  10. Keith Saggers
    Jan 25th, 2015 at 11:33
    #10

    http://www.almanacnews.com/news/2015/01/22/atherton-considers-lawsuit-over-rail-electrification-report

    J. Wong Reply:

    They’re actually realizing that electrification is the camel’s nose under the tent for HSR. The problem is that they can’t really resist it (electrification) because of its obvious benefits to their residents especially the commuters.

    In 2019 (on completion of electrification) how long will it be before Caltrain & HSR annouce 4-tracking the mid-penisula overtake?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    a long time because the chances of electric service to Los Angeles isn’t going to be happening any time soon, even in 2019. One every other hour to Bakersfield doesn’t need four tracks.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    In 2019 (on completion of electrification)

    A comedian!

    how long will it be before Caltrain & HSR annouce 4-tracking the mid-penisula overtake?

    cahsrblog.com commenters: can any group in the world possibly be further estranged form reality?

    Meanwhile, on Planet Earth:
    http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/revised-san-carlos-transit-village-set-for-development/Content?oid=2915999
    http://caltrain-hsr.blogspot.com/2010/01/development-oriented-transit.html

    joe Reply:

    Yes a group can be further estranged rom reality.

    The transit planners who complain about the project not being the bay area commuter system they envisioned.

    Joey Reply:

    joe, the issue here is that the transit villiage is taking ROW which will almost certainly be necessary for HSR. As a result, a row of homes and businesses on the other side of Old County Road will likely have to be demolished.

    joe Reply:

    Then they will be demolished.

    Joey Reply:

    It’s looking that way isn’t it. Perhaps not the end of the world in the grander scheme of things but still, a testament to how dysfunctional our planning process can be.

    joe Reply:

    My crappy town identified the route for the HSR tracks given the downtown alignment. They discuss the impact to property owners and land use change. I’ve seen the landowners talk to the city council.

    It’s not that the planning process does not work – it is that there is a buttload of money to be made between now and when HSR comes.

    The City governments have to stop pretending HSR may go away and giving legal cover to the developers who are chasing out.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    ..what was it about one being born every day that Mr. Barnum spoke about…. Oh well, they will stupid enough to build it and people will be stupid enough to buy it. Oh well.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    1st link corrupt
    2nd link 5 years old, any updates?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    The 1st link works for me. If it doesn’t for you, put into Teh Googlez “Revised San Carlos transit village set for development.”

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    Thank you

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yup, that’s the San Carlos development will be a problem, but I’m wondering if there is enough room over Old County Road to put elevated HSR at least around the San Carlos station and the development?

  11. synonymouse
    Jan 26th, 2015 at 10:36
    #11

    BART always wins:

    http://www.kgoradio.com/common/page.php?pt=BART+Construction+Starts%2C+Shuts+Down+Intersection+in+San+Jose&id=107161&is_corp=0

    Caltrain is not out of danger until mass quantities of beton arme are poured. DogLegRail could still implode and BART-MTC are ever ready to pick its bones.

    Reedman Reply:

    A year ahead of schedule? Kudos.

  12. Reality Check
    Jan 26th, 2015 at 13:41
    #12

    VTA sets hearings for massive Santa Clara Co. Hwy 101 widening

    WHAT’S BEING PLANNED: The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), in cooperation with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), is proposing to convert the existing high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane to a high occupancy toll (HOT) lane (also referred to as an express lane) and widen the freeway to add a second express lane in both directions for the majority of the corridor. Use of the HOV Lanes is currently restricted to vehicles with two or more occupants, motorcycles, and certain alternative fuel vehicles. The proposed project will result in a dual express lane in both directions from south of the Cochrane Road interchange in Morgan Hill to just south of the Oregon Expressway/Embarcadero Road interchange in Palo Alto in the northbound direction, and from just south of the Oregon Expressway/Embarcadero Road interchange to just south of the Burnett Avenue overcrossing in the southbound direction, with the exception of some locations near the State Route 85 interchange where a single express lane is proposed. Auxiliary lanes would [also!</i] be added in four segments of U.S. 101. The express lanes would allow HOVs to continue to use the lanes without paying a toll, and eligible single occupancy vehicles to pay a toll to use the lanes. The total project length is 37.65 miles.

    U.S. 101 Express Lanes Project fact sheet (PDF)

    synonymouse Reply:

    Limousine Liberalism at work.

    Jerry Reply:

    Cadillac Conservatives can use the express lanes as well.

    Jerry Reply:

    And put it on their expense account and deduct it on their already low taxes.

    Jerry Reply:

    Wow. Win. Win. Win.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Surely all the “we’re not just against HSR … we just want it done right!” PAMPA NIMBYs will mobilize over this, right?

    Nothing but the sound of crickets so far though.

    Jerry Reply:

    Let the games begin.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    What an appalling and insane boondoggle.

    Oh, wait, it’s a freeway widening. You may proceed, sir.

    (How’s my NIMBY impression? I thought that was a pretty good job.)

  13. Reality Check
    Jan 26th, 2015 at 13:49
    #13

    Roadshow: Highway 152 toll road still under consideration

    The Valley Transportation Authority is studying a plan to bypass 152 with an 8-mile, four-lane freeway that would run parallel to and south of it and be a toll road to I-5.

    The potential cost: $848 million.

    Under one scenario, traffic from 101 would take Highway 25 for a short stretch, then turn onto the new highway, which would link to either 152 or 156. But this is many, many years away.

    State Route (SR) 152 Trade Corridor Project fact sheet (PDF)

    Jerry Reply:

    A plan for a “TRADE Corridor.”
    A plan for, “the long-term needs of commercial . . . Traffic.”
    Just as IKE was able to justify the interstate highway system with the need for the mobilization and movement of troops and commercial traffic.
    Whatever works.

    Jerry Reply:

    Can the Rt. 152 Trade Corridor be aligned with the HSR corridor??
    Two stones with one bird.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Ah, that “Trade Corridor” naming BS is just a strategy to sex up the project a bit and help avoid the wrath of enviros who generally don’t like projects to widen (or build new) roads, highways and freeways.

    Joe Reply:

    The historical descriptions of Pacheco pass refer to it as a trade corridor. The next crossing is i580. What’s south?

    Jerry Reply:

    Most routes are Trade routes
    Trade routes rule.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If you aren’t trading goods you are trading vacation destinations. Very few people get the urge to ship things around or just wander aimlessly.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Oy, another pointless and stupid plan.

    There’s also Monterey County’s 156 widening plan, which I am willing to live with only because the current 156 is an insane death trap.

    Although four miles of k rails would probably be sufficient.

  14. Reality Check
    Jan 26th, 2015 at 13:59
    #14

    Another Palo Alto Caltrain suicide yesterday at the guarded Charleston crossing

    (While it wasn’t a Paly or Gunn HS student this time, another Gunn student did commit suicide not using Caltrain (for a change) on Saturday.)

    Reality Check Reply:

    Coroner IDs Caltrain fatality
    Jim Kelly, 64, of San Jose struck by train Sunday

    Neil Shea Reply:

    People travel many miles to end their lives at the Charleston Rd (or Meadow Dr) Caltrain crossings. Very sad. I’ve seen a guard there in recent weeks. Research shows that suicides cluster at hotspots, and if those become unavailable many folks do not find another way. I hope we can make this crossing far more difficult or impossible to commit suicide at.

    Joe Reply:

    No they do not travel to charleston to die.

    it is a god awful crossing that kills people. It is criminal they don’t fix it.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Joe: I’m rarely around that crossing, so I’d be curious to know how (or what is it about) that particular crossing that you said “kills people” (as compared to Caltrain’s many other at-grade crossings?

    Apart from grade-separation, what do you think can or should be done to “fix it”?

    joe Reply:

    I moved to MTV near that crossing in 1991-96. A 12 year old girl was killed during that time.

    Here’s a video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDZQx9Qm8HY

    Article
    http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2011/04/18/caltrain-car-death-was-an-accident-waiting-to-happen
    The track watchers, who patrol the tracks to prevent suicides, said they have seen many harrowing close calls.

    “It really was an accident waiting to happen,” Grace Pariente said.

    “I staffed Track Watch for an hour a week for a year, typically at 9 p.m. in the middle of the week. There were a handful of times when I witnessed a car on the tracks when a train was coming. They always had a car in front so they could not go forward. Some went backwards, one went around crossing the yellow line into oncoming traffic. One hit the gate as it was descending.

    “But the most frightening one was a woman who kept going forward and backward, apparently panicked with nowhere to go. The light changed and cars ahead of her cleared out so she was able to go forward, but it was too close for comfort,” Pariente said.

    “Once I even saw a police car behind another car stopped at a red light at Alma with the back of the police car too close to the tracks. The police car waited in that dangerous position for several seconds. It then moved out of the way by squeezing past the car in front over the right curb and turning right on Alma,” she said.

    Some residents said the limit line at Charleston was moved back toward the tracks after the road was resurfaced. Even longtime residents have been caught unaware, they said. Others said the warning bells are quieter since the recent safety improvements, and motorists can’t hear the bells when their windows are up and radios are on. By the time they realize a train is coming, the gates are down and the drivers are trapped.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Never ever never stop on the tracks even if it’s an out of service line like the one I cross regularly that never has any traffic either on the tracks or the road most of the time. If there isn’t enough room for you to cross the tracks don’t go across them. The asshole in back of you is gonna lean on his horn. Let him.

    joe Reply:

    If you look at the video you’ll see it’s hard to navigate. Even the PA cops get confused.

    Dude in front of you stops. then the light changes and gates go down – you have literally a few seconds.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You don’t even think about going past where the gate comes down unless there is enough room past the gates on the other side of the tracks for your rear bumper to clear the gate on the other side. The asshole in back of you can lean on his horn all he wants. All you have to worry about is getting the rear bumper of your vehicle past the gate on the other side. The only thing. It seems like almost everyone in the video except the bicyclists and the car in background of both of them grasp the concept.

    Reality Check Reply:

    CVC §22526(d) Entering Intersection Rail Crossing

    A driver of a vehicle shall not enter a railroad or rail transit crossing, notwithstanding any official traffic control device or signal indication to proceed, unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the railroad or rail transit crossing to accommodate the vehicle driven and any railway vehicle, including, but not limited to, a train, trolley, or city transit vehicle.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    This one apparently was a suicide, but I agree Joe it’s criminal that they don’t fix it — they being all of them: Palo Alto, SCL County, VTA, Sup. Simitian, Caltrain, MTC, everyone. Even Palo Alto could add a 2nd set of stop lights before the track to reduce cars queuing up on the tracks.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Or set the automobile signals so that traffic that crosses the tracks has a green light when the crossing activates. And the parallel road has a red.

    Reality Check Reply:

    The Whipple crossing in Redwood City is adjacent to El Camino. Like all such crossings, the traffic signal is wired to (almost) immediately give Whipple a green when the gates activate.

    Nevertheless, in 2009 a tech worker driving home to his Redwood City residence was killed on that crossing because cars in front of him didn’t move out of his way as it normally would in response to the green light because they were yielding to a passing fire truck on El Camino:

    Motorist in trapped car dies when train hits it

    He paid a heavy price for blatantly violating CVC §22526(d) and inexplicably failing to get out his boxed-in car before it was hit.

    Clem Reply:

    Not getting out of the car is a frequent and understandable human error. Getting out of the car guarantees 100% that it will be hit, a negative consequence that the brain is unable to compare with possible death in the few seconds available to make the decision.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If you don’t get on the tracks unless there is enough space for you to clear them on the other side you don’t have to make split second decisions about whether or not to get out of the car.

    joe Reply:

    Sounds reasonable. If you don’t cross the tracks then you can’t get hit.
    Too bad the police and locals have problems at the intersection/crossing.
    Shall we take an ad out in the Palo Alto Daily?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If you don’t stop on the tracks you can’t get hit. You do cross the tracks. Just not until there is enough space on the far side for you to no longer be on the tracks. Why is that concept so difficult to grasp?

    Reality Check Reply:

    I haven’t timed Whipple, and I’m unsure of this, but I believe there should be no less than 30 seconds from gate activation until train arrival. That’s a pretty long time. Of course the guy may have pissed away half that time waiting for traffic to move … at that point this arm chair quarterback says he should have either figured out how to drive his car off the crossing (like over toward the eastbound side along the tracks and then off the crossing) … or, failing finding some other way to get the car out of the train’s path … abandon ship and run toward the impact side to avoid being hit by flying car parts, etc.

    Jerry Reply:

    The $155 million dollar CalTrain project in cash poor San Bruno eliminated three crossings with underpasses and pedestrians tunnels. The main reason for the San Bruno project was to address safety concerns which involved train deaths.
    But the abject stupidity of cash rich Palo Alto refuses, refuses, refuses, to address these deaths with underpasses and pedestrians and pedestrian tunnels. No underpasses in their backyard.

    Clem Reply:

    The Palo Alto crossings aren’t particularly deadly. The CPUC maintains a prioritized list of the crossings most deserving of grade separation, based on risk. Palo Alto would have to work hard to get their crossings on this list. San Bruno and San Mateo avenues in San Bruno were once very high on this list due to the high traffic, odd angles, and poor train visibility due to the adjacent curve.

    joe Reply:

    “particularly deadly. ”

    Considering the angst over Paly tree removals, I say they can and should fix them.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    How many Caltrain suicides are the result of people getting on the tracks at grade crossings, versus people stepping in front of express trains going through a station?

    Neil Shea Reply:

    BART has the occasional suicide at a station. To my knowledge Caltrain suicides are largely at at-grade crossings, and Charleston is a hotspot for them. I think Caltrain has ~10 pedestrian deaths per year with half or more being deemed suicides.

    But Joe is right, this same crossing has also been the site of confused visitors and residents getting caught on the tracks with a train bearing down on them. Sometimes they get out of the car in time.

    Earlier this month a nanny drove a 4th grader into the tracks at the Broadway at-grade crossing. Thank god they both got out of the car in time somehow, but of course many thousands of commuters were delayed 1-2 hours. If the coroner has to come it’s single tracking for several hours.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    But what are the actual stats of people hit by Baby Bullets at stations, vs grade crossings or walking on teh tracks? The latter get a lot of notoriety (especially in Palo Alto), but notoriety ain’t stats.

    synonymouse Reply:

    But the Cheerleaders have no problem with SMART doodlebugs and manifold grade crossings, which cannot be ameliorated because of freight and diesel motive power that cannot handle ramps well.

    Reality Check Reply:

    According to Caltrain, over the past 5 years, ~90% of deaths on the tracks have been suicides.

    Joe Reply:

    10% is too high.

    Reality Check Reply:

    1% is too high, you insensitive brute!

    Reality Check Reply:

    The good news for @Joe is that if you remove motorists (less likely to be suicide), the actual ped-deaths-only suicide rate probably is even closer to 100%. Note that ped deaths are presumed accidental unless there’s evidence to the contrary. So some part of the accidental column includes “undiscovered” suicides. Of course it’s doable, but it’s pretty hard for sane, unintoxicated peds without a death wish to accidentally get themselves killed by a train. Most cars hit by trains I noticed in the FRA crossing stats I was looking at for Caltrain were unoccupied, suggesting that most motorists stuck on the tracks manage to avoid the mistake of helplessly sitting there with a train barreling down on them.

    Jerry Reply:

    Teenagers listening to their iPods crossing tracks. One got killed.
    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BURLINGAME-Teen-crossing-tracks-killed-by-2519782.php
    It’s an ongoing problem.
    Stats over the past 5 years don’t cover all of the problems.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Unlike the FRA’s crossing stats, Caltrain’s stats cover all deaths on their tracks. I remember Fatih Kuk’s 2006 death well. I recall some debate at the time about whether this teen was trying to beat the train to impress the four friends he was with at a place they routinely crossed together twice a day (very plausible) … or implausibly oblivious due to “headphones” (as his grieving family understandably insisted in their later legal claims) … but either way, it did seem to be one of the very rare unintentional ped deaths. That’s why it made big news.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Querying the FRA’s crossing database, I was able to find Charleston’s crossing number: 755011Y.

    Then using a different form, you can generate an “accident” report PDF for crossing 755011Y. For Charleston, each incident is detailed going back to 1976.

    So for those 39 years, the report shows 13 total incidents with 6 deaths (4 peds, 1 motorist & 1 “other”) and 1 injury (motorist).

    Interestingly, in the 28 years from 1976 to 2004, there were only 5 incidents with 1 death and no injuries.

    Most (4) of the 6 deaths since 1976 came in 2011 and beyond.

    Of course, this does not include last weekend’s death … so that makes 6 peds and 1 motorist since 1976.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Oh, and if it isn’t obvious, ped death = suicide better than 90% of the time.

    So, statistically, maybe 1 accidental ped death in 40 years?

  15. Neil Shea
    Jan 26th, 2015 at 15:37
    #15

    OT: Bakersfield CVB negotiates a 15% discount with Amtrak to promote visitors by train this year.

    “Bakersfield’s Amtrak station is within walking distance of hotels, restaurants, galleries, antique shops, movie theaters and an ice skating rink.”

    Jerry Reply:

    The possibilities are limitless.

    Jerry Reply:

    Show you Amtrak ticket and get free shipping home for all your purchases.
    Amazon, eat your heart out.

  16. datacruncher
    Jan 26th, 2015 at 21:01
    #16

    Communities on route to Houston oppose high-speed rail

    ELLIS COUNTY – It’s been Sullivan land for 135 years. Five generations have farmed here in Ellis County.

    “It’s everything,” said John Sullivan, 95. “I’ve put all of my life into working it, cleaning it up, and making it what it is.”

    He raised his seven children here. His sons, son-in-law, and grandson still farm thousands of acres.

    Now, plans for a high-speed rail line connecting Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes are threatening their way of life.

    http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/2015/01/22/high-speed-rail-texas-dallas-houston-rural-communities-opposed/22195483/

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Saw this earlier tonight, along with a story that Texas Central is going to be given eminent domain power.

    I’m sure Jeff Denham will be along shortly to defend the rights of Texas farmers…

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Hahaha… “Threatening his way of life”…. ><

    I'm sure he's probably a decent guy too, when not mindlessly parroting clueless tribal memes….

    EJ Reply:

    To be fair, it sounds like it goes right through the middle of his farm, so…

    Jerry Reply:

    To be fair?
    A Texan (dubya) went through the middle of a lot of places in Iraq.
    Cost = One Trillion Dollars
    What’s a little chump change among friends?
    Happy hour at Halliburton’s Bar later.

    EJ Reply:

    Have you considered that the problem with this statement is it doesn’t make a lick of goddam sense?

    Jerry Reply:

    Here is a guy in Texas who says that a train is threatening his way of life.
    Even if the train does go through the middle of his farm, there are ways to mitigate that.
    It happened all the time with the interstate highway system that went through the middle of many farms. Special underpasses for cattle to cross from one side of the farm to the other side. The same for tractors to cross from one part of the farm to the other side.
    For anyone, anyone, in Texas to complain about a simple small matter such as a train which benefits many people going through a farm is beyond ridiculous.
    Especially when Texans endorsed, repeatedly endorsed, the spending of countless money to invade and kill multitudes of people and more than threatened, “their way of life”
    At a cost of over a trillion dollars.
    But these same people who constantly complain about the cost of repairing the infrastructure (McCarthy and his ilk) whether in Texas or California never even bat an eyelash over throwing the money down a bottomless pit of war.
    To them a trillion dollars for war is chump change. But not one penny for HSR.
    Halliburton is a Texas rooted company (check out Brown & Root) that has profited tremendously from all of this. They have many happy hours.

    EJ Reply:

    Well, yeah, agreed that there are all sorts of ways to mitigate it. However you’ve no idea if he supported the war (don’t forget, Ron Paul is from Texas). Also he’s not objecting to the project on financial grounds.

    Jerry Reply:

    I do not want to get into all of the minutiae of the article or all of the crap about Texas. But – –
    Rep. John Wray, R-Waxahachie, wrote a recent letter to the Federal Railroad Administration detailing his opposition.
    “The long-term costs potentially far outweigh any temporary benefit,” Wray wrote. “Farm and ranchland, often held by families for generations, will be divided, which creates a loss in access and in revenue for those who rely on farming and ranching to make a living.”
    You are absolutely correct in that I have no idea that the farmer or his family, or even John Wray, supported the war or not.
    But they do seem to object to the very small cost of HSR. And. I never, never, hear any of them object to the very, very, high cost of war or the military industrial complex.
    Even President Eisenhower could object to the high cost of the war machine which is at the expense of schools, hospitals (health care), and libraries.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    A train going through the middle of a giant farm/ranch isn’t going to “threaten his way of life.”

    The plants and/or cattle don’t give a crap about a train line, and it’s not difficult to incorporate appropriate measures to allow passage from one side to another.

    Jerry Reply:

    Texas? Free speech?
    Oprah almost went to jail over what she said about Texas beef.
    Why my God. She was threatening the Texan way of life.
    Threatening I say. Threatening.

    EJ Reply:

    You say you don’t like something? Well I don’t like some stuff about your home state! Therefore, your argument is invalid. Or something.

    Jerry Reply:

    The point may just be that NIMBYs, whether in Texas, California, or where ever, all present the tired old broken record.
    And Texans, of all people, are more thinned skinned about anything which may threaten, “their way of life.”
    The NIMBYs in Texas are not that much different than the NIMBYs in PAMPA.

  17. datacruncher
    Jan 26th, 2015 at 21:03
    #17

    French involvement in Texas high-speed rail? Mais oui!

    FORT WORTH — A company that operates France’s national high-speed rail network is exploring possible involvement in Texas bullet trains.

    “We’re here to listen, learn and evaluate,” Alain Leray, president and chief executive of SNCF America Inc., said Monday during a visit to downtown Fort Worth.

    Leray and a colleague with SNCF, France’s state-owned railway company, attended a two-hour meeting of the Texas high-speed rail commission and later met privately with officials planning the project.

    http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/tarrant-county/2015/01/26/french-involvement-in-texas-high-speed-rail-mais-oui/22383817/

    synonymouse Reply:

    Si PB est implique dans l’affaire, mais non.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    What, no powerpoint? Well of course they’ll front the $10B anyway

  18. elfling
    Jan 27th, 2015 at 08:21
    #18

    I am familiar with Santa Clarita and the Shadow Hills/Tujunga areas, having hiked and ridden horses all over them. The Tujunga route is hands down stupid, and the Santa Clarita route is much more appropriate.

    1. The Santa Clarita route follows existing population centers and transportation routes. Frankly, it should have a station.

    2. The Tujunga area is crumbly geology and does have quite a lot of habitat and open space. It is not a major population area and should not have a station. It is one of the last accessible wild playgrounds in the city of Los Angeles, and it is adjacent to the new National Monument. Frankly, it should have been included in the national monument.

    Routing the HSR through Tujunga loses sight of the primary advantage of a rail line – that we don’t just care about LA city center to SF city center, but we want the advantage of being able to pick up people along the way. The 5/14 corridor and junction area is a much better collector point for people in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.

    elfling Reply:

    PS: I didn’t think my opinion of Antonovich could go any lower, but there you go.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    “we don’t just care about LA city center to SF city center, but we want the advantage of being able to pick up people along the way” — refreshing perspective

    synonymouse Reply:

    You get to add a bunch of commute stops, starting with Acton.

    But I like the SC route because of the really cool curves way off to the East and the potential for some really cool skirmishes between PB and the indigenous population.

    Jerry Reply:

    The natives will get restless.
    oh well, there goes the neighborhood.

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