Palmdale Welcomes HSR and its Economic Benefits

Jul 28th, 2015 | Posted by

Today NPR’s Marketplace examined the effect of high speed rail on Palmdale and the likely boost to the local economy that it will bring – particularly by shortening commutes.

Flowers and subdivision

A commuter train takes about two hours to get to Los Angeles. The bullet train could cut that time to 20 minutes.

Sammy Hults lives in Palmdale and travels for work. “It would allow me to look for work in more different major cities,” he says. “And having this rail, it’d be really easy to get there because travel time is really short.”Shorter travel times could also have a big impact on real estate. Palmdale has traditionally been an outpost for people who can’t afford to buy property in Los Angeles.

“It’s really affordable still, and that’s one of the reasons that a lot of people move into the area,” says Marco Henriquez, who owns Amigo Real Estate. “You can have a house and pay a lot less. Most of the times, half what you pay in the L.A. area.”

No doubt that real estate agents are salivating over the prospect of it being faster to get to downtown LA from Palmdale than from Santa Monica. The median sales price for a home in Palmdale is $230,000 according to Trulia which is shockingly cheap. The average for Los Angeles County is $475,000 and far higher than that along the coasts. Of course, HSR will also bring jobs to the Antelope Valley, as reverse commutes become possible.

HSR will also give a boost to existing businesses. When you cut the distance and time of a commute, residents have more money and more opportunity to support local businesses:

Other business could also benefit from shortened commute times.

Roxana Martinez owns Lucky Roxy’s Café. She often doesn’t see her regulars during the work-week because so much of their free time is eaten by the commute.

“By the time they get home, it’s practically like 7:30, 8 o’clock,” she says. “The kids are going to sleep, so they’re not really going to go out and dine. So I think that, just having that station here, and reducing the commute, I see it as a benefit to us. I see more customers coming in.”

Roxy’s customers rave about the café’s country gravy. And while it’s too much to call high-speed rail her ‘gravy train,’ it will help her sell more gravy.

To those benefits we can also add savings on gas. Palmdale residents are paying around $4 a gallon for gas, which adds up fast on a daily commute to and from the LA basin. Saving money on gas means more money to spend on local gravy.

As this article shows, HSR better for businesses and for quality of life. And the more people who use HSR to commute to Los Angeles, the less people will be driving on the 14 freeway, helping improve the Antelope Valley’s air quality as well.

Glad to see NPR highlighting these benefits.

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  1. J. Wong
    Jul 28th, 2015 at 17:03
    #1

    Oh, no! You’ve given @synon proof that HSR will be a commuter operation with all of his (supposed) implications: unions, subsidies, and more stations.

    (Of course, none of these really follow from the fact that some passengers will use HSR to commute. The operator has every reason to make the fare as expensive as possible.)

    Jerry Reply:

    People will use HSR, and be happy doing so. Wow
    (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

    ragingduck Reply:

    There’s plenty of things wrong with that… for people opposed to HSR.

    EJ Reply:

    Or, Metrolink or whatever agency succeeds it will operate a commute service that uses HSR trains. They’ve mentioned in the past they might possibly be interested. Commuter and intercity HSR trains can share tracks, just like they do in many parts of the world.

    Joey Reply:

    The Sylmar (or Burbank) – Palmdale alignment is going to be good for at least 200 km/h and probably more like 250 km/h. HSR is unlikely to be running at capacity for those speeds (capacity determined primarily by the fastest segments), but mixing trains with very different speeds kills capacity pretty quickly. If Metrolink (or whoever) wants to share those tracks they will probably need faster rolling stock.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    This could become a similar operation as RENFE has between Ciudad Real and Madrid…

    Clem Reply:

    Umm, what reason does the operator have to “make the fare as expensive as possible” ?!? Remember, none of this crap will be connected to anywhere else. The operator will hemorrhage money, especially so if using zoomy expensive depreciating rolling stock. Heckuvajob, Antonovich.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART finds 80mph to be about the speed to control costs.

    Joey Reply:

    BART had a systemwide design speed of 80 mph and stop spacing that would make going faster pointless almost everywhere. The only places it could possibly make sense are in the Transbay Tube and in the Berkeley Hills Tunnels. And even there, the time savings would be pretty minimal

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yeah there’s FRA regulations that cap speeds for all rail travel in the US.

    I know the argument is that BART doesn’t have to obey this regulations, but their design presumed they did. And unless BART gets bypass tracks to avoid stopping at every station, there’s very few locations where higher speeds would even be feasible.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Back when they were planning BART the fast trains were fairly regularly going more than 100.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Funny how that worked out…

    J. Wong Reply:

    I was referring to when it’s Bay to Basin not when it terminates in Palmdale (if they even try to begin service then).

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    If they finish LA-Palmdale without it connecting to anywhere else, it would be asinine for them not to juice the commuter market for whatever they could get to finish funding the whole line.

  2. synonymouse
    Jul 28th, 2015 at 19:32
    #2

    subsidized regional commute ops for the explicit purpose of sprawl.

    Joey Reply:

    It’s not ideal, but I’m willing to write it off as long as it’s subsidized by a regional agency and not by statewide operations.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    EIther they sprawl or someone gets to build a condo in your backyard. Take your pick.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You could hardly put an outhouse in my backyard. Actually there was one there in 1890. Some guy kept coming around wanting to use a rod to look for old bottles.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    We thought you lived in quarter acre ranch house heaven. Whoever moved there in 1890 was sprawling from wherever it is they came from.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Mrs. McDermott had it in 1895; Mary Courtney in 1915; Lewis Lehman in 1938; Mary Marchi in 1947; Galina and Vasily Novichkoff in 1961 and yours truly in 1979. I wish I could have met them all.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Who’s going to subsidize it? BART is subsidized by a sales tax in the counties served by it. San Francisco subsidizes MUNII out of the General Fund. Maybe Palmdale will be subsidized out of Palmdale. Seems only appropriate. The state of California subsidizes doesn’t subsidize any commute operations today unless someone is commuting from the Bay Area to Sacramento using the Capitol (which I suppose there are some).

    synonymouse Reply:

    CnT – Jerry’s gift that keeps on giving.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yeah, I don’t think the rest of the state would be happy subsidizing Palmdale and getting nothing in return. On the other hand, they do get something out of the Palmdale routing, which you’re welcome to call a subsidy, which is HSR itself.

    Clem Reply:

    “Palmdale or Nothing” is a nice theory, but with no basis in fact.

    J. Wong Reply:

    I wasn’t arguing that Palmdale was a reasonable trade-off versus “nothing”. Do you have any information on how we can get the Authority to revisit Tejon? Do you have any leverage?

    synonymouse Reply:

    They could start studying the best Tejon route today.

    They could be working on buying up the Ranch today.

    It is that they don’t want Tejon because they want to sprawl the high desert and they plan for unlimited population growth in California. OMG Global Warming is spin and agitprop.

    Jerry is just another repub, but with big city social values. Mores are tricky, argumentative and determined mostly by conviction. But business is business and sprawl is the business of California.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yep they shoulda slammed the door shut after your grandparents arrived and stopped issuing building permits in 1891.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You did not need one.

    J. Wong Reply:

    You’re suggesting something the Authority could do, but not providing any information on how to make them do that.

    synonymouse Reply:

    There is nothing that can be done to stop their plan. It has to play out – like the rise, decline and fall of empires.

    Crazy stuff happens all the way with a Greek necessity. It would appear for instance, that the EC and Foggy Bottom really do want to foment a war with the Russians in the Ukraine. Politicians have nutty prejudices – the State Dep’t. loves the Vatican and Jerry Brown loves the Tejon Ranch. It is not a rational thing.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Like the Vietnam War – Jerry is McNamara.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They have to loosen your tinfoil and adjust your meds.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    J.wong had a sensible question, how to get CHSRA to change the route. Forget syn’s ramblings, does anyone sensible have anything to offer? Of course not. The project is what it is. Without it HSR is kaput in CA. Better get behind it and make the best of it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Kumbaya is kaput.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Single family sprawl is car-dependent. It’s the automobile-related business interests who most want sprawl, even with HSR. If complementary infill development were to occur (doubtful), Palmdale could have shady streets, storefront businesses and jobs in retail….with robot workers!

    A man gets into his self-driving car. “Where would you like to go today, sir,” standard carbot greeting. “Take me to the nearest cliff and drive off,” the man answers. “Are you sure you want to do that, sir?” carbot asks. “Well, stop near the cliff, I’ll get out, and then drive off. And make it look like an accident. I’d like a new car.” Carbot pauses a moment and says, “I can’t do that….Dave.” (^;

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    “Single family sprawl is car-dependent.”
    I can’t say I believe this.

    Plenty of neighborhoods, from Brooklyn Heights to Over-The-Rhine, are single-family and pedestrian scaled. It’s just a different kind of single family. Single family, as a 4 bedroom 2 bathroom condo above a commercial storefront, is still single family. It’s not even a duplex. Single-family, detached, residential zoning is the problem. The desire of a family to own their residence and not have to contend with other residents in the same building,without having to share hallways, is not car-dependent.

    Our new housing stock reflects that infrastructural investments have made land cheap, and so cheap construction (slab, wood-frame, single-story, ranch-style single-family detached homes are *really* cheap to build) has proliferated into car-dependence.

    If investments toward this paradigm are reduced or reversed (e.g. by tolling all of CA’s freeways, not building more, and making transportation investments to walkable city cores rather than exurban high desert), the paradigm will revert to the historical mean- high-value, walkable, resilient places that are pleasant to the pedestrian, and still acceptable to the family that doesn’t want to share a wall or hallway with any other family.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Residential structures taller than single-story that aren’t bordered with fenced lawn and landscaping, cast water-conserving, cooling shade that makes walking more pleasant in the southwest climate. Infill development would take this direction when we can’t drive as much as we do today. My basic definition of sprawl is subdivision single-purpose housing, too far from occupation, services and institutions to conveniently access other than driving. Housing of this type won’t remain habitable without motor vehicles and vast energy consumption.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    I don’t think we’re going to have the automobile-centered suburban experiment fail do to lack of oil, or even lack of water. I think we’ll have it fail because fiscal insolvency will kill it. Municipal bankruptcies, failing infrastructure, increasing tax obligations, these favor high levels of service for high-value (per acre) areas, low levels of service (well water, dirt roads, on-site electricity production) for low value (per acre) areas. What there isn’t room for, is high service, low value, the big-box, tract house, subdivision and stroad model. The obligation for maintenance after a generation isn’t worth the value of the place that the infrastrucutre is built to serve. That’s the problem with single-story white picket fences. It’s not the low density, it’s the high service demand.
    Perhaps a model like I saw in Lusaka, where every quarter-acre lot has its own well, septic tank, and is on a grated dirt road, would be the next iteration of suburban America. But most soccer moms don’t want to drive on a rutted mud road- and they can’t afford the tax liability (greater than their home value) on continuing the service levels that they’ve grown accustomed to.

    I personally think that it’ll be more like the places we’ve built for thousands of years-walkable towns and cities with public services, spread out rural areas with low levels of services.

    joe Reply:

    HSR fails the leglislative vote for Prop1a and the ARRA billions goes away and the project ends.

    HSR starts over in 2020 at best.

    Zorro Reply:

    Legislative vote? There isn’t going to be any vote on Prop1a, and the ARRA money is not going away, just cause the stupid GOP wants HSR to fail, doesn’t mean that it will. HSR will only fail if We the voters allow HSR to be killed by stupid people..

    joe Reply:

    Recall the leglislature vote to fund the project with prop1a bonds.
    It was challenged in court.

    Had they failed to appropriate prop1a funds, we’d not be able to match ARRA money.
    game over.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Except that all the money from Prop 1a flowing to the bookends (CalTrain electrification, Burbank station) is doing just that.

    The only way the State gets anything out of the deal is if (as it appears) HSR service supplants CalTrain and Metrolink/Surfliner service where they would otherwise share track.

    My guess is the 2016 Business Plan will assume the bookends will offer commuter services (San Francisco to Gilroy) and (LA to Palmdale to Las Vegas) while waiting to build up enough revenue to connect to the Central Valley test track with its one HSR train service per day.

    As I’ve postulated before however, I’m not sure how that works given the relative paucity of stations on these routes. But in the case of Palmdale, consider that ridership on the Antelope Valley Line of Metrolink has been declining in recent years. So much so that they are cutting fares from $14 one way to $10.75.

    That sounds high, until you realize that at 60 miles from Palmdale to downtown LA with a car that gets around 20 mpg, gas would have to more than $3.59 a gallon for the train to be a better deal. Currently that is the case, but that could change at any time.

    Stefan Chex Reply:

    Why doesn’t anyone ever calculate the TOTAL cost-per-mile when doing driving vs. other methods of travel in calculations?? (Ted I am not picking on just you here.. ) The average cost, including gasoline for a average american sedan in 2014 was 59.2 cents/mile.
    ( http://newsroom.aaa.com/2014/05/owning-and-operating-your-vehicle-just-got-a-little-cheaper-aaas-2014-your-driving-costs-study/ )

    So, 60 miles * 59.2 cents == $35.52. So taking the train downtown is WAY cheaper at $10 than driving a car.

    — Stefan

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Because these costs are fake numbers, for a number of reasons:

    1. They include fixed costs, like depreciation on the car.
    2. They assume ideal maintenance rather than realistic maintenance, which is flimsier.
    3. They assume you buy a new car and then sell it in five years, which means the depreciation is even higher than normal.

    Anecdotally, people who are reimbursed at these rates volunteer to drive.

    joe Reply:

    consumerreports estimates costs to operate vehicles.
    Stefan is inline with those realistic costs. ted is planning to have a large unanticipated car bill in five years.

    A palmdale commuter is racking up miles in rough conditions.

    BTW your #2 and 3 are contradictions. flimsier maintenance is going to burn out a car very quickly.
    Choose one.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Automobiles depreciate if they sit in the driveway just like trains do if they sit in the yard. Although trains do it much less rapidly. If my employer wants me to use my personal vehicle why shouldn’t I be reimbursed for that cost?
    If you don’t maintain it it depreciates really really fast when the engine seizes up. The IRS gets it’s numbers from large fleet owners who track whether or not it’s better to change the oil at 6542 miles versus 6237. And manufacturer can void your warranty if you don’t maintain it on the suggested schedules.
    It depreciates using the schedules the IRS publishes. Unless it suffers a mishap. Ya better have paperwork if that happens.
    People who volunteer to drive at those rates don’t buy new cars, get good gas mileage and usually lie to the insurance company about how they use the car. And can’t be bothered thinking about things like depreciation. All they care about is how many miles per gallon it gets.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    They include fixed costs, like depreciation on the car.

    Depreciation is not fixed. Cars depreciate faster when they are driven more.

    Although AAA mileage rates are overestimates for many reasons, calculating the cost of driving based on the cost of gas only is a gross underestimate. I would say that gas accounts for less than half the cost of operating even a cheap older automobile.

    Winston Reply:

    The AAA reimbursement rate of $0.60/mile is a little high, but not that much. The IRS calculates $0.55/mile and using my own costs I come up with something similar. The IRS also calculates a cost per mile based on just variable costs and this comes to $0.23/mile. This lower cost is closer to the rate that a rational person who needs to own a car should use to make decisions.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Because Stefan, very few of the passengers on these rail services are going to get to the station by means other than driving. So the depreciation, air quality, and other costs are already going to be born by the rider. The main variable is gasoline, because of distance.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    And because people calculate costs based on immediate expenditures rather than the total costs that they can’t see anyway.

    Eric Reply:

    I’m guessingt it will replace the san joaquin service in the valley once it is up and running.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The Metrolink Antelope Valley line’s days are numbered without a new alignment. The service is
    way too slow and the only patrons are heavily subsidized public employees. Once the carpool lanes are open to Burbank commuter buses will be faster and much more convenient. The line will stay there for the occasional UP freight. LACMTA is obliged to maintain the line under the purchase agreement.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Metrolink’s own days may be numbered too. OCTA’s preoccupation with LOSSAN and the Surfliner. Soon to be joined by Ventura and Santa Barbara counties tells you all you need to know. I wouldn’t be surprised if the City of LA is also clamoring to dump Metrolink too.

    flowmotion Reply:

    Palmdale’s unique specialness is mostly due to the fact it lies in Los Angeles County. So those are the obvious taxpayers who would subsidize Palmdale sprawl.

    The HSR system was never going to be HSR-only, there’s always was going to be a bunch of other agencies wanting to run trains on the new shiny tracks. Nobody is complaining about Amtrak choo-choos running on the so-called “railroad to nowhere” in the central valley, for example.

    synonymouse Reply:

    so true

    BMF of San Diego Reply:

    Absolutely. HSR always planned on different layers of service. Regional trips, such as Palmdale to LA Union Station is an example and it certainly makes sense for LA County to work with CAHSRA to defin that service and how to fund it. Obviously.

    In an ideal world, those services will be fully self sustaining from fares alone. However, I suspect starter funds would be necessary to get services going. Also, the train sets need to be purchased.

    I have no problem with this, as riders will be moving from cars on the freeway and onto trains. And, I don’t live in that area. The San Gabriel Valley is now my home.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The issue with “layered service” is that it’s all a product of land use around the stations. It has next to nothing to do with service levels, except in extreme cases.

    Most incorporated cities in California are dependent on the impact fees generated from subdivision with single-family homes. That acts as a natural barrier to comprehensive rail service because single-family homes are by definition, car dependent.

    So, the harsh reality for suburban cities is that they have to not only build more dense housing around stations, but they also have to build parking and other pedestrian friendly commercial districts. With a system like BART, it’s eminently possible to do this with political will. In the case of other systems (Metrolink, Metro, HSR…etc.)…the results are less encouraging.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There are neighborhoods all over the world that are filled with single family houses, that were built before there were automobiles.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    There are numerous “streetcar suburbs” as you say.

    However, once gas-burning automobiles made electric-powered streetcars obsolete…developers became firmly part of the freeway lobby. I mean, think about it.

    Pat Brown could have tried to counteract Earl Warren’s vision of freeways cutting across the State in favor of more investment in rail. Instead, Brown doubled down on highways and put us in the situation we are in now.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    once gas-burning automobiles made electric-powered streetcars obsolete [sic]…developers became firmly part of the freeway lobby

    … in the U.S.

    [Yeah, I know, this conversation is about the U.S. However, you were responding to a comment that said “all over the world,” so….]

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The cities outside the U.S. I have visited usually are either too dense to have single family houses or reliant on cars as well. Car ownership isn’t particularly high in some countries, but neither is home ownership.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    You haven’t been to Japan, I take it …

    [Japan is where I know best, but there’s a lot of variation in the degree and nature of car dependence across cultures, and in many places the situation is far less clear-cut than it is in the U.S….]

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Single-family homes aren’t the problem. Residential-only, single-family detached single-story with lot setback is the problem. A three-story brownstone is still a single-family home. Even if there’s a street-facing business on the ground floor, it remains a single-family home. The issue is the zoning and the development pattern, not the desire of a family to live in a house that they own, without needing to share walls or hallways with other residents.

    joe Reply:

    Right on. And to clarify one aspect of zoning – mandatory space for parking.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Off-street parking.

    joe Reply:

    Well on street parking is eliminated every time they cut the curb for a driveway.

    Each re-development in old SF Noe puts in a garage and cuts the curb. That takes a public space an make site private for one unit.

    We have them now my Willow Glen of Gilroy street. They rebuild a home, add a street facing garage and cut the curb. One more space gone. And we have paved alley’s which would make this unnecessary.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    flowmotion Reply:
    July 28th, 2015 at 10:27 pm
    Palmdale’s unique specialness is mostly due to the fact it lies in Los Angeles County. So those are the obvious taxpayers who would subsidize Palmdale sprawl

    acutally palmdale already has plans in place – not- to sprawl but to create a denser more walkable core and a more eco friendly future.

    Its these suburban cities in california that have an opportunty to start – nto entirely from scratch – but close to it – to create livable attractive envirnoments moving forward.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    It’s 90 minutes driving now to get palmdale-LA on a good day. You make that part 20 minutes, sure you have a lot of folks who won’t go over 30 minutes who will live a 10 minute walk (or 10 minute bike, transit) from the station. You’d have all the people who would accept a 90 minute commute being willing to now drive an hour to the station and still enjoy a shorter commute.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    They have to build a more walkable core. Sprawl-divisions eat twice as much money on maintenance as they return in property taxes. Cities need the denser cores so the poor people can subsidize the rich folks’ McMansions.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    It’s not the density alone, it’s the service level.
    Mcmansions on dirt roads with septic tanks, on-site electricity generation, those wouldn’t eat more on maintenance than they return in taxes.

    That’s not to say that there would be a lot of buyers for such fiscally solvent homes…

    joe Reply:

    An urban core is really not necessary.

    Noe Valley SF, where I lived, has a few stores at Church St. corridor down to 30th and I used them. Church Produce, Drew Bros. Meats and a few others. No core trips on the J needed. Smallest town I ever lived and that’s being from ID and MT.

    Same for my old 60’s Chicago -a few stores clustered – no need to go go the urban core.

    Zone for a few small shopping areas and add bike/path access.

    Gilroy’s trying this with traffic circles and KB homes developing dense single family homes. They will add a small shopping area in the vicinity of this new delve area with bike and foot path access and bike and walking alternatives. Keep stores reasonable sized parking reqs down to encourage alternative access.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    Awkward acronym. Needs work.

  3. Nick
    Jul 28th, 2015 at 20:16
    #3

    There has been a study done in the UK which indicates that those people who work in London, but are willing to travel by train for up to an hour each way, could be up to £300,000 better off over a thirty year work career compared with living in London. This takes the estimated £150000 rail fares into account. This is not surprising since the average London price is over £770000. Sure makes LA seem cheap. Even half an hour from London where I live the average price drops to £350000. Of course those that do so will have a home with less equity but most people go by their monthly available income.also places outside London can be better places to bring up children and of course larger houses with gardens are available.

    Another thing to remember is that many people who commute within London on trams, trains, buses and the Underground / overground can have longer journey times than this. As far as HSR is concerned both where I live now (hertfordshire) and my birthplace Marin County, this means that there will be regular commuters to outlying areas and there will be development. People may however have better quality of life and there will be local business and tax revenue as a result. In the UK people are doing these huge commutes in terms of time every day. Many of this is done in single occupant cars on very very overcrowded motorways. With HS2 Central Birmingham to London Euston will take less than 40 minutes. There will also be a station by the airport at Birmingham and it is likely that some greenfield area may be taken for housing.

    A return journey from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston will take less then 2 1/2 hours compared with about 4 1/2 hours. This is a massive game changer which should reduce those traveling by car. Travelling with these cities can then be done by public transport or by electric hire car or taxi. Of course it helps by already having the supporting infrastructure in place.

    So I support both HS2 and CAHSR as I believe that the net benefits outweigh other considerations. It does have to be mentioned that there is a large part of urban regeneration with HS2 using derelict or little used ex-railway land. Hope i have not made this post too long.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I would suggest that London concentrate on making it legal to build tall buildings without Prince Charles’ approval and not on expensive infrastructure to make it easier for people to live in the Home Counties.

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Sometimes the political will to pour a lot of concrete to make trips between where people want growth and where people have growth is easier produced than getting people who don’t want growth to accept more housing in their “back yard”.

  4. Donk
    Jul 28th, 2015 at 21:30
    #4

    What a feel-good story! It’s great that we are paying an extra $5B, taking an extra ~5+ years for fund-raising and construction, and taking an extra 10 min of travel time on each trip to help out poor Roxana Martinez and the realtors in Palmdale. Nothing is more important than small-town America and its country gravy cafes.

    Donk Reply:

    Actually, this story is even more pointless when you consider that Roxana Martinez and most of the real estate agents in Palmdale will be either retired or dead by the time construction is done, let alone see an economic impact.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Rest assured this won’t be small-town America when these exploiters are done.

    J. Wong Reply:

    With a population of 157,000 it is not small-town America already.

    flowmotion Reply:

    More like failed suburb with lots of lots available.

    Danny Reply:

    a suburb of a suburb

    Clem Reply:

    The ongoing cost of detouring through Palmdale will weigh down operations for generations, driven by the high seat-mile cost of HSR (crew, energy, maintenance and depreciation).

    joe Reply:

    and without palmdale there would not be a project.

    oh to be free and wise like new Jersey whose govenor refused the imperfect ARC tunnel project and five years later has nothing.

    I’m sure transit nerds are still celebrating that victory.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Nonsense – Palmdale is simply a distraction, like a poison pill rider on some legislation.

    Snap solution – rewrite the legislation and kick Palmdale to the curb. Meantime indict somebody in Palmdale as a usual suspect, ala Yee, Rizzo, et al. You can always find a fall guy, like Van Ark.

    Randall Reply:

    Your conspiracy theories are harder to digest than those that drive True Detective this season.

    And Clem’s whining about Palmdale is sad. When the tunnel goes under the Angeles Forest it will take the wind out of his sails on the “detour” argument he has failed to gain traction on for years.

    Can’t we enjoy a story about a large region (Antelope Valley has 500k and is growing) that actually wants the train for once?

    “Transit Nerds”indeed. There is no better description.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Commute service to Palmdale is an LA regional affair. Not HSR.

    So Prop 1a was a bait and switch, a genuine conspiracy.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The people using the tracks to get to places other than San Jose Center of the Universe ™ will be paying fees to use the track.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Can it be both HSR and commute service? Just because someone uses it to commute, doesn’t make it commute service.

    Randall Reply:

    Station pairs within a HSR system offer “commute” like services as part of creating multiple revenue streams. It’s not just for LA to SF trips.

    Palmdale to LA is nearly 2 hours on Metrolink. HSR will pick up a lot of these trips as part of its SF to LA movement in the AM and LA to SF in the evening. For the times in between when HSR is not going to run a train due to its high threshold for putting service out without needing subsidy, there are still markets to be served. So you have Metrolink come in and use the tracks and help pay down the costs of the O&M overall as part of the deal for Metrolink to use those tracks.

    Metrolink is $21.50 round trip right now between Palmdale and LA for service that takes roughly 4 hours total (2 hours each way). Using HSR tracks and operating at 30 minutes each way with slower speeds than pure HSR to minimize operating costs, you save 3 hours on the trip.

    So let’s say Metrolink charges $40 round trip for this enhanced trip, and HSR gets a $5 per ticket royalty after Metrolink pays its burdened share of the track usage. That’s pure profit at $5 per passenger that offsets the regular system use.

    Then as travel demand increases on the corridor, a Metrolink trip becomes subsumed into a large SF to LA run that can then carry enough passengers to pay for itself (or enough of itself) when the time is right.

    That’s how you build ridership over time.

    Ostensibly you will even have “commute service” which you sneer at all over the system as a diversified revenue stream to offset costs while still providing HSR service.

    The irony is that if the tunnel is built under the Forest then you will have zero stops between Palmdale and Burbank forever, which protects the line from being downgraded to “commuter service” you so decry. But you fight against that as well, all while complaining about a “dogleg”.

    There is no conspiracy, except what must have happened to you as a child that has warped your brain so badly and allowed you to make mutually exclusive arguments and not notice that you don’t make sense.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I should think the development interests would be concerned about “zero stops between Palmdale and Burbank forever”. A mixed bag for them.

    You’re right tho that I should not concern myself so much with the future of the Valley nor LaLa. It is a dystopian future. But I would like to see windmills mandated atop highrises, kinda like mesmerizing beanies.

    Jon Reply:

    It’s impossible to put the large 1MW+ commercial turbines you’re thinking of on top of buildings as they require deep foundations. And it’s very cost inefficient to put smaller wind turbines on top of buildings, so any that you do see are purely for show.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    So they’re currently building all that track in Fresno just to benefit LA commuters going back and forth to Palmdale?
    This conspiracy is far more diabolical than I thought!
    When do the Illuminati carry us all to the Antelope Valley FEMA camps?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Of course they are. Instead of sending trains to a stub end terminal on the north side of the station the trains will be going to a stub end terminal on the south side of the station blocks away from the subway and where most of the people using it will want to go.

    joe Reply:

    ““I would never have thought that four years from when ARC was terminated, we’d have nothing in place,” Clift, a 64-year-old Manhattan resident, said by telephone.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-06/christie-endorses-tunnel-four-years-after-killing-project

    joe Reply:

    2008 Transit nerds blast ARC

    “When the tunnel is up-and-running in 2017, the number of rush hour trains between New York and the surrounding states will double from 48 per hour from just 23. However, it is their exit point, in a deep underground station below 34th Street, that concerns people like George Haikalis, president of the Institute for Rational Urban Mobility.

    “My strongest objection to the scheme is the proposed terminal in Manhattan,” he says. “It will be 450ft from Penn station and 175ft underground. It will add four to five minutes’ travel time just getting out of the station and if you have to transfer to another train at Penn it will be really inconvenient. It adds capacity but not quality. It’s a lousy idea.”

    Haikalis says that Alternative G would cost less to build and operate, attract more passengers and in doing so divert more motorists. So why isn’t it being done?”

    Christe Kill ARC.
    ARC “adds capacity but not quality”

    Five years later Alternative G is VAPOR. Nothing to replace ARC and no money.

    Boo-hoo over HSR gking via Palmdale.

    flowmotion Reply:

    Christie doesn’t give one about “transit nerds”, so that’s completely irrelevant.

    Joe Reply:

    Each learns what they wish.

    An imperfect project opposed by transit nerds in 2008 got terminated in 2010 and was replaced with
    Nothing.[. .].

    Let’s not try to reboot HSR.

    Or maybe there’s no lesson to be learned at all lalalalalalalalala.

    synonymouse Reply:

    There is not hsr to reboot; it is regional commute.

    Joey Reply:

    An imperfect project in 2008 was unilaterally terminated by Christie claiming that the state would be on the hook for cost overruns. Your “transit nerds” were not sad to see it go but they were not the cause of its demise.

    Joey Reply:

    I will add that massive underground stations caverns (compared to bored tunnels) tend to be a massive source of both absolute cost and overruns.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The one closer to the surface is more expensive and climbing.

    joe Reply:

    “Your “transit nerds” were not sad to see it go but they were not the cause of its demise.”

    Oh if we only had a way to quote text.

    Haikalis says that Alternative G would cost less to build and operate, attract more passengers and in doing so divert more motorists. So why isn’t it being done?

    This question was asked in 2008 and it’s 2015. Does anyone have an explanation for Mr Haikalis why this transit advocate’s awesome, superior plan wasn’t “done” after The NJ Gov killed ARC and freed up all that money?!!

    Can’t we stop HSR and built it right ? There’s a plan on the internet and a some power point charts.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Where does the text say that Haikalis is the cause of the cancellation?

    Joe Reply:

    Step away from the strawman argument.

    Where does it say canceling the ARC project lead to an improved solution.

    They lost all the money. There’s no consensus. The most optimistic scenario if money and consensus were to fall into their laps would take 10 years.

    Alternative G never happened. Money no consensus no support. There’s a lesson to be learned here
    I can’t really articulate what it is
    maybe you can help me.

  5. agb5
    Jul 29th, 2015 at 01:16
    #5

    Here is the 2012 report into the costs vs benefits of Palmdale vs Grapevine I-5 route:
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0Bx5S0AJ0bopyOXdpWVlITV9qQnM&tid=0Bx5S0AJ0bopycUx2bWNKdko4Nnc

    agb5 Reply:

    I mean here:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx5S0AJ0bopyZ1dlbGtJS3hxb0k/view
    It estimates an i-5 alignment would lose 2 million commute rides per year with a loss of revenues of $50 million, but I-5 would be $50 million less expensive to maintain.

    Domayv Reply:

    so in other words, it’s equal: you gain what you lose (50 million), but at least you initially don’t spend more.

    And supposedly the 2 million less commute rides could be attributed to the train not taking a 90 degree turn to head over to stop at Palmdale, but, if anything, they could use the Tejon alignment as an express route and as an alternative to the I-5 should it get closed due to bad weather (complete with a station at Santa Clarita and at the Grapevine).

    BMF of San Diego Reply:

    If that is the case, I would suggest the alignment that has faster travel time.

    agb5 Reply:

    Grapevine travel time was estimated to be only 3 to 5 minutes faster due to steeper gradients and an unavoidable sharp curve, so connectivity to Las Vegas was preferred over small time savings.

    synonymouse Reply:

    All the studies of Tejon were a priori sabotaged by the political directive to find against.

    Las Vegas moguls, please step forward with the money for CALNEVAHSR.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Or other people have priorities that differ from yours.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Even Clem found that Tejon was only about 12 minutes faster than Tehachapi and that was before the Angeles forest alignment was proposed. His findings in regard to construction and operational costs still stand, however, Tehachapi is more expensive than Tejon.

    Clem Reply:

    12 minutes was pure run time (no margin) without stopping at Palmdale. With the obligatory timetable margin and a stop, the difference grew to 18 minutes (1 minute padding and 5 minutes stop penalty). Dropping the Bako Hybrid reverse curve saves 2 minutes, and Burbank direct saves another 4 minutes. If you go via Tejon and make a stop at the summit to transfer to Desert Express, you lose 4 minutes there for a stop penalty (less than Palmdale because the train is slow at the top of Tejon, but blazing fast at Palmdale). So when it’s all considered together, the Tejon advantage is still 18-2-4-4 = 8 minutes, even with all the lipstick on the Palmdale pig. 8 minutes is a large savings on 160 minutes SF-LA (or X minutes between any NorCal and any SoCal station pair)… Minimum 5% quicker

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    how many minutes savings with the trains that don’t stop at palmdale

    joe Reply:

    remove a stop and the travel time decreases. best to calculate tejon with apples to apples comlarison which means run trains pure run time through Palmdale.

    or add a lebec stop and calculate the time tables.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    whatever happened to that interactive map that showed the travel times between stations

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Jim

    All trains will stop at Palmdale.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why wouldn’t they just fill up a train in Los Angeles and send it to Las Vegas instead of sending empty seats to San Jose? Or send empty seats from San Jose so they can fill up in the middle of nowhere with people coming from Las Vegas?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Pretty much all the trains will be pretty much empty. Just like the one that does not operate over the Loop Line currently.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Domayv

    The Tejon alignment can be made to achieve everything attributed to Techchapi and so much more and so much faster and so much cheaper.

    That’s why I-5 is such a success. The Division of Highways did right – the real world benefits outweighed the cons. Without it you would need another 99 ripping up the heart of the Valley burgs.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Supposedly in the 60’s, the Division of Highways wanted to upgrade 99 to full freeway using the federal Interstate funds.

    An upgraded 99 would have served more population centers along with the north/south traffic using a single route. The Westside route (today’s I-5) was supposed to be a future bypass route, built once the traffic on 99 was too heavy.

    But somewhere politics got involved and I-5 was built instead of an upgraded 99 as originally proposed. Some say it was because the LA politicians wanted to get home from Sacramento faster.

    Today Caltrans is widening 99 to 6 lanes thru the San Joaquin Valley to handle the traffic volume.

    Caltrans is also planning for a Freeway 65 on the east side of the Valley. But 65 will be much closer to population centers in the San Joaquin Valley than I-5. There will be “another 99” since I-5 is of little to no use to Valley cities which are strung along the east side.

    Today there are 2 north/south freeways in the Central Valley competing for maintenance and expansion funds with a 3rd in planning stages. I-5 itself has not stopped the likely construction of a 3rd freeway in the SJV.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    Where will the third freeway be located?

    By the way isn’t 99 6 lanes for almost the entire SJV? The only 4-lane stretch I can think of is between Stockton and Sac – and at that point you no longer have travelers between Bay Area and SJV on the freeway and 99 is only a few miles east of I-5.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    The 65 runs along the base of the foothills on the east side which helps better serve the foothill and mountiain communities. You can see the north end of the completed 65 in Yuba and Placer counties and the south end in Kern and Tulare counties. The missing segment is from roughly Visalia to Sacramento. considering the growth coming to the east san joaquin valley and east sacramento county and the fact the most of the cities along the 99 are growing up east into the hills rather than west onto the valley floor, this freeway will eventually be needed to service the regions.

    Domayv Reply:

    And hopefully a rail line to complement the newly built freeway

    Domayv Reply:

    well, once you introduce a rail line running on unused land or near small towns, then development will be encouraged around its ROW (bringing in businesses and income to the region) and create new towns and cities and turn existing towns into much bigger towns. That’s how the Tokaido Shinkansen turned Yokohama from a small little town into one of Japan’s major cities, so I expect something similar if the Westside Freeway area receives rail.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Everything in your comment is wrong. Yokohama’s center is around Yokohama Station, not Shin-Yokohama. In addition, it already had 1.7 million people when the Shinkansen opened: see here. Yokohama’s size has nothing to do with the Shinkansen.

    Tokkyu40 Reply:

    A better example would be Tokyo’s Yamanote line, a freight bypass that went through rural areas in the foothills west of Tokyo.
    The small villages along the line became the major urban areas of the modern city. Shinjuku is not only home of the busiest passenger station in the world (3.7 million passengers a day) but in 1991 the Tokyo Metropolitan Government moved to new buildings in the area. I recommend the viewing platforms n building 1. It’s higher than Tokyo Tower and it’s free.

    Domayv Reply:

    there are also several 4-lane and even 2-lane sections of the 99 north of Sacramento (so far the conversion of CA-99 to Interstate 7/9 is between Wheeler Ridge and Sacramento, though CA-99 is at interstate standards between the Wheeler Ridge interchange and the CA-99/CA-70 interchange, and I would love future Interstate 7/9 to cover the entire former CA-99).

    Also the third freeway will be CA-65, which will run from its southern terminus at the CA-99/CA-65 interchange all the way to the CA-99/CA-149 interchange south of Chico (the segment of freeway betwen the CA-99/CA-70 interchange and the CA-70/CA-65 interchange will be redesignated CA-149).

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    I use the 5 and 99 fairly often. The 99 is now the better choice as so much has been upgraded. The 5 is two lanes each way and is nothing but a giant truck parking lot.

    Domayv Reply:

    I use I-5 when my family and I are going to the Bay Area, though my mom doesn’t like using I-5 because she calls it boring and nothing but trucks & fast food joints and prefers using US-101 instead (that also should also be made into an Interstate Highway between LA and San Francisco as Interstate 1 given its importance) because there are more towns & businesses even though it takes more time than on I-5 (US-101 between Ventura and Gilroy is mostly 2 lanes just like I-5). Most people would use I-5 (the section between Wheeler Ridge and Stockton) when they’re going to the Bay Area or going long-distance to places like Redding and northward by car.

    the reason why I-5 between Wheeler Ridge and Stockton is only two lanes each way is because it was designed as an express route that people would use if they want to go to the Bay Area or take a faster route by bypassing the Central Valley cities.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    That’s really interesting

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    I prefer 101 when traveling between SF and LA. It only adds 1 hour to the trip. You can make up the gas by not having to run the AC.

    I disagree that 101 should be an interstate. It is fine just the way it is.

    datacruncher Reply:

    A rough view of the planned CA-65 route in the southern San Joaquin Valley Caltrans District 6) is here:
    http://www.cahighways.org/maps/065-foothill.jpg
    But it would continue north into Caltrans District 10 from Chowchilla to Lincoln and then points further.

    The south San Joaquin Valley counties are including the new CA-65 as part of their regional planning It is the dotted highway line along the edge of the foothills:
    http://www.valleyblueprint.org/files/publications/Scenario_B_.pdf

    99 remains 4 lanes thru nearly all of Madera County and most of Tulare County (from 198/Visalia exit to Delano).

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    the 65 in yuba county was built to freeway in the late 60s or early 70s I remember whn it was brand new, and then the sections through roseville was build in the 90s. The lincoln bypass was recently completed and the wheatland bypass wil be next as wheatland has approved growth from its current 3000 people to 40,000 people with new annexation and approved housing.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Lincoln bypass

    Domayv Reply:

    I think it would make more sense if CA-65’s southern section was extended to meet up with its northern section at Roseville

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    ulitmately yes that will be needed as more growth happens in the foothills. The foothill counties are being populated mainly by ex bay area and ex southern californians and all of these communities are growing along the CA 49 corridor. Most of CA 49 is not made to handle the traffic. Some of the trans sierra state highways have had modest improvements But an east side freeway would take some of the burden off 99.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    That’s even more interesting, and so relevant

    Domayv Reply:

    @Jim: well, the extended CA-65 is going to be on the east side of the Central Valley (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Route_65#/media/File:California_State_Route_65.svg), whereas CA-49 is well in the Sierra foothills

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The 65 is probably vaporware in way you and Jim are describing.

    There’s no desire to open prime real residential real estate between Sacramento to Bakersfield when the water supply there is heavily oversubscribed to other water districts. Some counties, of course, are happy to funnel the work to CalTrans for segments, but they are in the minority.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    but that is exaclty where growth is going to happen. the east sides of the cities up into the foothills where people want to live. It will be more of your lincolns, rosevilles, folsoms, el dorados hills, clovis’, and in the southern end you already have growing cities on the eastern edge east of vislia from woodlake south to porterville and up into the hills east of bakersfield.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    With the projected growth of the Central Valley, interest has reemerged in constructing all or part of the unconstructed portion of SR 65. A multi-county committee has been formed to discuss the transportation needs of the Eastern Central Valley, including the construction of SR 65 over twenty years. The committee will look at what route the road will take, what type of road would be built (highway, expressway, or freeway), and what the road would eventually become (also known as the ultimate transportation corridor or UTC).[4][8]

    In order to alleviate traffic congestion between the northern parts of SR 65 and I-80 and downtown Sacramento, the Placer Parkway project, a bypass from SR 65 to SR 99 to the west, has been initiated and is expected to be finished by 2020.

    In addition, another study is looking at extending SR 65 north to a future extension of SR 152. Currently, five cities exist in the eastern Central Valley with population between 15,000 and 20,000 as of the 2000 census. These communities currently do not have a north/south state highway. This project would create a state highway that would connect these cities together and to SR 99. This connection would be north of Madera, providing a bypass to Visalia, and Fresno. It would also provide an alternative route for travelers in Southern California/South Central Valley, to access mountain vacation spots in areas east of Fresno.[4][8]

    In the southern section, plans are underway to convert all of the 2-lane highway portions to a 4-lane expressway. In addition, the short segment to Exeter would be moved to allow for a continuous roadway. Originally, the widening project was going to be a joint effort between Kern and Tulare counties, but priority changes in Kern County will delay its portion to a future date.[4]

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Oh I’m aware that there’s interest…especially with land values on the coasts rising.

    The problem is, the developers can’t find the water to put in the homes. Even the most politically juiced developer in Northern California, Angelo Tsakopoulos, has been stymied by the drought in the Sacramento area.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    The drought will end this winter.

    Joey Reply:

    This winter will likely provide some relief, but there’s no guarantee that any other year will be better.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    the big winters always come back. though it would be smart to create more storage, make agriculutre tighten its belt, and encourage native landscaping in cities and suburbs.

    It doesnt matter if people live in SF or Bakersfield if they take the same 5 minute shower and make the same pot of coffee in the morining.
    It would be nice to see socal start doing desalination so that norcal water could stay in the north to help the rivers.

    datacruncher Reply:

    It takes them time but developers are looking for and finding water to get the big projects approved.

    Madera County developers have finally broken ground on the first of several parts of the Rio Mesa plan near Highways 41/145 (the above linked map shows a future 65 connecting that area to Highway 152).

    Two or three decades of lining up water, EIRs, court battles, etc were involved. But now the 6,500 home Riverstone and 5,200 home Tesoro Viejo projects are starting construction work across the San Joaquin River from Fresno. More development is already approved in that area.

    The JG Boswell Company is currently preparing the EIR to develop 10,000 homes at Yokohl Valley in the eastern SJV foothills near the current termination of Highway 65 at Highway 198.
    http://www.yokohlranch.com/
    Given the water rights Boswell already controls on the west side of the Valley there will probably be deals to get the water they need at Yokohl Valley. Yokohl Ranch supposedly will use Kaweah River water but my guess is it will involve shuffling of water Boswell already controls.

    Tejon says they have already identified the water source for the 12,000 homes they want to build at the base of the Grapevine near their current commercial developments. I don’t know that water source but Tejon has been buying/selling water for the last few years.

    Those are just a few I have heard about (and there was also the Quay Valley deal to buy water from a farmer for that development which resulted in a lawsuit). But there are additional large developments in various approval/planning status.

    Many of the big developers are finding ways to get their projects approved including identifying the water needed.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Of course, businss is business.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If the drought ends this winter, California would have to break all rainfall records and coastal areas would see about 2.5x the average precipitation…around 50 inches or so. (Think New Orleans, but with all the rain falling in winter…)

    As for developers finding water, that is why Fresno is the only place more houses are going up. They are one of the few areas not oversubscribed. And Jim’s idea about Southern California using desalination to save the North’s water…completely unrealistic politically.

    Zorro Reply:

    Good luck on the drought ending this winter Ted Judah, yeah I agree on all points, it’s very doubtful that it will soon end.

    Joe Reply:

    There’s a buttload of water that needs to be put back into the ground.

    USGS experts talk about several years of above average rainfall. Ecologically the impact of a severe drought, one year, last about seven years. That is to say after seven years. After that time one could not trace drought impacts on the water and carbon cycling of an intact forest.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    well we need more storage to hold the excess water that falls during wet years. Storage on the valley floor would mean not having to build dams in the sierra and not screwing up the natural flows there. and storage on the valley floor would help replenish the groundwater.
    In the north we things like the sutter bypass, yolo bypass, and the thermalito after bay at oroville to deal with excess water, much of the valley north of sacramento remains relatively lush year round. – well not lush – but green. Let farmers in the southern san joquin valley build as much storage as they want to draw from in dry years.

    clifton forebay

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The reason California’s bigger dams are in the mountains is that cooler temperatures mean less evaporation and can be smaller because of our usually deep snowpack. The storage most urban water utilities want to build is actually underground…a spurious concept given that if banked water subsides too far into the earth (1000 ft or more), federal law won’t allow you to take it out.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    I dont know about that.. I mean the biggest dams, shasta, oroville, folsom, and the rest, are all at elevations and locations that are just as hot as the valley floor. folsom can actually be hottler than sacramento. That said, I heard today that californians have exceeded the conservation goals the governor had asked for. And really its not that much effort to do so. But ag has to find a away to really cut back.
    Just like energy, for water in california we need an all of the above approach.

    joe Reply:

    The reason California’s bigger dams are in the mountains is that cooler temperatures mean less evaporation and can be smaller because of our usually deep snowpack.

    Uh no. evaporation isn’t the reason.
    They capture mountain snowpack runoff for purposes of irrigation and flood control. Ergo they are in the mountains near the source of the water and require valleys which are flooded. By chance deep valleys reduce surface area to volume ratios if your thinking about minimizing evaporative loss.

    But I am increasing interested in a podcast titled “shit that ted says”

    Santa Clara Co. built a series of smaller dams to slow down surface water and let it infiltrate into the soil for drinkiing. Coyote Lake and Anderson Lake near Gilroy are notable ones.

    Pacheco Pass San Luis Reservoir holds sierra water pumped into this very dry and hot storage area for later summer irrigation and also recovers some energy with hydro-electric generation.

    Cities and counties are now engineering vernal pools and small areas to slow water and stop it from hitting the sewers in a massive peak and overwhelming sewage water treatment and river capacity.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    But I am increasing interested in a podcast titled “shit that ted says”

    Clearly, I have arrived.

    I realize as an ecologist, Joe, you have a firm grasp of the drought’s reach. But you are actually making my point. Dams on rivers (especially in the West where there can be rapid flooding from snow melting) often begin as flood control projects.

    But when Jim in SF/PollockPines is talking about increasing storage he’s actually think about building more reservoirs and forebays, as if money is no object and as if even if money wasn’t an object you would actually conserve water that way. It’s not his fault, most Californians don’t even know where their water even comes from unless they buy a bottle that says “Evian”….

    agb5 Reply:

    Well it can’t achieve connectivity to Palmdale and Las Vegas, and it is only marginally cheaper and faster, and it has a higher risk of earthquake damage.

    Joey Reply:

    It can achieve that connection via a wye near the I-5/SR-138 junction. And I don’t know if I’d call $5 billion “only marginally cheaper.”

    agb5 Reply:

    It is only $2 billion cheaper (14%), then a wye to Palmdale would probably add ~$6 billion.

    Joey Reply:

    Where are you getting these numbers from? Clem’s analysis, which as far as I am aware is the most complete available, puts the price difference at $5 billion. The extra track required for the wye is at grade across open desert – not expensive construction.

    joe Reply:

    connectivity to las vegas is missing from your retort.

    Easy to cut costs by eliminating things.

    Joey Reply:

    I’ve addressed connectivity to Las Vegas via Tejon probably dozens of times. It’s not difficult or expensive.

    joe Reply:

    I cant find the correction to this mistaken claim tejon saves 5 B.

    the system is routed further away from vegas so as agb5 noted.

    for connecting to las vegas, what cost should be deducted from the 5 b savings? Units in dollars, not adjectives.

    Joey Reply:

    Okay, let’s do an estimate. The cheaper options for Fresno-Merced come in around $50m/mile. Worst case for the wye, if you have to detour all the way down to the HDC, adds 50 miles. More intelligent alignments from Barstow only add about 30. So you’re looking at about $1.5-2.5b added cost. Some notes about that.

    1) The biggest hurdle is going to be getting phase 1 of CAHSR built. Pushing some cost to later phases / other projects is desirable because it gets the first phase built faster, at which point the success of HSR will increase popular and political support

    2) There’s no reason why this cost should necessarily be put on the state of California. If the goal is to link to Las Vegas, then it should be considered part of that project. Minimizing costs for a separate, and potentially private project should not be in the design goals of CAHSR.

    3) XPressWest is all but dead now, so there’s no reason to assume their alignment in cost calculations.

    Clem Reply:

    Hey Joe, for connecting Sacramento in phase 2, how much more expensive is Pacheco (reaching only to Merced) compared to Altamont (reaching all the way to Tracy) ? Tracy is the Palmdale of the north, making all connections shorter and more direct to multiple major population centers.

    Under Pacheco, the system is routed further away from Sacramento, which unlike Las Vegas features prominently in the business plans. Where’s the outrage?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How much will it cost to widen I-15 if there isn’t a train?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Adding lanes to freeways is what California does. Ask Barbara Boxer.

    How much does it cost to mine a base tunnel to nowhere?

    joe Reply:

    only 2 billion cheaper seens right in line.

    Joey Reply:

    See points 1 and 2 above. A comparison of only final costs is not necessarily the best metric to use. And if you do that, Pacheco is going to start looking really, really bad because of the additional track it adds to the Sacremento extension.

    Joey Reply:

    And because you want to put numbers on everything, let’s look at how much cost Pacheco adds to Phase 2. Mered-Manteca is about 95km along SR-99, or 100 km along a greenfield route. The SR-99 route passes through cities, so that’s going to be more expensive. But let’s get a lower bound using the greenfield route. Using my $50m/mile from above, this comes out to about $3.1 billion. And keep in mind that’s a lower bound.

    Now, there are a couple of reasons this should be taken more seriously:

    1) This is added cost which the state of California will absolutely have to find a way to put together. It’s entirely within the scope of the HSR project

    2) There’s no reason to believe that Pacheco is any cheaper than Altamont. The CHSRA pegged the cost difference at $400m in the program EIR, and that was with two terminals and a Dumbarton tunnel. With the cheaper SETEC alignment and geological data from the water tunnels, it might even swing in the other direction.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “a higher risk of earthquake damage.”

    A supposition. We do not know how much damage occurred in the Tehachapi region as a result of the 1857 Ft. Tejon earthquake. We do know how much damage occurred in 1952, 2nd largest temblor in the 20th century, and a new fault was discovered. How many more undiscovered faults lurk in and around the DogLeg?

  6. trentbridge
    Jul 29th, 2015 at 08:57
    #6

    No matter how much lipstick you put on a pig like Palmdale or Danville – you’ll never make it as nice to live in as Berkeley or Santa Monica. The further you move from the coast of California with it’s natural air-conditioning inland the worse the weather becomes. Commuting also means no social life with your co-workers because you can’t miss the train back to the burbs – and you are 90% less likely to travel into the city on your weekend to any social event because you’re dog tired from the commuting during the week. If you’re married, love your spouse, enjoy yardwork or have small children, then these exoburbs beckon because you will have the extra space that comes from living in a desert-type environment where land was cheap. The 91 Freeway is filled every morning with the folks who still need the well-paid job in Orange County / Los Angeles Co but were lured to San Bernadino and Riverside counties by the cheaper housing.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Rug rats means you can’t have a social life with your coworkers.
    Which I never really understood. Don’t people have social lives outside of work?

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Social life with co workers? Really?
    And you can’t just say Danville is Bad and Berkley is good. Its in the eye of the beholder. Berkeley is gross and dirty. Danville is very nice and upscale. I’d consider Daniville, but there is no way I’d live in Berkeley. It just depends on what people like.

    Meanwhile, my old mazda finally died completely at 230k. Timing belt went and destroyed her insides.
    And right before my LA trip to see Blondie and Melissa. Long story short, we stopped in Bakersfield on the way home bought a new car I’ve never owned a new car in my life. No doubt Ill be laughed off the road up here on the mountain and it drives like a toy car BUT I’m getting 47mpg! Okay so Im saving 200 a month in gas, but the payment is 280 plus an 80 dollar insurance increase per month.
    But somewhere I’m sure there is suppose to be an upside. Assuming I can get out of the driveway this winter.

    The est mpg on these is 44 highway, but the dealer said people all over are raving about getting better than the estimate. I did in fact get 47mpg city/highway/mountain.

    FYI Gas in socal seems to be a buck higher than norcal.

    trentbridge Reply:

    My iron law of business: when the office relocates – it relocates in the direction of where the boss lives – because he doesn’t like to commute. When the office is moved, he wants to commute less. My second iron law of business: actually Ferengi Rule #6 of Acquistion: “Never let family stand in the way of opportunity.” Enjoy Danville/Palmdale and know that one of your co-workers is whispering in the bosses’s ear (after hours..over a friendly drink..) that you’re a great worker BUT….

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    The nice thing about having a union is the bosses can’t play favorites. issues amongst / between coworkers are settled amongst/between co workers for the most part unless there is a policy issue. I don’t have to worry about my co worker whispering in my bosses ear. Imagine having your livelihood so easily jeapordized by another employee.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Comparing Danville to Palmdale is hysterical.

    Palmdale is Southern California’s version of Tracy. Not where hope and dreams go to die…but attractive only because of cheap housing and nothing else.

    Secondly, living in Santa Monica is hardly paradise with obnoxious traffic congestion and housing with no air conditioning. Berkeley, with its legions of homeless and cathedral of grime, is also no fun if you are over the age of 25….

    Most Californians want the best of both worlds…touches of unbridled nature, cultural flavor, mixed with clean, safe neighborhoods. Not that most of us get it…but still that’s what the hope is.

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    Why would you want air conditioning in Santa Monica?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Unless you live in a house with good cross ventilation, (which as renters in apartments most people don’t have) increasing temperatures mean that Santa Monica without air conditioning can be less desirable than a house in Palmdale with. San Diego can also be a nasty place too.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    there are solutions to that problem besides central air.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Lasko-16-in-Electrically-Reversible-Window-Fan-2155A/100405673

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/LG-Electronics-10-000-BTU-Portable-Air-Conditioner-and-Dehumidifier-Function-with-Remote-Control-in-White-72-Pints-Day-LP1013WNR/203656277

    all of the other big box stores have similar. Even small hardware stores and appliance specialists.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    with good cross ventilation, (which as renters in apartments most people don’t have)

    Er, what…?

    I don’t know what experiences you’ve had, but every apartment I’ve lived in (and I’ve lived in a lot of apartments, on three continents… ) has had pretty good cross ventilation (windows on two or three sides)…

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    ive never had an apartment in california that had any cross ventilation let alone good cross ventialtion.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    They certainly exist, or existed…. I was born in SF, and the first apartment I was old enough to remember was in the middle of the city and had windows on three sides.

    Maybe these days the market is so insane that anyplace not in a subterranean dungeon is priced beyond mere mortals though….

    Michael Reply:

    Old apartments, like mine in SF, have lightwells that are internal shafts (about 6’x6′) open to the sun that allow there to be windows in interior bathrooms and closets for both some light and ventilation. They do a really good job of sucking air in from the outside windows, across the rooms, and then up. I’ve got windows on two sides and the lightwell, and the lightwell pulls the most air though my place.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I grew up in a house in Southern California that is now over 80 years old. Although not perfect, it had far better cross ventilation than any of the much newer dorms and apartments I have lived in as an adult.

    Perhaps some day I will move to a place where I can feel the gentle breeze, but for now I have to settle for visiting my father-in-law.

    EJ Reply:

    Yeah, I hung on to my somewhat scuzzy apartment in West LA for years longer than I really needed to, from a financial perspective; one of the reasons was it was built in that classic 1960s-70s LA style where it faced a street to the outside and a large courtyard internally, so it had excellent cross-ventilation. It actually had A/C but in the course of 7 years there I never turned it on, whereas everyone I knew who lived in fancier apartments closer to the beach ran their AC all summer.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    long beach was pretty awful without AC this week

    Miles Bader Reply:

    I’ve never been to S.M., but based on what Google turns up, it looks like mild weather personified…. ><

    People really use AC there?!

    Oliver Wendell Holmes Reply:

    increasing temperatures mean that Santa Monica without air conditioning can be less desirable than a house in Palmdale with

    That’s a pretty huge subjective statement. “A house in Santa Monica without air conditioning could have less comfortable indoor temperatures during the hottest part of the day on certain summer days than a house in Palmdale with AC” would be an accurate and objective statement. As for where people would rather be, that depends on lifestyle and preferences. I suspect most people who go outside, ever, would rather be in the house without AC in Santa Monica for a large number of reasons.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It is legal for people in Santa Monica to buy and use air conditioners….

    Joe Reply:

    Not desirable and recognize that shift changes the design requirements for homes/buildings. Finally AC defeats the purpose of being in Santa Monica.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    All you have to do is open the window and stick it in. You turn it on when it’s a bit too hot, humid or both and open the other window when it’s not. Or you buy the kind that just dangles hoses out the window and dangle them out the window when you want to use it. Around here, sometime in October, you take it out of the window, clean it and store it for the winter. In California it might make sense to pay the few extra bucks for the kind that can run backwards and use it for heat in the winter.
    They make ones that are designed to slide into a new hole in the wall that look almost like the ones that hang out of a window. And ones that are split into two main parts and just need a small hole for the pipes and power to go through.

  7. J. Wong
    Jul 29th, 2015 at 14:37
    #7

    Where are the facts on the ground in Santa Clarita and Tejon?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    that the people who make the decisions about where to build stuff decided they weren’t going to build anything out there.

    Darrell Reply:

    I keep waiting for Tejon proponents to explain how they would get through Santa Clarita, given that city’s adamant opposition to even a short above-ground section on the SR-14 alternative in Sand Canyon.

    Clem Reply:

    Along I-5.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Santa Clarita would throw a fit.

    Joey Reply:

    Maybe? I-5 is already impacted (because it’s a freeway) and the property takes required for HSR aren’t large.

    J. Wong Reply:

    They’d still sue (just like there are still suits from the Peninsula even though the existing ROW makes it all but impossible that they will prevail), but by following I-5 the Authority would have a reasonable chance of prevailing.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Not just Santa Clarita, but Tejon Ranch (which will sue over both Bakersfield and Tejon) and Palmdale. (Of course, they are going to get sued over the Angeles forest alignment too, but maybe the opponents have less resources to back that up.)

    Could the Authority prevail? Yes, in the long run they could. And given the delays that they are already facing, maybe it doesn’t matter. But the more important question for the Authority: Does Tejon increase the chances of getting funding? Unfortunately, I think the answer is no, neither from Federal sources nor from any private financing. (I don’t think a private entity is going to say, “Hey, Tejon, is operationally cheaper so now we’ll fund you.”)

    synonymouse Reply:

    Tejon vastly increases the chances of getting private funding. It is the alignment an entrepreneur would select.

    Please let’s lawyer up; in California litigation is the solidest sign something is happening. Remember they have not even done a bonafide study seeking the optimum Tejon route. Start out with the best possible, sell the idea, and then work out whatever compromises are absolutely unavoidable. That’s what is obtaining at Tehachapi but the result is disappointing. You really want to blow billions on a poorly conceived and sited base tunnel that leads directly into a 90 degree curve?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Tejon vastly decreases the chance of getting private funding. The alignment an entrepreneur would select is the one with biggest ridership potential.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Depends on if there’s a net ridership increase or decrease (and operating cost cut) associated with Tejon travel time & distance savings. Might seem counterintuitive, but the 5% (or more) minimum travel time savings of Tejon could result in a ridership boost that more than offsets the Antelope Valley ridership loss.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    there’s that city that dare not speak it’s name because it’s not in California that private entrepreneurs would love to send riders to.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Show me the money, Wynn & Adelson.

    Clem Reply:

    LOL biggest ridership potential. If you’re an entrepreneur you pursue the biggest profit potential, which is not at all the same thing. Clocking up millions of low-margin commute riders is nothing compared to speeding up the ride for high-yielding long-distance passengers. There is no question that Tehachapi would generate more riders than Tejon, but there would be a large loss of profit due to lower yield per passenger.

    This is the same equation that airlines wrestle with: Revenue per Air Seat Mile (RASM) minus Cost per Air Seat Mile (CASM) equals yield. Tehachapi / Palmdale depresses RSM and increases CSM, not to mention costing $5 billion more up front to build.

    Joe Reply:

    Texas Officials wisely discriminated between the private HSR project they have with a public project.

    one is profit driven, the public project is service driven.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Very few people will be commuting from Los Angeles to that city that shouldn’t exist because it’s not in California or vice versa. Lots of Californians like to go there and they’ll pay high fares or get comp’d.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Tejon vastly increases the chances of getting private funding.”

    Do you have any evidence? Or is this just your uninformed opinion?

    Unfortunately, I don’t think either Tejon or Tehachapi will get any private interest. It’s just too expensive.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    He thinks it’s going to get less ridership than the current bus bridge. And that newspaper magnates that have been dead for decades care about it. That a senile governor is coordinating a vast conspiracy to … I’m not sure what the vast conspiracy is about … but someone who is senile is competent enough to coordinate it. He has all sorts of conspiracy theories to explain things.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Besides, I’m sure the Authority is talking to private investors, but it seems unlikely that said investors are telling the Authority that they’d prefer Tejon because if they were, the Authority would be revisiting Tejon.

    synonymouse Reply:

    PBCHSRA is not truly interested in private investors nor their opinion, which of course would be your plan is screwed.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Evidence? They keep reporting outreach efforts to private investors. Your hypothesis of what is the real goal of HSR and the Authority would seem to be contradicted by their seeming incompetence in achieving it.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Their apparent incompetence is evidence of their masterful deception covering up the vast conspiracy.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It all goes back to the abortive offer Denis Douty of SNCF made back in 2009 to the Schwarzenegger Administration to build along the I-5 including Tejon.

    The truth is, there were other private investment proposals out there, but Arnold was always trying to be too clever and package HSR investments with other export deals…etc…. Brown, as a Democrat, is far more interested in partnering with the Feds and Amtrak…but both Congress and the Governor are trying to get the other to pay for more transportation costs.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Sta. Clarita is already throwing a fit. Alternately how much Transbay tube could you get for the price of Palmdale base tunnels?

    But I guess what LA wants LA gets. They should have divided the State in the 1850’s and not split SF and San Mateo County.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Another Transbay Tube would only perpetuate the status quo – live across the bay in sprawl housing compounds, work over here in office factories counting beans. Transit commute systems create more demand for commuting than they can handle, the larger amount of commuting created only possible by driving. Works for automobile-related interests – finance, insurance, fuel, parking garage czars, radio/TV advertisment and news jockey whores disciminating lies. Locate all concrete, steel, glass in downtown SF, leave outlying communities dependently underdeveloped, and the ‘free market’ laws of supply/demand jack up the costs of living only the wealthy can afford by employing subsistence wage-slaves. Basicly, the land-use question isn’t calculated into another trans-bay tube non-solution.
    Has Grace Crunican been fired yet? Port of Portland director Bill Wyant is officially on the way out for his blatant screw-ups.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART firings are characteristically drawn out and expensive.

    Lewellan Reply:

    I warned Seattle about the terrible record she left behind as Oregon DOT chief (1990s-2000). She may have landed the City of Seattle DOT director position (2001-2009) wholly on the basis of her ability to escape justice, and may have been hired at BART for the same reason. BART honchos must have known of her miserable record of discord and half-baked transportation projects in Oregon and Seattle. She had a few boutique projects to buy fans, but Seattle’s transportation planning is in no better shape today probably because she left behind a crew of over-educated dimwits.

  8. JimInPollockPines
    Jul 29th, 2015 at 18:52
    #8

    The palmdale argument has been settled. I don’t know why it continues to receive rehashing.
    The choice for serving the antelope valley is clear and obvious. To serve the half million or more population that live or will be living there. Its not a big mystery. Its real simple.

    Clem Reply:

    It’s less settled than the ARC tunnel was before it didn’t get built. Simple as that!

    J. Wong Reply:

    Yeah, given the stuff they’re looking at because of the funding problem (Tehachapi station, IOS Gilroy to SF, Palmdale (or Tehachapi) to LAUS) it seems like they should also be revisiting Tejon.

    That said, I don’t see Tejon making it any easier to get funding so maybe that’s why they’re not looking at it.

    Joe Reply:

    Let’s reboot HSR and follow the ARC tunnel model to oblivion.

    No ARC replacement.
    All ARC funding evaporated. Not one cent for any follow on project.
    Consensus gone. Time to start over.
    If they had money and a plan, the quickest plan, would take 10 years to build.

    Let’s risk it because we need to save minutes and cut out LACounty.

    Perfection or bust.

    Randall Reply:

    Exactly. There’s a reason why Clem is nowhere near the controls of any policy or decision making related to this project. But he’ll complain about it not being perfect, loud and clear.

    synonymouse Reply:

    In the Latin sense imperfect means an ongoing process in the past and perfect something thoroughly done, complete.

    PB was screwing up then and is screwing up now.

    Palmdale is LA County’s offspring and it has to come up with child support, not the rest of the State.

    Joe Reply:

    “Palmdale is LA County’s offspring and it has to come up with child support, not the rest of the State.”

    Nice anology.
    You can’t help yourself – it’s baked in your brain like a shrink-a-dink set in the oven.

  9. JimInPollockPines
    Jul 29th, 2015 at 19:37
    #9

    city of palmdale plans

    It starts with the area around the hsr station with a goal of making a healthier city.

    Avenue Q transit corridor

    Joey Reply:

    Well, not quite plans, but plans to have plans.

  10. JimInPollockPines
    Jul 30th, 2015 at 21:17
    #10

    Has anyone seen any drawings of the palmdale station design yet ?

    Ian Mitchell Reply:

    Well, I’d say the ideal routing would have been Pleasanton/Sacramento-Tracy-Fresno-Bakersfield-Grapevine-Tejon-Santa Clarita. Blended system, buy the requisite track, through-route at LA and electrify from Santa Clarita to San Diego. from BART for initial connection to SF, build out to dumbarton crossing later.

  11. Roland
    Aug 2nd, 2015 at 18:55
    #11

    Here is Acton’s $0.02:
    http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/rural-town-hates-coming-high-speed-trains

    EJ Reply:

    Ah, poor little rural Acton. Right next to the six lanes of the Antelope Valley Freeway.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The map shown assumes the Angeles National Forest base tunnels and the curvature is not so great. Are they planning on cutting into Burbank even farther to the west?

    Sta. Clarita also sits atop a great big freeway yet it remains pugnacious, just like Acton.

    I’ll put my money on real estate developers and their corrupting influence. The little people of Acton should think about leaving the State – there is no place for their kind here.

    synonymouse Reply:

    even further to the east. sorry

    synonymouse Reply:

    If PB drew up that map, it has been sanitized and they have made the decision to go for the base tunnels.

    Peter Reply:

    The “map” in the article was most definitely not drawn up by PB or “sanitized”. Have you ever seen a map drawn by any engineering company involved in the project that used “OpenStreetMap”? They have much better tools at their disposal.

    Three straight lines, drawn straight through Acton, are not an accurate representation of any of the planned routes. Look at the maps published by the Authority.

    By the way, how are maps “sanitized”?

    J. Wong Reply:

    “By the way, how are maps “sanitized”?”

    By not showing the hell the residents in Acton would face because of the routing. :-)

  12. synonymouse
    Aug 3rd, 2015 at 12:43
    #12

    Well, I did manage to get the PB faithful’s panties all in a bunch.

    This article was clearly composed by a friend of management, ergo an ally of PBCHSRA. So where did they come up with the route depicted in the graphics they created? As far as I can conceive, they locked on to the consensus of the PB watchers, namely PB is going to sanitize the route with extravagant base tunnels. Even then the author chose to sanitize the degree of curvature at Burbank to make the DeTour not look so much like the humongous deviation it really is.

    The risk of this strategy is the enormous cost of the base tunnels, especially when these tunnels are not optimized(like eliminating the 90 degrees of curvature at Burbank)and reduce the number of potential commute stations on a regional commute line. Perhaps PB has done a political and fiscal analysis of its own and concluded this whole thing could go on extended hiatus once Jerry is gone and especially if by a longshot a Repub becomes Prez. So to maintain momentum just placate the “NIMBY’s” with extra billions and see what obtains. The developers may also not be so keen on the base tunnels which are not really necessary for adequate commute ops and cut out stops and lobby for SR-14 and to hell with the protests since Jerry supports them.

    J. Wong Reply:

    You do realize that the Angeles forest alignment tunnels do not meet the definition of a base tunnel by any stretch? (Burbank 607′ versus Palmdale 2657′.)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    What is the definition of a base tunnel? I thought it had something to do with the difference in height between the tops of the mountains and the … base… of them.

    J. Wong Reply:

    No, a base tunnel seems to be a tunnel that goes from the base of the mountains through to the base on the other side, which means there is very little change in elevation for the tunnel. The Angeles forest alignment tunnels climb 2000 feet, the Burbank portal is at the _base_ of the mountains but the Palmdale portal is 2000 feet higher at the top of the mountains (more or less).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I didn’t realize that the base of a mountain has to be at the same elevation all the way around.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “The developers may also not be so keen on the base tunnels which are not really necessary for adequate commute ops and cut out stops”

    So the developers rather than just proposing improvements to the existing commute route at a much cheaper price instead go for broke and propose HSR at a much higher price even though the latter is thereby less likely to happen. Is that a sound business strategy?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Your point is very well taken. Various cheaper improvements to the Palmdale-LA commute are the sensible approach. So why go for the DeTour? Simplest answer is the omnipotent Tejon Ranch Co. demanded it and Palmdale went along for the free ride. Wretched PB accommodated it as it only in the deal for the money and is quite willing to prostitute itself endlessly.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The only emotion for-profit corporations have is greed.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Blame where blame is due, @synon. PB does what it is told. They were told by the Authority to stop looking at Tejon so they did. If the Authority told them look again at Tejon, they would.

    My only complaint about Parsons-Brinkerhoff is that they don’t think outside the box. They do the absolute minimum per client’s request, but never come up with creative solutions to the problems, hence the Peninsula aerials.

    The problem is that for both the Authority and PB no one is pushing any imaginative solutions to the many problems in buiding HSR.

  13. synonymouse
    Aug 3rd, 2015 at 21:36
    #13

    The Authority told PB to not look at Tejon from the very beginning. All of the studies were compromised and falsified.

    Van Ark must have known that PB was against him and would not back him up.

    BART shows you what PB does and CAHSR will just be a bigger BART but without the artificial monopoly.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If the authority is just a pawn in the vast conspiracy dictating terms to PB why would the authority be afraid of PB?

  14. JimInPollockPines
    Aug 5th, 2015 at 20:50
    #14

    I’ve put just over 4000 miles on the new car in 9 days. And the mpg is averaging. 42 city highway mountain. It’s so cheap to fill up!

    If u need a cheap fuel efficient car the mirage is it!

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