ARTIC Is A Ghost Town, Proving Critics Were Correct

Oct 27th, 2015 | Posted by

Earlier this year, HBO’s True Detective shot a climactic scene for its second season at the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center – aka ARTIC, the city’s new Metrolink/Amtrak station. The scene showed a modern train station bustling with people, a perfect place for a tense conversation, or as it happened, a shootout.

But that appears to be the busiest ARTIC has ever been. Nearly a year after it opened amidst widespread criticism that it would be underused and a boondoggle for Anaheim taxpayers, many riders are bypassing the blimp hangar-style terminal and heading straight to the platform, as the Voice of OC reports:

A number of travelers told a Voice of OC reporter that the long walk through the shell – across ARTIC’s “great hall” up to the second level, onto a catwalk and back down two flights of stairs — is a journey not worth taking.

One ARTIC employee estimated that 95 percent of ARTIC’s daily commuters never set foot in the shell. The employee, who did not want her name published for fear of reprisals, said daily riders demanded the right to park their cars in a lot behind the building designated for overnight parking just so they could skip the shell and go straight to the train platform.

During his visit to ARTIC, the Voice of OC reporter watched dozens of commuters do just that. They stepped off their trains and walked straight to the back parking lot. And even some of the commuters who parked in the front lot chose to walk around the building rather than through it.

Voice of OC also published this helpful illustration of the configuration at ARTIC:

This is purely anecdotal, but when I took the Pacific Surfliner to and from Santa Ana earlier this month, I noticed a few people walking from that south lot directly to the platforms. It’s hard to tell from the tracks how many people were in ARTIC, but I didn’t see anyone on the catwalk, and overall there were fewer riders boarding there than at Fullerton or Santa Ana. Granted, that was also a weekend when service terminated at Irvine with a bus bridge to points south due to track work, so maybe what I saw was unusually low usage.

Train riders criticized the layout of the station, suggesting that it was built in a way that makes people less inclined to want to spend time inside the blimp hangar:

And the majority of the people interviewed complained that the center didn’t seem designed with them in mind. They said milling inside the building might be risky because if your train comes even a fast sprint won’t get you to the platform in time.

Kevn Cook, an MBA student at Cal State Fullerton who was taking a train from Anaheim to Irvine, said he parked in the front lot and made the journey through the shell in the morning. But on his return trip in the afternoon, he realized he could get to his car faster by walking around the shell.

“It’s quickest to walk this way,” Cook said. “It’s not like there’s any reason you have to go in there. There’s nothing to do… to basically walk up and then back down… it’s kind of like, why bother?”

A woman named Rose — who didn’t give her full name — said she takes the bus daily to ARTIC and then hops on a train for the ride home.

The problem for bus riders, Rose said, is the bus pick-up area is too far from the train platform, making it easy to miss your bus.

“They didn’t even think it through. It’s really stupid,” she said.

A man who was sitting next to her then chimed, “it’s dysfunctional!”

And according to a bicycle advocate, it’s not just busses and trains that are inconvenient at ARTIC.

Brenda Miller, founder of the non-motorized transportation group PEDal, said ARTIC is a “beautiful” building, but its bicycle racks over by the Santa Ana river are in a “creepy” location. She said a more modern bicycle friendly facility, like those in Europe, have their bicycle garages inside the center.

“It’s kind of a creepy environment out there,” Miller said. “For a cutting edge facility, it’s horribly disappointing.”

So not only is the station poorly laid out, not only is the “intermodal” part of the station poorly designed (as reflected by the above comments about buses and bikes), it’s also likely to cost Anaheim taxpayers:

If a large number of commuters continue to actively avoid the shell and the city can’t realize any significant revenue from leases, advertising and naming rights, the $4 million annual operating cost would likely come out of the city’s general fund, which is meant for core services like police and fire protection.

Currently, hoteliers covering ARTIC’s operating costs by offering revenue from a special 2 percent room tax. But that’s not expected to last forever.

This has the makings of a disaster. And it must be acknowledged, by me specifically, that there were critics who said this is exactly what would happen.

When ARTIC opened last December, Gustavo Arellano of the OC Weekly slammed the project as a wasteful boondoggle that would hurt Anaheim badly:

Critics have trashed the station’s rosy projections–10,000 passengers per day upon opening–as unrealistic. They’ve also noted that Orange County is already well-served by other, smaller stations, including a charming one in Anaheim just 1,000 feet away from ARTIC that shut down last week, made redundant by its bigger sister. But as with 19th-century boosters willing to have their town invaded by robber barons if that meant a railroad went through it, Anaheim doesn’t care about reality. They’re hitching ARTIC to two other projects already proving headaches to taxpayers that might never get built: California’s high-speed railroad and a streetcar that would connect the station to the city’s resort area….

But no one cared about this tangled web on opening day, even if reality is already rearing its inconvenient head. ARTIC has yet to fill up with tenants, and Anaheim hasn’t secured naming rights–essential to not incurring an immediate deficit, a hole that taxpayers would have to fill. But then again, creating revenue for city coffers was never the priority for ARTIC fans, and a quote by just-voted-out councilwoman–and Pringle ally–Gail Eastman in the Orange County Register last month is telling.

“I’m expecting our staff to come up with a way to pay the bill,” Eastman told reporter Art Marroquin. “Our first priority was getting the building done and getting the concession leases signed.”

My response was to defend the concept of ARTIC and the planned streetcar connection that would link ARTIC to the Disneyland resort. I pointed out that it made sense, but that Anaheim built this too soon:

If Anaheim wants to build a destination station to link ARC to Amtrak California, Metrolink, and eventually high speed rail, that’s fine by me. Anaheim believes it can generate revenue from train riders waiting for their intercity trains by putting retailers at ARTIC, and that theory is sound.

The problem is that ARTIC opened far in advance of those key connecting services, specifically ARC and HSR. So ARTIC is going to spend a few years sitting there, like the Tustin blimp hangars on which it is modeled, feeling empty and underused. That won’t last. But it will give fodder to Pringle critics.

Nearly a year later, it’s clear that the situation is much worse, and that ARTIC has serious design flaws. Arellano and the other critics were absolutely right about the problems with this station and I have to conclude that Anaheim made a significant error opening this station so far in advance of HSR and connecting streetcar service.

ARTIC – at least in theory, leaving aside the flawed layout – works when it serves as a transportation hub for people connecting to or from the Disneyland resort to points beyond. Families, holiday travelers, people with a long trip ahead, people who will probably arrive at the station 30 to 60 minutes before their train departs. Los Angeles Union Station is a good example of this.

But since those connecting services don’t yet exist, ARTIC is pointless for the current services that use it. It’s a commuter rail station that also does some service for regional rail and for baseball games. Those riders don’t really have much use for the blimp hangar. A platform with some covered areas is fine. While I still believe that Anaheim can generate revenues from concessions and rents inside the blimp hangar, they are highly unlikely to do so before the ARC streetcar project and/or HSR reaches ARTIC. And that could be as much as a decade away.

I wonder what the cost would be to simply mothball the blimp hangar until those connecting services are built. Would that be a lower cost to the city than leaving it open but underused?

This is a bad situation for Anaheim. Anaheim leaders who pushed for ARTIC to be built this early have also done a disservice to passenger rail advocacy in Southern California generally speaking. The city was wrong to build and open this when they did, and the example of ARTIC will surely be used by rail critics to attack other, smarter, more useful projects. Those attacks won’t stick, but it also won’t help to have to deal with them.

ARTIC’s failure isn’t that Southern Californians don’t ride trains. They do, as anyone riding a packed Surfliner or seeing the huge crowds at LA Union Station knows. ARTIC’s failure is that it should have been built when the ARC and HSR were ready to deliver the passengers that would make use of the amenities inside the blimp hangar. Even a smaller building, like at Santa Ana or Fullerton or Santa Barbara, with a waiting area, ticketing, and a small concession stand would have made sense. One could have built a temporary structure while awaiting the ARC and HSR.

But that didn’t happen, thanks largely to the influence of Curt Pringle, and now Anaheim is stuck with a train station that is going to be underused for some time to come. It’s cold comfort to know that someday, once HSR and the streetcar arrive, ARTIC will see the riders that were planned. But for now, it seems the only way to get a lot of people inside ARTIC is to bring a TV crew.

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  1. Boris
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 10:59
    #1

    Seems to me there is also a big problem with those who are designing a station for transit users, themselves not being transit users. OC is a hard nut to crack, so you have to get it right.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    I think it was designed for people going to and from the Disneyland resort, who might want to stop and eat at a restaurant while waiting for their train to San Francisco or San Diego or Santa Barbara. But those aren’t the people using the station. So they didn’t take all users into account, appear to have seen Metrolink riders and bus riders and bike riders as afterthoughts, and now they have an empty train station that they should not have built this early.

    calwatch Reply:

    It’s poor design to have a station that requires walking up 30 feet (for track clearances) and then down again, when you can just exit down the ramp and never enter the station. The distance from escalators inside to the platforms is a football field long. Stations that have a similar design where the concourse is over the tracks, like Kansas City, have a much shorter distance from the station to the tracks.

    Overall this is an attempt to make train travel like air travel, which people have complained about in places like Washington, New York, and Portland. Train travel needs to be its own mode, and emphasize the convenience of just boarding with minimal queuing or walking through grandiose stations that serve little purpose.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    calwatch, dead right. This is yet another black eye for transportation and transit advocates.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Agreed. I’m a big fan of the Santa Ana station, which is much better and more rider-friendly in its layout than ARTIC – though getting to the northbound track is not as easy as it should be.

    Though I noticed the restaurant in the station had closed, which is too bad.

    Eric Reply:

    Also, it’s another case of a politician spending a ton money to make a memorial to himself, like the World Trade Center stegosaurus.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “it’s another case of a politician spending a ton money to make a memorial to himself”

    The Legacy Syndrome.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Portland’s MAX to PDX terminal stop is mere steps away (about 30′) from the entry to the luggage retrieval area at ground level, a floor below check-in. Seattle’s Link LRT, OTOH, provides a frickin map to get from the Link station around the dark, desolate parking garage to the terminal, (about 300′).
    Oh, but Seattle is a sacrosanct silicon hq where PR adoration over it being a global nerve center never ends.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Are you talking about the connection between International District link station and King Street Amtrak station? Keep in mind that one has to cross a major street and the tracks to get between those two stations. I agree the connection is not optimal but ST and Amtrak have done a good job working with the situation.

    Lewellan Reply:

    I’m talking about airport LRT stations – my reply to calwatch’s “(Artic) is an attempt to make train travel like air travel, which people complain about in places like Portland.” The MAX stop at Portland International, aka PDX, is an ideal airport station. Nobody seriously complains about MAX PDX. OTOH, no legitimate complaint about Seattle is allowed a discussion. IMO, Sound Transit has produced the nation’s worst performing new rail starts – Link LRT, streetcar, Sounder commuter-rail – and
    Seattle’s Metro is among the worst transit agencies, nevermind the effusive PR drivel.
    I figure Seattle Microsoft and Silicon Valley are the same techno-fix crowd, drunk on power.
    As for the Seattle’s Link International Station access to/from Amtrak, it ain’t that good, typical Seattle.

    Sierrajeff Reply:

    That was my first reaction on seeing the pictured plat – why didn’t they just build the concourse / station above the tracks, as you might see in Europe (or NYC, Chicago, etc.)?

    Nathanael Reply:

    Indeed. For a minor station, the station house is small and right next to the tracks.

    For a major station, it is normal to put the station directly over, or directly under, the tracks. Not off to one side.

    Sure, sometimes you have to put it off to one side somewhat (for instance if it’s between two different sets of tracks, or between the tracks and the bus stop) and that’s OK, but you put the station in the *center* of people’s walking paths, not hundreds of feet out of people’s way. The ARTIC station isn’t located at, well, the station…

  2. bixnix
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 11:51
    #2

    The up-and-down problem could be fixed if the tracks were lowered and the station and Douglass was at grade over them. Well, this can’t be done because of the freeway on one side and the river on the other. It could’ve been done when the station was on the west side of the freeway. I hope the additional ridership from the Honda Center makes up for a kneecapped station.

  3. Alex
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 12:10
    #3

    Robert, you might want to include the following view from google streetview. https://goo.gl/hcn29E

    It is a view from the highway next to the station. But it shows the problem a lot better than the overhead photo you have. You can see the small parking lot on the right, with the quick ramp up to the platform.

    You can also see the bus stops, and the exit to the ARTIC building. It is easier to see why people complain I think.

    JJJJ Reply:

    It appears that there are no escalators? Youd have to pay me to walk up that mountain of stairs when I could just stay at street level

  4. Eric M
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 12:41
    #4

    A nice letter to the editor by Paul Dyson in the Los Angeles Times:

    To the editor: I’m sure readers are shocked by the revelation that building a modern electric railroad system is difficult and challenging.

    Will deadlines be missed? Quite possibly. Will some sections cost more than estimated? Also likely.

    But do high-speed rail opponents have an alternative that delivers the capacity of a modern passenger railroad without the pollution and land use? No; in fact, they are noticeably silent when it comes to alternatives.

    The 5 Freeway has 14 lanes between the 170 and 118 freeways. How many will be enough? Have the new Sepulveda Pass lanes solved the 405 Freeway’s problem? How many more flights from Burbank and LAX will be needed?

    The California High-Speed Rail Authority plans test boring to ascertain the facts about the geology. We should wait for those results instead of rushing to judgment.

    Joe Reply:

    Right on!!

    A new 880-101 highway interchange in the Bay Area will cost CA 1 billion.

    Lewellan Reply:

    One theory to determine the optimal number of freeway lanes: THREE LANES MAXIMUM.
    More than 3 lanes nearly always creates a growing demand for more lanes.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Correct: there’s no significant benefit to having more than 3 general-purpose lanes each direction on a freeway. (This doesn’t count exit ramp approaches, entrance ramp approaches, bus lanes, etc.)

    A similar theory for local roads says one “through” driving lane each way, one left turn lane each way, one right turn lane each way, one parking lane each way, and that’s the maximum which is reasonable for cars.

    If you add more lanes, you generate weaving which reduces capacity.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Beyond road/freeway capacity and function, transportation and land-use planning go hand-in-hand. If the land-use pattern developed is single-use ‘housing compounds’ isolated from occupations, institutions, small business retail and public amenities – ie suburban sprawl – walking and bicycling is unsafe and inconvenient, mass transit is impractical, and driving becomes the only travel option for all purposes even as growing traffic makes driving insufferable.

    Call me crazy, but this is basicly why I call light rail an ‘anti-commute’ transit system. In order to fill seats in both directions and at all hours of operation, station area development designed to complement single-use housing brings services closer to these neighborhoods and attracts ridership from other areas. The shorter the routine trips taken, the less time spent commuting, the more time spent riding transit off-rush hours in both directions of travel. Redevelopment potential is ‘astounding’ once the realization that we cannot continue driving nearly so much is widely held. Moreover, the self-driving car, if it were technologically possible, which it isn’t, will only make traffic worse. Google car my butt.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Last week’s episode of “Minority Report” opened with a drug-addled suspect disconnecting his self-driving function, for fun. Expecting all cars to get out of the way automatically, he and his passenger roared with laughter as they drove in the opposite direction through the on-coming lanes watching vehicles lurch out of the way. Predictably, the car’s on-screen computer then displayed an officer informing him that he was “A threat to public safety” and that self-driving operation was restored and apprehension imminent. The suspect felt his right to drive was being violated. Love that.

  5. Jerry
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 13:01
    #5

    Fresno. Please take note.
    Bakersfied. Please take note.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Seriously. Better design can go a long way in avoiding the ARTIC mess.

  6. EJ
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 14:33
    #6

    I don’t really understand why it would get more use even when HSR gets there. It’s still awkwardly situated and far away from the tracks. I watched that thing get built and it never made sense. The old one was an ugly little AmShack but it was convenient and it worked fine – if they really felt they needed something nicer they could have just knocked it down and built a better-looking building.

    Compare it to Irvine, which isn’t exactly breathtaking from an architectural standpoint, but the passenger facilities, drop off lanes, bus terminal, and parking are all nicely and conveniently integrated.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    The difference is that HSR would bring a different type of traveler – one who is more willing, and perhaps has more need, to sit in a station and purchase things from retailers.

    ARTIC makes sense when HSR gets there and when there’s a transfer to connecting rail. Right now, it’s just way too early. It shouldn’t have been built yet.

    And that’s even before we get to the design flaws at ARTIC, which might be fixable.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Look, this isn’t an airport. HSR (like today’s commuters) are not going to hang around the station for hours and hours waiting for their scheduled train departure.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    That’s true, people aren’t going to hang out for hours, but even 30 minutes would be enough to generate business at the retailers in the station.

    JJJJ Reply:

    Hours? No. But if you just paid $150 for a ticket to SF youre not going to arrive 5 minutes early. Youre going to pad in plenty of time so you dont miss your train.

    Joe Reply:

    Retail means routing everyone around the station to see the retail and impulse buy.

    Designing stations as retail is exactly what ARTIC tried. Maybe when the weather fouls they’ll see some use.

    I’m personally not interested in paying a premium for a station retail shopping or dining at a HSR station. Parking will be expensive so this isn’t going to work for the community.

    Prioritize space for Bus and auto drop off right at the station and put the shops elsewhere. Small 7-11 like store inside will do most people well. A bistro/ sandwich shop and over priced coffee shops for most and t-shirt nic-knack Shop for the Tourists.

    If this is to be a fast and convenient system for affordable travel the stations need to support that intent.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Station retail, if done properly, is both extremely effective and a boon to passengers.

    Station retail done improperly, of course, may be this… ><

    Joe Reply:

    How so?

    Give some examples given we have a society that offers 8am to 10pm shopping. No days off.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Huh? I live in Japan, where half the rail stations in the country are crammed to the gills with retail of pretty much every imaginable description… Said retail is hugely, crazily, popular… (and the rents are no doubt accordingly high, so it has to be popular)

    OTOH, they know what they’re doing.

    EJ Reply:

    Some big Japanese stations are effectively shopping malls, though, right? In that they are shopping/dining destinations in of themselves, regardless of the transportation function?

    I don’t have experience with Japan, but I’m thinking of St Pancras in London, where people go there to have a drink or have a meal even when they’re not traveling, or Grand Central, which is one of the top tourist destinations in NYC, even though most visitors aren’t going there to catch a train.

    EJ Reply:

    Unless it’s an architectural gem like Grand Central in NYC or St Pancras in London, where the station becomes a destination even for people who aren’t taking a train, or where you’ve got a situation like Zurich where Swiss laws close most retail establishments on Sunday but let those in train stations stay open, betting on retail to make the station worthwhile seems like a bad plan.

    Look, this isn’t an airport. HSR (like today’s commuters) are not going to hang around the station for hours and hours waiting for their scheduled train departure.

    Right, isn’t that a major selling point of HSR vs. air travel? That you don’t have to dick around for an hour or two before boarding but can just show up a few minutes before departure and get on your train?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Robert’s analysis is a little uneven this time.

    Yes, ARTIC is the fantasy palace of Former Republican Assembly Speaker (and Anaheim Mayor) Curt Pringle. (In other words, someone not getting Christmas cards from Robert.) But it’s not just about anchoring into the ground a station for Orange County, but also assuring that Anaheim has the inside track (no pun intended) for these types of transit investments within Orange County because Disney controls the Anaheim City Council. I mean, uh, Disney “influences” the Anaheim Council and knows that the balkanized nature of Orange County makes the competition between cities very stiff.

    No, you can’t really pass judgement on ARTIC until the Anaheim Streetcar project is done and starts to act as a feeder system to it. I’m not holding my breath for some gigantic transformation, but no one is really expecting HSR to rely only on park and ride customers. Right now, Anaheim Regional Transit has one bus that runs every 20 minutes to Disneyland and no other direct options. Factor in the service changes once OCTA takes over the Surfliner, and we are a long way from knowing how popular ARTIC could be when the stars align.

    Furthermore, the biggest liability to ARTIC isn’t it’s actual architectural design, but that it makes the job of building more light rail in Orange County that much more difficult because of its geographical location. It only makes sense if you are the City of Anaheim trying to maximize revenue for Disney and absolutely no sense if you are trying to create some sort of logical transportation plan for the OC.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Personally I think ARTIC is poorly located, poorly designed, and built too early. I suspect you are right about the motivations to build it this soon – a stake in the ground. I still believe that once ARC and HSR are built, ARTIC will do OK, but that’s no justification for having built it so far ahead of time – or having built it poorly.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    No one has yet mentioned the possibility that Anaheim may have no choice but to either mothball ARTIC – or, tear it down and start over, THIS TIME doing it right!

    Our country is terribly backward when it comes to planning major public projects. We have lost interest in public spaces – our interest is in the private sector, the result of which our best minds, thinkers and planners have NOT paid much if any attention to good design in public infrastructure (with the possible exception of highways and airports) for several generations.

    How can we expect to plan and build well-thought-out public facilities (which ARTIC most assuredly is proving not to be) when we’ve become so indifferent to our public spaces? ARTIC is nothing but a ginormous white-elephant monument to one man’s overbearing egocentricity. It’s a very sad testament to how seriously Anaheim messed up its chance to create a meaningful and lasting work of civic architecture.

    Robert is being overly generous and kind to this monument to bad design and planning in his hope that it will come into its own in a few years. My guess is – in the end – that ARTIC will likely be torn down and replaced by something far simpler and more friendly to all its users.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    That could well happen. The main thing we didn’t even get into in this article is whether ARTIC is even in the right location. Hemmed in between the 57 and the Santa Ana River is an odd place to be. Putting it on the other side of the freeway, in the north corner of the Angels Stadium lot, would make more sense. But that would also get in the way of the city’s longstanding desire (as well as that of Arte Moreno) to develop the parking lot. Sigh.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Easy access to good transportation makes real estate more valuable.

    Steven H Reply:

    Exactly. Which is why you want your good transportation to be somewhere near real estate to make valuable.

    The old location was surrounded by something that looks suspiciously like real estate… The new location, on the other hand, is encased in a freeway and something that looks like a freeway, but is called a “river.” Then they took the largest plot of real estate near the railroad tracks (where some might build buildings) and built a big bubble of a head house right in the middle of the lot, leaving no space for anything. And they surrounded that head house with a big donut moat of bus bays… though it only looks like they managed to get 9 or 10 bus bays out of an area that we east coasters would put 15 or 16. Once you get past all of that, and that completely uneccesary plaza north of the station, then you finally get a good chunk of contiguous developable land… but it’s already been deemed too far away to even use as a parking lot. Because stairs. Plus the weather sucks out there or something.

    I’m sure that everything will work out eventually. But do they really need that plaza? Because people kinda normally build stuff near their train stations.

    Jerry Reply:

    Adirondacker – “Easy access to good transportation makes real estate more valuable.”
    Please tell that to the people in PAMPA.
    ALL the real estate near the SF peninsula ROW has gone UP. Way UP.

    Joe Reply:

    Jerry

    PAMPA residents live close to the high paying jobs so their property is priced high. They need transit for the workers and city services.

    J. Wong Reply:

    “Easy access to good transportation makes real estate more valuable.”

    In San Francisco it is true: Neighborhoods that had tech’ bus access during the last recession (2008) didn’t lose money because of the demand by employees of the tech’ companies (think Google) to purchase in those neighborhoods.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The main thing we didn’t even get into in this article is whether ARTIC is even in the right location. Hemmed in between the 57 and the Santa Ana River is an odd place to be. Putting it on the other side of the freeway, in the north corner of the Angels Stadium lot, would make more sense.

    It’s definitely in the right place if you are worried about Irvine or Santa Ana stealing your God-given right to be the transportation hub of Orange County, Southern California, and Planet Earth!

    In all seriousness, the City of Anaheim says it has “big plans” for the Platinum Quadrant, A-Town, or whatever else they call it. But as you know, while there’s lot of car-dependent tourist draws, there’s no solid urban grid to build around. And as you of all people know, that is the knock on the OC throughout.

    Zorro Reply:

    I sure don’t like Artics layout at all, if one is disabled that is a long ways to walk, too long for some, Arctic should have been built over the tracks, any shops should be located between Artics inner wall and parallel to the tracks, with a wide walkway between the shops and the tracks, with the catwalk to link both sides with. The parking should have been as short a walk as possible and the bus stop should be right outside the stations doors to the parking lot and yes bicycle parking/garages should be inside arctic, the layout of arctic as presently built, is terrible… Short of moving sidewalks like at LAX(in Arctic and on the catwalk), I don’t see anyone wanting to walk thru that piece of crap as designed, that looks like someone wanted something pretty, but not terribly useful.

    Nathanael Reply:

    When I saw the original renderings for ARTIC I actually *assumed* that the “blimp” was going to be built over the tracks, “trainshed” style. Because that was the only logical way to interpret the design.

    What they actually built is just silly. Convert it into a hotel and it would become a hotel connected to the train station. The train station itself is the platforms, the overpass, and the stairs & elevators.

    Jerry Reply:

    That’s what I assumed also. Even in the 60s, Disney, in Florida’a DisneyWorld, built a hotel over their Monorail which had a stop inside the hotel.

    Jerry Reply:

    With parking under the station, and escalators taking you to the platform you want, what more do you want?
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasant/3813998635
    The subject of train stations will come up again and again.
    Blogs such as this should be loaded with examples of what exists around the world so local denizens know what options are available. And require designers to do better than ARTIC.

  7. Phantom Commuter
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 15:29
    #7

    Guess what ? ARTIC is a microcosim of what CHSRA has done in gold plating HSR in California. It’s an omen.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    ARTIC was and is a City of Anaheim thing. CHSRA had nothing to do with it, and they are making much smarter decisions than Anaheim.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    Kind of

    http://www.calhsr.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/conflict-timeline32.bmp
    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/brdmeetings/2010/May/brdmtg050510_agenda4_OC_MOU.pdf

    http://voiceofoc.org/2010/12/pringle-blasted-high-speed-rail-engineers-in-emails/

    Anyway, I am glad you are bringing up this topic – this is one where it was obvious even at the time that the numbers had no basis in fact and were just being used to justify a project. Anyone who was a critic was a “naysayer” – and important feedback about design, scale and phasing was seen as impediments to the project.

    The argument we have made (and continue to make) is that our current method of allocating transpo $$ needs to be fixed. We are spending too much money on the wrong projects in the wrong places at the wrong time.

    Our experience has been that many people who work on these projects feel the same way – they just don’t know how to get off the hamster wheel of “pay to play”, which has become a critical part of funding campaigns to raise the sales taxes / bond measures.

    Joe Reply:

    Your argument is Not In My Back Yard. The Trench and other expensive proposals including more delays in planning and starting over all waste money for Palo Alto yet never get criticized.

    As for Anaheim, people are using the station stop but bye passing ARTIC.

    The lesson is that rail stations can be smaller, less complex and still be functional. Not to assume retail will cover station coats.

    Possibly Palo Alto Will reconsider the impact of a modest HSR station.

    synonymouse Reply:

    After PAMPA’s experience with PB I doubt they would want to try to negotiate a station.

    Once again they would have to hire their own engineers, lobbyists and lawyers just to be able to put up a decent fight.

    PRE Reply:

    I hope the plan at PA is not to tear down the great deco building that’s there now. Widening the platforms would be nice but other than that not much would need to be done.

    ragingduck Reply:

    A no-risk assertion. If you’re right, you get to say “I told you so.” If you’re wrong, no one will remember, least of all you.

  8. Car(e)-free LA
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 17:14
    #8

    Actually, in a way I think it was wise to built it now. Much cheaper and more efficient to get it done now, rather than wait until HSR reaches it. It is something China has done well. Build it before the come so when they finally do…it won’t be gridlock. Lets just hope that CAHSR prioritizes building Palmdale to Ameheim, so we could have express Palmdale-Burbank-LAUS-Aneheim Metrolink service. (The ideal sequence of CAHSR construction would be Merced-Bakersfield, Palmdale-Aneheim, San Jose or Gilroy-San Francisco, Bakersfield-Palmdale, Chowchilla-Gilroy/San Jose.) And honestly….the ARC isn’t the most efficient transportation solution. What would be ideal would be an extension of Metrorail service on the West Santa Ana Branch Line from Stanton to ARTIC via Disneyland. Eventually, it would make sense to extend the Crenshaw line from Torrance to Long Beach, through a subway to CSULB, and to Stanton, and ARTIC.

  9. Car(e)-free LA
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 17:19
    #9

    Someday, the entirety of the parking between Honda Center should be buried under TOD…that would really improve the area and bost ridership. And since I seem to be on a transit fantasy streak, I would like to the entirety of the 57 removed south of the 91, with the 91, 22, 5, and 55 widened to 5 or 6 general puropse lanes with 2 express lanes to absorb the traffic. Then the area once occuped could be replaced with parklands, walkable streets, transit, and TOD. Now wouldn’t that be nice.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    I’m down for all of this.

  10. orulz
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 19:08
    #10

    Why the heck would they build a train station so far from the tracks? It boggles the mind. They should have built the blimp hangar over the top of the tracks. Could it be moved?

    AGTMADCAT Reply:

    When I saw a few initial sketches, I thought that’s what they’d done – built a big fancy shell over the tracks. I thought the criticisms of them overbuilding were silly. But now I see that they built the shell not just not over (or even adjacent to) the tracks, but they built it perpendicular to them. I have no idea what they could have been thinking. Have these people never seen a European mainline terminal before? This is a solved problem.

    Aarond Reply:

    >Have these people never seen a European mainline terminal before? This is a solved problem.

    Of course not. Don’t be silly here, the people that designed it probably haven’t ridden a train in their entire life.

    Nathanael Reply:

    When I saw the sketches (way back when) I also assumed they’d built a fancy shell over the tracks, because THAT IS HOW YOU BUILD A TRAIN STATION.

    What they actually built boggles my mind.

    EJ Reply:

    Given the weather in Southern California, trainsheds are superfluous. So long as you’ve got some form of climate-controlled shelter on the platform and a few carlengths of covered platform for the few cold and/or rainy days, you’re fine.

    EJ Reply:

    I mean, if Boston can function without a trainshed, Anaheim should be fine.

  11. Donk
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 19:20
    #11

    OC is never going to get rail like, just like VTA is never going to get rail right. Same sprawl problems. Same dumb-ass transit planners.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Unfortunately, the OC is getting rail whether we like it or not. Threading HSR from Vegas to LA through Anaheim for example, is just too lucrative.

    Like VTA though, the problem is that all the incorporated cities fight over stations instead of finding the highest ridership. You are right about that.

  12. Donk
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 19:24
    #12

    I don’t agree that they built this too early. The timing is not an issue at all. The only issue is that the designers didn’t even consider that it would be be a Metrolink (commuter)-only station for the first 10+ years of its life. It was always obvious from the early drawings that the tracks should have gone thru or immediately adjacent to the station, and that forcing passengers to go up and the down stairs was just not going to be viable.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    They built it too early because the financial plan intended using station concession and rent revenues to pay operating costs, which aren’t materializing because the kinds of riders using the station aren’t interested in sticking around. Or maybe they might be if the station design were better.

    Nathanael Reply:

    If the curvy shell were a *trainshed* and the retail was all on a platform *directly over the tracks*, the concessions would be successful.

    Think… well… think Trenton, NJ, if you’ve ever been to the Trenton Transit Center. You go up from the platform (there are three) into a big, broad hallway *lined* with concessions from end to end. Even if you’re just changing from platform 1 to platform 4, you walk past multiple stores. If you are going to the bus stop or the RiverLine, you walk past more stores before going out the front door to the bus loop and the light rail stop. Same thing if you’re heading for the taxi stand, which is on the other side.

    This is a really standard design. If you plant the station right on top of the tracks, then if there is more than one platform, everyone walks through it at least once on a round trip. You can do the same thing by putting the station under the tracks, though I can’t think of a good example off the top of my head.

    EJ Reply:

    You can do the same thing by putting the station under the tracks, though I can’t think of a good example off the top of my head.

    The new Vienna Hauptbahnhof is built this way. Also Berlin, partly. And the Eurostar tracks at London St Pancras. The nice thing about putting the station under the tracks (more or less the way the old Anaheim station was) is that, especially given the very tall North American loading gauge, the vertical distance between the station and the platform can be less than if the station is above the tracks.

  13. datacruncher
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 19:35
    #13

    This post looks like good timing for this info.

    I was looking for news or construction updates from the Fresno area and ran across this instead.
    http://fresnostationdistrict.org/

    There was a public workshop there on October 14 to discuss two station area planning alternatives currently under development (I don’t think I’ve seen the info posted here). One scenario is medium intensity the other high intensity.
    Presentation PowerPoints
    http://fresnostationdistrict.org/about_files/Presentation%20from%20Fresno%20Station%20District%20Open%20House%20-%20October%2014,%202015.pdf
    Workshop Display Boards with more detail
    http://fresnostationdistrict.org/about_files/Display%20Boards%20from%20Fresno%20Station%20District%20Open%20House%20-%20October%2014,%202015.pdf

    Glancing over the two pdfs, it looks like based on the project EIR/EIS Fresno anticipates the station will initially open with large areas of surface parking. Fresno wants to see those lots replaced by mid-rise buildings and garages. How long that would take will likely depend upon local market demand and finances.

    It appears intermodal facilities (bus, rental car, etc.) are shifted from the east side to the west side which places it 2 blocks from Highway 99. I also notice a fairly decent amount of open space (parks and plazas) in both alternatives along with changes (street reopenings) in the street grid.

    The east side plans call for hotels/commercial/office/residential close to the station leading into the existing downtown development. The west side plans look to me like lower intensity, mixed use buildings.

    They also call for the station building design to “respect the character and scale” of the adjacent 1889 Queen Anne style Southern Pacific station and the 1917 Pullman shed building.

    It looks like those with comments about the plans can submit them via a link at the bottom of the the first link or send them to the project contact listed on that page.

    Travis D Reply:

    Looks good. I don’t see any of the problems with Artic being repeated.

  14. Brian_FL
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 19:35
    #14

    Here in Florida, All Aboard Florida is building 3 stations with varying amounts of TOD. None of the under construction statons have the issues seen at ARTIC. The stations are being integrated with bus, light rail and other transportation services at each location. They are aggressively pursuing marketing agreements with cruise lines and international airlines from my understanding. The Orlando airport station also will connect to the North Terminal via an automated people mover similar to the ones existing at Orlando, Miami and in Tampa. The system will be operational by early 2017. They have recently announced that upon start of initial service, AAF will look at expansion to Jacksonville and/or Tampa.

    http://www.allaboardflorida.com/stations/west-palm-beach

    http://www.allaboardflorida.com/stations/fort-lauderdale

    http://www.allaboardflorida.com/stations/miami-central

    https://www.facebook.com/sunrailriders/videos/1697858047113855/

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Brian,
    Sorry, but AAF is even worse:

    Because the AAF service will be an ‘all reserved service,’ ticketed customers will pass through a control gate to gain access to the vertical circulation leading to the secure ‘ticketed passengers only’ spaces. In all cases, passengers will not be allowed access to the station platforms until approximately 4 or 5 minutes before departure of an arriving train. Train departure and arrival information will be electronically updated both in the public ticketing/information area, as well as in the secure waiting room and Business Class lounge. Access to the platform will be provided by means of two escalator/stair pairs and ADA compliant elevators, controlled by an AAF usher in the secure waiting room.

    Donk Reply:

    Hopefully the passengers revolt and force AAF to open up the platforms.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    I wish so too! But I’m afraid this is driven by lawyers and threat of litigation if someone falls off the platform. This is Florida you know! Lol

    Nathanael Reply:

    The overcrowding will cause AAF to change their policies very quickly.

    The way it’s done normally is that there is a gate into “ticketed passengers only” space. But you can go in *any time*. And that’s what they’re going to change to. Making everyone queue up 5 minutes before arrival will cause train delays. So after being complete moronic idiots for a few weeks, they’ll fix it by letting ticketed passengers in at any time before the train.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    AAF is not a commuter rail operation. AAF is doing this in order to separate itself from the coming TriRail Coastal Link commuter rail service that will use the same stations. How does making passengers wait in an air conditioned room in FL for a once an hour train make it worse? You don’t understand who AAF is marketing their service to. Explain how the info you presented makes it worse than ARTIC? None of the AAF stations requires that you walk 300+ feet to get to the train platform. With AAF, the waiting area is moments away from the platform that you will be boarding from. In my opinion, the setup that AAF is building is superior to anything seen in this country for long distance rail. Unlike Amtrak, you have an assigned seat that you can select when purchasing the ticket -just like on the airlines.

    I suppose that ARTIC and it’s long elevated walkway structure and lousy parking access is ideal in your world. Come to Florida in about 16 months to experience what is being built here.

    Donk Reply:

    Is this map of the FL network correct?

    http://s1344.photobucket.com/user/Gusiluz1/media/Florida-Rail-Future-Commuter-Streetcar-Tri-Rail-All-Aboard-MetroRail-2_zpsea325375.jpg.html

    If they have existing rail lines in these corridors, then what the hell has been FL been doing for the last 20 years? Why did they waste their time with the Orlando-Tampa HSR line when they could have done this first? Who is to blame for this failure?

    Brian_FL Reply:

    Yes that map is correct and represents the latest updates along with future build outs of AAF and Sunrail. Here in Tampa, CSX has just agreed to be open to selling it’s local freight lines to FDOT for future commuter rail between Tampa/Clearwater/St Pete.

    The dashed orange lines represent where AAF will go in the next 10 years or so. The future for passenger rail is actually quite good here in Florida.

    Blame goes to the politicians. HSR should have always been Miami to Orlando first. Then to Tampa, just like AAF Wil be doing. It took a private entity (FECI) to do what our politicians have failed to do.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but if passengers must wait in a “secure waiting room controlled by ushers,” that sounds like it means they’re not allowed to wait on the platform… which (besides sounding kind of sinister and TSA-security-theater-control-freaky) means there’s going to be extra time required while passengers shuffle off to their car; train platforms are long and need time to traverse, especially for those in not the best of shape (i.e., Americans).

    I’m guessing AAF will have … lengthy … dwell times….

    Brian_FL Reply:

    No worse than Amtrak on the NEC. I’ve used BWI and Newark stations a lot in the past 10 years and most people in the winter wait until 5 minutes or less before their train arives to go to the platform. I’m sure that with AAF, riders will be able to figure the signage out and get to the correct spots on the platform. How lengthy can the level boarding process be? It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes for most passengers to walk the 400ft maximum distance. AAF trains will be no longer than 900ft long.

    It is my belief that AAF was directed by DHS to incorporate certain security measures. I don’t agree with all of this but it smells of government involvement. If AAF has to do this, I’m certain that CA HSR will be facing the same requirements.

    Aarond Reply:

    >I’m certain that CA HSR will be facing the same requirements.

    I’m not so sure. I suspect CADOT will run CAHSR, and I don’t see their established practices changing for better or for worse. AAF is all new and the NEC services DC, NYC and Boston so “security” is more of a concern there.

    Brian_FL Reply:

    I only say that as having talked to individuals with the AAF project that is pretty much what they implied. I’m not sure if it’s a recommendation or a policy guideline for new rail systems.

    Nathanael Reply:

    If this is DHS bullshit, the correct reaction is to ban DHS from the property and tell them to go to hell. DHS has no legal jurisdiction to push bullshit and if they’re trying to harass train operators, it’s important to tell them to go to hell and arrest them if they show up on the property to harass people.

    Jerry Reply:

    AAF is being developed by Florida East Coast Industries (FECI). Owned by private equity funds.
    The AAF station complex being built in Miami is on land FECI has owned for years. The AAF train will bring people right into a station complex similar to the San Francisco Trans Bay Terminal.
    If CAHSR owned the land and was building the Trans Bay Terminal you might have a different story about stations and HSR in California.

    Nadia Reply:

    @Brian – Can you point me to a better map than this one on where the train will be in South Florida? http://www.allaboardflorida.com/docs/aaf/default-document-library/all-aboard-florida-miami-to-orlando-route-map.pdf?sfvrsn=2

    Brian_FL Reply:

    That map you link to is pretty decent. If you want track plans then the FRA website has pdf files for the whole route as part of the FEIS documentation. The route uses the existing FECR railway up until Cocoa then follows the Beachline Toll road west until it gets to the Orlando airport. The major maintenance facility will be south of the Orlando airport station. In the same spot the cancelled HSR project planned to use for their base.

  15. Donk
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 20:33
    #15

    As I mentioned in the last thread, the El Monte Metrolink/Busway station is another example of complete failure.

    http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/general-news/20151026/metro-studies-relocating-el-monte-metrolink-station-to-nearby-bus-station

  16. Jerry
    Oct 27th, 2015 at 23:35
    #16

    Up to 1,400 new jobs in Palmdale.
    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-air-force-contract-stealth-bomber-20151027-story.html
    Hardly a whimper will be raised about the cost of all of this.

  17. Aarond
    Oct 28th, 2015 at 07:21
    #17

    It’s the same issue the new WTC PATH station in New York City has, it’s starcitecture designed to be pretty first and functional second.

    It’s hilarious that far simpler stations, such as Emeryville or Sacramento, accomplish what ARTIC does but much better and for a fraction of the cost. The focus on stations should be on the trains, and getting people to and from them. Not making some grandiose structure that will cost billions to build and maintain. Amtrak Amshacks aren’t sexy, but they get the job done and inexpensively so. That should be the goal here.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Ah yes – Sacramento is another great example of a station that gets the job done in a sensible way while also serving as a local landmark, with art and a good rider experience.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Sarcasm?

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Stupidity.

    Aarond Reply:

    Sacramento and Emeryville, while not pretty, do the job they are intended to do. Sacramento in particular is close to downtown and there’s a connection right there to light rail. It’s not ideal, and there’s a freeway built over it, but it’s modest and accomplishes what it needs to accomplish.

    Aarond Reply:

    Welp, I just actually read up on the station’s woes now. When I take the CC into the area I usually deboard farther up in Rocklin or Auburn, not Sacramento itself.

    That’s unfortunate that they have so many issues with what should otherwise be a no-brainer. Of course, Sacramento also has a ten lane ground level freeway going down it’s waterfront and downtown.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    He probably hasn’t visited in a while…

    Nathanael Reply:

    I assume Robert is referring to the *former* Sacramento station before they screwed it up by moving the platforms a bajillion miles away from the ticketing.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Come on, it’s not that bad. It was better before the platforms were moved so far away, I’ll agree there.

    Peter Reply:

    It’s bad enough that ridership declined significantly during/after construction, IIRC.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    the construction is going to continue… forever. But it has nothing to do with the railroad. The city of sacramento is just completely dysfuntional. The lobby was undergoing renovation for years, and now its closed completely for who knows how many more years for complete restoration. I don’t know what the city rulers are thinking. or if they are thinking.

  18. Eric M
    Oct 28th, 2015 at 09:23
    #18

    Bullet train project actually on track

    Bullet train project actually on track

    Re “Bullet train likely to miss budget, deadline targets” (Page 3A, Oct. 25): A recent report on the California high-speed rail gave readers a dramatic but false impression of where our program stands in terms of costs and technical hurdles. In truth, we are making steady progress. Work is underway on the over 100-mile rail segment in the Central Valley, with over $2 billion in construction contracts executed. Drive along Highway 99 and you will see crews.

    Although the article had extensive speculation about potential future cost growth, it omitted that the first construction contracts have come in hundreds of millions of dollars below estimates. The article also makes it seem as though no one has thought about the challenge of tunneling through mountain ranges. On the contrary, we have brought in some of the world’s leading tunneling experts and they’re confident of our ability to construct the needed tunnels.

    Any infrastructure investment of this size will face risks associated with cost and schedules. To that end, we’ve employed the most advanced risk management strategies available. This approach has resulted in lower costs and faster timelines.

    There will be bumps along the way, for sure, and we will be forthright about the difficulties, but the article stands in stark contrast to the progress we’re making.

    JEFF MORALES, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Good response. I’ll be writing about this later today.

  19. Oliver Wendell Holmes
    Oct 28th, 2015 at 15:34
    #19

    This is similar to what happened in Sacramento, where they did a costly “improvement” to move the train tracks 800 feet away from the station, adding 5-10 minutes of total travel time for any train rider using the station. Spending taxpayer money to make train travel worse… brilliant!

    From the Voice of OC diagram, the aerial image of the surrounding roadway network and land uses is even more telling than the diagram itself.

    Joe Reply:

    Yep. People who make decisions need to use transit to get to work as a job requirement.
    Project Metrics should include travel time which this would have added time.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    walking from the font of union station in la to the farthest platforms is no further than walk from the front of the sac station to the platforms. I was just in boston and new york and penn station south station and north station all had walking involved to get from the train to the street.

    americans are fat and lazy and every third person has an alleged disabilty.
    Eveyone has become helpless. its just ridiculous.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    They sure don’t have any trouble walking from one end of the mall to the other and up two levels to the food court.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    That’s not the issue Jim in Sacramento.

    It’s that many commuters into Sacramento don’t just have to walk from the new platform to the front of the station…they have to walk another 15-20 minutes to where they work because of where the station is located in downtown Sacramento.

    For example, commuters that would take the Corridor from Roseville or Auburn now park in Folsom and ride the Gold Line in because it drops you much close to the Capitol and major state agencies.

    Nathanael Reply:

    For what it’s worth, the Sacramento worsening was driven by Union Pacific, which really really wanted to move its tracks and was leaning on the local governments to move them.

    In the long-term the station will probably be moved over the new platforms. The light rail is supposed to have a station next to the platforms too, eventually. But right now you can’t even get there by road, so we have the current absurdity.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    currently the ticket office is moving to a newly remodeled portion of the existing building with new ticketing, baggage, and crew facilities. The existing historic lobby is closed ( for who knows how long) to be fully restored to its original state. Parts of the historic building that were add ons mid century and nor original will be removed – as I undertand it.

    I wouldn’t expect any more station moves until such time that hsr reaches sacramento with its accompanying new facility.

    Nathanael Reply:

    I would. There’s a development plan for the land on either side of the train station (former railyards), and when the buildings start going up, that’s when you’ll see the station moved.

  20. keith saggers
    Oct 28th, 2015 at 16:49
    #20
  21. JimInPollockPines
    Oct 28th, 2015 at 17:49
    #21

    Well theyll have to figure out a way to make it better now that its too late.
    first install covered moving sidewalks from the far parking lot into the station and from the station over the walk to the platform.

    Then fill the station with useful retail. Food, a bar, and shopping that is specifially convneient to omcmuters and travelers. Move the bike storage inside the building where its safe.
    Offer free parking for the front lot with the moving sidewalks charge a premium for the back lot that is closer to the platforms.

  22. Roland
    Oct 28th, 2015 at 19:58
    #22

    HSR or BART? The Survey Results are in:
    http://www.almanacnews.com/blogs/p/2015/10/27/bart-instead-of-hsr–the-survey-results

    Donk Reply:

    Translation: Blow all the money we have on BART

  23. keith saggers
    Oct 28th, 2015 at 20:10
    #23

    “BART makes sense along El Camino”

    http://www.almanacnews.com

    Joe Reply:

    YeS. California should shift billions from a state wide HSR system to build BART to Menlo Park. Subway please.

    Survey results tallied and printed. Delusions of control and privilege are reenforced.

    Watch the reaction when the State resumes HSR planning with quad gates for those cities refusing to participate in planning.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Never “misunderestimate” the raw political power of BART-MTC and its many minions.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Your supply of peyote is quite reliable, I must say.

    For a man with no driver’s license, you sure know how to get out to the reservations and barter….

    StevieB Reply:

    I did not expect Ted Judah to resort to ad hominem attacks.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I don’t.

    But other than psychoactive drugs, I can’t explain where synonymouse’s comments come from at times. He used to be (years ago) far less grounded.

    I engage in lots of speculation myself given what I know about how government and transportation policy work in California…but synonymouse’s is a cut above. He never seems offended, and often is the only person to respond to my comments, FWIW.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The ad hominem seems to directed at Vartabedian, up against PB. I remember how people were afraid to even question Bechtel in the mid 60’s; they were scary powerful.

    I guess the Cheerleaders demand kneejerk, total boosterism – PB Pravda.

    Nathanael Reply:

    BART has no political power whatsoever in Los Angeles. Or Fresno. Or Bakersfield. Make no mistake, the bad attitude of the Bay Area powerbrokers means that the HSR route is going south first.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Hope so.

    JB from SV Reply:

    How about:
    Barryessa – Julian St. – Cross Guadalupe River between ends of Autumn St. – College Park Station – El Camino Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mtn View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City – Back to Cal Train ROW at Whipple or continue on El Camino and cut across at Millbrae.

    Or Barryessa – Santa Clara St. – Diridon and HP Pav – The Alameda – then El Camino etc.

  24. JB from SV
    Oct 28th, 2015 at 21:00
    #24
  25. Reality Check
    Oct 29th, 2015 at 00:32
    #25

    Fresno TA puts hold on HSR maintenance facility funds

    The Fresno County commission that governs the spending of Measure C transportation tax money wants more details and assurances before authorizing up to $750,000 to help secure land for a prospective high-speed rail maintenance depot.

    […]

    […] it could be mid-2016 before the California High-Speed Rail Authority starts getting specific about its preferred site for the heavy maintenance facility. An agency spokeswoman, Lisa Marie Alley, said last month that it will be December or January when the rail authority’s board finalizes the criteria for choosing a site. Then it will take several months to fully evaluate and score the proposed sites. “We’d like to be able to say that by the end of 2016, we will go to the board for the formal selection of a site” for the maintenance facility, Alley said.

    The selection of a maintenance station site will likely go hand-in-hand with the process of choosing a manufacturer to build the electric train sets for the statewide system because the train builder also would be expected to build the maintenance facility, she added.

  26. calwatch
    Oct 29th, 2015 at 11:11
    #26

    Maybe they are taking a cue from the Chinese HSR stations, which do appear totally overbuilt, even in rural areas.

  27. mittim80
    Nov 8th, 2015 at 18:18
    #27

    is anyone- ANYONE at all surprised? OC is one of the least transit-friendly urban regions in the country. Its also spread out- not centralized, so why build a central transit hub. And thats in addition to the bad design mentioned in the article.

Comments are closed.