Attack on Water and HSR Won’t Be On 2016 Ballot

Mar 25th, 2016 | Posted by

The effort to steal water and HSR money isn’t going to be on the ballot this year after all. A series of bad polls combined with the high cost of gathering signatures means that proponents are delaying to 2018 – if ever:

The campaign, led by Republican Bob Huff, the former Senate minority leader, and GOP Board of Equalization member George Runner, budgeted for $2.65 a signature, spokesman Hector Barajas said.

This week, amid soaring signature-gathering costs, the price rocketed to about $5 a signature. Rather than pay the spiraling rate, proponents are pulling back and targeting 2018, a non-presidential year where fewer Democratic voters, and presumably less supporters of high-speed rail, turn out to the polls.

Proponents had raised about $484,000 through mid-week, state filings show.

Their thinking about the 2018 election is delusional. The polling was quite clear that Californians see right through this proposal. It had anemic support and that was before voters saw TV ads from farmers complaining about their water being taken away. That isn’t going to change in two years.

More importantly, if they think 2018 is going to provide a more favorable electorate, they’re ignorant. The 2010 election saw the California Republican Party smashed into tiny pieces as Democrats bucked the national trends and showed up in big numbers. In 2014, Jerry Brown beat Neel Kashkari – who ran on an anti-HSR platform – by 20 points.

In 2018, the governor’s office will be up for grabs. There will be a surge of voters showing up to elect a Democrat to that office. Those voters will be more favorable to HSR than these initiative proponents realize.

So while I don’t think this initiative should ever be on the ballot, if it does make it in 2018, I don’t see any reason it would pass then. It’s not about the timing. It’s about this initiative being a godawful idea that voters just don’t want.

  1. J. Wong
    Mar 25th, 2016 at 12:26
    #1

    No, I didn’t think it would meet the bar this year, nor do I expect it to do so in 2018. It’s real purpose is a water grab and they can’t hide that with misdirection on HSR.

    Zorro Reply:

    Now We just have to worry about the other two Initiatives, the one on Revenue that is on the Ballot and the Companion Initiative that is proposed as well.

    1767. (15-0109A1)
    High-Speed Rail. No Issuance or Sale of Future Bonds. Suspension of Project. Initiative Statute.

    Summary Date: 01/25/16 | Circulation Deadline: 07/25/16 | Signatures Required: 365,880
    Robert Huff and George Runner

    agb5 Reply:

    Why is it permitted for the “Findings” preamble of this bill to directly contradict the recent ruling of a court?
    http://www.oag.ca.gov/system/files/initiatives/pdfs/15-0109%20%28High%20Speed%20Rail%29_0.pdf?

    Joe Reply:

    Proposition language can be challenged in Sacramento court.

    James Fujita Reply:

    The “Findings” section of this is horrible. High-speed rail has icky cooties is the TL;DR version. Chowchilla to Shafter? Really?

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Zorro:

    The other Huff and Runner petition was dropped some time ago; it really never went for signature gathering.

    Joe Reply:

    This one is dumb. Take away access to prop1a money – okay. The rest is toothless. It applies to the CAHSRA.

    CA can disband the Authority and reformulate a HSR entity under Caltrans with a simple majority vote. The proposition is toothless and the new entity doesn’t have to follow any prop1a requirement. Nine.

    The federal surface transportation board ruled the **design** falls under federal authority and is exempt from CEQA.

    Prop1a is your friend . If you kill it then all these bullshit lawsuits end. CEQA ends. We’re less regulated then Texas Baby.

    synonymouse Reply:

    How do you kill something that is already dead?

    But I like your honesty to the effect Jerrissimo can do whatever he wants – carte blanche.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What I cannot understand is Jerry has not had term limits thrown out.

    Michael Reply:

    Anne Gust, his amazing wife, should run. Wouldn’t that prove you right, Syn?

    Joe Reply:

    “… why the Who’s down in Whoville are celebrating XMAS without gifts, ribbons and bows.”, Typed the Grinch.

    Zorro Reply:

    When anti-HSR initiative is formally withdrawn, I’ll believe it. I just don’t trust Huff and Runner.

  2. synonymouse
    Mar 25th, 2016 at 12:31
    #2

    Clearly the initiative process does not work as intended. Pretty much only the teachers’ union and some corporate interests have the deep pockets to buy onto the ballot.

    Occasionally you see something like the marijuana legalization which reflects the majority opinion but is opposed by the enforcement class. It is all about the shakedown money that the cops, the courts and the lawyers and bail bondsmen won’t be getting any more. Those signatures are easy to get because the support is widespread.

    When you have a significant portion of the electorate depending upon the government for their income in short order you have an invincible machine. The long term economic playout is unclear and definitely outside of my personal time frame. But think NYC in previous bankruptcy.

    Zorro Reply:

    BARF! BARF!

    Zorro Reply:

    Too bad Cyno, HSR will be built and even made functional… :p

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Maginot Line will be built and even made functional.

    Zorro Reply:

    Your side has lost Cyno, legally and support wise, better run up the White flag and surrender… It’s over.

    StevieB Reply:

    Do speakers discard their soapbox and forego Speaker’s Corner because of opposition? This blog provides a soapbox to the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome, and the provocative. All without leaving the comfort of your own home.

    nslander Reply:

    And rebuttal is equally available to, say Zorro, correct?

    Travis D Reply:

    The Maginot Line was built and did perform its function. What are you on about?

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Judging from his past rantings, I think syno imagines HSR to be “old outdated tech” which will be supplanted by autonomous electric cars ushering in a new enlightened age of happy motoring, highway construction, and suburban idyll… sort of how new fast motorized German tactics simply bypassed the Maginot line in WWII.

    synonymouse Reply:

    By 1944 the Germans had developed blinking jets. Fortunately for the world Hitler’s extreme delusions of grandeur and obsession with quick vengeance for the loss of the Great War led him to many mistakes, some of which, like invading Russia instead of Britain, were just colossal.

    Joshua Cranmer Reply:

    Of Hitler’s many mistakes, not invading Britain was not one of them. Germany had absolutely no ability to launch an amphibious invasion, which requires at a minimum complete air and naval superiority, specialized ships, and excellent logistics support, none of which Germany had (Germany’s invasion would have required somehow transporting 4000 horses across the English Channel, and it’s this antiquated logistics system that ultimately doomed Operation Barbarossa more than anything else). No military expert, not even the German High Command of the day, has ever thought that Operation Sea Lion had a chance of success.

    The main reason that Germany lost WWII was that Hitler decided to bring Germany into a war of attrition against the two countries in the world (and perhaps world history) most able to win a war of attrition, and he did so within a few months of each other.

    Joe Reply:

    “What If” historical speculation suggests the most advantageous move would be a German offensive to grab middle eastern oil. Germany didn’t have the fuel reserves to fully execute Operation Barbarossa.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Yes, because clearly there weren’t enough logistical difficulties already.

    Joe Reply:

    It’s a fun read.

    Not sure what you mean, what is logistically harder about the Iraq oil fields than the ones at Baku?

    Danny Reply:

    or BRT! BRT everywhere!

    J. Wong Reply:

    Anything @synon predicts is pretty much guaranteed not to happen.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Hillary will be crowned. Please prove me wrong as usual.

    Travis D Reply:

    Well as I don’t think we are changing into a monarchy soon I think this prediction will fail too.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Well yes, Hillary Clinton will be elected President since that’she how we do things in this country. You’re wrong again in implying that we don’t have any choice.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Elected like Huey Long.

    J. Wong Reply:

    So how much are you getting paid to vote?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Funny I was thinking along the same lines the other day. The teachers union could simply pay enough voters enough of a tip to pass more benefits, more tenure, more bennies of all kinds.

    What would it take – a hundred a head, maybe fifty would be adequate for the homeless. Just need instant registration on election day.

    Zorro Reply:

    Teachers don’t get paid enormous sums, so a Teachers Union does not have enormous sums either, plus a lot of supplies are paid for out of their own pay I’ve read, a Union isn’t a bad thing, since that means bargaining power, unless one is a skinflint republican know it all.

    Myths and Facts about Educator Pay

    MYTH: Teachers make just as much as other, comparable professions.

    FACT: According to a recent study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the teaching profession has an average national starting salary of $30,377. Meanwhile, NACE finds that other college graduates who enter fields requiring similar training and responsibilities start at higher salaries:

    Computer programmers start at an average of $43,635,
    Public accounting professionals at $44,668, and
    Registered nurses at $45,570.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The teachers union has plenty of money to put props on the ballot.

    Zorro Reply:

    Oh wow, Cyno, that only requires $2,000,200.00 to do, to put an initiative on the ballot, too bad, you can’t do that…

    Joe Reply:

    Syno, there is no lower form of life than a ungrateful pensioner.
    Shame on you.

    synonymouse Reply:

    So that’s how Putin stays in power – gratitude from the civil servants and apparatchiks.

    Joe Reply:

    I don’t know hownpurin operates

    I know a union fought and protected pension lets you type on the internet.

    J. Wong Reply:

    No one is getting paid to vote so if Clinton wins, @synonymouse, it’s because they think she’s the best choice. Luckily, all that money in politics doesn’t seem to be having much impact this year unless it is spent on organizing and get out the vote efforts.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I will prove you wrong. Hillary will be ELECTED president. Even better. Yaaaaaay.

    Zorro Reply:

    The gap has narrowed to 239 Delegates at last count, by the time NY comes around the gap will be under 200, if Bernie wins NY(291 Delegates in NY, 210 in PA), which He could, since it’s His backyard, literally, then the situation would be reversed, just like in 2008, when Hillary ran against Obama, He won, She lost.

    Oh and Bernie owns the west coast, as the majority there is Progressive Democrats, not Southern D’s… And in California, there are 546 Delegates up for grabs out of 2,073 remaining Democratic Delegates.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    You are proving my point. Hillary is from New York. New York LOVES her. New York is unquestionably going to vote Hillary. As for the West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington were absolutely expected. Besides, they’re caucus states. Bernie will probably win Oregon, but that doesn’t matter; he has no shot at California. Hillary got the popular vote here in 2008, and Obama was far harder to beat than Bernie is today. California is way too diverse for Bernie, and Hillary is quite popular here.

    James Fujita Reply:

    I actually agree that the initiative process is broken, but for entirely different reasons. It should require way more signatures to get on the ballot. Too many frivolous initiatives make it to the ballot, which clogs it up and discourages voting.
    Too many initiatives are poorly written. Too many try to do the job of the legislature. Too many have turned the California budget into a Rube Goldberg machine of restrictions and traps. Too many ideological purity tests.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Examples from the 2016 ballot?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Is it possible to do more poorly written than Prop 1a?

    EJ Reply:

    Why do you think Prop 1a is poorly written? You admit you haven’t read it. Is it possible to be any lazier and more full of shit than you?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Do I have to read that going thru Palmdale and every Valley town will make 2:40 and not require a subsidy?

    Now that’s lazy and full of shit.

    Travis D Reply:

    Only because in your mind that can’t work. Here in reality it will work.

    synonymouse Reply:

    And BART is profitable so it can be franchised out. Oh yeah.

    And PalmdaleRail does not even enjoy BART’s carefully nurtured by MTC monopoly.

    J. Wong Reply:

    What public transit system any where in the world is profitable enough to be privatized?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Hong Kong MTR

    Roland Reply:

    “Above all, what is it that California’s railway planners know that their Japanese counterparts do not? The former state-owned Japanese National Railways and its partially privatised regional replacements have struggled for decades to make their high-speed Shinkansen (“bullet train”) routes profitable. Japan’s eight Shinkansen lines have little in the way of competition, thanks to over-crowded roads, expressways that charge exorbitant tolls and limited air services. Even so, only one Shinkansen service—JR Central’s 550-km line between Tokyo and Osaka—makes anything like a decent enough operating surplus to cover its costs, make necessary investments and pay a modest dividend.”

    http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21695237-taxpayers-could-pay-dearly-californias-high-speed-dreams-biting-bullet

    Joe Reply:

    No, it’s called effort but bring the Dr. Smith from lost in space, a phony

    Zorro Reply:

    That’s cause you think an electric train can’t be faster than an automobile, sounds like the person who said the train can’t be faster than the horse back in 1830, they had a race, ultimately the Horse was proven to be no match for the Iron Horse.

    Sept. 18, 1830: Horse Beats Iron Horse, for the Time Being

    synonymouse Reply:

    Of course trains and cars can go very fast. It just costs a lot more and wears out a lot faster.

    Zorro Reply:

    That’s why one has maintenance crews, to maintain what is built, of course Time only fears the Pyramids…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Maintenance crews cost money.

    Zorro Reply:

    A Private HST Operator or Amtrak, as that depends on who is responsible for that, but that is what contracts are for, Cyno.

    Joshua Cranmer Reply:

    Actually, the infamous race between Tom Thumb and the horse as reported in that article probably never happened. There’s no contemporary reports, either in B&O archives or local newspaper archives, of any such race occurring; the story is only first recorded sometime in the 1850s. The Tom Thumb was also never preserved like Stephenson’s Rocket.

    The B&O had talked about using steam power from the moment it was chartered, and the Rainhill Trials had already been completed over a year before it opened. The delay in moving to steam power was primarily a concern about how to best adapt steam locomotives to the B&O’s different track conditions, namely the higher grades and more curved right-of-way. The B&O wouldn’t have needed to commission a trial of horse power against steam power; any such race would have been at best an impromptu race on the spur-of-the-moment between two drivers. And if such a race did occur, then, quite frankly, there probably wouldn’t have been a single race, but rather several such impromptu races.

    Given that the tale is told many times with literally every detail other than “the locomotive started out in the lead but broke down midway and ultimately lost,” including both important details like the day of the race or what exactly broke down, it makes most sense that the story is a fabrication to tell a moral.

    Roland Reply:

    Diridon to Transbay will take less than 30 minutes and not require a subsidy and that is a fact: https://youtu.be/3TNFWZrzUw4?t=5463

    Aarond Reply:

    SF will only hit 80s NYC tier lows if the city doesn’t get it’s act together within the next 5-10ish years. Given how LA is at least taking transit and densification seriously, it’s not unreasonable to expect the party in SF to end while LA soaks up all the jobs as they densify.

    Seriously though, given how developers are throwing money at SF you would think that Lee would be all for tearing down homes and putting up apartment blocks everywhere.

    J. Wong Reply:

    A lot of apartment blocks are going up without having to demolish single family housing. Believe it or not SF has enough fallow land to make it possible.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    And potential land from freeway removals. Hint: 280 north of Daly City.

    Michael Reply:

    It’s all of the on-going trend in SF to replace gas stations with apartments. The big Union 76 at the top of Rincon Hill (across from the entrance to the bridge) is about to become 180 apartments. If there are no more gas stations, it’s harder to drive a car. ; )

    Roland Reply:

    It all depends on what is parked on your driveway: http://tinyurl.com/z92x772

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Really though, SF should be building at least 15000 units of housing per year.

  3. morris brown
    Mar 25th, 2016 at 13:39
    #3

    @ Robert:

    The front runner for Governor is certainly Gavin Newsom. Newsom is on record as wanting to kill the project., so 2018 doesn’t necessarily look too bad to opponents of the project.

    BTW, there is an excellent funding chart produced by the Assembly Transportation commission for the hearing on HSR on Monday the 28th:

    link:

    http://atrn.assembly.ca.gov/sites/atrn.assembly.ca.gov/files/HSR%20Funding%20Chart%20FINAL.pdf

    Joe Reply:

    Think it through.

    Gavin Newsom opposing HSR in 2017/18. Why?

    It will be in full Construction with many jobs by 2018 and Fed money spent.

    CA must match the Fed ARRA billions or we pay that same money back – He would lose in the primary with such a ludicrous position.

    Lose suggesting the CV system we will complete end there and never connect to the Bay Area job machine.

    Every Fed dollar has to be matched or paid back.

    nslander Reply:

    “I was for it before I was against before it became in my immediate interests to support it. Through at least 2017. I had staked my reputation to committing to the largest infrastructure project in the nation until somebody said it had no source of funding, then I immediately triangulat, er, expressed my disagreement with the Governor. Then that SOB played the cap and cap card, the thing is moving dirt, and you know full well I’ve been leading the charge towards its completion since day one. An investment of this magnitude deserves the brand decisive leadership only I can deliver.”

    Joe Reply:

    I’m awesome and my wife is hot.

    Zorro Reply:

    And paying back a non-budget $3.2 Bn(?) like this means a required 2/3rds vote on an Appropriation in the State Legislature, guess who’d be playing the Hostage game? The CAGOP, they’d want something for their votes to pay back the ARRA money, if this were required that is.

    Anandakos Reply:

    Why would Californians vote for that lightweight? What is he, really? A weathervane at best; a full-blown narcissist at worst.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Pretty good description of Jerry Brown.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Actually @morris brown, Newsom is probably against HSR so he can the save HSR by coming up with a plan to make it work.

    Jerry Reply:

    Good funding chart for HSR and all of the funding challenges it faces.
    I would like to see a similar chart for the Interstate Highway system over the years. The number of changes, lawsuits, delays, etc.

    keith saggers Reply:

    @Morris, please cite source

    morris brown Reply:

    @ keith saggers who asked

    @Morris, please cite source

    I don’t understand. The chart was produced by the staff for the Assembly Transportation Committee for their hearing next Monday, the 28th.

    Are you asking about something else that I don’t recognize?

    john burrows Reply:

    Time to pull back, re-group, and try for another stand in 2018.

    Zorro Reply:

    More old people will have passed away by then, old people are the main opponents, beyond the rich and the GOP. Just like with attitudes about Gay Marriage have changed, people were not for it, now they are.

    Aarond Reply:

    Newsom is unelectable. I seriously believe that another Dem would pop up to run against him and split the vote causing a Republican Governorship. Of course that’s fraught with it’s own issues (in regards to HSR).

    Where Brown has tact, Newsom runs his mouth and pisses off basically everyone that isn’t a homeowner inside SF.

    J. Wong Reply:

    I don’t think that’s going to happen, not that another Democrat won’t run, but a split vote enabling a Republican. Either themail primary for governor is still partisan so only one Democrat will be the nominee, or it’ll just be two Democrats and no Republicans.

    Joe Reply:

    Impossible under CA law.

    Top two out of the primary advance to the general election. There cannot be a three way race.

    Roland Reply:

    This article has an in-depth analysis of the LAO report and goes beyond:
    http://www.thehamiltonreport.com/tip-toeing-around-chsras-2016-business-plan-legislative-analyst/

    Zorro Reply:

    Right Wing RAG Report…

    Roland Reply:

    Would you are to elaborate on your succinct analysis?

    Zorro Reply:

    The site ignores the lawsuit that TOS lost,
    the site says the IOS is in Prop1a, it isn’t.

    In short it’s an anti-HSR site, a LIAR and a FRAUD…

    Roland Reply:

    “They have not shown in a 2nd funding plan that they have a plan, which conforms with Prop 1A proving that they have a viable segment. This was a successful outcome of the first Tos/Fukuda/Kings County case, which was not overturned.”

    Who is a LIAR and a FRAUD????

    Zorro Reply:

    TOS is denied, they lost, funds are released, live with it.

    Don’t like that? Tough shit…

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.greencaltrain.com/2016/03/caltrain-seeks-backup-funds-for-electrification-court-ruling-leaves-bond-funds-in-limbo/

    Zorro Reply:

    Then there is this, it sets precedent and that unless Judge Kenny can override the Court of Appeals, it’s still in effect.

    Judge Kenny Ruling: Dated March 4th, 2016

    One of Plaintiffs’ initially filed claims was previously resolved in this matter via separate trial and appeal to the Third District Court of Appeal. {California High-Speed Rail Authority v. Superior Court (2014) 228 Cal.App.4th 676.)

    The Court of Appeal directed this Court to enter judgment,
    “validating the authorization of the bond issuance…

    Further challenges by real parties in interest to the use of bond proceeds are premature.” The court
    also ordered this Court to vacate its ruling requiring the Authority to redo the preliminary section 2704.08, subdivision (c) funding plan after the Legislature appropriated the bond funds.
    (Id. at 684.) In ruling on that matter, the Court of Appeal noted, “judicial intrusion into legislative appropriations risks violating the separation of powers doctrine.”
    {Id. at 714.) With regard to Proposition 1 A, the court found, “the Bond Act does not curtail the exercise of the Legislature’s plenary authority to appropriate.”

    Zorro Reply:

    And from the state of California’s own website:

    Case No. 34-2011-00113919-CU-WM-GDS(2016 Tos Petition Denied) pdf

    J. Wong Reply:

    @Zorro I believe the bonds are still to be released after approval of the new Business Plan 2016 and acceptance by the Legislature. I think the Authority is planning on bond sales in the fall.

    Roland Reply:

    And that is precisely what the Flashman mousetrap is waiting for…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    We want a fifth term of Governor Moonbeam.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Does his machine have the power to overturn term limits and impose a bunch of new taxes?

    Dunno.

  4. Zorro
    Mar 25th, 2016 at 14:00
    #4

    Even the Sac Bee is saying anti-HSR agitators are calling it quits for 2016.

  5. nslander
    Mar 25th, 2016 at 14:02
    #5

    Gavin’s position on HSR wavers more with the wind than does his spectacular hair.

    Michael Reply:

    That hair doesn’t waver. I think he’s got a certificate from the Board of Cosmetology exempting him from wearing a helmet when cycling.

  6. keith saggers
    Mar 25th, 2016 at 18:44
    #6
  7. Roland
    Mar 26th, 2016 at 00:45
    #7
  8. Neil Shea
    Mar 26th, 2016 at 01:33
    #8

    O/T SJMN: Bart’s old technology
    http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_29687067/has-barts-cutting-edge-1972-technology-design-come

    Reality Check Reply:

    Has BART’s cutting-edge 1972 technology design come back to haunt it?

    […]

    […] Space Age innovations have made it more challenging for the transit agency to maintain the BART system from the beginning. Plus, the aging system was designed to move 100,000 people per week and now carries 430,000 a day, so the loss of even a single car gets magnified […]

    […]

    “Back when BART was created, (the designers) were absolutely determined to establish a new product, and they intended to export it around the world,” said Rod Diridon, emeritus executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute in San Jose. “They may have gotten a little ahead of themselves using new technology. Although it worked, it was extremely complex for the time period, and they never did export the equipment because it was so difficult for other countries to install and maintain.”

    Rather than stick to the standard rail track width of 4 feet, 8.5 inches, BART engineers debuted a 5-foot, 6-inch width track, a gauge that remains to this day almost exclusive to the system. Industry experts say the unique track width necessitates custom-made wheel sets, brake assemblies and track repair vehicles. The agency also debuted a flat-edge rail, while other systems tilt slightly inward. That BART design requires more maintenance and is noisier, experts say.

    Those one-of-a-kind systems lead to a dearth of readily available replacement parts. Maintenance crews often scavenge parts from old, out-of-service cars to avoid lengthy waits for orders to come in; sometimes mechanics are forced to manufacture the equipment themselves.

    Crews faced that familiar challenge when the latest electrical surges fried some $1,000 thyristors, rare propulsion control parts, which usually take 22 weeks to order. BART crews have cannibalized other cars and found a faster supplier, but the part will be slightly different due to the rush job.

    While an extreme example, this ingenuity is common in how BART has learned to deal with its unique system.

    Spokesman Jim Allison said the cars were designed to use aluminum wheels with steel tires to reduce weight and noise, but that design makes them harder to replace.

    BART’s unique 1,000-volt traction power system also can’t be repaired or replaced with off-the-shelf technology.

    “Increased complexity inherently increases the probability of breakdowns; it requires more components and more controls,” Allison said. “In plain language, there are more things that can go wrong.”

    In October, two months before electrical surges on the Oakland side of the Transbay Tube fried 80 cars, BART touted its resourceful maintenance crew in a news release and video. The agency called them “MacGyver-like mechanics and imaginative engineers” that had to work on a unique, old system with cars lighter than other transit systems that also require higher top speeds, faster acceleration and deceleration, and higher voltage in their electronic instruments.

    In January, BART mechanic Charles Chew told KQED how just fixing an electrical switch in the air conditioning unit of a car was so complex it took four to six hours.

    David Hardt, BART’s chief mechanical officer, told the station some parts are not available from suppliers anymore, so he logs on to eBay or buys newer parts and tweaks them to fit.

    “Imagine a computer produced in 1972,” he said. “No one is supporting that old equipment any longer, but those same microprocessors are what we have controlling our logic systems.”

    David Schonbrunn, president of TRANSDEF, a nonprofit environmental organization created by Bay Area transit activists, said BART’s unique design has cost taxpayers.

    “When you have a unique product you’re at the mercy of suppliers,” he said. “As a result, BART maintenance is incredibly expensive.”

    BART Director Nick Josefowitz said BART’s train control system, once a technological wonder, is responsible for more than a quarter of all delays. The system is notorious for its “ghost trains,” where the computer freezes train movement because it erroneously believes another train is in the area.

    At present, the BART system is heading toward a major overhaul. The entire fleet of cars is being replaced. And a $3.5 billion bond is proposed for November’s ballot. The money would be used to improve the guts of the system, including more than $1 billion dedicated for replacing the electrical system.

    Josefowitz said it makes no sense to dwell on design decisions made a half-century ago.

    “I think we need to use what we have today and build off that, rather than fantasize what could have been done in the past,” he said. “The BART system was state of the art when it was built, and now it’s technologically obsolete and coming to the end of its useful life.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    As if this was something we did not already know in spades. And most importantly and totally ignored in this half-assed article was that Bechtel was admonished in the mid-sixties about the enormity of the mistakes they were about and they were so powerful no one could hardly dare criticize them in public let along stop them. Sound familiar?

    Obvious is don’t build out any more “BART technology”. But they will and why? Because the people in power are hopelessly stupid and corrupt. Same thing you see at Palmdale.

    Aarond Reply:

    wow, I’d never thought anyone would actually say it out loud

    synonymouse Reply:

    The BART system was not state of the art when it was built it was the state of irresponsible and compromised.

    Joe Reply:

    BART was the cleanest, smoothest, warmest, most wonderful transit system I’ve ever known in my life.

    Joey Reply:

    I’ve definitely seen worse, but I’ve seen better too.

    Roland Reply:

    When was the last time you rode on BART? I had to go to Oakland yesterday and my train was full of homeless people using it as a dormitory going back and forth between Fremont and Oakland. The stench was unbearable and some guy was going up and down asking passengers to sign for some kind of petition. Another guy was asking passengers to read a piece of paper. The noise from the third-rail was ear-splitting and the motor/gear whine was unbearable when they were not crawling at 10 MPH for “track inspections”.
    Time to get a passport and ride on real mass transportation?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Roland, can you explain what you mean by 3rd rail noise as I do not remember anything along those lines from my last ride on the line to Millbrae about 10 years ago. The last free transit Spare the Air Day. It was very noisy but it seemed to be emanating from wheel to rail contact.

    I guess I am a hopeless old time traction fan but we lived for “motor/gear whine”. But there’s nothing fun about BART noise – it is overwhelming. A combination of roar and hiss.

    Clem Reply:

    The same shriek as a Star Wars tie fighter

    Roland Reply:

    The shrieking noise comes from the contact between the power pickup shoes and the third rail. There is nearly complete silence when they go over a turnout or a crossover (just the normal clack-clack). It is so bad that they are raising the sound barriers to at least 20 feet north of Fremont.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Is this noise particular to BART or typical of all 3rd rail operations? How would this shoe to 3rd rail noise compare to the noise of a pantograph at the same speed?

    Roland Reply:

    Third rail is always noisier than a pantograph which I have never heard above the noise of a train but BART may be noisier because it picks up power from the bottom of the rail(?).
    Here is what a Javelin sounds like inside a tunnel @ 125MPH: https://youtu.be/VVwBTrnkmNA?t=38. I have ridden them on HS1 @ 140 MPH and on the North Kent Main line off the 3rd rail @ 90 MPH and I do not remember noticing a difference in noise inside the train but they are definitely noisier outside when they are running off the third rail.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Roland, I’m pretty sure the deafening BART noise originates from the rail/wheel interface.

    I’ve never seen or heard anyone claim it comes from the (top-contact) 3rd rail.

    EJ Reply:

    I do wish that BART critics would stop focusing on Broad Gauge as the root of all BART’s ills, and claiming it’s some sort of globally unique standard. Obviously, it should have been built to Standard Gauge, but that’s not really the problem – it’s everything else – wheel and rail profiles, control systems, wheel design, etc.

    5′ 6″ gauge lines operate all over India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Southern Chile, Argentina… Here’s a lovely modern Broad Gauge EMU you can ride on the Buenos Aires suburban network: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSR_EMU_(Argentina)

    It even comes equipped to use either 800 VDC third rail or 25 KV OHLE. Of course the difference between it and BART is that it uses normal wheel and rail profiles, and up to date signaling systems.

    synonymouse Reply:

    For over a hundred years it has been stupid to build a new rail line to anything but standard gauge. The advantages of standard are subtle sometimes but cumulative.

    Now if you are stuck with legacy streetcars at a non-standard gauge, like New Orleans, Toronto or Philadelphia you are stuck. But to build a new line don’t be a pazzo, like BART. Would you build a new line in LA along a legacy LARy route to 3’6″ gauge?

    Bechtel was just compromised by the SP and did a cover story for the credulous about wind bs.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I agree. In fact, I think broad gauge was a savvy decision for non-technical reasons. You have a more appropriate emphasis on land use planning to create new ROW more compatible with land uses than 100 year old ROW which are almost useless to address the needs of mass transit.

    Also, when you use cutting edge technology, sometimes it doesn’t work.

    EJ Reply:

    Woah, wouldn’t go that far. Broad gauge was a poor decision in 1969 – I’m just tired of people moaning about it. What’s done is done, and it’s not the end of the world. What ROW are you referring to, the current Capitol Corridor route? There was nothing stopping them building out standard gauge BART with the current routes it has now.

  9. morris brown
    Mar 26th, 2016 at 15:29
    #9

    So now we are just starting to hear opposition from So. Ca. agency heads and legislators over the 2016 business plan. They are really be worked over hard with only the $2 billion funding for them, and not even knowing when such funding might even be available.

    Bullet train: Failure to identify funding for Southern California leg unacceptable, official says

    Is there any chance the Authority Board, which is now evenly divided between Northern and Southern CA directors, might even reject the 2016 Plan when approval comes before them in April? I suspect not; only Schenk has ever shown any real resistance to what ever is put forth for their approval.

    Roland Reply:

    Ralph needs to get his facts straight:
    1) There is nothing in the Bond act that requires trains to travel at 220 MPH in the Peninsula.
    2) Caltrain never got $600M, only a “promise” good enough to buy votes to pass SB1029.

    Joe Reply:

    Caltrain, by virtue of Jerry Hill’s Bill, has mandated access to 600m prop1a funds. They also have other funding for the project and stellar ridership.

    As a lease he Dan either throw a tantrum and lose the federal funds or put pressure on the state to find the money for the Bakersfield to Palmdale segment.

    The California rail authority’s failure to identify a source of funding to connect Los Angeles to the future bullet train system is not acceptable, said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Assn. of Governments.

    Tantrum it is.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Wait, 55,000 passengers a day is “stellar” ridership…?!? ><

    Roland Reply:

    SB557 is codified in Streets & Highways Code section 2704.76: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=shc&group=02001-03000&file=2704.75-2704.77

    Who is throwing a tantrum???

    Clem Reply:

    The promise from the state is probably good enough to spare Caltrain the disruption and embarrassment of having the entire modernization program fall apart on a technicality such as not being able to access Prop 1A bonds in timely fashion.

    Roland Reply:

    Technicality???? Disruption and embarrassment???? Could you please share your characterization of seatless and toiletless Frankentrains with internal chair lifts????

    Thank God there is an alternative on the horizon: https://youtu.be/3TNFWZrzUw4?t=5463

    Clem Reply:

    The sharing would be all yours, to propose a specific transition sequence to achieve level boarding in an ADA-compliant fashion with the future possibility of shared platforms with HSR. The particular solution now being pursued ticks all those boxes.

    Roland Reply:

    The particular solution being pursued does not consider designing a 250 MPH double-decker train compatible with existing platform interfaces. Stupid Germans!!!!

    EJ Reply:

    Nobody’s proposing a 250 mph double-decker train. What exactly is your proposed alternative to the current plan?

    Roland Reply:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYFv5No2bZk

    EJ Reply:

    You have a point to make, type it up. Not gonna watch a damn video.

    Clem Reply:

    This is how you dodge a very specific question. Double decker HSR is a small niche centered in France, and has such poor accessibility that it would be illegal under the far more restrictive constraints of the ADA. Level boarding has a very specific legal meaning in the U.S., and does not exist in European HSR. But I suppose you can dream.

    Roland Reply:

    Wer hat gesagt, etwas über Frankreich ???

    Domayv Reply:

    @Clem: well there are those E1 and E4 double decker Shinkansen trains (Shinkansen boarding height is very similar to US ADA boarding heights) but theyre being phased out (the E1 already is retired). also, they only go 150 MPH, not fast enough.

    Clem Reply:

    I finally watched the video. It describes a 21st century Schienenzeppelin. Why anyone thought it relevant still escapes me.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @Clem: I fully agree… There are some details which would guarantee very bad running capabilities, and some concepts sound good on paper — did sound good on paper — but reality bites badly.

    The construction of the carbody with diagonal elements can be found in the RS-1 (originally by Adtranz, now Stadler Pankow: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadler_Regio-Shuttle_RS1 (the German page has a few more details) ).

    EJ Reply:

    Finally broke down and watched it, pretty sweet train. Noticeably lacking from the video – when this train will enter commercial service, who will manufacture it, how much it will cost. But that’s just details. Surely this is something that CAHSR and Caltrain should hang their hats on.

    Roland Reply:

    Here is your next Googling assignment: where did Bombardier acquire its high speed rail technology from?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    @Roland: That’s nothing to google for; that’s something someone with interest in rail technology should know without search engines… Depends on how far back in history you want to go, but I guess AEG would be it; and for more modern times, ABB.

    Roland Reply:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardier_Transportation#History

    EJ Reply:

    @Roland
    Your assignment is to explain what Bombardier’s corporate history has to do with the subject at hand.

    morris brown Reply:

    @Roland

    who wrote

    Ralph needs to get his facts straight:
    1) There is nothing in the Bond act that requires trains to travel at 220 MPH in the Peninsula.
    2) Caltrain never got $600M, only a “promise” good enough to buy votes to pass SB1029.

    Roland you better read the article again. Ralph certainly didn’t say 220 MPH on the Peninsula. What he did write was “220 MPH on from Bakersfield to LA”

    I agree the $600 M was to buy votes, but it was more than a promise — it was written into the appropriation. At this point Caltrain has really been “hosed”. They agree to HSR using their tracks and in return get (partial) funding for electrification and CBOSS. Now the Authority says, we can’t sell the bonds as promised presently; go find another source of funding.

    Then under the full 2016 Biz plan, now they are being told, only possibly $500 million in funding for 41 grade crossings (part of the $4 billion in total project estimate reduction.).

    Joe Reply:

    NIMBYs trying to sow HSR discontent with the “Caltrain is hosed” letters to the editor.

    SolCal is hosed because money is spent in the north….Caltrain is hosed for sharing track…

    Zorro Reply:

    Yeah, no doubt, but I’m sure someone will do some push back.

    Joe Reply:

    SolCal transit and political leaders have to wake up and hammer out a SoCal alignment from Palmdale to Burbank. They gain no leverage by sitting it out and delaying the project.

    The SolCal board members are there to help the project and should recognize the political football over the alignment created too much risk.

    bixnix Reply:

    Delaying the socal route selection by a year may help the project more than hinder it as it applies pressure on the Republicans to come up with Fed funding, or else Tehachapi is history.

    Perhaps SCAG is concerned about funding for both the mountain crossing and the unfunded phase 2, which will be primarily in socal. Once IOS-North is approved, norcal politicans will have little incentive for finding any funding, so a long-term funding plan is in SCAG’s (and SANDAG’s) best interest.

    Zorro Reply:

    Both routes below are Phase 2 HSR, it’s in all the maps I’ve seen.

    Sacramento to Merced.
    Los Angeles to San Diego via San Bernardino and Riverside.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Maybe we will get merced to sac before socal figures out what they want!

    Zorro Reply:

    Phase 1 has to be complete before Phase 2 can be built and Phase 2 has no funding at present, while Phase 1 segments do.

    Travis D Reply:

    Sac to Merced could be a PPP.

    Zorro Reply:

    Which is what Bakersfield to Los Angeles(via Palmdale/Mojave) will be too, as HSR was always intended to be. The CHSRA has not asked for Private money to complete the system, since the majority of the system has to be built and operating, before Private Capital will see the system as worth financing. Plus at the moment, the CHSRA feels it has enough money to build 250 miles of system to add on to the 50 miles that goes from SF to SJ.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Sac to Merced is probably never going to happen and be supplemented by the Northern California Unified Service.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The southern phase 2 is TERRIBLE. It needs to run from ARTIC through to Corona, then have a wye, with trains going north to Riverside and San Bernadino, and eventually Vegas via Cajon Pass, and trains going south to Murrietta and San Diego.

    Zorro Reply:

    HSR over and/or thru Tehachapi will never be history Bixnix, not in this Universe…

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The attention span of the Bay Area political class will shrink quite a bit once CAHSR reaches Southern California for sure. But that’s the rationale for inserting Bakersfield, Palmdale, Burbank and LA en route to Anaheim. It is also the reason to redesign Phase 2 as Phase 1 branching off from Anaheim to the Inland Empire, Las Vegas, San Diego, and Phoenix.

    But, as bixnix notes, it will actually benefit SoCal long term.

    Aarond Reply:

    LA County’s priorities isn’t on a train to SF, it’s on getting the run-through tracks done, connecting LACMTA to LAX and extending the purple line to the coast.

    HSR is certainly important for LA, but locally concerns are local. Getting the Tehapchis crossed sooner will require either raising taxes, or convincing everyone to put MTA money into HSR.

    Joe Reply:

    The Bakersfield to Palmdale crossing appears to be one vocal guy’s priority and the LATimes printed it.

    It wasn’t going to happen soon under the previous plan given the cost and funding available.

    Getting mad at HSR for not finding money is infantile. He’s calling it unacceptable. Okay don’t accept it. I didn’t know he was on the sign off sheet.

    Burbank to Palmdale is a priority for the area with HSR. The locals fought to push it away so HSR left and moved on north, wtf did they expect?

    Roland Reply:

    Money is not the problem. The real problem is that the imbeciles in charge of this project still haven’t got a clue how they are going to bridge the gap (let alone how much it is going to cost) 8 years AFTER passing the freaking Bond Act!!!

    Ever wondered why the HS2 Hybrid Bill has spent the last 3 years going through multiple readings by both houses BEFORE recommending that Her Majesty grant Her Royal Assent? Stupid Brits!!!!

    Travis D Reply:

    I have yet to see any evidence of “imbecility” outside of Richard’s thesaurus rants. Which I put absolutely no stock in as I trust his opinions as much as I trust the panel less van down by the park to actually have “free candy” inside.

    Alan Reply:

    Roland, tell us that the state had every dollar necessary for every foot of I-5 from Oregon to Mexico before any construction began. No? Then go find another dead horse to beat. Projects of this magnitude are funded in stages. Reasonable people understand that.

    The folks at the CHSRA are not imbeciles simply because you disagree with them. And frankly, I don’t give a rat’s behind what the Brits are doing about HS2. Different project, different nation, different politics.

    EJ Reply:

    When Interstate 5 was being constructed, there were already existing roads in place in the segments yet to be finished that traffic could use. Please state how trains will reach LA from the Central Valley under the current plan.

    Alan Reply:

    You’re either missing or ignoring the point. Anti-HSR people are trying to hold the HSR project to a much higher standard than highways. Whether or not there were already existing segments in place is irrelevant to the point I was making.

    bixnix Reply:

    Getting the Tehapchis crossed sooner will require either raising taxes, or convincing everyone to put MTA money into HSR.

    We’re talking about about a much bigger delay for the mountain crossing than selecting a tunnel route.

    At $500M/year, it will take generations to appropriate enough funding to cross the mountains. Phase 2, which would be afterwards, will therefore happen when Buck Rogers returns to Earth. The state government must set aside more money to get this done sooner.

    Second, Ikhrata isn’t speaking for LA County Metro, he’s with SCAG, which is six counties. Proposing a tax hike on those six counties (seven if you throw in San Diego) is a non-starter.

    Joe Reply:

    Connecting the CV to LA Basin via rail is in the national interest. It benefits the Xpreswest project in Nevada as well as 37m Californians. The effort should be matched 2:1 Federal to State funds. Increased regional economic activity without increasing CO2 emissions.

    Roland Reply:

    The Feds will step in if and when they are presented with a project worth funding, not an enormous boondoggle feeding a bunch of rentseekers.

    Zorro Reply:

    Now are you talking about the Xpresswest project or the CHSRA project Roland?

    The CHSRA project is not a B*********… And it isn’t going away.

    The GOP in Congress is bunch of shortsighted morons and so is anyone else who denigrates the CHSRA…

    Edward Reply:

    The Feds will step in when the party in power is in favor of High Speed Rail, or rather the party out of power is NOT in favor of it.

    Aarond Reply:

    The top half of the GOP isn’t against HSR, and in fact is why the feds still back it (since the House GOP’s attempts to gut CAHSR money died in the Senate). The problem is that this group is increasingly irrelevant, and the next generation of Republicans could very well end HSR money.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I am confident that XpressWest and CAHSR will become one and the same. XpressWest (and China) put up the funding for either the Bakersfield to Palmdale route, or the Palmdale to Burbank route, and in return, receive all assets owned by CAHSR, and become the sole HSR operator in the entire Western United States. This would be very profitable for XpressWest, and good for CA, because taxpayers wont pay for one (or both) of the mountain crossings.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The field is a little more crowded than you think. There are a myriad of entities interested in being the operated.

    The airlines, Amtrak, local transit agencies, and the ultimate business partner of CAHSRA are all ahead of XpressWest in line to operate the system. Moreover, it’s far more likely that XpressWest goes under and is bought by CAHSR, not vice versa.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The business partner will likely be XpressWest. The airlines are unlikely to operate it instead (especially United @ SFO) might codeshare with HSR though. Amtrak will likely just become long distance routes on the west, with CC and SJ trains joining NCUS, and Surfliner trains joining Metro link. I expect the future of rail in the USA to become regionalized, instead of having a nationwide intercity rail system, and local commuter rail.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    XpressWest can only be the partner if it is a 100% union operation.

    I don’t disagree that there will be more regionalization potentially, but Congress passed PRIIA as a way to make Acela and state-supported services underwrite the long distance trains’ losses (albeit partially).

    And that’s also why when stuck with a higher bill, California promptly had CalTrans offload its Amtrak services to JPAs.

    Clem Reply:

    These questions are not new, and the magnitude of the funding gap to complete the entire SF – LA system remains the same in 2016 as it was in 2014. How curious that SoCal leaders are suddenly so attuned to this funding gap–or could it be they find themselves in that gap?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Clem, SoCal leaders are not suddenly attuned to anything. They are totally silent on HSR, except the comments at the recent Metrolink Board workshop. The chair, Shawn Nelson, says it’s “fantasyland”. The former chair says he doesn’t care whether it’s built or not. Under the current regime no one is planning for Metrolink to blend with or feed into HSR. Metrolink is on a starvation diet, and indeed as Board member Millhouse revealed, member agencies have pressured Metrolink staff not to apply for grants as this may reduce the dollars available to the member agencies. Ikhrata is a nice guy but has no political power and I’m sure he must quietly weep about the snake pit that he has to deal with.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The South gets the tunnels. The North gets the train.

    Both are statewide projects, and both are quite expensive. But each has more value to one region of the state than the other.

    So why waste all your breath of its a done deal? Why put your political capital at risk when things are fait accompli?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Which tunnels are statewide projects? You mean the Purple line? Strange viewpoint, but not unusual for you.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The Delta tunnels, Paul.

    Southern California needs water to grow. Northern California needs housing.

    Water bond is roughly $10 billion. HSR bond is about as much money. This is the reason for the ballot measure this post is talking about. Sacramento needs way to expand California’s middle class but also protect Democratic Establishment ™.

    Sorry if that wasn’t as clear to those in Southen California.

    Zorro Reply:

    Ted Judah, are you talking about the 2014 Water Bond? Ballotpedia says that was a $7.12 Bn bond issue, not $10 Bn.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Ted always tries to be too clever and ties himself in knots. The water bonds are about the central valley, not SoCal. There is water here, we just need to manage it better, and use less. SoCal needs the mobility that could be provided by HSR money going into regional projects. They are too busy protecting micro turfs to see the big picture. And of course the Tehachapi rail tunnels will have a water pipe running through, just in case. Saves a lot of that pumping

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Too clever??

    I’m the guy who has been saying how much sense IOS North made since the original IOS was announced years ago. It was the political weight of LA that made it a non-starter.

    Credit Brown for taking the unprecedented step of letting LA control both the Assembly Speaker’s and Senate Pro Tem chairs for the first time in 50 years as a way to finally slash the Gordian knot and get both projects to move forward.

    Secondly, it doesn’t matter if Southern California has enough water or not. (Hint it doesn’t, but don’t tell that to the international homebuyer set). LA always wants to be sucking on the straw the hardest and ensure that other jurisdictions don’t usurp its water rights.

    Remember…it was L.A. that first cooked up the idea of stimulating population growth by annexation and hence water rights. SF, Oakland, San Jose, San Diego only began to adopt the strategy when they realized how fast it allowed LA’s population to grow and its political influence along with it….

    synonymouse Reply:

    Morris – paywall at LA Times.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Nope, you just reached your free limit.

    Eric M Reply:

    Copy the link and use a different browser

    synonymouse Reply:

    I just accessed via a different drive.

    EJ Reply:

    Just copy & paste the entire headline (i.e. “Bullet train: Failure to identify funding for Southern California leg unacceptable, official says”) into the google search bar. It’ll come up with a non-paywalled link.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    What!!! You can do that!!! I hate the LA times paywall.

    EJ Reply:

    Yeah works for most paywalled news sites. I’m sure they’ll nerf it at some point but it works for now.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    The NYT has figured it out. I used to do it all the time but I think they got wise to it.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    Subscribe.

    Alan Reply:

    As usual, Vartebedian does his best to put a negative spin on the project, as well as outright falsehoods.

    I don’t recall ever seeing a document that indicated planned speeds of 220mph north of San Jose. Even if there had been a full 4-track buildout, 220 would have been unwise, given the geography of the Peninsula. So Vartebedian’s assertion that the blended plan is responsible for lower Peninsula speeds is simply untrue. He didn’t specifically write anything about 220 on the Peninsula, but he certainly implied it.

    With any luck, Vartebedian will be caught up in the layoffs that are all but inevitable at the LAT, as Tribune does what it must to save money. Then, we might actually see some accurate reporting on HSR.

  10. keith saggers
    Mar 26th, 2016 at 19:46
    #10

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/science/sea-level-rise-global-warming-climate-change.html?action=click&contentCollection=Science&module=RelatedCoverage&region=EndOfArticle&pgtype=article

    keith saggers Reply:

    The increasingly routine tidal flooding is making life miserable in places like Miami Beach; Charleston, S.C.; and Norfolk, Va., even on sunny days. nytimes.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Lay off the sprawl and population explosion.

    Zorro Reply:

    Like that will ever happen Cyno, both sprawl and population explosion have been happening since just after the end of WWII.

    Aarond Reply:

    At the end of it seawalls will be built, infill will be added and life will move on. Many major cities (including NYC and Sac) raised up their downtown areas using dirt over a century ago due to constant flooding in the winter.

    Joe Reply:

    Seawalls will not work.It’s a flippant answer to rising sea levels.

    Miami is on porous limestone so it’s doomed. Water will come from the bottom up.

    NYC is on bed rock but has subways and subsurface infrastructure. They’ll flood with corrosive sea water during large storms.

    We are talking about meters of sea rise. Property requires insurance which is going to become too expensive and eventually not offered. Without flood insurance they’re going to eventually be wiped out financially.

    Roland Reply:

    “Seawalls will not work. It’s a flippant answer to rising sea levels.”

    Ever heard of a small country called “Holland” or that some of their levees are designed to support high speed lines?
    Why is this relevant? Because this is pretty much the only way we will ever be able to achieve speeds of 200 MPH anywhere in the Bay Area.

    EJ Reply:

    As Joe says:

    Miami is on porous limestone so it’s doomed. Water will come from the bottom up.

    You can throw all the tantrums you want, it doesn’t change that fact.

    Roland Reply:

    You can throw all the tantrums you want, it doesn’t change this fact: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69_ctCyyyVM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlxcpNJUYU0

    EJ Reply:

    I’m not the one throwing a tantrum. Do you literally not understand that different geological conditions in different parts of the world mean that groundwater behaves in different ways?

    Roland Reply:

    Do you literally not understand that real Civil Engineers know how to tackle different geological conditions in different parts of the world?

    EJ Reply:

    Look, I’m not making this up. It’s been widely reported, for example here: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/why-the-city-of-miami-is-doomed-to-drown-20130620

    You’ve got several geologists and civil engineers, including some Dutch ones, quoted in the article about Miami’s problems. You’ve got a better idea, be sure to let them know.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Is it hypothetically possible to pump something underground and cement all the holes in Florida’s limestone?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I heard the news today oh boy,
    4,000 holes in Blackburn Lancashire.
    Better count them first…

    Ted Judah Reply:

    You need the porous nature of the limestone to store groundwater. Using an aqueduct to supply water without the advantage of elevation to offset energy costs using gravity flow is very expensive.

    Edward Reply:

    Holland, or rather The Netherlands as North and South Holland are only provinces, is not built on karst as is Florida. Florida will indeed suffer. Those sinkholes you read about in the news connect to the sea. At present they are usually filled with fresh water that flows into the ocean via springs on the ocean floor. Rising sea level will increase the water level, fresh or salt, in the caves in the karst. Most Floridians (and their grandchildren) won’t have to worry, but those only a meter or two above sea level will. And it makes no difference how far from the sea they are.

    On the other hand, if all the ice melted, which would take hundreds of years, there would *be* no Florida.

    I should add that the The Netherlands has very few levees. They do have quite a few dikes (dijken). They are NOT the same even though in California we usually call our dikes levees.

    Joe Reply:

    What we are seeing now was once forecast, when I started school, to possibly happen after my life time.

    Paleoclimate studies correlate [Co2] to air temperature, plant distribution and sea level heights. We have Co2 concentrations that correlate to much higher temperatures and higher sea levels. The rate of Co2 emission exceeds anything known since the dinosaur extinction event.

    I have little confidence that we have worked out the positive feedback physics and mechanics of these changes well enough to be confident of sea level forecasts for my son’s life span.

    Insurance industry will be the first to adjust their business model and property values will reflect the higher risk.

    Plant seem to be adapting very well, lower plant respiration with higher temps and higher water use efficiency with higher co2 levels.

    EJ Reply:

    Well surely life on Earth will soldier on, having overcome far worse climactic events in the past. Life and society as we know it, though, is another matter.

    Joe Reply:

    Life will do just fine. We may not.

    A friend is working on a paper and took a detour into paleoclimate to understand past impact of co2 concentrations we have now and project to see 100+. It’s scary – Possibly the last 8-10K years were uncanny stable.

    No causal mechanism but correlation of co2 with temp is very strong. We are not yet seeing the full impact oh what we emitted to date.

    Co2 emission rate exceeds any since yucatan impact.

    “The anthropogenic release outpaces carbon release during the most extreme global warming event of the past 66 million years, by at least an order of magnitude,” – See more at: http://m.swtimes.com/weather/scientists-carbon-emissions-highest-66-million-years#sthash.3OaXfERI.dpuf

    Aarond Reply:

    The US is fine, if only because the government already had one Dust Bowl and Americans are more than happy to build The Wall™. The US is protected by two large oceans. The state most prone to Drought is already building desal thanks to Prop 1 (2014) passing.

    Shit will continue to hit the fan in Africa and the middle east (SA has the worst Drought in over a century, which is trouble for every country north of them that they provide with food). China’s desertification will cause food prices there to eventually spike (especially if trade with the US slows) while the middle east is undergoing a full-blown evacuation in part due to Drought and high food prices.

    America will persevere, while the rest of the world burns down. And the whole time Americans will continue to deny that climate change is real.

    Joe Reply:

    The US is not fine. We are going to lose Pennisula Florida and eastern costal cities. Drying southwest and of course the central high plains are going to dry.

    EJ Reply:

    @Aarond
    Canada will be fine, once they figure out how to relocate the low-lying parts of Greater Vancouver. The large majority of the Canadian population doesn’t live near the coast, and higher temperatures will make agriculture viable further north. Not to mention the majority of land in Canada is slowly rising due to isostatic rebound.

    The US not so much. The USDA rates huge areas of agricultural and forest land in California, the Southwest, and the Northern great plains as being at Very High or High risk of desertification. I.e. the Dust Bowl, but permanent this time. Even if we figure out cleaner, cheaper sources of energy, we can’t build enough desalination and water transport capacity to irrigate this whole region. Especially not at the same time as we’re pouring resources into either protecting or relocating our major coastal population centers.

    Aarond Reply:

    @Joe: There’s been plans in the past to add floodgates to the mouth of the Hudson River, and I’m certain you’re aware of the similar proposal to turn the SF Bay into a lake. It’s an engineering problem, one which Bechtel (among others) are well equipped to solve. I’m not saying this is a good thing, just reality. It’s like taking a sledgehammer to a screw.

    @EJ The midwest is more important as it pertains to food. Americans will tolerate paying higher prices for apples and almonds in the summer, but they won’t tolerate expensive bread or corn syrup. This is bad news for the southwest, but ultimately people will move on. CAHSR itself will start this process in the CV.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Montreal is at sea level. It’s why Montreal is there.

    EJ Reply:

    Nope. The St. Lawrence River doesn’t become tidal until around Quebec City. Montreal is higher. Not by a whole lot, but it’s safe for now.

    EJ Reply:

    @Aarond
    The USDA’s desertification risk map is here:
    http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/soils/use/?cid=nrcs142p2_054003

    That big red area cuts well into major US wheat-producing regions.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I dunno why Canadians use the upstream side of the falls as the official elevation. The last lock on the St. Lawrence Seaway is in Montreal, to bypass the Lachine Rapids. It’s why Montreal is where it is. It’s the last place the ship that sailed from France or England could get to.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lachine_Rapids

    EJ Reply:

    All true, but the river still flows downhill below the rapids. According to Wiki, the lowest elevation in Montreal is 6m:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal

    Aarond Reply:

    Flood insurance is offered in both Texas and the Central Valley, places that are known to have bad flooding in winter. Look at the LA “river”, it’s a 10+ mile gash built for flood control. The feds will just build around the problem since they have the money allocated for it.

    It’s not a “solution” to the problem, but is an answer to the symptoms.

    Joe Reply:

    Sea level rise – literally.

    Flooding is temporary. That’s why it’s a flood and not called “insurance for building a home in the ocean”

    As sea levels rise, the storm surges start at s higher baseline and you’ll see the insurance industry back out.

  11. Roland
    Mar 27th, 2016 at 02:00
    #11

    OT: Video of last Thursday’s barn burner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TNFWZrzUw4
    Low-bandwidth version for Richard: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/03/25/quicker-arrival-of-high-speed-rail-causes.html

    Jerry Reply:

    Regarding the CAHSR the Business Journal reports:
    “Support among all adults is highest in the Bay Area (63 percent) and among Democrats (59 percent).”

    Roland Reply:

    The Bay area is extremely supportive of high speed solutions between San Jose and San Francisco followed by high speed tunnels connecting the Caltrain ROW to existing rail systems in the East Bay.

    The Bay Area has no interest (or funding) for the California Rapid Rail Authority (CRRA).

    Zorro Reply:

    CRRA? Never heard of it Roland.

    The CHSRA does have funding, saying it does not is a Bald Faced LIE, if that is what you are saying.

    les Reply:

    “It is lowest in Orange County/San Diego (47 percent)”
    And they wonder why they are completing the north first.

    Roland Reply:

    Here is a preview of CAARD’s comments on the Draft Business Plan: https://youtu.be/9L6x-qZUabs

    keith saggers Reply:

    On Caltrain’s tracks, both systems’ trains will run at the same speed; high-speed trains would run the corridor in 30 minutes if they ran nonstop, with a maximum of two stops twice at most.

    Roland Reply:

    “It appears, at this time, that the Authority does not have sufficient evidence to prove the blended system can currently comply with all of the Bond Act requirements, as they have not provided analysis of trip time to the San Francisco Transbay Terminal, and cannot yet achieve five-minute headways (even allowing for the definition of “train” to include non-HSR trains).”
    https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2753285/High-speed-rail-ruling.pdf

    Joe Reply:

    Clem did analysis and affirms it is possible. What they can do now with current stock and are wiling to drag into court about the project doesn’t need to match.

    Roland Reply:

    Did someone forget to tell the judge?

    Alan Reply:

    They don’t have “sufficient evidence” at this time because the system has not yet been fully designed. What’s so difficult to understand? There have been a lot of conceptual studies, yes, but nothing anywhere close to final engineering. I’m not sure that the Peninsula has even reached 15% engineering. And as I’ve posted recently, some of the proposals being put forward by the SF planning department could not only improve running times between SF and SJ, but also improve throughput at TBT to the point where 5-minute headways are possible. Judge Kenney was wise enough to point out that the project is continually evolving and changing. He did not write that the Authority will never be able to prove Prop 1A compliance, only that they aren’t there yet.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Who cares about Prop 1a. E fa.

    Roland Reply:

    The Flashman mousetrap.

    Alan Reply:

    Enough of the “Flashman mousetrap” bullsh** already! The man is just not good enough to outwit the AG’s office. He’s won a few skirmishes, but lost every war he’s ever fought against HSR. All he’s managed to do is build a library of case law that supports the state’s interpretations of Prop 1A.

    Obviously, you don’t have an intelligent rebuttal to what I posted, so you spout the “mousetrap” BS. How about countering some of the facts I posted?

    Roland Reply:

    “Although Plaintiffs have raised compelling questions about potential future compliance, the Authority has not yet submitted a funding plan pursuant to section 2704.08, subdivisions (c) and (d), seeking to expend Bond Act funds. Thus, the issue of the project’s compliance with the Bond Act is not ripe for review”. http://www.thehamiltonreport.com/downloads/TOS-RULING-KENNY-3-4-2016.PDF

    Alan Reply:

    Hey, you can cut-and-paste. Goody for you! Still proves nothing about your Flashman mousetrap blather.

    California’s Worst Lawyer ™ has no magic mousetrap. The state’s attorney’s and the Authority are a helluva lot smarter than Stuart Flashman.

    Roland Reply:

    Right: https://youtu.be/DcaLaoGLLPo?t=710

    Roland Reply:

    Do you mean that after 8 years and hundreds of millions of dollars they are still picking their noses? Could you please point us to any proposals from the SF planning department showing 5-minute headways out of the TBT?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    There’s never going to be 12 trains an hour to-from San Francisco. There will be in Los Angeles. But the people in Los Angeles aren’t as dazzled by the bright lights of San Francisco as San Franciscans are and they will want to go other places that aren’t San Francisco.

    Roland Reply:

    Even after the new Transbay tunnel is built?

    EJ Reply:

    Always glad to have a New Yorker explain California to us.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Reality works that way all over the world.

    Jon Reply:

    Who says they need to provide 5 minute headways to Transbay? Wasn’t the whole reason they went with Transbay plus 4th & King in the 2009 SF – SJ EIR because Transbay couldn’t handle 12 tph by itself, but both stations together could? And if that solution was legal then, why wouldn’t it be legal now?

    Roland Reply:

    Who said it was legal then (quote)?

    Alan Reply:

    I think a professional railroader would read the 5-minute headway provision as relating to the signal system that will be installed on the line–a system that allows trains on the mainline, operating at track speed, to be separated by no more than 5 minutes with sufficient safety. I think the phrase “achievable operating headway” in Prop 1A supports that interpretation. I don’t think it mandates that every terminal be capable of dispatching a train every five minutes. If the state takes that position, I think they will find support from the courts. Nothing in Prop 1A mandates that every train to SF arrive and depart from TBT. Terminating some trains at 4th & King makes sense, given the growth of the area and particularly considering the proposals for the air rights over the Caltrain yard and 4th & King station.

    Realistically, even with the full Phase 2 buildout, I think the only section that wil see anything approaching 5-minute headways in service will be the trunk between Merced and LA. North of Merced, some trains will go to SF/SF, some to Sacramento. Twelve trains an hour to either terminal would likely require 24 trains an hour on the trunk. Or, some darned quick coupling/uncoupling/brake tests.

    Having said that, I still believe that if the SF Planning proposals are adopted, dispatch frequency from Transbay could be cut to 5 minutes, as well as increasing speeds on the approach to the terminal.

    The “Flashman mousetrap” has no spring. Squeak, squieak. squeak. There goes the mouse.

    Alan Reply:

    I’ve posted the link to the SF plannng proposal. Go find it yourself.

    Joey Reply:

    The 5 minute minimum headway is really to ensure efficient overtakes at intermediate stations, not a continuous service level.

    Roland Reply:

    You need 2-minute headways to achieve passes without miles of passing tracks. CBOSS need not apply.

    Joey Reply:

    This is about the highest speed sections, not the Peninsula. I forget exactly how much time a train looses by stopping from full speed, but it’s somewhere shy of 10 minutes. If the minimum headway is any higher than 5 minutes then the stopping train will be sitting in the station for quite a while waiting for the overtake.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Yes. My experience is the dwell time at an intermediate station for a stopping train during peak traffic hours (with 5 min. or less heads) is typically 10 to 13 minutes. That allows one or two faster trains to overtake.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    So that’s the Leo Express guy…

    Roland Reply:

    Here is the full version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aun05r6phRA

    Clem Reply:

    How does Leo Express plan to take on the cushy featherbed that is Bay Area transit? The whole idea of doing something at lower cost seems orthogonal to the local value system.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Perhaps he should just buy Megabus.

    Roland Reply:

    Do you have any problems with the way he addressed the same issues back home?
    http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=a6d8d84d-9e22-4929-96a9-ce9948a3b445

    Clem Reply:

    I have no problem with new entrants shaking up an ossified system, but according to your link, he sued and lost because the system was rigged in favor of the publicly funded incumbent?

    Roland Reply:

    “The results of LEO Express’s appeal will thus be awaited with great interest.”

    Reality Check Reply:

    I believe LEO Express envisions non-union labor … and lots of control over employee productivity and high-equipment utilization (minimize non-revenue time).

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Yes. And this Leoš fella is involved in economic liberty/laissez faire ideology clubs who’s videos look like some kind of international college republicans.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    There is no open access law in the USA that replicates the European model. So what is his business plan? I agree with Clem, the incumbents need shaking up. More to the point, there are too many incumbents with huge staffs running boutique operations. I just don’t see BNSF or UP allowing LEO Express on their tracks.

    Roland Reply:

    Paul, here is how Caltrain pays UP for trackage rights: http://www.gilroydispatch.com/news/community/track-deal-done-more-trains-ahead/article_6fdf0bcb-0ec5-58f1-91ff-1b1193d6684f.html

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    That’s a very specific deal, not the normal trackage rights arrangement
    If a Leo type service wanted to run over UP they’d have to be Union and pay into RR retirement

    Jerry Reply:

    And the Gilroy Dispatch 2004 headline read:
    “Track deal done, more trains ahead.”
    Eleven years later, and they’re still waiting for the “more trains” part.

    Roland Reply:

    That is a separate issue, namely that the VTA refuses to pay the extortionate SamTrans rates for Caltrain service to Gilroy.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Hell hath no fury like two transit agencies screwing with each other.

    Joe Reply:

    Not sure what Roland means – SamTrans doesn’t set rates.

    Roland Reply:

    Nobody works for Caltrain. SamTrans is the managing agency for Caltrain (for now). SamTrans will go under the day it is no longer able to milk Caltrain for all it’s worth.

    Joe Reply:

    The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, which owns and operates Caltrain, consists of representatives from San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

    Roland Reply:

    How about reading section 6 at the bottom of page 7 (“Managing Agency – Delegation of Authority”) of the 1996 Agreement that led to the formation of the Caltrain JPB, including the fact that the Board have the opportunity to send SamTrans packing at one year’s notice?
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Public/JPA_Agreement_and_Amendment_10-03-1996.pdf

    Reality Check Reply:

    @Roland, while the 1996 Agreement might be the most current, the JPB was formed in 1987:
    Caltrain Historic Milestones

    From 1980 until June 30, 1992, Caltrans contracted with S.P. to provide passenger service in the corridor, sharing operating subsidies with San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The state assumed sole responsibility for station acquisitions and other capital improvements until the service resulted in formation of the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board in 1987. The JPB agreed to assume operating responsibilities for Caltrain effective July 1, 1992, and to shoulder 100 percent of the operating subsidy a year later.

    Alan Reply:

    How exactly is Bay Area transit a featherbed? Because the employees’ unions are trying to ensure that transit employees can earn a living wage in one of the most expensive regions in the country? The Chron reported not long ago that some new Muni drivers have to work two or even three jobs to make ends meet. Some featherbed.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The illusion of a featherbed is a generational one: all transit unions have been able to use their leverage to ensure their workers get a good living, but that’s no different than any other industry. What’s “unique” about the Bay Area is the number of small agencies doing relatively niche services instead of exploiting economies of scale.

    But that means, among other things, reducing the degree of local control which is an anathema to the electorate.

    Alan Reply:

    The fact that there are many smaller agencies in the Bay Area doesn’t mean that the employees are featherbedding.

    And frankly, I don’t see things changing and reducing the number of agencies substantially. If you made the governing board large enough so that nearly everybody has some kind of representation, that board would be so unwieldy that nothing would ever get done. It might be possible to combine some back-room functions–scheduling comes to mind, maybe purchasing–but I think it’s going to be a very long time before local leaders give up their voice where their transit systems are concerned.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Be sure to voice those concerns to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Metro in Los Angeles.

    The Balkanization of local agencies in California is a direct result of Prop 13 putting the State in a fiscal straitjacket. That’s not to say local control isn’t a good model, just that it’s important to distinguish corrolary results from what causes the situation in the first place.

    Alan Reply:

    Since when does the MTC wield day-to-day operational control over local agencies? Anyway, it still does not prove the claims of “featherbedding”, unless someone is suggesting that the featherbedding is happening at managerial levels, not line operation.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Anyway, it still does not prove the claims of “featherbedding”, unless someone is suggesting that the featherbedding is happening at managerial levels, not in line operation.

    That’s precisely the consideration. Local control gets more inefficient you move up the chain or farther into the back office. My point is merely that MTC and Metro are both examples of consolidating some functions or decisions with plenty of oversight. But when you can’t “right-size” a task, you inevitably over-staff.

    Yet, because of the code language embedded in calling a rail a “featherbed for labor”, the more salient point about local control is overlooked in the discussion.

    Clem Reply:

    I have nothing against the wages. It’s the chronic over-staffing that I dislike, and it can’t simply be dismissed as a “generational” “illusion” or whatever.

    Jerry Reply:

    San Francisco has a $9 Billion Dollar annual budget. (Bigger than 10 states.) To be sure, there is a lot of chronic over-stafing.

    Alan Reply:

    The simple fact of the City’s budget size does not automatically create featherbedding in the transit system. Please cite specific examples of Muni featherbedding.

    Clem Reply:

    I don’t know about Muni, but doesn’t a crew of four strike you as excessive to operate a five-car commuter train?

    Roland Reply:

    I had no idea Caltrain had on-board stewards: http://www.le.cz/cms/120-palubni-servis.html?atb=1

    Jon Reply:

    It does, but Caltrain is a pretty small part of “Bay Area Transit”.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Clem, your prior critiques usually focus on something else other than “over-staffing”, though. It is an issue in California way beyond transit agencies. The unions in transit are just stronger, the jobs more dangerous and thus, compensation has to be better than the guy working at a call center.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You are not going to bring in a private operator up against militant unions backed politically by the party in power. It will necessarily end up a government operation, expensive and drifting like Muni and BART.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Exactly. But the political power comes from the unions economic leverage, not vice versa.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The political power comes from the campaign contributions to the pols and the promise to deliver bloc votes. Still a lot of union members are farther to the right than the union.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Of course. The “Fight for $15” is a good example of a priority that has limited appeal to already represented workers but a high priority for the union leadership.

    But the donations only exist because the class of professionals work in an asymmetrical labor market. In other words, you can just hire more workers on demand to fill shortages. That financial protection underwrites the cost is running the union and any political contributions.

    The common trope is that public sector workers are lazy per se because their political power shields them. In fact, it’s largely because most Americans don’t know how hard and demanding those jobs can be, largely because they they don’t know anyone who works in them.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Sorry, it should read, “you can’t hire more workers”…

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    There should be more jobs not fewer jobs. When you cut jobs, americans don’t have jobs. Its been going on for decades, it hurts the economy, and it plays into the hands of the wealthy power structure. When you get rid of toll takers, transit workers, highway workers, etc etc, you are taking good jobs away from american workers and putting them in the unemployment line. They lose homes, they lose health care, they lose vacation time, they lose retirement security. This very wealthy country can well afford to keep millions more americans employed doing work that provides more service to fellow americans. Its the people at the top who want you to believe we can’t afford it. Progressives used to understand this. Im not sure what’s wrong with todays progressives who talk more like republicans. I guess they have finally fallen for post Reagan economic theory which says “we can’t afford to do …” and ” when the wealthy do better we all do better” which is entirely ass backwards. We should be creating more good paying, secure, jobs for americans instead throwing working people to the wolves. We very much CAN afford it. If you are worried about not enough money for transit improvements then get more money from the people who have stolen it from the working the class don’t throw the working class under the bus after they have already been raped. Enough of this horseshoe. especially from people who are suppose to be on the progressive side of things.

    EJ Reply:

    You can employ them in more productive capacities. This country’s infrastructure is falling apart. There’s no reason to overstaff a transit agency when you could put the same people to work fixing roads, bridges, rail, water infrastructure, etc.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    are you going to pay their mortgage and pay to retrain them in the meantime? What if a toll taker doesn’t have the ability to build a bridge?

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    ;you guys throw comments around without giving any consideration that you are talking about peoples lives. because you don’t care. you are dismissive of people who are in the way of your pet goal in the way the republicans are dismissive of people who are not in the socio economic class. And liberals or progressives or whatever the hell you call yourselves these days, are suppose be showing solidarity and common cause with the masses, races, common working people, unions, the entire bottom half the economic spectrum. but you don’t. with hsr in california what I see on this blog is a combination of meaningless racial lip service while supporting what is basically and elitist view of rail transit.

    you people don’t even know what it means to be a liberal because all of you under 40 are just plain spoiled.

    EJ Reply:

    You really wonder why people grow to be suspicious of unions? Do you realize what a self-righteous, entitled jackass you sound like? You really think you’re the only one on this board who has ever been working class? You sound like one of those bad parodies of lazy left-wing union leaders in Ayn Rand books.

    Apparently we as taxpayers don’t just owe govt workers decently paid jobs. No, we owe them easy, cushy, pointless jobs. Jobs which never change and they never have to learn anything new.

    OF COURSE we should pay to retrain them if necessary. OF COURSE we should try to find less strenuous work for those that are not physically able. But no, don’t tell me I need to make common cause with people that think I need to pay for their easy, make-work jobs when there are millions of hard-working Americans out there doing productive work and getting screwed by the system.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Well EJ I DO support keeping people employed even its so called make work (another republican phrase designed to undermine the working class) and not for myself because I’m close enough to retirement to not be worried about it ) but because I know what I saw within my own eyes The theft of wealth from the bottom to the top from 1980 to present
    And that’s exactly why your millions of of Americans doing so called productive work are getting screwed in the first place
    Your damn right I support taking back the wealth and giving it them.
    But no doubt you’re one of the ones who would rather advocate to punish those same working people by increasing their gas tax or making their lives more difficult in other ways in order to meet your ideological goals
    I support putting everyone to work
    I support forcing companies to provide health care or creating a government option and making companies pay for it
    I support companies to provide pensions and not just worthless 401k accounts
    I support massive infrastructure expenditures with money taken directly from the defense budget
    And I support increasing Union membership and collective bargaining because that’s the only way working people have any power

    I’m hardly the right wing republican some here would suggest

    But some of you apparently are and you don’t even know because what passes for progressive now is what used to be known as reaganomics just so You know

    EJ Reply:

    But no doubt you’re one of the ones who would rather advocate to punish those same working people by increasing their gas tax or making their lives more difficult in other ways in order to meet your ideological goals

    I don’t like it when people put words in my mouth and accuse me of saying things I never said. Please don’t do it again.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    you want new bridges get the money from the one percent. they are the ones who stole the money from the american middle class. get it back from them not the poor working people. you should know that. you should but you dont and theres not excuse for it. not if you’re a democrat. not if you’re liberal not if your a progressive. not if you’re a bernie supporter or a hillary supporter.

    otherwise you are a republican. which is fine but don’t pretend otherwise.

  12. keith saggers
    Mar 27th, 2016 at 16:40
    #12

    sounds like 110mph to me

  13. morris brown
    Mar 28th, 2016 at 03:24
    #13

    As the change orders roll in, the costs go up and up.

    LA Times: Changes could add hundreds of millions of dollars to first 29 miles of bullet train

    What is obviously needed is an audit of the Authority, yet the Authority resists such an audit and the Governor controls the legislature.

    Zorro Reply:

    FUD designed to get people to read a dying media, to get subscribers, gullible ones at that, like Cyno, Morris and others who are narrow minded.

    Alan Reply:

    There’s a reason why Tribune’s newspaper properties were split away from their broadcast holdings coming out of the bankruptcy. That way, when the newspapers go down the drain they don’t take the Trib’s radio and TV stations with them.

    Joe Reply:

    What would they audit ?
    Audit imaginary transactions and imaginary billings.
    Audit the failing Tribune Co. They are circling the drain with their tea-bagger attack on public infrastructure.

    They should audit the litigating cities and counties and see what return taxpayers have gotten for the lawsuits. Tens of thousands could have gone into Menlo Park schools or road repair.

    EJ Reply:

    What’s to audit? Change orders and resolutions of them are a matter of public record, no?

    datacruncher Reply:

    As Alan points out below, reporters including Ralph Vartabedian himself, Tim Sheehan, and others along with sites such as this blog have already written about change orders. That was early February news.

    The timing of Ralph Vartabedian’s new article is simply tied to today’s hearing at 2:30 of the Assembly Transportation Committee about the new business plan.

    Alan Reply:

    And the timing proves that Vartebedian isn’t interested in news or facts, he’s just trying to push a point of view. Last I heard, such things belong on editorial pages, not the news sections. Reporters are supposed to report, not editorialize.

    Joe Reply:

    He’s a muckraker that can’t find the muck so he juxtaposes statements.
    “Gubbernent” is bad.
    HSR is “Gubbernent.”
    Can I haz a Pulitzer ?

    Alan Reply:

    So what? They hit spots where the underground geology is different from what was expected. They find underground utilities that weren’t on anyone’s map.Weather causes delays. Big deal. It happens on nearly every major project. Try building in almost any large, established city’s downtown without finding the unexpected. We’re nowhere close to Big Dig-type overruns, nor do I see that happening here.

  14. Alan
    Mar 28th, 2016 at 05:57
    #14

    Newsflash! Glad to see Ralph’s right on top of this. I think the real reporters had this at least a month ago.

    Among the unpriced change orders is a potentially large claim Tutor Perini is preparing against the state for project delays. The firm cited the state’s failure to deliver land parcels over a two-year period after the contract was awarded.

    CHSRA should forward the claim to Laurel and Hardy, and Kings County, for payment. Taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for frivolous lawsuits.

    Alan Reply:

    This should have been a reply to Morris…

    les Reply:

    Opposition will never own up to the damages they have inflicted. Why when they can blame the authority.

    Alan Reply:

    Refusing to own up to it does not make them less responsible.

    Danny Reply:

    the suit is going to be interesting–every time these rich hoods with millions to sink into barratry and these biddies who tell the town council that seeing transit triggers their gluten-free cat’s PTSD have been able to return to home base, ready for the next round

    but now that privileged bubble so carefully sheltered from consequence by bank accounts and state power isn’t seen as natural any more: you can’t go on TV and say “everything I sued for wasn’t actually necessary, but at least it made me look like I was representing a community”

  15. Faber Castell
    Mar 28th, 2016 at 09:02
    #15

    Transit Trends #2: TT, HSR, CT…

    http://youtu.be/5M1wBtIg8dg

  16. Reality Check
    Mar 28th, 2016 at 13:59
    #16

    Hokkaido Shinkansen Line opens, cutting Tokyo-Hakodate travel time by 53 minutes

    […]

    Last month, tickets for the first Tokyo-bound service from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto sold out in 25 seconds, while tickets for the first service going in the opposite direction were snapped up in 30 seconds, according to JR Hokkaido and JR East.

    Ahead of Saturday’s launch, Hokkaido Railway President Osamu Shimada said in an interview that the company hopes to attract users to the new bullet train service by facilitating increased exchanges between people in Hokkaido with people in the Tohoku region.

    He said the company also expects to see a pick up in demand from overseas tourists.

    “I hear that foreign visitors wish to travel on Japan’s shinkansen trains,” he said.

    Shimada was involved in the abolition of ferry services connecting Hokkaido with Honshu in line with the 1988 opening of the Seikan Tunnel.

    While discussing the difficulties encountered during construction, Shimada pointed out that special methods were required to build a rail line that could be shared by both shinkansen trains and ordinary freight and passenger trains.

    He also stressed that safety was a priority, noting the company painstakingly tested equipment that will be used in the event of an evacuation.

    […]

    Reality Check Reply:

    Japan’s Bullet Trains Are Using Comfort and Sake to Challenge Luxury Jets

    Starting Saturday, Hokkaido Railway Co. will run trains at a top speed of 320 kilometers per hour (200 mph) to whisk passengers between Tokyo and Hakodate in 4 hours and 2 minutes. That’s only an hour longer than on a jet plane. With luxury offerings, bullet trains are giving the nation’s two largest carriers ANA Holdings Co. and Japan Airlines Co. a run for their money.

    “It could be a very pleasant experience,” said Edwin Merner, president of Atlantis Investment Research Corp. in Tokyo, who rides the bullet train to Nagoya or Osaka and back about once every two months.

    Japan’s high-speed trains, known as Shinkansen, have expanded their network since their debut in time for the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Bullet-train passenger numbers at 340 million last fiscal year were more than three times the figure for domestic air travelers.

    Bullet trains are gaining more ground against airlines. When the Hokuriku link opened last year, it cut the travel time between Tokyo and Kanazawa city in central Japan to 2 hours 28 minutes, and made it faster than flying. As passenger numbers tumbled by as much as 50 percent, ANA cut the number of flights to the region.

    […]

    Joe Reply:

    United Airlines will offer 10 abreast seating on some 777’s.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    So what… they are not the only ones. If you look around, you will find several “premium” airlines with 3-4-3 seating on their 777…

    Gag Halfrunt Reply:

    The “special methods…required to build a rail line that could be shared by both shinkansen trains and ordinary freight and passenger trains” are dual gauge track</a, because Shinkansen lines are standard gauge but the "ordinary" lines are narrow gauge.

  17. Roland
    Mar 28th, 2016 at 14:29
    #17

    Assembly Oversight Hearing on the Review of the Draft 2016 Business Plan for the California High-Speed Rail Authority:
    Live Webcast: http://www.calchannel.com/live-webcast/
    Audio only: http://assembly.ca.gov/listen/4202-audio

    Roland Reply:

    Direct video link: http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=18&event_id=2232

    Roland Reply:

    Peer Review Group letter commenting on 2016 Draft Business Plan: http://www.cahsrprg.com/files/25-March-letter-from-PRG.pdf

    morris brown Reply:

    The Peer Review Group is supposed to have 8 members; somemembers to be qualified only with specialized qualifications. (see AB-3034 (2008))

    It doesn’t seem to bother anyone, but currently the group has only 4 members, and it seems that Lou Thompson is the only active member. Hardly a group anymore.

    Joe Reply:

    Ha ha

    The Group was established with provision for up to eight members.

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.cahsrprg.com/index.html

    Roland Reply:

    Archived video link: http://calchannel.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=3484

  18. Jerry
    Mar 28th, 2016 at 16:19
    #18

    Good news. The Peer Review Group supports HSR.
    And makes suggestions for its future.

    keith saggers Reply:

    Legislative action will be required to address the $5.2 billion in C&T securitization that cannot be completed under some interpretations of current law. 1o Another $2.9 billion will be needed, in assumed federal (or other) grants; and at least $10.8 billion more will be required to complete Phase 1 even if the Authority’ s net cash flow projections are fully realized -a total of$18.9 billion. The Legislature could close a part of this gap by extending the C&T program and guaranteeing the Authority’s share. If the Authority were given the authority to pledge the full faith and credit of the state in making availability payments or in applying for RRIF or TIFIA funding, an added part of the gap could be closed. As we have stated in earlier letters, there are a number of potential tax measures, such as a tax on transportation fuels, sales or real estate taxes (which finance part of BART’s needs), or various value capture measures at the state or local levels that could fully fill the gap if the state is committed to the program. cahsrprg

  19. Aarond
    Mar 29th, 2016 at 08:38
    #19

    So, this happened:

    msn.com/en-gb/news/world/german-train-operator-introduces-women-only-carriages-amid-fears-over-migrant-sex-attacks/ar-BBr2rqD?ocid=spartanntp

    “The Regiobahn line between Leipzig and Chemnitz will introduce the carriages to increase security for women. The carriages will be next to the train conductor in a bid to make women feel more safe. A spokesman for the railway said: “The local proximity to the customer service representative is chosen deliberately.””

    The line itself is only about 85km (52 mi) long, and gender-segregated transit is the norm in countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Egypt and Pakistan.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Isn’t the Leipzig/Chemnitz area the most Neo-Nazi/Right Wing Nationalist/Hooligan infested area in Germany?

    Zorro Reply:

    Those two cities(Leipzig/Chemnitz) in Germany were also a part of the former East Germany(DDR).

    Domayv Reply:

    and most of the Neo-Nazi/Right-wing Germans come from the former East Germany. Also, they didnt mention Japan on the list of countries with gender-segregated cars.

  20. Roland
    Mar 29th, 2016 at 12:35
    #20
  21. synonymouse
    Mar 29th, 2016 at 13:41
    #21

    This article apparently comes out of ground zero of alleged hatred for Tejon yet endorses it.

    http://www.sgvtribune.com/opinion/20160328/light-rail-doing-fine-not-so-for-bullet-train-thomas-elias

    Paul, there is someone in Sta. Clarita-Palmdale who likes the Tejon-I-5 alignment?

    But SMART doodlebugs are FRA-AAR heavy rail not light rail.

    keith saggers Reply:

    There’s also massive resistance to a plan for running up to five freight trains weekly through the East Bay area and Monterey County to a Phillips 66 oil refinery in Santa Maria, which supplies much of the Central Coast.
    These trains would bring crude oil to the refinery, something Houston-based ConocoPhillips insists is needed because of declines in production of California crude oil. Oil trains would run from the Carquinez Strait near Benicia through much of the East Bay, raising fears of derailments and hazardous waste problems in populous areas. So far this year, there have been at least three derailments of oil trains in other parts of the nation, with hundreds of temporary evacuations resulting. Another train derailed only last month in the East Bay. sgvtribune

    keith saggers Reply:

    http://ww2.kqed.org/news/2016/02/06/oil-trains-face-tough-haul-in-california

    Aarond Reply:

    There’s no way for the state to regulate Class 1s, especially not local cities since they operate on private track. Even if their fight could be successful, they’d just get more tanker trucks ripping up freeways and more expensive gas at the pump.

    It’s infuriating that people are so shortsighted here. People can’t just wish away hazardous materials because they’re scary.

    EJ Reply:

    They can deny permits to construct the spurs and terminals to get the oil to the refineries, which is what they’re proposing. Highly doubtful if it will ever be economically viable in the foreseeable future to ship unrefined crude by truck.

    California already has some of the most expensive gas in the nation – hardly likely this will affect it one way or the other.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Of course Bakersfield refineries have already installed the spurs and terminals. As for the refinery at Callender I’m sure there are plenty of supplies of California crude if they were allowed horizontal drilling under the ocean. The oil trains would not be needed if that were the case. Either that or tell the people along the route to give up petroleum based fuels.
    On a serious note, it will be interesting to see if challenges by SLO County etc. hold up. Does refusing to allow expansion of an existing rail spur plus unloading racks amount to deliberate interference in legitimate interstate commerce?

    Aarond Reply:

    Yes. If it doesn’t require any property takes, at least. If the terminal/spurs in question only run on private property, there’s no way they’d be able to ban two private parties from moving goods by rail.

    datacruncher Reply:

    Paul, one Bakersfield area terminal near Taft installed the infrastructure for oil trains to transfer it to pipelines. But it sounds like it is receiving very little.

    But the other proposal that was going to serve a currently closed refinery has been shelved before construction even started.
    http://www.bakersfield.com/News/2016/02/13/oil-trains-stall.html

    Aarond Reply:

    They already got the spurs into it. It was built 50 years ago.

    EJ Reply:

    But SMART doodlebugs are FRA-AAR heavy rail not light rail.

    See how little the general public cares about the specifics of rail technology? All they know is they got a 43 mile railroad for less than half a billion dollars. Far less than an electrified light rail line that long would cost.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Yep, they built a new freight rr for the NWP.

    EJ Reply:

    Why do you oppose moving freight by rail?

    Joey Reply:

    SMART spent (and will continue to spend) a lot of money to accommodate freight. At some point you have to ask whether it’s worth it for the small volume of freight the line will actually see.

    EJ Reply:

    The locals wanted to reduce truck traffic on the highways. Seems like a worthwhile goal.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Naah, so far it is the grain elevators in Petaluma and the rumor of mining aggregate at Island Mtn. The grain elevators are gradually being surrounded by yuppie housing.

    Time for real light rail ala Gold Line. Sell the doodlebugs to BART.

    EJ Reply:

    Oh, so there’s hardly any freight? Earlier you were whining that freight trains would cause major delays on the line.

    Now, I realize you’re just a trolley car foamer and don’t give a shit about cost effective transit, but the mid-coast extension of the Blue Line in San Diego, for example, will cost about $200 million per mile, not including vehicles – and that’s pretty reasonable by the standards of North American light rail. At that rate, 2 1/2 miles of SMART would get built under the current budget. The whole line would cost $8.6 billion. Where is the money going to come from? I mean, an actual proposal, not your usual whining and sneering.

    synonymouse Reply:

    We’ll find out how great the cost when the doodlebugs are finally recognized to be the wrong choice for the task.

    The electrification is a small part of the cost. If you cannot afford the wire you cannot afford rail. Stick with a bus.

    The real cost here is of course incremental but necessary grade separations and the extension into southern Marin. About the same as BART civil works I should hazard, with typical PB terre brulee and liberal use of eminent domain to carve out a ROW along 101 to Marin City. Plenty of stilts would be perfectly ok as this is one of the stone ugliest parts of the North Bay. Could not possibly damage the aesthetics of that dreary trashy overbuilt corridor.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You get the money from the same place as Barbara Boxer always gets money for more lanes on 101 in Marin.

    10 cars of grain is not enough to pay for the maintenance of the NWP and its connection to the UP via Schellville. But the agreement calls for daytime freight ops.

    Ditch the NWP and hang wire. Proud to be a trolley car foamer.

    EJ Reply:

    No, see, I said an actual proposal. But all you’ve got is shit-talking. As usual.

    swing hanger Reply:

    The type of customer targeted by this service will not ride buses (remember, in suburban *white* America, buses= poor people and other “rejects”). The schedule SMART is planning to run (peak service with a token single or two midday runs) does not warrant the expense of electrification and the superior performance of EMUs. *Should* electrification be warranted in the future, they can easily sell the DMUs to some other operator (their go-anywhere FRA compliance being useful in this case) and string up the wires.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I take it you are not familiar with GGT and its quite plush MCI coaches to the City ridden by many a yuppie.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ EJ

    You apparently not familiar with the Northbay run by a tiny clique of insiders, in the old days Repubs, now machine Demos. Hardly any difference – totally uninterested in any “actual proposal” they did not come up with. Unknown are the actual SMART ridership and the number of crossing fatalities. Stay tuned in.

    EJ Reply:

    @Syno
    I’m familiar with how the Bay Area operates. I grew up there and lived there for a while after college.

    I asked a question, and just got a bunch of shit talking, which is all I really expected out of you.

    Michael Reply:

    The Island Mountain bit is the best. All one needs is about 5% reality to spin that SMART was built so that IF a 45 mile portion of the NWP was rebuilt from Willits north (Willits is 50 miles north of Cloverdale, planned north end of SMART), a cabal of the “players” could run rock trains from a quarry ALMOST 100 MILES PAST the end of SMART.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Cheaper to bring rock to the Bay Area by ship from BC or Mexico.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Michael

    Nonetheless the Northbay enviros have been worrying about the Island Mtn. scheme for some years as it is associated with the exquisitely connected Doug Bosco, who now runs the Sta. Rosa Press Democrat. My question is why the NWP is being subsidized by the taxpayers at all. Public transit yes, but a private freight op? Just local corrupt politics, thus the worry about Island Mountain.

    We will wake up one day and, oh, the powers have decided to incorporate Mendocino Co. into SMART. And rebuild the line with public monies. Just like waking up to BART on Geary and screw Muni and TWU 250A. Where did that come from? Same for Island Mountain.

    Michael Reply:

    [ in a mocking voice ] Oh, Please let us hope all that rock comes out in trucks on 101 instead.

    If the rock is valuable, it will come out.

    JBinSV Reply:

    They want open Island Mountain tunnel?
    Waste of money. Healdsburg for sure. (need a new bridge). Cloverdale ok. Ukiah maybe. Willits is pushing it. North of Willits, pure waste of money. Tracks run through some terrible geology.
    SMART should stop in Cloverdale. Riders north can get on in Cloverdale. Maybe if the north coast was as flat as Kansas. But not the washboard coastal hills.

    JBinSV Reply:

    NWP Island dreamers want to play trains with other peoples money.

    JBinSV Reply:

    Reality check north of Cloverdale, certainly north of Willits. The geology is slowly erasing the road bed. Not friendly for trains. Perpetual maintenance and repair of washouts. $$$ down the Eel river.

    Aarond Reply:

    JB: the NWP owns the ROW though even if it’s eroded away. Regardless if the RR exists or not, they own it and have the right to build (and rebuild) the line as much as they want.

    Passenger services obviously don’t make sense here (though, wouldn’t it be funny if Amtrak ran a line from Eureka to Oakland?) but there’s a possible business case for the NWP since their ROW does have sea access in Eurkea.

    JBinSV Reply:

    They can dream. But seems a long shot. Infrastructure is in the nations interest but this one is a money pit. It should be way down the list of things we should spend money on. Like repair levees. Fill pot holes. Build HSR.

    Aarond Reply:

    Obviously, you are right that most of this is a dream. But, should the NWP manage to run a successful business in the North Bay going back up the Eel River makes sense since they will own the ROW in perpetuity. CBR operates a similar line that runs into Coos Bay via the Suislaw River. There’s not a lot of money in moving plywood and (maybe) fish, but there’s perhaps enough to build a modern railroad on the old ROW.

    At any rate, the NWP does have significantly more private sector funding than any transit system. If the market wants plywood from Mendocino Co they’ll get it.

    Reality Check Reply:

    @synonymouse: Thomas Elias is a syndicated columnist … so unless he lives there, his recent column critical of the HSR route didn’t come out of “ground zero of alleged hatred for Tejon”; it was published in numerous papers around the state — even in the not-online Palo Alto Daily Post last week.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Thanks for the info – I thought it were a local columnist.

    Found out something else today I should have known but didn’t. The Key System used 3rd rail on the Bay Bridge – since forever I assumed it was catenary as with the rest of the Key. But there was catenary originally on the Bridge as well, for the Sacramento Northern and the IER. Torn out in 1941.

    Could be BART was subtly influenced by that since it was only a few years after the Key was abandoned that BART planning began in earnest.

    Reality Check Reply:

    This video shows Key System running pantographs down onto the Bay Bridge.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Don’t think that there was considerable influence from the Key System to BART, for the choice of bringing power to the vehicles. Overhead wires require a higher free space, which translates into bigger tunnel diameters; for mainly tunnel operation of a Metro, third rail is still the choice.

    Joey Reply:

    Actually a lot of metros, even 100% underground ones, are moving toward overhead electrification.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    This is insofar plausible because new developments, such as the contact rails by F&F, allow for less height, and modern tunnelling technologies have a lower penalty for greater diameters.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    New…? The Tokyo Hibiya line has used rigid overhead conductor rail since the early 1960s…

    Joey Reply:

    Sure, and I’m sure third rail made sense when BART was designed (1000VDC third rail maybe less so), but my point is that there’s nothing inherently better about it.

    Reality Check Reply:

    The new Metro in Panama City, Panama is overhead electrified.

    Same with the new driverless Line 4 in São Paulo, Brazil (tunnel photo showing contact rail).

    EJ Reply:

    There are outliers (Rome for example, or Paris RER), but when BART was being designed, the vast majority of new metro-type systems were third rail. I dunno why people claim this was some sort of idiosyncratic choice.

    Joey Reply:

    IIRC it used third rail while SP and SN shared the bridge, since the voltages were incompatible. When SP and SN stopped running, the overhead voltage was converted.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Definitive info thanks to KRK on the Altamont site:

    http://www.altamontpress.com/discussion/read.php?1,131336,131366#msg-131366

    synonymouse Reply:

    I suggest MTC should seriously look into another Bay bridge instead of a tube, a bridge with maybe multiple rail lines and numerous bus lanes. Quite possibly a better and more versatile investment over the long run.

    Elizabeth Reply:

    throw in the bike path and it starts to get interesting.

    Joseph Reply:

    Is it time to build the second crossing?

    I would think that it could be an easy way to get support for new rail crossings and even potentially justify the 280 tear down in mission bay, as adding an alternative route to bay bridge might allow for enough capacity on 101 to allow for the complete removal of 280 north of Mariposa st.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    what would the crossing look like, a link from the 380 to the 238; a link from the 280/101 interchange to north of Oakland Airport?

    Joseph Reply:

    Mu understanding is that the last time the southern crossing was proposed, it was as a connection from I-980 to I-280 (Connecting at the Cesar Chavez), with a possible spur to the I-238/I-880 interchange.

    Something like this:
    http://www.connectoakland.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/1971_The-Southern-Crossing-A-Brief-Report-plan.jpg

    Or this:

    http://foundsf.org/images/thumb/4/4b/Parallel_bay_bridge_and_southern_crossing_1948_4247129432_3af57996d3_b.jpg/720px-Parallel_bay_bridge_and_southern_crossing_1948_4247129432_3af57996d3_b.jpg

    However, I also found this drawing showing the bridge connecting through to Bay Farm:

    https://c8.staticflickr.com/3/2486/4231789143_90cd094bb2_b.jpg

    With the current calls to completely remove 980, its unlikely that this option would ever be realized, but I feel like it should still be considered, especially as it might be more politically feasible to gain support for a road and rail crossing as opposed to just rail. It would also allow for an alternative route to the Peninsula allowing some of the traffic currently going through Soma to divert to the more direct route, while providing some much needed redundancy for Oakland-SF travelers.

    I believe there was also a proposal for a bridge that would connect I-380 through to the same I-238/I-880 interchange but not sure if this was to be the second crossing, or another bridge entirely. I-380 has the ramps on both the East and West ends to extend the freeway, so I would expect this connection to be proposed again in time, regardless of what happens in Oakland and I-980.

    Unfortunately after the disaster that was the new Bay Bridge, I dont think anyone in their right mind will be in favor of Caltrans building another bridge in the foreseeable future, so this conversation is moot.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    What would the crossing be? The 238 to the 280, the 101/280 interchange to North of Oakland Airport.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Syn, the San gabriel Valley is a long way from Santa Clarita. Suggest you “crack the atlas” and study up on southern California. Incidentally the author wrote that there was “hardly any” resistance to the Expo line. Obviously he knows nothing of the history of the Cheviot Hills neighborhood opposition. Just leave that one in the round bin where it belongs.

    synonymouse Reply:

    To us far-off northern barbarians all of SoCal is just one big LA.

    Zorro Reply:

    Yeah, Ok Hagar, er Cyno…

  22. Reality Check
    Mar 30th, 2016 at 00:31
    #22

    O/T: BART sued after dumping WiFi vendor

    A company [WiFi Rail] contracted to provide BART passengers with wireless Internet is suing the transit agency for breach of contract, claiming BART cost them $7 million when it pulled out of a 20-year deal in 2014.

    […]

    WiFi Rail argues it was BART that could not meet the contract terms, repeatedly being unable to provide support resources necessary for further building out the system. BART never issued a permit to begin work on the third phase after several delays, according to the suit.

    BART hired a consultant to test the existing infrastructure in 2014, but the results were poor because, WiFi Rail argues, some of the system infrastructure had been damaged or disabled by BART employees doing unrelated work.

    […]

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