SF Downtown Extension Supporters Want Someone to Show Them A Hero

May 24th, 2016 | Posted by

Roger Rudick has a good overview at Streetsblog SF of yesterday’s HSR scoping meeting at UCSF Mission Bay. One of the main points of discussion by attendees was the progress – or lack thereof – on funding the downtown extension to bring Caltrain and HSR service to the Transbay Terminal:

Brian Stokle, with the group “Friends of the DTX,” [the “downtown extension” of Caltrain to the Transbay Terminal] was among the visitors. He expressed disappointment at the lack of progress in connecting Caltrain to Transbay, currently under constructions. “There’s no true political champion for it yet. And it’s a lot of money,” he said. That was a concern echoed by others at the meeting…

And that returned the conversation to the concerns of Stokle and others about the lack of progress on the DTX project. It was as if the HSR planners are already assuming the Transbay connection would not be completed in time–and that they would have to depend on King Street Station as its access point to San Francisco.

Esther Stearns of the SF Transit Riders spoke during the official public comment period: “We would urge you to aggressively address the downtown extension in the environmental reports–we want DTX in the EIR. We want to see access to the station in downtown rather than farther out,” she said.

This needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later. The Transbay Terminal project doesn’t really make sense without the DTX. And both Caltrain and HSR need the DTX as soon as possible to be maximally effective. This ought to have been funded and under construction already, ideally timed to meet Caltrain electrification.

But there is a lack of political leadership right now on major transportation projects in the Bay Area, in SF in particular, but also statewide. The DTX should not be languishing like this. We need elected officials to do what it takes to get it funded. Who will step up?

  1. Domayv
    May 24th, 2016 at 22:43
    #1

    Texas HSR update http://www.dallasobserver.com/news/fight-over-texas-bullet-train-and-eminent-domain-heads-to-washington-8317678

    Aarond Reply:

    The STB is typically friendly towards private RRs, why would this one be any different? For as much as the author talks up it being a “regulatory chokepoint”, TCR’s biggest hurdle will be privately funding total construction through completion within five years.

    The feds aren’t going to walk against a privately funded project. That won’t stop NIMBYs from getting aggravated though.

    Domayv Reply:

    what do the feds have against publicly-funded projects.

    Aarond Reply:

    nothing, I wasn’t implying that they did. Just that it’s less likely the feds would intervene on a privately funded project

    Joe Reply:

    They want FED STB intervention so a favorable federal ruling will take precedence over the more restrictive Texas State Law.

    There are two parts to the eminent domain process in Texas. In the first phase, a judge appoints a panel of three property owners in the county to preside over a semi-formal hearing to determine how much a landowner is entitled to be paid for a piece of condemned property.

    Aarond Reply:

    you’re right, I worded my post badly

  2. Richard Mlynarik
    May 24th, 2016 at 23:05
    #2

    The Transbay Terminal project doesn’t really make sense without the DTX.

    The Transbay Terminal project doesn’t make sense.

    That’s all.

    They fucked us. We’re fucked.

    $4 billion to put a bunch of soil and trees three stories up in the air, with less than no thought given to transportation.

    Everybody involved needs to die.

    Jerry Reply:

    Oculus, the newly opened New York city transportation hub at the World Trade Center, cost $4 billion. Including your regular normal average expected cost overruns.

    Jerry Reply:

    PS It does not have soil and trees. Also, no buses.

    EJ Reply:

    So California should be able to waste money on the scale New York does?

    Joey Reply:

    There is no station named “Occulus”. There is the Fulton Street Transit Center, which has an architectural element that might be described as an occulus, and there is the the WTC Transportation Hub. Both were terribly expensive and almost certainly have transportation value of only a fraction of their cost (~$1.4b for Fulton, ~$3.7b for WTC), particularly since they both already existed before all that money was poured in.

    And it’s a safe bet that even before the reconstruction, both carried more passengers than Transbay can hope to in the next century. Which only makes Transbay’s cost blowouts look worse. Keeping the temporary terminal and leaving the station as an open hole in the ground would have delivered 95% of the transportation value. Not that I am wholly against aesthetic/park elements, but the cost on such things really needs to be kept under better control.

    Roland Reply:

    You forgot this: https://www.wtc.com/media/news/westfield-world-trade-center-fully-leased

    Joey Reply:

    Oh right, and a massive handout to mall developers. Thanks for reminding me!

    Jerry Reply:

    “Everybody involved needs to die.”
    Which they will all do eventually of course. But are you suggesting that the empty spaces originally reserved for a few trains be turned into a columbarium? And the Transbay Terminal be their eternal monument?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Embalmed like Lenin

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    This is rather morbid…but isn’t everyone immortal until proven mortal?

    Eric Reply:

    Only 93.5% of humans who ever lived have died so far. Us in the 6.5% still have a shot at immortality…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What about that line of unkillable cells cultivated in a lab somewhere?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    may the odds be ever in our favor

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Use the force Harry – Darth Picard from Lord of The Rings

  3. Roland
    May 24th, 2016 at 23:21
    #3

    http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=24&clip_id=25243 click on item #11.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    1:00:30

    Acknowledges Second Transbay Tube is factor into choice or DTX route.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Good grief.

    Should read: Acknowledges Second Transbay Tube will factor into choice of DTX route.

    Zorro Reply:

    2nd tube? With what money? HSR money? No way, that isn’t happening.

    Roland Reply:

    C&T fumes currently providing life support to HSR (AKA “Rapid Rail”) through inhalation.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What?

  4. synonymouse
    May 25th, 2016 at 00:13
    #4

    The Party machine would rather spend their money on Palmdale.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Seriously, your obsession with Palmdale does you no good…

    synonymouse Reply:

    Nor Jerry and PB.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yes your obsession with Jerry and Parsons Brincken-something also doesn’t help your case…

    synonymouse Reply:

    There is no case; there is only the Fix.

    Reason and party line not miscible.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Chemtrails! Flouride!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Bielefeld does not exist!

  5. EJ
    May 25th, 2016 at 07:42
    #5

    4th and King has always been fine as a HSR terminal. I know I’ve said this before, but it’s no further from SF’s financial district than LAUS is from Bunker Hill. It connects to the Embarcardero light rail line, and by the time HSR gets there the central subway will be done. There’s a direct HSR-BART connection at Millbrae. DTX has alwaysbeen a nice-to-have at best.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Two issues w/ Fourth + King :

    1) SFMuni might have trouble moving a large block of pax at off-peak hours. Yes, their LRV’s are right next door, but it might take careful coordination to keep things from going into SNAFU-mode. Several buses have their terminals just across the street but it’s a more confusing option.

    2) The City Attorney needs to warn Mayor Lee and possibly a predecessor or two that terminating HSR at F+K could be deemed a breach of “Transit First” (an official city policy) and thus lead to charges of malfeasance and / or fraud.

    Jon Reply:

    You’re joking, right? This is the mayor who cancelled a bike lane by request of his optometrist. You really think he’s worried that not being sufficiently “Transit First” will lead to criminal charges?

    Ted K. Reply:

    I’m not joking. S.F.’s mayors are vulnerable to FEDERAL prosecution for wasting money on marquee projects (e.g. T-Third parts I [Bayview Service] and II [Central Subway]) and lying about “Transit First”. I agree it’s unlikely to happen, but the vulnerability exists and could be compared to a road-killed skunk / polecat near the woodpile.

    Aarond Reply:

    Bayview clearly counts as transit first. Though, the line would greatly benefit from running it westward up Geneva and to City College, which would then connect into the rest of the system there.

    But I don’t disagree with the sentiment, Muni is so poorly managed (especially with the lack of dedicated ROWs) that the city probably could/should get sued over not taking enough steps to improve service on existing lines.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Actually, it doesn’t. They killed an effective bus route (15 Third + Kearny) and put a crippled train in its place. Arleta and Bayshore needs a pedestrian overpass for safety and a better connection between the #8 and the trains. They promised signal priority along Third St. and caved into the business community’s demand that it NOT be turned on. The current dogleg from Third St. to Fourth + King is a source of delays with a deep history. And the Central Subway may be the nightmare that keeps on giving headaches forever.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Thank Rose Pak.

    EJ Reply:

    To point 1), they don’t now, do they? and this is before the central subway is even open. If there is congestion it should be easy to add more bus service.

    Joe Reply:

    I tried using the J/N light rail to 4th and King and it’s not effective. Too slow, a count down commute into SF downtown for south bound commuters.

    Better to walk from mission or in my case I walked and used the 22 bus to 22nd st station.

    Aarond Reply:

    Of course Muni isn’t effective: you’re sitting in car traffic despite being on a train. This has always grinded my gears, and now even LA has managed to surpass SF in light rail.

    I can’t put into words how much this infuriates me. San Francisco COULD have a modern light rail network (perhaps even one that could go across the Bay Bridge again and/or connect to the new TTC) but continues to bury their heads up their asses because eliminating onstreet parking is scary and different.

    Joe Reply:

    The J south of 24th is on streets but it runs in Delores park and at mission goes underground as a subway. About 40 minutes to get to Caltrain from noe valley.

    It goes north and I’m trying to get south so it’s about going in the wrong direction and adding a transfer to head south on the N. Many HSR riders will have the same issue.

    If mini were to take someone to a market street station that would eliminate the N transfer and speed up the trip.

    Add a 30th street BART station and make Millbrae/SFO an efficient BART to HSR transfer. That would be better for people not needing to get to downtown to head south. Cheaper than DTX.

    Joe Reply:

    At market street light rail J goes under ground.

    Ted K. Reply:

    Errata – The J-Church is underground from Embarcadero Stn. to the Church and Duboce portal (one block from Market St.). The surface run south to Balboa Park has two reserved ROW’s : Dolores Park / Liberty (18th to 22nd) and the San Jose Ave. cut near Glen Park. The POCA to Mission St. is at the northern end of the San Jose Ave. cut a couple of blocks south of 30th St.

    P.S. I used to ride the J as part of my commute.

    Joe Reply:

    Me too, from 30th north and it made no sense to get to use Muni J and N 4th and King.
    Walked to the muni 22 bus and took it to 22nd street Caltrain.
    Muni 48 was unreliable and meanders.

    Ted K. Reply:

    “… add more bus service.”

    The killer problem for the buses is I-80 and the Bay Bridge. The afternoon commute has regular jams as one passes near the on-ramps. The LRV’s are vulnerable to Embarcadero Blvd./ King St. jams (e.g. games at AT+T Park). THIS IS SURFACE TRANSPORTATION IN A TOWN THAT RUNS SURFACE TRAINS WITHOUT SIGNAL PRIORITY (e.g. T-Third line in the Bayview area). An apt paraphrase would be :

    Give me DTX, or give me death.

    Jerry Reply:

    EJ correctly points out that there is a direct CalTrain/HSR/BART connection at Millbrae. Just wear ear plugs when using BART. But it would get people closer to more stops than the TBT. Even to the East Bay.
    Use the DTX money to get HSR up and running first.

  6. Aarond
    May 25th, 2016 at 07:42
    #6

    Real Talk: if SF wants the TTC to be useful they can raise taxes for the connection. CHSRA is focusing on their job: the IOS. It should be SF championing the DTX because it’s a project that happens entirely inside SF, and mostly benefits SF residents.

    My point is that everyone needs to work together and if SF can’t carry their own weight then HSR can terminate at 4th&King. SF has the cash and political capital for these projects but chooses not to move forward. The lack of a DTX should serve as a wake up call and the state should not do the city’s job for them.

    EJ Reply:

    and mostly benefits SF residents.

    It mainly benefits SF businesses that happen to be located nearby, and the peninsula residents who commute to them. Some marginal benefit to HSR and Caltrain pax who might want to transfer to a transbay bus.

    Joe Reply:

    Negative value to Peninsula cities and San Jose who compete for corporate/business tenants.

    Santa Clara Co. will be asked to contribute to the DTX and I hope they recognize its a SF created problem. It’s like the trains continental rail road which didn’t run around the bay to SF. They stopped in the east bay and all of a sudden the SF ports were at a disadvantage.

    Michael Reply:

    SF Port lost prominence when shipping shifted to containers, which require a completely different landside environment. Compare the finger piers of SF (or Seattle near the ferry docks) with the acres of asphalt in Oakland (or Seattle, south of downtown). This happened in the early 70’s in SF and had NOTHING to do with the transcontinental railway running around the bay. Note that SP built the Dumbarton Bridge in the very early 1900’s to get a shorter route to SF and its port.

    Joe Reply:

    Transcontinental rail road ended in Oakland.

    The Central Pacific Railroad (CP) decided to make Oakland the western terminus of the transcontinental railroad and therefore purchased the SF&O in 1868. In 1869 they purchased the SF&A also, and in 1870 they merged the two local railroads together and then into the Central Pacific.

    The opening of the First Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 halted harbor development and the building of the seawall. The tonnage of vessels arriving at the port dropped by nearly half in the next two years.

    Wikipedia

    HSR ending in San Jose and lacking a DTX to SF will hurt SF just as the transcontinental RR ending in Oakland hurt SF port traffic.

    Michael Reply:

    Oakland was the dominant port at anytime before the 1970’s? Please try again.

    Joe Reply:

    Well, how about a link?!

    You got the transcontinental railroad fact wrong. Also missed the immediate negative impact ending the RR in Oakland had on SF’s port traffic.

    EJ Reply:

    Oh, and developers.

    Jon Reply:

    SF doesn’t want to find the DTX because the city doesn’t like the alignment. They want a cheaper alignment, without grade crossings or underpasses at 16th St and Mission Bay Dr, and including a station within walking distance of the Golden State Warriers arena. Once they have that in place, you can be sure that funding will be lined up for the project.

    Joey Reply:

    They want a cheaper alignment

    Based on the route they seem to prefer, I don’t think this is the case.

    Joe Reply:

    SF wants.

    Tack on a DTX fee for every train ride to from TBT including Caltrain.

    Joe Reply:

    Actually make TBT it’s own zone on Caltrain (Zone -1).

    EJ Reply:

    If they kept 4th and king, that would sure illustrate how necessary the DTX was in the first place. I.e. we’d get to see the number of people willing to pay a premium to use the TBT.

    Joe Reply:

    At the risk of sounding like a Mortis Brown curmudgeon, The City, IMHO, decided to build a “Washington monument” station and infill for itself and left the responsibility for transit to this overbuilt area to the rest of us including SoCal.

    Bay Area / Santa Clara county should NOT pay to help SF build DTX so they can poach Santa Clara and San Mateo based corporations. We should be paying to improve our county transit and coordinate better.

    The other counties need to have some say in how SF invests if they expect to have this “monument” bailed out.

    A special zone to TBT could be used to fund the extension. Issue bonds to pay for a cost sharing part of extension and pay it back with the zone income.

    Frankly downtown San Jose should be laughing at SF for building this monument and office space infill without any means to reach it with rail. 4th and King baby.

    Jon Reply:

    A special fare zone for Transbay is very likely to happen, but that won’t be enough by itself to get the DTX funded.

    Joe Reply:

    I expect some version of cost sharing at 1:1 worse case.

    Throw out 3 billion dollars to do it. As it grows in scope the city can decide how much added bullshit they what to pay for with this city use tax on TBT.

    3b is 200 million trips at @1.50. Half is 100m trips.
    They average 17m a year on the entire line with 10% growth annually and HSR coming.
    Change HSR 5.00 a ticket for TBT.

    It’s not totally going to fund the DTX but it can cover a good portion of a bond sale and interest.
    Also think twice about signature design and added costs for compatibility with a 2nd Bart tube.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    What is so special about 4th and King? If the TBT alignment doesn’t need to serve it, it’s way “easier” to cut a tunnel that can make TransBay “All things to all people”.

    I could list all the contradictions about why 4th and King is needed….but won’t diminish the hyperbole. At all.

    Bdawe Reply:

    It’s pretty rich when suburbanites served by freeways complain about ‘poaching’

    Joe Reply:

    How did you conclude the bay area is a suburb of San Francisco ?

    San Jose is the tenth largest US city and a far larger county than SF County.
    It’s in competition with SF for corporate tenants.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Fun fact: Out of the top 20 cities by size in the US, San Jose is the most likely to be forgotten in polls asking people for those cities…

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Well actually….

    Now that redevelopment agencies are dead, most suburban cores like San Jose and Oakland (or Long Beach, etc.) are seriously pissed off how much organic gentrification is happening in SF and LA proper. The League of Cities must be chafing at the bit to bankroll Brown’s successor.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Oakland isn’t a suburb. And it’s busy gentrifying

    Joe Reply:

    San Jose and Oakland are not suburban. Try using a few links. It might ground your imagination.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It’s important to note that “suburban development” doesn’t just include car-dependent municipalities that arose after World War II. Lots of urban areas started as “streetcar suburbs”, for example.

    Oakland and San Jose buried their urban cores with the same auto-dependent framework that even bedroom communities use. San Francisco (by dumb luck) never lost the density needed to avoid that fate even though it damn near tried (remember the Embarcadero Freeway?).

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Tack on a DTX fee for every train ride to from TBT including Caltrain.

    That’s been on the books for a couple decades.

    Roland Reply:

    It’s called a “fare zone”
    – Priced the same as a MUNI fare (currently $2.25)
    – More convenient (no transfers)
    – Faster (one minute vs 20+ on MUNI on game days)

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    SF actually wants (and this is a good thing) to open land currently occupied by Caltrain to development, and underground the rail line.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Oh don’t even try suggesting that in Germany… That’s exactly what Stuttgart 21 started out as: Put rail lines underground and redevelop the area. It ended up with major demonstrations that ended half a century of CDU (conservative) rule…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I liked the S21 project. Silly Stuttgart–mad about losing a wall of a train station and not accessing a park for a few years.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It gets worse: People in Stuttgart complained about the cost… Which is paid with other people’s money. As a city I would give very close to everything for a new train station and major downtown development being built for me from federal funds… But in Germany… Well, don’t get me started…

    Roland Reply:

    CRRA “Business Plan”
    – Extend 4th & King platforms to 1,410 feet
    – Turn 4th & King into a “Destination”

    Jon Reply:

    SF thinks that the per-mile cost of the DTX as planned is ridiculously high, and that by using TBMs rather than cut-and-cover they can increase the length of the DTX tunnel while keeping the total project cost the same or lower than it was before. Whether or not they are correct remains to be seen.

    Joey Reply:

    I believe the old plan was NATM, not Cut and Cover.

    Jon Reply:

    It was a mix of both depending on the section.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    SF doesn’t want to find the DTX because the city doesn’t like the alignment.

    “The city” doesn’t want anything.

    There are a dozen clowns in SF Planning and, as ever, at the infinitely-over-reaching, infinitely-incompetent, limitlessly non-delivering Transportation Authority, who just want to be paid forever and forever to perform quite literally insane and transparently crazy “studies”. It’s nice work if you can get it, and if you don’t give a damn about that whole quaint “public servant” business once supposedly involved in government jobs, at least nominally, at some time, in some place far away from here.

    They want a cheaper alignment, without grade crossings or underpasses at 16th St and Mission Bay Dr

    They most assuredly do NOT want anything “cheaper”. All their clownish crayon drawings feature hugely larger amounts of tunnelling, just for starters. You know, “tunnelling“, the expensive part. Lots and lots and lots of bonus tunnelling. And what they layer on top of that (flying junctions under the bay! taking out multiple existing high rises buildings! deep cavern stations in mud underneath their new (and non-performing) light rail line and new street!) goes from clownish to simply taking the piss.

    If you want (and you should!) “without grade crossings or underpasses at 16th St and Mission Bay Dr” you just send the tracks under the roads. That’s been obvious for 30 years. But the geniuses running the “study” at SF Planning have explicitly removed that option from their “planning” and “studies”, because what would there be for them to “study” then?

    To quote myself:

    The good news is that the only remotely feasible, desirable, fundable, constructible route “Tunnel Under Existing Alignment” has been “removed from further consideration.

    The great news is that flying junctions under the bay, miles of bonus underwater tunneling, knocking down existing high-rise buildings and magically burrowing under where they used to stand, and oh did I mention flying junctions in tunnels under the Bay (because, flying junctions in tunnels under the Bay!), are all under active evaluation, and that these careful studies by the best in the city and the best in the region and the best in the state and the best in the country will go on for years.

    America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals: death is too kind a fate.

    OK how about

    and including a station within walking distance of the Golden State Warriers arena.

    Oh, you mean a station right under Fifth between King and Townsend? Right where the Mission Bay station of the DTX always ought to have gone? Easy walking distance from two sports arenas? (Sports arenas being are second only to airport connectors as black holes of transit capital construction fraud and under-performance) Easy walking distance from actual non-suburban existing urban development with real density (i.e. that north-west of Townsend) rather then having half if its catchment area in the bay and the other half a quasi-Sunnyvale medium-density tilt-up multi-turn-lane eerily empty plannerscape? That’s not on the table.

    You mean a station that lies in a shallow trench — easy access from street level, no insane and unnecessary “mezzanine level”, massively cheaper life safety and ventilation, massively cheaper and more passenger-friendly in every way? That’s not on the table.

    Once they have that in place, you can be sure that funding will be lined up for the project.

    The funding the Caltrain to downtown SF (pretty much the only rail capital project in the Bay Area which made any sense anytime in the entire Bay Area in the last 30 years) has been lined up” more times than I can count.

    What counts is that the transit-industrial mafias, and the corrupt clowns in the “public” sector who feed and abet them, keep getting paid hundreds of millions to not accomplish anything. In fact, get paid hundreds of millions to make things vastly worse.

    A basketball arena? Sure, that’s one way to keep on keeping on. They’ll take it.

  7. Eric M
    May 25th, 2016 at 10:16
    #7

    Kings County officials have announced that they won’t appeal a recent high-speed rail court ruling that went against them

    Zorro Reply:

    So Kings County ran up the White Flag of Surrender on this lawsuit, now if HSR proves to be exempt from CEQA(I expect NEPA to prevail, cause preemption by the US Constitutions Supremacy Clause being invoked by the DOT), that will put the kibosh on that one too.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    How many lawsuits are still out there with any chance of dragging the project down for a few months?

  8. keith saggers
    May 25th, 2016 at 10:34
    #8

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view/acela-influences-alstoms-hs2-concept-train.html

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Take note Clem: duplex-derived with TSI-compliant 760mm platform.

    Eric M Reply:

    While the double-deck train on display in London is still a conceptual design, Railway Gazette understands that the single-deck proposal borrows heavily from the fleet Alstom is to supply to Amtrak for its premium Acela Express service linking Boston with New York and Washington DC.

    Faber Castell Reply:

    Très intéressant

    William Reply:

    Not an EMU

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Non-insane buyers of products write service and maintenance (and availability, etc) specifications, which vendors are free to meet using various design (and financing, etc) mechanisms.

    Insane bullshit purchasers of Buy American service-last crap hire LTK Engineering Services to write “design” documents that result in few to sole to no bidders, massive costs premiums, obsolete technology, obsolete designs, vendor lock-in, guaranteed LTK percentage skimming, low reliability, low availability, high maintenance cost, and insane life-cycle costs.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So you’re saying they should write something like “Build me train. Make it fast.” into the purchase order? (I am exaggerating for the sake of a point) On the other hand the US says “Make the train red with yellow stripes, pay the worker 17.33 and build it in Albuquerque” which will result in minus five hundred bidders…

    Roland Reply:

    You forgot the LTK-designed ploughs that detach on impact, derail the train, kill the driver and injure dozens of passengers in the process.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So….

    What’s their supposed purpose?

    Roland Reply:

    Their intended purpose was to push objects that might have derailed the train out of the way.

    Clem Reply:

    Three letters: ADA

    Unlike TSI, requires wheelchair access to all cars and between cars
    Unlike TSI, requires level boarding if not on a grandfathered system
    Unlike TSI, requires high floor HST vehicles (crazy, but it’s the law)

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Clem:
    1. Level-platform “step-free access” is one of the HS2 design requirements.
    2. ADA does not require wheelchair access between cars

    Clem Reply:

    Do you think they made the Acela Express wheelchair accessible from one end to the other just because they thought it would be a fun challenge?

    Also, I am curious to see a 760 mm level entry into a bilevel car that fits in the UIC loading gauge…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Will HS2 be built to the UIC loading gauge?

    Roland Reply:

    HS2 will be built to the same gauge as HS1 (GC) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loading_gauge#/media/File:Railway_Loading_gauge_UIC_and_containers_profile_-ISO.png

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Am I supposed to know what the abbreviations mean?

    EJ Reply:

    You could read the wikipedia article…

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Clem: in the case of Acela, it was because Babs Richardson’s luggage was so large.

    Just kidding…the extra wide aisles so that wheelchair users could reach the WC. But I am not clear on what that has to do with platform height.

    EJ Reply:

    Page 6 & 7:
    http://www.apta.com/mc/rail/previous/2012/presentations/Presentations/Martin-L-Intercity-and-High-Speed-Rail-Legal-Considerations.pdf

    What’s ambiguous (to me at least; IANAL), is the provision stating “individuals with disabilities…have access to all accessible cars available to passengers without disabilities”

    I mean I read the actual law cited and I still don’t know exactly what it means. Does it mean that they need to be able to access all cars from the platform, or from within the train? There’s also a provision somewhere else regarding food service cars requiring “equivalent service” for disabled and non-disabled pax, but I think this can be satisfied if at seat food service is provided to disabled passengers.

    William Reply:

    In the latest PCEP update, Caltrain’s lawyers and Federal regulators advised that it is okay as long as the ADA accessible bathroom car is clearly marked, no need for wheel chair to be able to traverse within the train.

    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Presentations/2016/2016-05-05+PCEP+Quarterly+Update.pdf

    Clem Reply:

    HSR and commuter rail are different beasts. A person of reduced mobility must be provided access to all amenities on board the train, whether it be bathrooms, different classes of seating, a lounge or cafe car, etc. Again, there’s a reason why the Acela Express is wheelchair accessible throughout all six cars including between cars inside the train.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    HSR and commuter rail are different beasts.

    A fascinating theory.

    Presumably the difference is that the conductors of the commuter trains have “COMMUTER TRAIN CONDUCTOR” pins on the hats of their conductor uniforms, while the HSR conductors’ say “HIGH SPED TARIN CONDUCTOR”.

    Clem Reply:

    Read the friggin statute already

    William Reply:

    To meet the ADA requirement, I think, the train design either need to have all the specialized function, such as Cafe, ADA bathroom in one “ADA accessible” car, or make the whole train accessible so that wheel-chair can traverse within the train.

    Jerry Reply:

    Are all airlines exempt from all of this?
    Long distant airlines, and feeder airlines?

    Max Wyss Reply:

    A 760 mm level entry into a bilevel car that fits in the UIC loading gauge would result to room heights of around 190 cm, unless there would be only one entrance per car, and the vestibule would be squeezed somehow into the stairs area. And then, the lower floor would still have to be around 550 mm above rail head. The whole design would be a big load of a kludge…

    Already the Stadler Giruno (single-level low-floor train for 250 km/h) is kind of a kludge with its two or so doors for 760 mm level boarding.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So what’s your proposal?

    Bdawe Reply:

    If ADA requires wheelchair access to all cars and between cars then how do superliner-derived designs continue to be ordered?

    Clem Reply:

    Grandfather clauses?

    Bdawe Reply:

    So you’re supposing that the Nippon-Sharyo order that would be under construction but for 798,000 lbs buff strength being not stiff enough for the FRA, was legal because the design is grandfathered? Or that Amtrak-and-friends can order them because they already have a bunch of similar equipment to be compatible with?

    William Reply:

    No, you can only grandfather cars ordered/made before the 800,000lbs rule taken effect. New cars ordered/made after the rule taken effect, even if it is the same design, will still need to meet the requirement.

    Bdawe Reply:

    perhaps I confounded my comment by bringing that bit of trivia up. I was talking about ADA requirements, not buff strength

    Clem Reply:

    It’s a good question, and yes I think the new cars were grandfathered into an existing setup. New systems like California HSR will not be afforded the same latitude. Curious to see what Brightline will do with their trains in Florida; probably 100% accessible throughout the entire train.

    Roland Reply:

    California HSR became grandfathered the day they adopted the blended system.

    Roland Reply:

    ADA “requires high floor HST vehicles”. Quote, please?

    Clem Reply:

    49 CFR 38.175

    All cars for high-speed rail systems, including but not limited to those using ‘‘maglev’’ or high speed steel-wheel-on-steel rail technology, and monorail systems operating primarily on dedicated rail (i.e., not used by freight trains) or guideway, in which stations are constructed in accordance with part 37, subpart C of this title, shall be designed for high-platform, level boarding

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How far above the patch of asphalt under the bus shelter by the side of the tracks is “high”?

    synonymouse Reply:

    But BTW not aircraft AFAIK, which is what I suspect Musk & Co. would try to term vactube.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Aircraft have rules under the ACAA.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    high-platform, level boarding

    The first is a meaningless, non-defined terms.

    It’s pretty clear the spirit of the law is “level boarding”. Moreover, I’ve never seen anything anywhere that would disqualify “550mm Above Top of Rail” as not being “high-platform”. We’re talking USA USA USA USA here, where “low-platform” means “strip of asphalt next to a freight track”.

    Reality Check Reply:

    Agreed, unless “high-platform” is defined to be some quantifiable (or minimum) height elsewhere … it seems the spirit and intent is really just “level boarding” and that anything above traditional US step-stool-requiring strip-o’-hardscape would qualify as “high-platform”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So why put the superfluous words into the law?

    Reality Check Reply:

    Humans do dumb stuff all the time. This might be a case of that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Like the second amendment?

    snogglethorpe Reply:

    The obvious criteria would be “high enough to be above typical rail bogies, so that both boarding and intercar transit are possible without stairs.”

    Dunno where that point is exactly, but 550mm probably doesn’t cut it…

    Clem Reply:

    Inter-car transit becomes a requirement as soon as you specialize cars with different functions such as coach, business, first, or café.

    William Reply:

    The newer Shinkansen trainsets such as 800 series and N700i series have almost all of their axles powered. Do they have better acceleration from standstill than European HSR trainsets, such as Velaro D?

    swing hanger Reply:

    The N700 has acceleration of .72 m/s/s while Velaro CN has .38 m/s/s. Of course, is this kind of Tokaido Line-dictated performance really needed for the HS2 route? I see the initial service plan envisions 10 tph (11 tph peak) out of Euston, with not so many intermediate stops. Something like the N700 may be overspec.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    How much of the acceleration is due to “comfort” concerns (I find a vehicle in which you don’t feel acceleration a bug not a feature) that vary by country?

    swing hanger Reply:

    The figure for the N700 is still low compared to metro/commuter trains, which typically have max acceleration rates in the 1.11 to 1.25 m/s/s range. Above that and you start knocking people off their feet.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Fun fact: Buses with standing room are limited to 60 km/h in Germany… Buses with all seaters are limited to 100 km/h (technically 80 km/h with “special permits” for 100 km/h which are rather easy to get)… There is no such limit for any rail based transit.

    Roland Reply:

    The Europeans are wimps (who cares about passengers?)
    Caltrain’s seatless and toilet-less Stadler KISS EMUs will accelerate at 1.1m/s2

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Not to speak of the proposed acceleration for the Hyped Loop

    Roland Reply:

    Standees are not allowed in hyperloop pods. Seats face forward and are equipped with safety belts.

    William Reply:

    Come to think of it, if Caltrain is to become a metro-like system, bathrooms at stations should take priority over bathrooms on trains. Very few subway systems have bathrooms on trains. The ones that have it are all commuter-subway combination systems.

    Regardless, the top 5 stations in the Caltrain system should have bathrooms whether or not there are bathrooms on trains. As of 2016 Feb. counting they are San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose Diridon, Mountain View, Redwood City. Right now only San Francisco and San Jose Diridon have bathrooms.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    Pretty awful actually (loco-hauled, duplex), surely the UK won’t be daft enough to consider these…?

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    What is wrong with loco-hauled duplex? What do you know that SNCF doesn’t?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The Austrian railjet is loco hauled and “only” makes 230 km/h. Almost all really fast trains are multiple units and their world record trial runs blow the loco hauled ones out of the water…

    EJ Reply:

    What are you talking about? The world speed record for wheeled trains is held by a modified TGV duplex set. EMUs generally have better acceleration, but top speed has nothing to do with it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It’s listed under “multiple units of SNCF” on WP. What are you talking about?

    EJ Reply:

    Actually, you’re right, the cars had powered bogies as well. I didn’t know that. In any case, standard TGV trains operate at similar speeds to HSR EMUs (Velaro, Shinkansen, etc.). It’s acceleration where they pay a penalty.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Acceleration can be much more important than top speed…

    Clem Reply:

    Not much of a penalty at all. Above roughly 100 km/h a high-speed train’s acceleration will be limited by available power, not available adhesion. How much time do these high-speed trains spend below 100 km/h, even in mountainous territory? The penalty is trivial.

    William Reply:

    When a train can accelerate faster it also can spend more time cruising at highest operating speed.

    The better acceleration and less un-sprung weight features of EMU also make it more suitable for hilly environments, and possibly reduce the need for long tunnels.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Case in point: (I know I am repeating myself) the Frankfurt Cologne mainline at 4% incline which still leaves a lot of reserve for the ICE 3 (I think they can still start from v=0 if one of their engines fails within a 4% incline).. Back in the old days such a line would have been considered a “mountain railway”

  9. Reality Check
    May 25th, 2016 at 10:58
    #9

    Peninsula opponents trash high-speed rail’s “blended service” with Caltrain

    […] the “blended service” plan with high-speed trains and Caltrain sharing the same tracks was criticized for blocking grade crossings so frequently that it will “inflict on the Peninsula the greatest traffic disaster the Peninsula has ever experienced or will ever experience.”

    Mike Brady, a Redwood City attorney who has led local opposition to high-speed rail, made that argument, adding, “We cannot put up with this.”

    Brady’s argument — that the 20 trains per hour up and down the Peninsula during peak service periods will block most automobile traffic across the line — is a major reason why the pre-2012 business plan called for the line to be completely grade separated where it crossed streets.

    Ultimately, however, the goal of many of the residents who spoke Tuesday is not to come up with an acceptable way for the new trains to reach San Francisco, a requirement of the 2008 law that authorized the system, but to stop their northbound runs at San Jose.

    “I don’t see why people who want to take high-speed rail wouldn’t take Caltrain to San Jose and change there,” one woman said.

    At grade, there are 42 crossings between San Jose and San Francisco where high-speed trains may — and Caltrain already does — hit vehicles and people, frequently with disastrous results.

    […]

    Joe Reply:

    This argument makes no sense.

    If people transfer off HSR and onto Caltrain to SF then they will have to operate more frequent Caltrain service to carry these passengers to and from SF.

    Or maybe they can take Uber or Cab or rent a car in San Jose and ride to SF. Waze will show them some shortcuts through the Peninsula. The gates will be up longer so more cars can cross.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Nobody is going to rent a car to go from Dirdon to San Francisco.

    Joe Reply:

    Right. So they will take Caltrain which is at capacity now so Caltrain will add trains and the gates stay down.

    If they really capped Caltrain it is going to cause more auto traffic and the gates will be up more for a hoard of automobile traffic.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Caltrain cant add trains because they dont have the money to expand service to meet demand.

    Thats the point, if you expand train service without grade seperation your ruin the traffic flow. I realize you want to end car use in the USA, but if you try and do it in 1 fell swoop you are going to lose whatever support HSR might have. Remember that 80-90% of voters still are drivers, and this is a democracy.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s diesel line. they could hitch some beat up Metra cars to some beat up MARC locomotives, really cheap.

    Clem Reply:

    Instead they are shopping for used AEM-7s. Believe it or not.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    …. MARC has some they will looking to get rid of.

    Bdawe Reply:

    I’m sure that will do wonders for reliability

    Joe Reply:

    You say Caltrain has more demand than service and … WTF ?! it means failure ?!!

    Caltrain will add trains because peninsula cities need Caltrain. Peninsula city development plans and specific development projects rely on Caltrain explicitly to reduce car trips.

    Economic growth is tied to Caltrain capacity. Thankfully most residents know it and support trains over more car trips and stalled growth.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Cal trains has been crowded for years. With no constant source of income they don’t add trains because they can’t afford to add trains. Adding service costs money

    Joe Reply:

    “Too broke to do anything” Caltrain bought additional train cars and deployed them.

    You’re not even trying anymore.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Proposed Caltrain fare hike highlights funding and equity shortfalls

    http://peninsulapress.com/2015/11/23/proposed-caltrain-fare-hike/

    Headline says it all

    Joe Reply:

    This doesn’t at all support your argument. There’s no limits on or even hint that Caltrain cannot carry HSR passangers or that Caltrain can’t add service for additional passengers.

    Furthermore you ignore the Rationale for electrification and added train cars Caltrain purchased web though you say they cannot add service.

    You have a problem being fully truthful.

    Roland Reply:

    Caltrain bought 16 cars from Metrolink two years ago and “deployed” 5. The other 11 have been parked for 2 years (6 @ CEMOF and 5 @ Diridon).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If they don’t have the money to expand service they can always raise fares. It will make ridership go down and revenue go up (assuming there is more demand than can currently be met). At some point ridership will be down to a manageable level or revenue will be high enough to add more trains. This of course makes no political sense, but it does make some economic sense…

    Now if we only could do that for roads: Raise the tolls until they are not saturated any more…

    J. Wong Reply:

    Some people believe they can have their cake and eat it too. Oh, well.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I cannot get excited about Caltrain-TBT-PBCAHSR, etc. because Pacheco was the wrong selection from the outset.

    Joe Reply:

    Well, you need to take Viagra.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry cornered the supply.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well you can always buy it from Spam-Mails… Just like stocks in Hyped Loop…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Get over it already.

  10. john burrows
    May 25th, 2016 at 12:53
    #10

    Some bad news I am afraid— Summary results of the C%T auction held last week are in and it’s not good.

    Of about 77 million allowances for sale, only about 8 million sold, and only 785,000 ARB allowances sold.

    What this means is HSR is going to receive less than $3 million from this last auction, and total proceeds for the 4 auctions for fiscal year 2015-2016 will fall well short of the estimated $500 million.

    We are, I am sure, going to be hearing a lot more about this.

    john burrows Reply:

    From what I have been reading, one of the big problems with this auction and with the remaining auctions scheduled before 2021 is the uncertainty about what happens after 2020. The sooner C@T can be extended beyond 2020 the better, and hopefully a way can be found to do this.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    no this cant be so. Joe et al. said that

    1. All the people who belive cap and trade is going to run out in 2020 are GOP alarmists and have no legal basis to stand on (including the independent legislative legal team)

    2. The CA Attorney General was going to sue to make sure the law stayed in effect

    3. That CA had until 2020 to solve the issue

    4. Cap and Trade will live forever and the money will flow like sands through and hourglass.

    – So those facts, that almost 90% of the allowances did not sell cant be true
    – It also cant be true that the European system of Cap and Trade collasped because of the same problem which is that the politicians wont let the allowances become scarce because they are not actually willing to let the cost of carbon production go up.
    – It also cant be true that cap and trade is just a charade to make it look like they are doing something while in actuality its all just a “for show” exercise

    its not true….it will raise a kagillion dollars and we will all ride off into the sunset on a super fast train that runs the length of the country.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The people counting cap-n-trade chickens should worry more about cheap batteries.

    Joe Reply:

    Except cap and trade is the conservative, market based alternative to taxes and regulation.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Cheap simple solutions, a carbon tax, don’t offer many opportunities to extract vigorish from the system. No elaborate auction system. No lawyers or lawsuits. No lobbyists, No media consultants trying to convince the proles it’s an evil plot to turn Airstrip One over to Eastasia…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But couldn’t you make tons of money off of privatizing highways?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    So what. The democrat contriolled CA givernment installed it. Can’t blame the GOP for this. And even if you could, who cares. It’s not working, just like the exact same European system didn’t work on a larger scale.

    Go ahead tell us all how this is an anomaly and it will raise 50 billion for HSR.

    Joe Reply:

    Its not working … Hilarious this epiphany after one event.
    Why didn’t you tell its it doesn’t work?

    I don’t know if it doesn’t or does work-it is complicated but but but the state is committed to reducing emissions so we can always go back to taxing and regulating if adopting conservative policies is a failure.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Changing horses so soon? Carbon tax instead now? Wont help get HSR built now. They need to sell those revenue bonds in the next few years, but feel free to wait as long as you like.

    Joe Reply:

    Not changing horses.

    Simply, the project is going to be funded with revenue from dirtier fuel sources.
    If your solutions fail, proven solutions can work.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    wow, so you think they are going to pass a carbon tax (2/3rds majority required) and then give some part of the money to HSR. And do it all before 2020 when the money is needed

    You are super optimistic. And you are changing horses. You did nothing but say how Cap and Trade will work and how the 2020 sunset was just a bunch of hooey. And now you are talking about a carbon tax instead. Stand by your position.

    Joe Reply:

    I think we’re serious about carbon emission and green house gas reduction. It’s a shame your too locked into liberal tweaking to care.

    Congratulations. Already 2016 is hotter than any other year experienced by our species. We’re number 1.

    If cap and trade markets can’t be fixed then we’ll move on to other mechanisms.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    We’ll move onto PV, wind and really big cheap batteries.
    Right now, if my boiler springs a leak and needs to be replaced, the payback period for PV and a ground sourced heat pump is 15 years. A bit longer if we have to replace the electric service. A bit less if the hole is cheaper than I’m estimating.
    …. free heat after that…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    and just for the record, I did point it out

    http://www.cahsrblog.com/2013/04/carb-agrees-to-use-some-cap-and-trade-funds-for-hsr/#comment-184304

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yes John, welcome to the club.

    But don’t confuse cause and effect: the C and T auctions are struggling because domestic energy production is falling and the economy is cooling off…and…

    The reasons why C and T isn’t viable long term is different: sin taxes always squash demand more than they raise revenue.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    FYI, a very in depth article on why they dont work using Europe as the example

    http://corporateeurope.org/climate-and-energy/2014/01/life-beyond-emissions-trading

    Faber Castell Reply:

    “The reasons why C and T isn’t viable long term is different: sin taxes always squash demand more than they raise revenue.”

    Which is kind of is the whole point right? Probably bad for CHSR funding short term but succeeds in the larger goal of discouraging CO2 pollution through financial disincentive and accelerating transitions to cleaner technologies that otherwise would not have occurred…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    PV wind and batteries becoming cheaper than fossil fuels will do that too.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So why don’t we do carbon taxes ASAP?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Because the House of Representatives is being held hostage by insane people?
    They can’t do anything about PV and wind becoming cheaper than fossil fuels. Not while chanting “guibbermint bad, two feet good”

    john burrows Reply:

    The auction results last week brought some bad news for C&T. But keep in mind that the previous auction in February did bring in slightly over $500 million even though all of the allowances did not sell. My hope is that this was some kind of a correction and that proceeds from the next auction (Aug 16) will be more in line February’s results. That being said, you are right in that California had better get its act together long before 2020.

    My understanding is that, in theory at least, by 2050 the number of carbon allowances will be reduced by 80% from what they were at the beginning of the program, making them relatively scarce, and almost certainly much more expensive. But we will have to wait and see if it does work out this way. And if California cap and trade were in danger of collapse, then why are the Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Manitoba joining forces with California and Quebec?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Because it is good politics. Looks great, does not actually impose pain. It’s simple supply and demand. The system is awash in credits. It does not matter if you reduce them by 2050 if you offer way more than is needed now. To work, they need to make the credits scarce. I.e. Less than is needed. But that is a visually not the case

    They sold less than 20%. So even reducing them 80% would not have saved this auction now, much less in 2050

    The better question is why they are using a process that has failed on a large scale already?

    john burrows Reply:

    Still off topic—

    Dan Walters is not a friend of high speed rail, but I must grudgingly give him credit for his spot-on prediction on how last weeks C&T auction would turn out.

    “California’s glut of cap-and-trade allowances may cut revenue”

    Joe Reply:

    My broken clock says it is 7:08. It is correct

  11. Joe
    May 25th, 2016 at 14:53
    #11

    Hyperloop + Vibranium = IQ Test

    Congratulations to time magazine. They’re ONIT!!
    http://time.com/4346257/hyperloop-vibranium/

    Hyperloop is building Vibranium into thier passenger capsule. Vibranium. WTF?!

    Typing up emailed press releases as technology news. La la la.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Bechtel-PB already holds the patent on Unobtainium.

    Zorro Reply:

    Does Marvel know that their copyright is being used without Marvels permission?

    Danny Reply:

    Balthorium G is pretty risky fuel for a system where not one thing can be allowed to go wrong

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What about Phlebotinum?

    EJ Reply:

    Eh, let me know when they perfect the dilithium power supply.

    Joe Reply:

    Transparent Aluminum windows.

    It embarrassing to see news organizations trolling for eyeballs. They reprint fantastical press releases that belong as parody in “The Onion” Violá. Site traffic.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There’s a reason why many people get their news from HBO and Comedy Central nowadays…

  12. morris brown
    May 25th, 2016 at 17:07
    #12

    Now posted to Youtube at:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbvC1Onbf2M (about 22 minutes)

    is the excerpt from the SFCTA Board meeting of April 26 2016, with the presentation dealing with the DTX, Railyard, I280.

    Thanks to Roland for finding this. I figure another 20 years or so and another 10 grand studies, before they even think about construction. A real money pit.

    There are 2 striking pictures, taken before demolition of the Embarcadero and afterwards. Amazing transformation.

    Roland Reply:

    Glad you liked it. Here is a more recent version: http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=29&clip_id=25368 (click on #21)

    Meanwhile the Rail Delivering Partners cuckoos are working on turning the 4th & King depot into a “destination”…

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Roland and others:

    Don’t get confused… it is all about the money. Bob Feinbaum in public comment hits the center of the target:

    see:

    https://youtu.be/953dMln32wA (3 minutes)

    Feinbaum has a recent OP ED on this nonsense:

    Grandiose study seeks to derail Caltrain extension to downtown San Francisco

    Jerry Reply:

    You are correct Morris:
    #1 It is all about the money.
    #2 CalTrain/HSR extension to Trans Bay Terminal will be derailed. (See #1)
    Simply getting HSR from the Central Valley to San Jose seems to be a HIGHER priority than getting several blocks from 4th and King.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Willie Brown and Friends have always been against the TBT tunnel and favored BART Ring the Bay.

    Roland Reply:

    The 1.3 mile DTX is going to cost $4B and take 8 years.
    The 16-mile Pacheco tunnel is going to cost how much and take how long?

  13. synonymouse
    May 25th, 2016 at 20:30
    #13

    “But there is a lack of political leadership right now on major transportation projects in the Bay Area, in SF in particular, but also statewide.”

    Who wants to sign on to projects that are poorly conceived? Unless one is cut in on the gravy train.

    Roland Reply:

    Correct: There is no problem with leadership or funding.

    The real problem is that no-one is going to sponsor a $4B 1.3 mile hole in the middle of the most expensive real estate in the country that was “designed” by rent-seekers to make it physically impossible to connect Diridon to Transbay in 30 minutes or less.

    Joe Reply:

    Name the rent seeker.

    I’m curious if you have assigned names to your automaton’s variables. What rent seeker and what is the rent for?

    Roland Reply:

    Light reading: https://books.google.com/books?id=U7f65a2E-BkC&pg=PA475
    Light entertainment: http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=29&clip_id=7419 (click on #5)

    Joe Reply:

    So no names – just jargon and links.

    Thanks but no thanks. Not interested in fishing for your thoughts.

    Roland Reply:

    Whatever gave you the idea that my ramblings were intended for your private consumption?

    Joe Reply:

    Oh Rolaids, can’t you explain the purpose of your links ?

    Roland Reply:

    It was an IQ test (you failed the left-click part of the test).

  14. morris brown
    May 25th, 2016 at 21:24
    #14

    Sac Bee: California carbon emission auction proceeds fall short

    The results of last week’s quarterly auction were posted and revealed that instead of the $500-plus million expected from the sale of state-owned allowances, the state will get only about $10 million, less than 2 percent.

    This is going to put a real crimp in the projected funding for HSR.

    Joe Reply:

    oops

    Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer said the shortfall will reduce the anticipated carryover of cap-and-trade funds into the 2016-17 year but noted that Brown had built a $500 million cap-and-trade reserve into his budget


    This month’s auction results cut into that expectation, but whether it’s a one-time dip or the harbinger of a more permanent down-market is uncertain.

    les Reply:

    From my understanding they need 1/2 billion for next year based on this logic.
    The Authority can’t start on SJ to Merced until 2018. There is about 4 billion of bonds remaining. They only need enough matching bond funds (C&T or other) for the Wye component next year. The Wye is 50 miles of track and probably wont be much more than 1 billion.
    If no C&T in 2018 then the authority should be worried.

    Roland Reply:

    No problem. It’s going to take them 15 years to tunnel through Pacheco, so funding should align nicely with mining activities :-)

  15. JimInPollockPines
    May 26th, 2016 at 10:08
    #15

    This DTX thing has been going on for 2 decades now. What is the damn problem? So who is suppose to pay for it? Caltrain? It was originally suppose to be just for caltrain back before hsr. The City, since its within the city and county limits? CHSRA? The BOS, Mayor, Caltrain and CHSRA should be sitting down at the table to devise a joint financing plan.

    Could a private company built it and then charge a toll for every train that uses it? Its time to wrap this up.
    Who is going to be the next mayor?

    Jerry Reply:

    CalTrain, et.al, seems to be having a problem just operating and paying for the current system and improvements such as electrification. Let alone new grade separations. “This DTX thing” would seem to be a lower priority than getting HSR up and running.
    After years and years of just talking (and studies) to try and do everything at once is impossible. The infrastructure really has been ignored and is falling apart.

    Roland Reply:

    This “DTX thing” should have higher priority than Caltrain electrification (Caltrain does not need electrifying until DTX).

    Jerry Reply:

    So finding the money and paying for an empty tunnel comes BEFORE finding the money and paying for CalTrain electrification. (With the new trains.)
    That’s OK with me, if that’s what everyone wants.

    Joe Reply:

    Nope. That’s nonsense.

    DTX is also not a usable segment and wouldn’t qualify for prop1a.

    We need better and cleaner, non-diesel service along the Existing system for HSR transfers and then blended HSR.

    SF needs to explain why the massive amount of money they raised selling property was best spent on a massive station instead of confunding DTX to a less ambitious station.

    Roland Reply:

    4th & King is not Prop1A compliant, so you need to go and look for other sources of funding for Caltrain modernization. It is also totally unclear how we could possibly grade-separate, straighten curves or raise platforms AFTER electrification.

    Joe Reply:

    I look forward to your Perry Mason moment.

    The problem is the electrification isn’t required to meet HSR since it isn’t HSR and has its own EIR.

    The segment SJ to SF isn’t even in phase 1 which is all they can build with prop1a money and additional monies.

    Meanwhile the Appellate Court in favor of the HSR Authority ruling man-splains case law which grants HSR Authority the latitude IF and IF isn’t in this case, the 4th and King is their design. It references a 1.5 mile BART station location change as a permissible deviation from the initial design.

    Joe Reply:

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

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

    Roland Reply:

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

    Joe Reply:

    Another link spasm?

    Roland Reply:

    “The segment SJ to SF isn’t even in phase 1 which is all they can build with prop1a money and additional monies.”

    Wrong again: “As adopted by the authority in May 2007, Phase 1 of the high-speed train project is the corridor of the high-speed train system between San Francisco Transbay Terminal and Los Angeles Union Station and Anaheim.”
    Streets and Highways code section 2704.04. (b) (2)
    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=shc&group=02001-03000&file=2704.04-2704.095

    Joe Reply:

    It’s 2016. Look at Phase 1 as defined in the recent draft business plan.

    Roland Reply:

    The 2016 Draft Business Plan has been codified through legislation that revoked the Bond Act???
    Would you be kind enough to point me to Chapter & Verse?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Two major investment studies, draft environmental etc and two sets of lawsuits. Not to mention all the project management involved in tearing down ten year old catenary! Lotsa a white collar work to be billed. I’m sure the cost overruns will be blamed on backhoe operators earning a third or a quarter per hour.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Caltrain needs to put to death and handed over to BART to manage and operate.

    Aarond Reply:

    Because BART is so much better? Caltrain has not had a major service disruption due to deferred maintenance (unlike BART’s recent problems with it’s power systems). BART right now needs $4 billion just to keep itself from falling apart.

    That said I would love nothing more than to have the east bay cities pay for a peninsula project. Though they very well might, assuming there’s real movement on the Dumbarton rail bridge.

    swing hanger Reply:

    At least people can take comfort that BART is better right now than DC Metrorail
    =race to the bottom

    Joe Reply:

    They’ll hire more Bart police and cell phone jamming devices, also install fake cameras.

    Sounds great.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They did take on somebody with a brain, as in discovery of tapered wheelset profile and acoustic tuning pads applied to the rails. This approaches the Rapture for the BART-Bechtel mindset.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Is this a type of project that usually has the Feds involved? Because if that’s the case, it might be better to wait for November…

    Aarond Reply:

    No, only SF has authority over transit planning in the area. Caltrain might be tasked with final construction/delivery but SF has to be involved from day one and be the biggest payers into it (even with federal grants). The feds aren’t involved in any way other than (hopefully) funding.

    Joe Reply:

    Well SF loves signature projects that costs multi-billions. It’s not going to happen this time.

    I’m perfectly fine not having SF lure corporations out of Santa Clara county. They are building a
    Masterful station and infill office space with no way to get there from Caltrain or HSR.

    Let’s see what San Jose does around their station.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “Well SF loves signature projects that costs multi-billions.”

    Casting the first stone are we now – LA, San Jose, Anaheim et al?

    Aarond Reply:

    What makes or breaks transit in SJ isn’t Diridon, it’s VTA. Densification around stations should be the priority. Also, running a line parallel to the Permanente branch then up Grant Rd would allow for one giant silly cone valley transit loop. SJ could even try to rip out highway 237 and attempt to build a waterfront.

    Joe Reply:

    Yes they need to make the area more dense and useful. Also improve transit. It’s possible.

    San Jose is closer to LA and on the main line. The City is developing the downtown and north end and will have opportunity to adapt VTA to service the HSR station.

    I hope they drop the stupid idea of a ballpark downtown and make it a better place for daily users and stop chasing the occasion event user. Not as sexy as a sports stadium but far more practical.

    Aarond Reply:

    I was thinking more like along the lines themselves. Especially the green line to Mountain view, the tracks are surrounded by parking lots. There’s also a massive trailer park that could become mid-density housing and offices. The McKee station alone would be far better served if the shopping there was pedestrian-focused, and not 200 feet of (usually) empty pavement. Same for the Winchester station, it would do much better if apartments were built in the parking lot directly adjacent to it.

    Joe Reply:

    I hear you.

    Since I arrived in 91 the recent Pennisula infill along Caltrain is most impressive. I think Santa Clara will continue to evolve. Caltrian San Antonio stop was once a mall. Now denser housing with stop and massive infill where a second, shopping mall was taken out.

    Along el Camino and the VTA 22/522 there are some very large live work buildings going up. Maybe they add BRT to San Jose Diridon while SF studies yet another unaffordable DTX alignment..

    Aarond Reply:

    On Caltrain specifically the thought of a proper RWC station does make me salivate. RWC in particular is really coming into their own thing because they have chosen to grow. Give it 10 years and they’ll probably be a solid #4 or #5 in the region.

    On another note the same goes for Sacramento, if only they could get rid of I-5 along the waterfront.

    Joe Reply:

    Proper could simply be a station that lets you get on/off quickly. Nothing fancy necessary.

    Stanford U is moving many business support services like the Registrar to RWC.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Agreed that Redwood City is very open to growth, and is transforming impressively. Also El Camino Real in North Santa Clara County is steadily densifying, with many new buildings of 4+ stories. But the peninsula will increasingly become a business district, with housing and satellite worksites along the HSR line. While progress always seems slow in the short-term, 2025 will have a different feel than today.

    Roland Reply:

    The problem with RWC is that grade-separating Broadway would have a serious impact on walkability.
    RWJ on the other hand is an Ebbsfleet waiting to happen.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    How often is something happening at a ballpark? How often is something happening at a major rail station? Or retail? Or offices? I think it’s easy to make the calculation what should be downtown and what shouldn’t. Though to be perfectly honest, I like my rather short ballpark commute, no matter where my beloved American Football team happens to be playing (They have three venues with home games during any given season, including pre-season)

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    JIPP, 2 decades is nothing for the procrastinators responsible for regional rail projects. LAUS run through, now called Link US, previously known as SCRIP, has been around at least since 1981. The reality is that the institutions, primarily Joint Powers Authorities with counties as key members and funders and no independent money, and Board members composed usually entirely of elected officials, are set up to fail. Rail can be discussed, planned, engineered, (note the consultant invoices piling up) but rarely built. If built it is likely the demand is no longer there.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Paul, you have to have lots and lots and lots of management at every level so that they can come up with ideas. Endless ideas. Plus someone has to study stuff. Running a train from point A to point B is very complicated. It involves trains and tracks and the procurement of diesel fuel. And someone has to come up with the train numbering series and interior fabric colors. The ideas are the most important part though because without a large supply of ongoing ideas to be debated, actual work would have to be done.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You forgot the platoons of lawyers to defend the lawsuits claiming that they didn’t have enough public hearings on the fabric colors. And then the lawsuit over… And the lawsuit that the other lawsuits didn’t cover…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Maybe Shakespeare was on to something with his “At first let’s kill all the lawyers” line after all…

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    And someone to meet with the concerned citizens concerned about fabric choice

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Are color blind people an ADA category? Seems like they need to be considered in the fabric choice imbroglio.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do American transit agencies have those https://www.google.de/search?q=polster+ubahn&client=ubuntu&hs=2KP&channel=fs&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjd6qmU-frMAhXFCJoKHTMaABYQ_AUICCgC&biw=1301&bih=673#channel=fs&tbm=isch&q=polster+stra%C3%9Fenbahn godawful seat colors that may or may not discourage graffiti?

    MarkB Reply:

    Won’t somebody think of the children??!!??!!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I was gonna say the same thing…

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s just a low priority for Caltrain because, as Jerry said, their priorities are on improving the actual line (grade separations, now electrification and HSR comparability).

    Meanwhile SF in general has their head stuck up their asses due to the tech boom, and still has not figured out what exactly they want to do in Mission Bay and the Dogpatch (such as ripping out 280).

    Joe Reply:

    Cleaely SF expects someone else will pay for the privilege of helping them build essential infrastructure.

    SF is a premier destination so the Bay Area and in particular San Mateo and Santa Clara taxpayers should pay more taxes to help SF bring trains to their new TBT.

    I’m not sure if “The City” understands it’s in competition with San Jose and over 30 minutes further from CV and LA than San Jose. SF put their money into a monument station. The rest of us are supposed to be taxed to help them bring people to work in SF.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “The rest of us are supposed to be taxed to help them bring people to work in SF.”

    Yes, you and we are. And why not, since we all are taxed to pay for LA’s exorbitant commute run from Palmdale? Bad Planning R US.

    Joe Reply:

    Sometimes you have to be reminded Palmdale was in the proposition language.

    We all at the state level Voted for a proposition with a Palmdale alignment.

    Other than that you’re right as usual.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Prop 1A is Sacred Holy Writ.
    Except when it isn’t.

    Joe Reply:

    Palmdale was named in Prop1a.

    Maybe you are thinking of the Nicean Creed.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    we voted for a proposition with time requirements in it also. But you are happy to ignore those

    Joe Reply:

    Ignore silly interpretations and brainstorms. So too have the courts.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    the court said the lawsuit was not ripe, not that they did not have to comply.

    Joe Reply:

    They have to comply but not with silly interpretations.

    Not ripe means accusations they are not in compliance are bullshit. They can’t make the determination. I guess you see that a a positive but it shows the accusations are now speculative and negative.

    Kings County just folded. They will not appeal their latest loss.

    Roland Reply:

    Are you qualifying Judge Kenny’s ruling as “silly interpretations”?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Where do you get the idea that the time requirements won’t be met?

    And where does it say all the trains have to meet it?

    There can be non-stop Express trains that meet it and others that don’t. There. Fixed.

    Aarond Reply:

    For context: the state could have chosen an I-5 or U99 alignment. The latter takes more time and routes through Palmdale (two mountains) while the former routes down the grapevine (one mountain).

    As for the time requirement itself:

    http://vig.cdn.sos.ca.gov/2008/general/pdf-guide/suppl-complete-guide.pdf

    >Maximum nonstop service travel times for each corridor that shall not exceed the following: (1) San Francisco-Los Angeles Union Station: two hours, 40 minutes
    >(3) San Francisco-San Jose: 30 minutes.
    >(4) San Jose-Los Angeles: two hours, 10 minutes.

    I can’t speak for John but the longer route means less space for political milk stops. Right now we’re at: Milbrae, San Jose, Fresno, Bakersfield, and Burbank. There’s also talk of adding RWC or Palo Alto in. Given the 125 mph restriction on the SF Peninsula, and possibility similar from Burbank to LA, express stops might have to get cut.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If they meant 2:40 between Transbay and LAUS they could have specified that. Move the Bayshore station a few feet north and all of it is in San Francisco. No one specified that a train making all the stops had to be able to do it 2:40.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Are you sure the exact site of the Frisco stop was not specified?

    JB in PA Reply:

    Frisco is in Texas.

    JB in PA Reply:

    Also in Utah.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Colorado

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I thought Emporor Norton I made it clear once and for all that Frisco is a word meaning nothing and established a twenty dollar fine for anybody using said word…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    They did mean transbay to LAUS and they did specifically say it and furthermore Judge Kenny in the recent court case confirmed that is the right interpretation

    http://www.thehamiltonreport.com/downloads/TOS-RULING-KENNY-3-4-2016.PDF

    Page 15, line 5

    You keep throwing this ruling around like it is gospel, so follow it

    Most toubling about this study is the fact that the Authority relied on a 4* and King
    Caltrain Station as the location in San Francisco from which the travel time should be calculated.
    (AG 013030, AG 022903, AG 013038.) The Authority acknowledged this fact during oral
    8 argument on this matter, and argued that section 2704.09, subdivisions (b)(1) and (3) do not
    9 require a specific San Francisco terminal, only requiring that the calculations be between “San
    Francisco” and the indicated destination. Plaintiffs argue the Bond Act requires the trip to start at
    11
    the San Francisco Transbay Terminal, a location that is 1.3 miles fiirther north, thus extending the
    12
    time it will take a frain to complete the required distance.
    13
    Section 2704.04, subdivision (b)(2) provides that “Phase 1 of the high-speed ttain project
    15 is the corridor of the high-speed train system between San Francisco Transbay Terminal and Los
    16 Angeles Union Station and Anaheim.” Subdivision (b)(3) identifies specific high-speed ttain
    corridors, and lists, “(B) San Francisco Transbay Terminal to San Jose to Fresno.” Subdivision (a)
    identifies that the purpose behind the Bond Act is “constmction of a high-speed ttain system that
    connects the San Francisco Transbay Terminal to Los Angeles Union Station and Anaheim…”
    Consequently, it appears that the intent of the Bond Act was for the system to extend, in San
    Francisco, to the Transbay Terminal, not istop 1.3 miles short at a 4″^ and King Calttain Station.
    23 This specific language and indication of intent does not conflict with a general referral to “San
    I
    24 Francisco” in section 2704.09 subdivision (b)(1) and (3). It is reasonable to interpret this
    reference to “San Francisco” as indicating

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    If they don’t build the tunnel to Transbay the system isn’t complete and they don’t have to worry about travel times at all because the system isn’t complete….

    synonymouse Reply:

    I would describe the level of interest the courts are showing CAHSR and Prop 1a, and about the same with the Legislature, using a nice Latin word: “desultory”.

    Other more serious problems could arise tho, say Trump as Prez and Gavin as Governator. Neither of those would buy into SJ to Wasco not requiring substantial subsidy. Both likely to favor instead urban transit projects.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    @adirondaker

    Serious question. Why are you so quick to jettison the clear intent of the law? I don’t understand why supporters like yourself have a 1st line of defense to ignore/slip out of the law. Don’t you want a 30 min line from SJ to SF?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    How long is the rail distance between the two cities? And what are realistic estimates for top speeds along the route?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Because I want to see you get what you wish for. A really really strict interpretation of the law.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    @Bahnfrend

    Why do I think they wont be met

    1. The authority ran a theoretical study from SF (4th and King) to SJ. To make the 30 min time they ran outside the speed limit of the corridor and didnt stop the train in SJ. It just blew threw the station. And doing all that, they were still 30 seconds over the 30 min time limit. Once they actually run from Transbay (see comment below from Kennedy ruling) and run under the speed limit with no grade separations then no, they will not be able to get even 1 train to make it

    2. The authority admitted as much in the recent court case page 16
    http://www.thehamiltonreport.com/downloads/TOS-RULING-KENNY-3-4-2016.PDF

    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). However, as Plaintiffs acknowledged during oral argument, the Authority may be able to accomplish these objectives at some point in the future. This project is an ongoing, dynamic, changing project.
    As the Court of Appeal noted, “[because there is no formal funding plan and the design of the system remains in flux.. .we simply cannot determine whether the project will comply with the specific requirements of the Bond Act…” {California High-Speed Rail Authority, 228 CaI.App.4th at 703.) There is no evidence currently before the Court that the blended system will not comply with the Bond Act system requirements.
    Although Plaintiffs have raised compelling questions about potential future compliance, the Authority has not yet submitted a funding plan pursuant to 15 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. Currently, all that is before the Court is conjecture as to what system the Authority will present in its request for Bond Act funds. This is insufficient for the requested relief.

    So why do I think they wont make the times, because the authority cant even do it theoretically and in real life they dont have a dime to put towards improving the logistics of the track along the peninsula. They won the court case because the judge gave them the benefit of the doubt. That will not last forever.

    Joe Reply:

    Conjecture. That’s all you got.

    Kings County will not appeal their recent court loss claiming HSR was not compliant with Prop1a.

    http://m.thebusinessjournal.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thebusinessjournal.com%2Fnews%2Ftransportation%2F22637-kings-county-won-t-appeal-high-speed-rail-lawsuit&utm_referrer=#2828

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Yes, that is all anyone has because it’s not built.

    The question was “why do I think they won’t hit them”. My answer is because of physics and the authorities own numbers

    Neil Shea Reply:

    What’s more, I don’t believe they are planning to use any Prop 1a HSR funds north of San Jose. I believe the Prop 1a funds get used up in the CV, Pacheco crossing, and into San Jose. That’s why the business plan lists the $2.9B to SF & Bakersfield — they keep SF separate from the SJ-CV plan and anticipate separate funding.

    1a talks about ‘usable segments’ including from SJ to Merced, Fresno, etc. So those funds will be spent compliantly. But it doesnt say the funds will not run out — it can’t because 1a was never enough for Phase 1.

    The previous grant to Caltrain can come from 1a connectivity funds, or C&T, if it ever gets delivered.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    And those train sets bought with prop 1. You going to run them north of SJ?

    The idea that prop 1a requirements are unenforceable has been endlessly debated, so I won’t. But the fact that a lot of supporters want to jettison them add just further proof the authority won’t meet them

    les Reply:

    There is 4 billion in bonds left. SJ to Merced could easily run 8 billion.

    Joe Reply:

    Exactly.

    What’s more, I don’t believe they are planning to use any Prop 1a HSR funds north of San Jose.

    They’ll do the EIR but keep that segment out until post Prop1a/Phase 1. Once prop1a expires, HSR can assess the most cost effective solution that balances travel time and ridership with cost.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Who says the trainsets will be bought by the state at all? The trainsets may well be bought by a private operator with the state having no further involvement than owning and selling access to the rails and stations. Kind of like the relationship between the Italian state and NTV…

    les Reply:

    “they were still 30 seconds over the 30 min time”. Obviously authority knows something you don’t. As of May 2016 they’re going with 30 minutes

    http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/SanFran_SanJose/SF_SJ_Project_Section_PPT.pdf

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Yes, th authority “supports” the 30 min travel time because it is a law just like I “support” the speed limit.

    It does not say they meet it. And as above, under oath in a courtroom they said they don’t know if they can meet it.

    Roland Reply:

    Let’s keep things simple: 51 miles in 30 minutes with a maximum speed of 110 MPH does not compute if you include 1.3 miles @ 25 MPH between Transbay & Townsend and 0.5 miles @ 15 MPH out of Diridon.

    Same with 185 MPH 80 feet above the Blossom Hill Caltrain station, 220 MPH through downtown Morgan Hill or 150 MPH through downtown Gilroy.

    The bottom line is that the CRRA is incapable of designing what is generally accepted as a plausible high speed line alignment.

    Roland Reply:

    Sometimes you have to be reminded Transbay was in the proposition language.

    We all at the state level Voted for a proposition with a Transbay station.

    Other than that you’re right as usual.

    Michael Reply:

    The Warriors are building SF an arena. I expect the 2020 Democratic National Convention to be there.

    Michael Reply:

    Jim. Good question, but all this is in the past. If Caltrans (yes, I am carefully spelling all this) had built what they designed in the 80’s, when it could be built, the DTX would have been a cut and cover tunnel up the Embarcadero and then Main, with a big underground yard, into a space next to the TTT between the terminal and Howard Street, all underground. At the same time, they proposed a San Jose station on the (I forget the official RR name) line that heads from SJ back towards the East Bay, with the new terminal on that line between SR 87 and North First Street (would have made a nice interchange with the “at that time” planned light rail. (PS> This is pre-internet, so if you want “proof” it’s in the libraries at Berkeley and probably elsewhere, but not online)

    All this has been changing over the years. It’s frustrating, but TTT and the train box is where it is now. How ANY train gets there is once again subject to what the conditions are now in 2016. Any project moves forward if the political will wants it to. Let’s hope this one does.

  16. Roland
    May 26th, 2016 at 10:50
    #16

    OT: MTC’s new digs: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/05/25/mtc-unveils-new-office-building-completed-way-overbudget/

    Jerry Reply:

    What? A quarter of a Billion dollars? And over budget?
    No way!!
    By the way – – Why couldn’t that quarter of a Billion Dollars be better spent and go towards – – – – (fill in the blank).

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Hey, MTC Executive Director For Life Steve “inexplicably unindicted” Heminger can do far better than that!

    Recall that he is not just the individual responsible for the MTC HQ, and who can and does treat state toll bridge revenues as his personal multi-hundred-million slush fund.

    There’s that whole $5bn over-budget Bay Bridge East Span.

    There’s that whole BART to Millbrae and BART to Warm Springs and BART to the SJ Flea Market stuff.

    There’s that whole Clipper Card disaster.

    There’s the funding of the SF Third Street Light Rail and SF Central Subway and VTA Light Rail extensions.

    There’s the extra Caldecott Tunnel road bore, built directly alongside a zero-congestion BART tunnel.

    There’s the never-funding of the SF DTX.

    There’s the endless freeway widenings promoted and funded by MTC.

    There’s the endlessly falling transit mode share, the endless falling transit cost efficiency, the endlessly rising Vehicle Miles Traveled.

    A quarter of a billion on one building is nothing!

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    That forth bore was a desperately needed godsend

    Joey Reply:

    Having traveled through the Caldecott Tunnel a lot both before and after the fourth bore, I find this questionable at best. The traffic jams in the single-tunnel direction usually weren’t bad. The PM Eastbound jam was bad and continues to be bad despite always having 2 tunnels open.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    It was very important to the residents there, and the 925 has a lot of jobs now so the commute is not as uni-directional as it was

  17. les
    May 26th, 2016 at 11:23
    #17

    Bertha has gone an entire month without so much as a hickup:
    http://mynorthwest.com/295244/bertha-has-reached-2000-feet-and-is-headed-under-seattle/

    Jerry Reply:

    Bertha might win the Preakness.

    les Reply:

    It depends, if they add sink holes, sinking piers, unpenetrable pilings, WDOT and etc to the race course Bertha should win.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    wow, 2 years in and they can run it for a month without bringing down the highway. Nice work.

  18. morris brown
    May 27th, 2016 at 08:06
    #18

    There has been a lot of miss-information being written here about the implications of the restrictions in Prop 1A. You don’t have to take my word for what is the truth, but consult with those who really understand the law.

    For instance Joe has written:

    They’ll do the EIR but keep that segment out until post Prop1a/Phase 1. Once prop1a expires, HSR can assess the most cost effective solution that balances travel time and ridership with cost.

    Those trying to make anyone believe that the restrictions in Prop 1A will expire when the funds from Prop 1A are spent are DEAD WRONG!

    The truth is that once any Prop 1A bond funds have been employed to build this project, there has been created a contract between the State and the voters and all the restrictions and specifications in Prop 1A continue forever. They could only possibly be changed by a re-vote of the voters of California.

    This is Constitutional law.

    The Authority knows this. All the legal experts know this. Time to quit trying to convince readers here, that Prop 1A will have no force, once its funds are depleted.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    The prop 1A funds will be used to build usable HSR segments between San Jose and Bakersfield, pursuant to the requirements of the proposition. It is ridiculous to say that the HSR system cannot be further extended using other funds which may have different restrictions

  19. Joe
    May 27th, 2016 at 08:46
    #19

    CAPS LOCK & Constitutional Law. Impressive.

    Prop1A is a bond act. It governes the use of bond money with safeguards.

    The HSR Authority existed prior and will exist after prop1a bonds are spent.

    Penalty for non compliance is no access to funds. There is no language that governs how California builds HSR except to list requirements for the bond money. Even now opponents seek to block bond money, not the project.

    California will wisely balance cost and service performance along the Pennisula and there isn’t any constitutional law that let’s disgruntled home owners stop common sense.

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Joe:

    Just continue to write this BS. You have no credibility on this subject… consult a knowledgeable attorney.

    Joe Reply:

    Read the Appelate Court’s ruling.

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

    This pertains to the use of bond money. The idea a bond act locks a project forever to an initial design regardless of time and finding is NUTS. You might as well join Bundy and liberate a national park.

    Joe Reply:

    There are, however, many cases in which the courts have broadly construed the purpose of the relevant bond act to allow projects to proceed that would appear to be either at odds with, or beyond the scope of, the articulated purpose of the act or the description of the project on the ballot.

    For example, in East Bay Mun. Util. Dist. v. Sindelar (1971) 16 Cal.App.3d 910 (EBMUD), the voters approved a measure allowing the utility district to incur a bonded indebtedness to finance a 10-year “Water Development Project for the East Bay Area” in 1958. (Id. at pp. 914-915.) By 1967 the construction of its physical components had been completed, with $84 million in authorized but unissued bonds remaining. The district celebrated the completion of the project. But in 1970 the board of directors authorized the issuance and sale of another $12 million in bonds based on its determination the bonds “ ‘were deemed necessary and desirable …

    This is about case law showing flexibility for spending bond money after a project was completed and after the 10 year limit authorizing the bonds.

    And you think the high speed bond act is highly restrictive for the design forever

    Joe Reply:

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

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

    All this in the HSR decision – I need to consult a lawyer to disagree with Morria proclamations – Hilarious.

    Jerry Reply:

    The funny thing is that laws and their interpretations keep changing over the years. That’s what keeps “knowledgeable” attorneys in business.

    Joe Reply:

    He’s making up stuff. The Appellate Court HSR ruling contradicts his rigid interpretation of how. Bond act governs money let alone that it ossifies a project design forever.

    http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/archive/C075668.PDF

    Starts on page 26.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Then come out and say it

    Admit that you dont think the authority is bound by the restrictions in prop1a and you are advocating to ignore them when convenient.

    Joe Reply:

    That’s a silly characticture.

    The bond act doesn’t forever restrict HSR’s design. It sets terms for the use of bond money.
    Case laws shows there is flexibility in how a project can use bond money as the project is being built as I have quoted from the HSR Ruling.

    How you come to grips with these facts isn’t my responsibility.

    I certainly don’t agree with your comment and think it lacks sophistication.

  20. Roland
    May 27th, 2016 at 12:26
    #20

    OT: Ben Tripousis announced last night that the lead agency for the Peninsula environmental clearance is the FRA, not the CRRA.

    Other interesting developments: the FRA have started attending all CRRA & Caltrain meetings and ETF_001-03 is likely to be a draft for ever (the ETF is not working on it) which may throw a spanner in the CRRA EMU procurement specifications, including compatibility with Caltrain, ACE, CC, Metrolink, Amtrak and everything else that currently operates on the West Coast of the United States & Canada.

    Eric M Reply:

    What the hell is CRRA??

    Roland Reply:

    California Rapid Rail Authority (formerly known as the California High Speed Rail Authority).

    synonymouse Reply:

    How about California Rapid Transit Authority? “District” won’t do since benefactors would have to pay.

    How about making the Tejon Ranch Co. pay a sin tax for its embargo on hsr at Lebec and for compromising PB and Jerry Brown?

    Eric M Reply:

    That is completely asinine

    synonymouse Reply:

    What’s wrong with taxing bribery? Another sin tax.

    How about a $10,000.00 “fee” on all new houses in Palmdale to help pay for the DeTour?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How about 10,000 on Petaluma? If they allowed densification there wouldn’t be a need for railroads out to the farmland 100 miles away.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I am sure Jared Huffman is working on your proposal to subvent SMART doodlebugs.

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