Jerry Brown Steps Up Campaign Against Prop 53

Oct 28th, 2016 | Posted by

Governor Jerry Brown is one of the most popular governors in recent memory. But he doesn’t lend that prestige often. When he does, it can have a significant impact on voter choices. That’s why this new ad from Gov. Brown against Proposition 53 is so important – and the ad itself is a devastating attack on this destructive initiative:

Prop 53 is expected to be a close vote. There’s been no public polling yet, but reports indicate that private polling shows Prop 53 barely hovering above the 50% mark, with plenty of undecided voters.

Thus, a Jerry Brown attack ad like this could be just the thing needed to convince undecided voters and many voters leaning yes to turn against this and send it down to defeat. Let’s hope that’s what happens.

  1. synonymouse
    Oct 28th, 2016 at 10:37
    #1

    Time for the “Home” for Jerry – vote yes on 53 early and often.

  2. J. Wong
    Oct 28th, 2016 at 11:03
    #2

    Nope, vote no on 53. Only someone who would vote for Prop 13 would vote for 53.

    Roland Reply:

    Vote yes on 53 and return power back to the people!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You mean “return power back to the people” by taking away the power of the people over the purse-strings? Which we all know is the one power that truly matters…

    Roland Reply:

    May I respectfully suggest EFL evening classes?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Having been educated in one of the richest countries on earth, I am as you know exceedingly stupid, so please do explain how Proposition 53 “return[s] power back to the people” as I am evidently too dim to understand it without it being spelled out to me. I am sure you are well capable of that given your superior intellect.

    Roland Reply:

    May I respectfully suggest Googling “Proposition 53”?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So, let’s say Los Angeles County wants to raise revenue via bonds for something… Prop. 53 would make that subject to approval from above.

    Aren’t you guys usually up in arms about states rights?

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    No – this is only for state projects

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Bahnfreund is correct. All prop 53 does is create more ballot measures and slow down projects that can be approved by our democratically elected legislature.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Um… Prop 13 passed and continues to be popular. By your logic 53 should pass also

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    How long did Prop 13 happen? How many of the people who voted for 13 are dead now?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    1978 and presumably quite a few.

    So?

    It could be reversed with a simple majority at any time. Given CA is free from evil GOP control nothing is standing in the way. Yet it continues. It’s almost as if taxes are not a liberal/conservative divide,but poor/rich instead

    Joe Reply:

    Governing is hard. Monied interests want the 13 tax break. It’s not easy to change things. It’s a fight always against money and power.

    We just removed the supermajority requirement to passs a budget and the state didn’t go bankrupt — CA passes budgets on time and with a surplus.

    The state economy just passed the U.K. And is now fifth largest in the world.

    If funding initiatives get 60% but fail I assure you the supermajority to raise revenue is at risk of overturn.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Funding initiative reach 60% and fail to pass all the time. Like the LA transit founding imitative.

    I think prop 13 is stupid. It forces the state into the a more and more progressive tax structure passed on income (prop55 example). Soaking the rich is good politics, but it has made for shitty predictability. When recessions hit the state revenues drop 25% or more.

    Governing is hard, and if the Dems were willing to make hard choices Brown would campaign for the repeal of prop13 as hard as he did for the “temporary” tax that is looking more and more permanent.

    Aarond Reply:

    As much as I agree, everyone knows touching Prop 13 is political suicide. It is one of the few (if not the only) things that could cause CA to flip Republican. Even in SF homeowners do not want their taxes messed with.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Agreed. So everyone needs to stop badmouthing the GOP over an issue that Dem politicians and voters have caused

    joe Reply:

    “Stop badmouthing” politicians!!!

    http://www.breitbart.com/california/2015/06/12/republican-solidarity-in-sacramento-defends-proposition-13/

    Republican Minority in Sacramento Defends Proposition 13

    With revenues significantly surpassing all projections, it was, disappointingly, not surprising to have two left-wing ideologues in the California State Senate–Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) and Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles)–introduce legislation to put before voters a ballot measure to gut Proposition 13, raise property taxes on all commercial properties in California, and thereby suck nearly another ten billion dollars more annually out of the private sector and into the coffers of both state and local governments.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I never understood how people who claim to be all about “freedom” want to keep money out of the sphere of “one man one vote” and put it into the sphere of “one dollar one vote”. Because in the private sector, it does not matter how many you are. The only thing that matters is how rich you are.

    Aarond Reply:

    If such a thing was actually on the ballot, the vast majority of Dem legislators would come out against it. They won’t bite the hand that feeds, because homeowners would feel it the moment their taxes are jacked up and that is when the flipping occurs. It’s a bind and there isn’t a way out without letting California be (at the very least) purple again.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What if the Republicans came out hard against Prop 13?

    Stranger things have happened. The party of slavery became the party of civil rights and the party of abolition became the party of racism…

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They have to come with some policies other than “gubbermint bad”, “taxes badder” and “rich people need more money”

    Aarond Reply:

    The only way the GOP comes out against Prop 13 is if Trump wins and forces the CAGOP to be in favor of a repeal (possibly in service of some larger deal). Otherwise, it is virtually impossible.

    synonymouse Reply:

    What I find most interesting in the current political brouhaha is the extent, the degree to which the good ol’ boy “Establishment” is willing to go to quash Hillary’s skeletons. Thru the media there seems to be nothing they won’t do to grant Hillary a pass on everything. Putin-esque.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Or it could be that outside of the outrage of Fox News everybody else considers the purported scandals minor mistakes.

    Aarond Reply:

    Fox News is America’s #1 cable news network (by viewership) and Hilary’s emails constantly trend on twitter and facebook. For whatever that is worth, most voters care about the issue if only because she was (to quote the FBI directly) “extremely careless” with her data security which crime or not demonstrates incompetence.

    And the contents of the emails themselves are especially damning for true leftists, progressives and reformists whom the Dem party once relied on. Not this year.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What’s so bad about them Emails?

    Look, the guy who gave America Civil Rights – LBJ – was as crooked as they come, he bragged about his penis constantly, but he was also able to get shit done. And I actually do not hold Vietnam against him. Had he not done what he did on Vietnam, Robert Kennedy would have whacked him over the head about “betraying Vietnam to the communists” or some such (LBJ said as much later in life).

    Hillary is not even half as crooked as LBJ was. But she can get shit done. Even Republicans who hate her have managed to work together with her. Sure I would have preferred Sanders, but Hillary is probably one of the most qualified and able persons ever to run for the office. She just happens to be a woman. And just like Obama had to be beyond perfect to get a shot on account of his skin color, Hillary has to face intense scrutiny on account of her gender.

    I fully expect that after Clinton has run her term it will actually be incredibly hard for a non-Latino white male to win a Democratic primary. Look at the way the electorate in most primaries looks.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Get back to us on competence once the Republicans sort out how to not nominate candidates that are bat shit insane. The Donald isn’t the only one.

    Aarond Reply:

    Yes but our living cheeto is doing a very good job at selling himself, while Hilary will probably have to fire her first and second officers because both of them are now a huge liability. The fact that this even has to happen indicates a very sloppy campaign administration.

    Also, Bahnfreund: Hilary is not capable of getting anything done, because any Republican that works with her will get an early retirement through their primary. The handful of neocons capable of surviving their own party are also the type of people Democrats ought to be fighting, not helping.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How many dozens of high level Trump campaign staff have quit? How many had to leave?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    When Hillary was in the Senate she did manage to get bipartisan bills passed.

    The US constitution was not designed for strong parties that oppose each other ideologically and never cross party lines even on isolated issues. There are constitutions that allow for such stuff, but they usually produce more than two parties, which some on this board seem to consider pandemonium.

    In the German Bundestag members voting with their party but against their own beliefs is called Tuesday. It works because the government always has a majority and this is what sets the agenda. But this attitude does not work in a system like the US has.

    Aarond Reply:

    @adirondacker12800
    Hilary, who is supposed to be the antithesis of Trump, should not have to reorganize her top staff at the very last minute because they cannot be trusted with sensitive information.

    @Bahnfreund
    Example of bipartisan bills HRC voted for: the AUMF (ie Iraq War), the Patriot Act, and the NDAA. See the issue?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There are more things Hillary did while in the Senate than those big ticket items.

    And I will shock you now: Saddam needed to be removed from power. But the way the war was sold and conducted was incredibly stupid and wrong. There should have been a clear consensus of “look, if we want to have any chance of transforming Iraq into a democracy, we need to have at the very least one decade of occupation. We need a war crimes trial against Iraq’s guys and we need to transform the whole society. This won’t be cheap and this won’t be easy, but it will reduce the number of fascist states by one”

    There are quite some people who personally know Hillary and are surprised by her ability to convince seeming enemies of her way to do things… For instance she convinced one Republican of a bill she wanted during some prayer meeting…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    You can’t blame her for voting for the Iraq war. The bush administration said there were WMDs, and why would she not believe them. Furthermore, can you give me a single good reason to oppose the patriot act?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The Patriot Act expands the surveillance state.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Patriot Act runs roughshod over your rights.

    You have a choice. Live in a police state or there’s going to be a few deaths from crazy people now and then.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The easiest way to reduce the amount of deaths from crazy people is take away their guns…

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Is something wrong with surveillance. I have never broken the law, but if I did, the police should have a way to catch me and put me in jail. Why shouldn’t we let justice be carried out? Why should we care if we’re being watched? How does this negatively affect our lives?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Feel free to emigrate to North Korea.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Except unlike North Korea, our laws are just and our government is benevolent. And you still haven’t given me a well thought out answer.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    You haven’t read any history. You should feel right at home in North Korea.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If you have nothing to hide, why are you wearing clothes?

    Also, I think car(e)free is trolling a bit here and there, right?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Frankly, I’m offended by the baseless attacks of me being a misinformed troll. I am very informed in history but what is wrong with the USA government using surveillance on its citizens? I legitimately want a reason, and so far nobody has given me one–except make insincere allusions to North Korea, which I obviously don’t want to live in. I don’t see how the USA trying to find out who breaks laws without harming its innocent citizens is a bad thing. I actually want to have a mature discussion on this subject.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m sorry you haven’t read the Constitution, but there are multiple reasons why it shouldn’t

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I have read the Constitution, and you still haven’t given me a single f*cking reason why it shouldn’t.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    adirondacker12800 Reply:
    October 30th, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    The Patriot Act runs roughshod over your rights.

    You have a choice. Live in a police state or there’s going to be a few deaths from crazy people now and then.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    How does it run over my rights? Their is no constitutional right to privacy, nor should there be. You haven’t specified any rights it runs over, and you sound like a broken record using circular logic. I’m actually trying to have an intelligent conversation, and I don’t think you have a clue what you’re talking about. It’s pathetic.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    So the first and fourth amendments don’t exist. Okay.

    Zorro Reply:

    So taxing Commercial Properties like Residential Properties is gutting Prop 13 of 1978??

    That’s BS, Commercial Properties have been getting away with proverbial murder tax wise since 1978, since many are or can be part of a corporation, the corporation owns the building/land, yet only the corporation gets sold, so no automatic reassessment of the property happens, unless the new owner of the corporation tells the local assessor of the change in ownership.

    Howard Jarvis was an Apartment Owner who hated Government(May He be worm food forever), and who hated taxes(He authored Prop 13), so the business side of Prop 13 is/was slanted to protect businesses, everyone else is screwed, when one does a change of ownership or refinances a mortgage and your property taxes go up(unless one owns a mobile/manufactured home, their taxes go down(but only if one asks), and so does their value, sucks to be homeowner of a stick built home, but thems the breaks).

    Me I managed to have My property taxes reduced recently, so since I applied in 2014, and this change was finally able to proceed, I’m getting a refund.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Is it possible that car(e)free’s account has been compromised or someone has assumed that nickname?

    At any rate, if you want to know what’s bad about any given surveillance measure, just make a though experiment of what would happen if the given data were to fall into the hand of your and or America’s worst enemy. Because no data is ever 100% secure and the best way for data not to get into the wrong hands is for it to never be collected in the first place.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    No. It’s still me, and I don’t get why you’re so disbelieving. I think that my views on this correspond with my big but not too big government just left of center views. I don’t have a problem with people watching me if it can save a single life, and I’ll gladly send you a copy of my browsing history if you like.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    @Car(e)-Free

    It has always been a balance. Between freedom from “Big Brother” and the legitimate interests of the state to protect society from criminals and in this case terrorists. Can you open mail, can you tap phones, can you plant a GPS. I agree with you, I dont see the use of data mining as undue surveillance.

    It is interesting that if I have a police officer tail a suspect, that is 100% legal because they are on public streets. But if I put a GPS on the car and monitor them from a trailer that is suddenly and invasion of privacy.

    In this case, have a computer trolling through gigabytes of information looking for suspicious activity is less intrusive than what we allow from private companies at any time. Google knows all my habits and politics. So we allow private companies to do it already, but somehow there is a line when the government wants to do it for legitimate reasons?

    Its a balance, but I dont think it is out of balance yet.

    Joe Reply:

    Google knows all my habits and politics. So we allow private companies to do it already, but somehow there is a line when the government wants to do it for legitimate reasons?

    Why is that, huh?!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well I for one avoid google where I can. I don’t have a rooted phone and I sometimes do use – for instance – google maps, but it may well be confused by my searches for a bike route from San Salvador to Guatemala City.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    That sounds like an epic ride. I love Latin America.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I do think so (but it scares the crap out of me, I usually don’t do more than ten or twenty kilometers a day on a bike).

    But it is not the main reason I search it. I am still considering the idea that Central America (which has almost no railroads whatsoever) should get a high speed railroad. Now the days of 100+$ flights seems to be mostly over (thanks to http://www.vecaairlines.com) but if you look at how long it takes to drive the relatively short distances between the Central American capitals and the – at best – middling airline situation, I do think there could be a market. But unfortunately Latin America has never quite shaken the rampant inequality that has plagued it since colonial times. And there is a rather small elite that does not give a crap about price (who might be sold on the TGU-MGA train being faster than the plane, but who can probably afford a private plane) and a vast vast underclass for whom a five buck bus ride is something that needs to be budgeted carefully. And there is very little in between. Now if you intend to run your trains daily and sell tickets for no less than twenty, thirty dollars, the business case becomes rather narrow.

    On the plus side, you have a year-round tourism market and dragging a car across any Central American border is a pain in the backside. Now the typical visitor to Central America is price sensitive to the point of it being annoying, but a 40$ bus versus a 50$ train with the train taking half the time? Maybe there is something to get in there.

    But of course I am not the kind of guy who could get the investment…

    But I might do a bike tour as a “fact finding” trip :-P and report (and curse) on every single hill.

    Jerry Reply:

    Patriot Act and Amendment IV
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Lee M Reply:

    I voted for it and I’m still alive AND I am voting against Prop. 53.

    Aarond Reply:

    The majority of CA voters are probably old enough to have voted Yes on 13 (regardless of their ability to actually do so, remember that immigration quotas were done away with in ’64 but Reagan’s Amnesty didn’t happen until ’86).

    Point being, turnout matters.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Is there a pot thing on the ballot this year?

    Aarond Reply:

    yes prop 64

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Those usually help turn out the young and the liberal, correct?

    Aarond Reply:

    perhaps, but it’s difficult to say as this year we got two-form ballots (ie four ballot papers, two papers of two sides each) and I know at least one person who doesn’t turn in the latter (which has most of the props on it)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I am quite happy to say that I never had to fill out an overly complicated ballot. Mostly by virtue of the state(s) and cities I lived in while eligible to vote…

    In Hamburg, there are apparently ballots with dozens of pages…

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    When did double sided paper become “complicated”?

    Aarond Reply:

    Some people only bother filling out the sheet with the presidents on it, and not the one with all the boring props and local stuff on it. Silly, I know.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Well that is not complicated, that is a choice

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It’s not just a US thing. The more complicated the ballot, the lower the turnout.

    For instance in the state of Bavaria, a village or suburb barely over 5000 people strong gets a 20 member town council. That would not seem like a daunting task to elect, but it is elected on one ballot and the different parties all get to put up lists of up to 20 people… And you have twenty votes; you can give any person on any list up to three votes and can also give all “left over” votes to any party list of your choice to be distributed in order. Someone I know had himself put on the very last place in the list of the social democratic party – and was promptly elected, because so many people know him and like him and quite some people seem to have “crossed party lines” for him.

    I like this system and would like it or something like it for federal elections as well, because it is relatively proportional (d’Hondt vote allocation notwithstanding) but you can also chose the guy you like even if he is on the last place on a list of a party you would not normally vote for.

    Unfortunately many people seem to not understand this voting system and turnout for local elections is dismal.

    That being said, I learned how this works in civics class in school (something not every German state has) and I even know how d’Hondt works and that its major problem is that it produces more seats for bigger parties than they actually got votes (which some argue is a good thing) and it produces a lot of one seat parties in large enough bodies (The first seat is easy to get, the second seat is hard to get).

    EJ Reply:

    It’s part of the reason direct democracy is a questionable idea in the first place. The average person simply doesn’t have time to figure out what a complicated proposition really means. We have a silly system in the US where judges are elected. I can promise you that in any given election, less than 5% of the electorate has any idea who any of the candidates for judicial positions even are, much less what their qualifications might be.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well elected judges are one of those ideas that sound good in principle (Let “the people” decide who hands down judgment “in the name of the people”) but they seem to produce less than stellar results in the real world.

    For one thing it seems to produce hanging judges more often than not, because “Tough on crime” seems to sell in thirty second attack ads…

    Roland Reply:

    When people educated in one of the richest countries on earth started having to fill double-sided forms.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, no offense but school education in the US is not exactly the best on earth. Just one of the outcomes where the US is lagging is foreign language proficiency.

    The US should take a cue from the likes of Finland in that area…

  3. morris brown
    Oct 28th, 2016 at 11:21
    #3

    Vote yes for sure on Prop 53; it makes for good government and prevents the Legislature from promoting sleazy deals which cripple the State with even more debt.

    There will be no affect on HSR, since the plan to use Cap and Trade auction funds to float revenue bonds, will never take place. The Cap and Trade revenues have virtually disappeared.

    I for sure, and anyone else should take great offense with anyone (synonymouse) who proposes voting more than once.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Please google the difference between affect and effect.

    Roland Reply:

    I followed your advise and the results were somewhat surprising: https://youtu.be/SRarWnv-cnQ

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Do you understand the lyrics?

    It appears a song of the antideutsch tendency – a leftist movement “against Germany” or rather “the German ideology” that has variously been accused of being close to the neocons.

    Another anti-German song while we’re at it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz2Y6xZJFKs

    Bdawe Reply:

    I don’t know why Americans continue to pursue the notion that good government comes from making sure that no one is responsible for anything. America is in so many ways ill-governed precisely because the system diffuses responsibility for the government among so many actors that no one is effectively responsible for what happens, and therefore accountable to the voters for anything. When the actions of our diffuse decision makers turn out to be bad, we reinforce this problem by trying to diffuse responsibility even wider than before.

    In the normal world, if you think your taxes are too high, then you vote for someone who promises to lower your taxes. If you think your schools are underfunded, you vote for people to fund the schools.

    But, as per the American way, we can’t do that. No, we must enact complicated formulas through the ballot box that are nigh-impossible to alter, on the off chance that someone might still be responsible, and therefore accountable, for anything.

    Alan Reply:

    That settles it. If Morris endorses Prop 53, any sane, rational person should vote the other way.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s actually not a bad litmus test.

    StevieB Reply:

    “It’s what I call CEQA on steroids, because it’s another way to block infrastructure investment,” California Governor Jerry Brown said. “This is like a gift to all the crazies.”

  4. Edward
    Oct 28th, 2016 at 11:25
    #4

    As I mentioned earlier, and Brown mentions here, this proposition is paid for (solely) by a millionaire and his wife in the delta who are opposed to a water project. They are willing to screw everyone else to get their way on that one project. They mention HSR in their arguments to to sucker the anti-HSR people into supporting this proposition. It is difficult enough to get things done here; we don’t need any more anchors slowing down government.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Oh yes we do.

    Besides since the patronage machine has control of the means of propaganda they can easily sell schemes that make a modicum of sense, and probably most of those that don’t.

    Zorro Reply:

    Total BS Cyno, your windmill awaits.

  5. Roland
    Oct 28th, 2016 at 11:51
    #5

    MTC Infrastructure Bank

    – Presentation: http://mtc.legistar.com/gateway.aspx?M=F&ID=32b44941-e5f3-4dbb-9f7a-f4974cdeb1f6.pdf
    – Video: http://baha.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=1&clip_id=1805 (click on #7)

    Roland Reply:

    Does anyone remember this eminently sensible approach? http://www.streetsblog.net/2012/07/12/bullet-train-bombshell-cahsr-spurned-cost-cutting-offer-from-the-french/

    Here is what a financial package for a 200-mile line looks like: http://www.eib.org/attachments/press/lgv-sud-europe-atlantique-en.pdf

  6. Minivet
    Oct 28th, 2016 at 12:43
    #6

    There is one poll on 53 – Capitol Weekly did it partly to study the effect of information and ordering, but their grand total results still had an N of 2,637 and found 46% yes, 19% no, 38% undecided. So very hard to tell.

  7. Jerry
    Oct 28th, 2016 at 12:52
    #7

    Is there an inflation factor built into Prop. 53 ?

    Roland Reply:

    None that I know of and great point!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Isn’t there something in the bill of rights that talks about a now ridiculously low Dollar amount as if it were a big deal (because it was back then)?

    EJ Reply:

    You’re thinking of the 7th Amendment, which guarantees the right to a jury trial in any case where the amount at issue is $20 or more. In practice of course nearly all suits for small amounts are decided in small claims court since it’s so much simpler and easier.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Has someone tried to sue his way up to the Supreme Court for this unconstitutional stuff?

    Or is it that you can have a trial by jury for a thirty buck lawsuit but most people chose not to?

    EJ Reply:

    Exactly. You have the right to a jury trial, but hardly anyone opts for it.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why don’t they?

    Edward Reply:

    Because YOU have to pay for your lawyer and such. We don’t have the rule that the loser pays all the costs. One really has to be angry to spend a few thousand dollars to win thirty.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That makes sense.

    But in Germany a lot of people have insurance that pays (most of) the legal fees.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    Yes. “The two billion dollar ($2,000,000,000) threshold contained in this section shall be adjusted annually to reflect any increase or decrease in inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Treasurer’s Office shall calculate and publish the adjustments required by this subdivision.”

    https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_53,_Voter_Approval_Requirement_for_Revenue_Bonds_above_$2_Billion_(2016)#Text_of_measure

    There are other reasons to oppose the measure – including the corrupting effect of having to raise campaign funds from contractors and corporate interests to support campaign for large public works projects.

    morris brown Reply:

    Elizabeth Alexis writes:

    There are other reasons to oppose the measure – including the corrupting effect of having to raise campaign funds from contractors and corporate interests to support campaign for large public works projects.

    Actually the comment here is really a reason to support 53.

    Certainly much better to have a public campaign where where various interests are required to report their fund raising and where they are at least somewhat exposed, then the other choice of having the same interest groups using closed door meetings with their lobbyists with legislators.

    Again no real effect on HSR; the Cap and Trade auction revenues have disappeared so there is not funding source for any revenue bonds. Prop 53 is an outstanding initiative and should be supported.

    joe Reply:

    Actually the comment here is really a reason to support 53.

    Certainly much better to have a public campaign where where various interests are required to report their fund raising and where they are at least somewhat exposed, then the other choice of having the same interest groups using closed door meetings with their lobbyists with legislators.

    1 millionaire put 53 on the ballot.

    This is Morris ideal for democracy.

    1 rich man, 1 vote.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    He does only get 1 vote. He also has free speech rights regardless of his financial situation.

    Liberal millionaires put stuff on the ballot every election. Are you opposed to those also.

    It can’t get passsed without broad support

    joe Reply:

    I don’t like the initiative process — it undermines our republic.

    You’re acting like a little kid playing gotcha.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They have undermined the initiative process by making it difficult to put issues on the ballot unless you are a deep pockets or a union.

    The initiative process came about as a result of corrupt and compromised legislators, a problem worse today.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Often, I think there should be no ballot measures, and laws should only come into existence through legislators.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    There are things for which ballot measures work “Build this road or not”, “Privatize this hospital or not” and there are things for which they are a terrible, terrible idea. Like Brexit.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Funny, was thinking exactly the opposite. Direct democracy should be reserved for only the most fundamental questions like Brexit

    We elect legislators to handle details like roads.

    Why don’t you want people to vote on huge issues like Brexit?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Local and discrete issues are a good thing for voters to decide directly. They affect most of the voters directly and they are relatively easy to understand. Stuff like Brexit is incredibly vague. Nobody who voted for Brexit knew what that would mean.

    I would like the people to have a veto on war, but I fear it is impossible to implement without the people ending up having the authority to start a war on their own authority.

    I think before troops are sent into war the commander in chief, the legislature and the people should all have approved it. And it would be best if it were done in that precise order.

    Joe Reply:

    Brexit was non-binding.

    People voted to leave in protest, thinking it wouldn’t matter.

    Government chooses to go ahead with exit and economy started sinking. Pound drops in value . CA economy over takes U.K.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You say you belive in democracy. But you don’t trust people to vote “correctly”

    You either support the concept that people decide or you don’t. Brexit is no more complicated than wars with respect to unintended consequences.

    And joe, the British government is respecting the will of the people. That’s how it works.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    When Hillary was in the Senate there were still a few adults in the Republican party who were able to corral the toddlers long enough to get things done now and then. Today it’s a bunch of pissed off teenagers who are letting their inner child throw tantrums.

    Joe Reply:

    I’m not going to rehash high school civics class.

    I support a republic with democratically elected representatives and suffrage for all adult citizens with reasonable access to citizenship for resident aliens.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Way to completely change the subject. Let me remind you, you were saying how people can’t be trusted to vote “correctly” on complicated issues.

    But you do trust them to vote on representatives and wars.

    You both claim to want policies that “help” people but the truth is you think of them like children or sheep. Something that needs to be protected and hearded, but not respected. people make bad choices at the polls, but it is their choice to make. Respect the concept

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I want people to have a veto on wars, not be able to declare wars on their own. There’s a huge difference right there. War should be hard to do, because it should not be doled out lightly. If the Girondins had to face a popular referendum on war, Louis XVI might have never lost his head and Robespierre might have remained a relatively obscure minor delegate with abolitionist leanings.

    Whatever Brexit was, it is the precise opposite of what plebiscites should be. It was in essence a Bonapartist attempt of Cameron to claim “popular support” for his policy with the consequences of a vote “the other way” never ever being mad clear. By the way, Brexit had to be an advisory vote because UK law does not allow laws to originate anywhere but in parliament or any of the devolved assemblies.

    The easiest thing would have been to have a re-vote with clearer parameters, but that did not happen and instead Theresa May wants to go down as the last prime minister of the UK.

    It was fun while it lasted. Tally-Ho.

    Joe Reply:

    We don’t live in a democracy. We are a republic.

    The basic explanation for our government and how government works and why is taught in high school. Your a goof troll wanting to argue about stuff explained in HS and I’m not interested.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The difference between “democracy” and “republic” many Americans make out is almost entirely limited to the American discourse.

    In most of the rest of the world a “republic” is any state lacking a monarch and a “democracy” is any state where power ultimately justifies itself through the people (not god, not inheritance, not the military and no other form of power justification).

    What you might mean is that the US are a presidential representative democracy.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    First, both the federal and CA state constitution allow for direct democracy. So if you had paid attention in high school you would realize that the US has elements of both representative and direct democracy. Your interest, however, is entirely your option. But regardless, direct democracy exists PS. Demcocracy and republic are not exclusive. The US is both. So direct votes continue without you.

    2nd, in a great bit of irony, it was EU rules that allow for direct votes of the people. And you seem to fail to realize that the vote to enter the EU was also “advisory”. Why is it that socialists have so low a regard for people and their ability to understand complex subjects? Do you think only politicians can understand things? Stop treating adults like children. They made a choice. There was a vigorous campaign and both sides made their case. The exit side won. That’s the way it is supposed to work. If you believed they had the power to enter you have to belive they have the power to exit.

    The parameters were clear, you just don’t agree. Let them govern themselves, it’s not your call. If the EU provided a more compelling case for membership this would not have happened. With no executive branch, weak elected branch, unelected beuracacy, and a wholly inadequete ability to deal with crisis they are not helping themselves.

    Brexit will be the end of the UK. Scotland and probably north Ireland will succeed and join the EU before this is done. But most importantly, this will happen without revolt or bloodshed, and in the end the people in each reagion will have the government they desire. Rather than “smart” politicians telling them what is good do them. I think they are making the wrong choice, but I respect their choice even if I don’t agree.

    This is why every socialist republic has devolved into a dictatorship and failed. In the end, they don’t believe in people. They believe in themselves. Which is why democracy keeps winning.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Northern Ireland and Scotland will never leave. The rich people in Southeastern England would stop sending them all those lovely subsidies.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So if you believe that “The People” (as in Joe Schmo and Mary Schmary, no in the “We The People” sense) should decide on everything, especially big things, why do you feel a need for a parliament of any kind in the first place?

    Look, representative democracy is far from perfect, but it follows the same logic most things in an advanced economy follow: Let experts do what you yourself could never do as quickly, as cheaply and as well. Politicians are experts in governing. If Joe Schmo could do it, we could fill our parliaments by drawing lots (which was actually surprisingly common in city states way back when).

    So yes, I do think that there are questions that are better handled by experts. Those experts need to be trusted experts and they need to be responsive to the desires of those who employ them, but they should be experts.

    When I want to buy a piece of expensive PC hardware, I usually ask my brother, because he knows this shit better than I do. He is a trusted expert in that field, whereas he asks me for advice in other fields. Most politicians will probably know less about plumbing than most plumbers. So why is it so hard to admit the vice versa?

    Of course corrupt and unresponsive politicians are worse than other experts being corrupt and unresponsive. If my plumber is corrupt, I may end up paying more for the plumbing or it might break down sooner, but overall it’s no big deal. If my politicians are malicious corrupt and unresponsive, that’s called dictatorship, because sooner or later people will want to replace them and if they can’t, that’s a dictatorship.

    So yes, it is a huge deal when a 30% “majority” governs the country or you basically cannot ever hope that members for certain districts will be voted out of office thanks to gerrymandering. I also dislike the phenomenon in party list based systems that the top guys on any given party list have “safe seats” and basically cannot be fired (there are remedies to that, but they are complicated and seem to go beyond what most voters are willing to bear).

    Direct democracy has value, just like baking your own pie instead of running to the bakery has value. But why would anybody think building a car from scratch is a good idea yet having an immensely complex decision made by amateurs is a better one?

    And yes, I used to be more in favor of direct democracy than I am now, but I have since had a long and hard look at people. And frankly, the overwhelming majority of people have only the most superficial knowledge of politics, because their live revolves around other things.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Well I thank you for your honesty. Most elitists are not willing to admit they don’t trust “the masses”. I can’t fault your honesty

    But where do you get the idea that politicians are “experts”. There is no equirement for intelligence, education or expertise of any kind to run for office. So your premise that we leave the decisions to the experts breaks down. Then “the masses” elect these experts, so again your logic breaks. PS in the IS system you dislike, there are no guarenteed seats. The leader of the house or senate can (and has) been voted out.

    I suggest your follow your logic steam to its conclusion. You can’t believe in democracy and simultaneously belive that most people can’t make good decisions. It’s a logical paradox, you have to belive one or the other

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Donald Trump provides examples of a candidate that doesn’t have any intelligence or expertise many times a day.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The idea that we should have a straight-up direct democracy is ridiculous. It simply wouldn’t be practical in such a large society.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I 100% agree, the daily work should be done by elected politicians, but direct democracy has a place.

    And yes, DT provides an excellent case in point

    EJ Reply:

    Brexit was even worse than a California style ballot initiative. At least in California we vote on laws with more or less specific wording and forseeable consequences. With Brexit, there was no way to tell exactly what you were voting for.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    When the UK voted to enter the EU, it was a trade region. It was exactly the same situation, there were serious, unknown consequences that no one, even “experts” could forsee. People voted with the information at hand and did what they thought was right. And similar to the recent vote, they were voting on an ideal, not a specific law.

    It is the same now. No one can know what Brexit will bring for the EU and the UK. It is simply not possible to tell the future. People have to make the best choice they can with the information at hand.

    I disagree with Brexit, I think all of Europe needs to set aside their fears and become a true federal government, with elections, a strong executive branch and simply a real “federal level” government. But that is not going to happen any time soon, and in the meantime, the people of the UK were tired of being dictated to by un-elected bureaucrats who were having a real impact on their lives without accountability.

    Whomever thought that you can run an economy and political system the size of the EU with a series of rotating temporary 6 month assignments for the head executive must have been out of their mind. Imagine if the US did the same and the presidency was 6 months rotations among the US state governors.

    Its democracy, they get to make the choice. They have the right to be “wrong”.

    Joe Reply:

    Bretix vote is non binding.
    The results were close so it’s not indicating a national mandate.
    Some parts of the U.K. Like Scotland want to remain.

    The current government chooses to exit the EU. The full consequences are not known but enoug is known that it’s likely to break the U.K. and decrease economic growth for the long term .

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    The Brexit vote was just as binding as the vote to enter the EU. The current government is choosing to exit the EU because the majority of the people wanted it. That is the way democracy works.

    It may well break up the UK, damage the economy, and cause all manner of other undesirable consequences. People have the right to choose their own path, even a “wrong” path. They will have to live with the consequences of their choice, but that is better than the alternative of not having a choice.

    What do you propose? Telling more than 1/2 the voters in the country they are wrong? Telling them that the government “knows better”? Perhaps you want to keep voting until they give you the answer you desire. Every voter had a chance to have their say, the decision was made.

    Scotland will now have a similar choice. If 52% of Scotland votes to leave the UK and join the EU will you support that vote despite it being “close”? Same with Northern Ireland. What percentage of voters there have to vote to leave to make it “binding”.

    You sir are a hypocrite. You claim to care about democracy and rights, but abandon the principles at the first sign of trouble. You want to help “people” with transportation and safety nets, but treat them as children to be told how to think and act rather than adults who have both the right and the responsibility to make their own decisions.

    Democracy is the best form of government. People make poor choices. Those are both true. The second does not negate the first.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Donald Trump is so dangerous precisely because he is not an expert of any kind. And he is bred from the dangerous current of politicians running as “outsiders” and experience being considered somehow bad.

    I think the people can be trusted with choosing whom they trust and withdrawing said trust when it has been violated. But do you really think someone working 50 hours a week in a mine can form an informed opinion on the tolls that should be levied on shoe imports from Vietnam or who should best serve as ambassador to Liechtenstein?

    There are some things that Joe Schmo can and should decide on. But it should be concrete and simple things, things that can be answered in a straight up or down, yes or no fashion (maybe some limited number of options greater than two as well). There should never be ballot measures on vague proposals that not even those putting out the ballot measure know about.

    On another note, what would you, John Nachtigall think of the proposal to put a certain number of random citizens drawn by lot into Congress? Say 12 people for a rotating four year term, with one being replaced every four months.

    joe Reply:

    The Brexit vote was just as binding as the vote to enter the EU. The current government is choosing to exit the EU because the majority of the people wanted it. That is the way democracy works.

    1. Britex was a Non-Binding vote. John can’t admit basic facts so he plays word games.
    2. Action to leave the EU is a deliberate act by the conservative government.

    If the U.K. were a direct democracy then the vote would have been binding.

    You sir are a hypocrite. . You claim to care about democracy and rights, but abandon the principles at the first sign of trouble. You want to help “people” with transportation and safety nets, but treat them as children to be told how to think and act rather than adults who have both the right and the responsibility to make their own decisions.

    Ugh what a mess.

    The Non-binding vote means the U.K. system doesn’t trust the people and allow direct democracy. U.K. leaves the decision to act on the government. It’s a representative system and representatives can vote as they wish. It was a close vote and not mandate. The representative government can act as a firewall.

    Nothing hypocritical for assigning responsibility to the conservative government.
    Clearly conservatives don’t like to accept responsibility and excel at scapegoating and name calling.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    @ Bahnfreund

    I would be against a random assignment because I believe in democracy, so leaders should be elected. There is no conflict with my stated views on that. only the EU would put a rotaing unelected random person in power every 6 months.

    I am the one who trusts people to make choices. You are the one who does not trust the voters. Why do you think a person “who works 50 hours a week” can be trusted to vote for a representative, but not on a trade deal? Do you think the 40-45% of the country that supports Trump are making the correct choice? Under your claimed belief they are qualified to do that, but not to understand the trade deals he would tear up. Face it, you don’t trust people. You think they are sheep to be herded and taken care of, but not really suitable to make decisions for themselves.

    @ joe

    There have been 3 referendums in the history of the UK, they are rare, but not unknown. And as I said, one of them was the decision to enter the EU. So your whole point about it being non-binding is again hypocritical, because other referendums were respected. As they should be in a democracy

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

    The voters do not need a “firewall”. The will of the voters should be respected. And nether Labor or the Tory supported exit. The official position of all parties except the UKIP was to stay. Lawmakers in both parties went against that position. You cant lay it at the feet of either party, they campaigned against leaving. What you want, was the conservative party to tell the voters they were “wrong” and to override them. But the power comes from the people, not in spite of it. Respect their right to make a choice, even the wrong choice. You are not their better.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What could be more democratic than Joe Schmo getting a vote and a say on ever single thing Congress does? Why don’t you think that would be a good idea?

    And Trump’s rise is a clear sign that the system is broken in more ways than one, but it does not to me indicate that we should have more direct democracy.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    there is nothing democratic at all about randomly assigning someone to represent the people. It is in fact entirely un-democratic. Because they would not be elected, they would be appointed. Now if Joe Schmo would like to run for congress, and get elected, that is different. My position is entirely self consistent, democracy good, people have the right to make choices, even poor ones, and you dont abandon your principles at the first sign of trouble.

    As opposed to yours. You still have not explained how people can be trusted to elect representatives, but not to vote on other issues. Nor how your position is not hypocritical or paternalistic.

  8. Roland
    Oct 28th, 2016 at 16:01
    #8

    Breaking News: Caltrain ridership drops for the 3rd month in a row: http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/__Agendas+and+Minutes/JPB/Board+of+Directors/Agendas/2016/2016-11-03+JPB+BOD+Agenda+Packet.pdf (click on #8)
    Farebox revenues are now down 0.9% after the recent 9% increase.

    Based on the current trend, November will drop below 60,000 and December below 50,000 which means that the CalFranKISSenTrains will have nearly enough seats for any residual ridership.

    StevieB Reply:

    Caltrain ridership will be zero by June following your logic. This should free up the tracks for California High Speed Rail.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    By August ridership may well drop below zero. The trains will be empty if twenty more people board them.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Hey, more space for bikes :o

    Joe Reply:

    Economics 101.
    Price increase leads to small drop in consumption.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    So if something is “too full” you raise the price.

    I just solved congestion, didn’t I?

    joe Reply:

    No — we lack system capacity and people still need to get to work.

    A study showed asymmetrical correlation betweenfares and ridership.

    Fare increases suppress ridership while fare cuts do not attract back the ridership with equal effect.

    Also the same study showed gasoline price increases attract train ridership while gasolineprice cuts do not pull away ridership the with the same effect.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well do you not agree that road space should be priced at least somewhat dependent on demand?

    For example a congested highway should be more expensive to drive on than an empty one.

    Ultimately the private sector might even step in to offer alternatives to driving alone.

    And the harder it gets to drive, the more people will be looking for alternatives.

    Not only is the current system unjust is stupid, it’s also inefficient. Streets don’t grow on trees, so they should not be free.

    Joe Reply:

    No I do not think like a libertarian.

    We should expand transit and remove political obstacles that give too much power to local NIMBYs.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I do not think like a libertarian either.

    If a public good is in private hands, service becomes worse and prices become higher. That’s why I want to privatize roads and socialize public transit.

    Roland Reply:

    Sozialist!!!

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Ja. Und stolz drauf.

    joe Reply:

    https://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=view_citation&hl=en&user=dtaR0JYAAAAJ&cstart=20&sortby=pubdate&citation_for_view=dtaR0JYAAAAJ:mVmsd5A6BfQC

    Citation

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That’s interesting, but there is a relation between fares and ridership, albeit not a perfectly linear or straightforward one.

    Roland Reply:

    @StevieB Not so. Look at Graph A on page 5. The one thing that is worrisome is that the annual trend which was up for the last 5-6 years has switched to flat and will start dipping if we don’t reverse the downward trend in the next couple of months. This is a real shame because Caltrain overall performance has improved markedly over the last 3 months but the fare increase coupled with the artificial capacity crunch caused by SamTrans parking the Metrolink cars may have caused semi-permanent damage.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART-MTC will be pleased tho.

    Michael Reply:

    And if you look ate the really long trends, tech sector health = Caltrain ridership.

    Clem Reply:

    The Bay Area economy is topping out, and rents are flat. Some ascribe this to a lack of seats and toilets on Caltrain.

    Roland Reply:

    Some ascribe this to a glut of seatless electric bikes.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It certainly has nothing to do with a lack of car parking.

  9. Roland
    Oct 28th, 2016 at 21:29
    #9

    Elon announces his contribution to clean HSR: https://www.tesla.com/videos/powerwall2-and-solar-roof-launch

    Roland Reply:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/10/31/how-elon-musk-is-making-solar-panels-as-appealing.html

    Aarond Reply:

    People aren’t able to buy homes anymore, so in general home solar installations are leveling off. All the homeowners that wanted it (or could afford it) have done it already. This is a way to sell people on something they already have, typical business.

    Joe Reply:

    The homes, if not all then most, under construction in Gilroy now come with solar panels.

    I’ll let you know when they stop building.

    Aarond Reply:

    Yes, and how many people are going to be able to afford them? Home prices are already sky high and the market in general is leveling off.

    joe Reply:

    These homes are selling and firms continue to build them. Our town is noticeably more busy with a Measure H to encourage growth within city borders.

    I suggest google and showing me the backed up, unsold, inventory.

    Solar is easily affordable rolled into a mortgage and low labor cost when built into the home from the beginning. Typically a home builder sells what the build or they stop and they haven’t stopped.

    Roland Reply:

    There are 5 million new roofs being installed on (mainly old) homes in the United States every year.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    AaronD — you make stuff up sometimes, like here. Homebuilding and solar installs have in no way stopped.

    Roland Reply:

    Let alone re-roofing.

  10. morris brown
    Oct 29th, 2016 at 08:40
    #10

    LA Times: Bay Area’s once-gleaming rail lines are now overcrowded and broken down. Does L.A. have the answer?

    Here is a long article about Bay Area BART and Caltrain.

    Here BART is exposed as never keeping up with maintenance; now wants more funding to replace its old fleet of cars etc.

    There will be more proposed bond measures to rescue the system. What a joke it makes of BART being an efficient system and has been in the top tier of commuter systems with regards to needing a low amount of subsidy to keep operating. In point of fact, BART riders should have been paying at least twice in fares, from what they have been, and then maybe the system might be somewhat efficient.

    joe Reply:

    Schadenfreude.

    Edward Reply:

    Which is now, along with weltschmerz, an English word. They were in the national spelling bee a few years ago.

    “The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”

    James Nicoll

    joe Reply:

    Knokke Knokke!
    Who ys ther?
    Werner Hertzog!
    Werner Hertzog who?
    Exactlye! Who ys anyone? What are we yn thys masquerade?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What’s that supposed to mean?

    By the way “knorke” is a somewhat outdated Berlin word for “cool, hip, de rigeur” and the likes…

    Joe Reply:

    Spoof on Chaucer English.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well, I only heard about Chaucer in school and never read anything by him. It appears to be quite full of smut.

    Roland Reply:

    @William. You are referring to “American English” which is a bastardized version of Her Majesty’s vernacular.

    Bdawe Reply:

    In a similar way as Quebec French, American English dialects are more linguistically conservative than English dialects. The most Shakespearean living variety of English is actually spoken on a small island in Chesapeake Bay

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I once read somewhere that some things about Quebec French that are today considered very “unclean French” actually were part of the speech of the nobility in the ancien regime, but the Paris Bourgeoisie did not talk like that and they were the ones writing all French dictionaries from the 19th century on out.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You’ve reached your monthly article limit. To continue reading, subscribe for unlimited access.

    :-(

    Roland Reply:

    Have you figured out how to switch to incognito mode yet or do you require a tutor?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I just used my backup browser. Worked like a charm.

    joe Reply:

    Global fare recovery data in sortable table. BART is #12 internationally and highest in North America.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farebox_recovery_ratio.

    The firebox recovery ratio (also called fare recovery ratio) of a passenger transportation system is the fraction of operating expenses which are met by the fares paid by passengers. It is computed by dividing the system’s total fare revenue by its total operating expenses.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You can do a lot of shenanigans with those numbers.

    Someone who knows a lot more about public transit than I do has told me that you can basically believe the numbers out of Berlin on that issue as much as you can a typical Trump speech…

    Roland Reply:

    And that is pretty much how BART gets away with such a high firebox recovery ratio: track and train maintenance are classified as “capital improvements” (part of the capital budget) which means that the firebox only covers 70% of the inflated wages, pensions and gold-plated medical plans (and part of the PG&E bill).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well in many German cities the public transit provider is bundled in with other entities. Usually the municipal electricity provider or the water utilities. As those usually make money, it is rather easy to “mask” a loss on public transit. Which I do not consider a bad thing at all. Of course there are ways to get the separate numbers, but that is not as easy as it may seem and even then those things are often hard to get apart. For instance they may get a rebate on electricity which further muddles things.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    70% isn’t bad (although it’s rail-only, and buses do drag averages down)… the problem is that it’s not really 70%, it’s less, because of the reclassification.

    It’s also relevant why farebox recovery is low. In most of Europe, farebox recovery rates are kind of shit, but that’s because of deliberate government decisions to subsidize public transit. Over here, the operating ratio looks like it’s around 40% (with capital included it drops to about 30%), but this is because the state and the region decided to make public transit really cheap. Starting last year, a monthly pass valid in the entire metro area is 73 euros; even before, it was 116, and much less if you didn’t need to travel to the outer boonies. US transit agencies achieve these farebox recovery rates with much higher fares in the suburbs.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well there is a certain city vs. suburb dynamic in Germany as well.

    For instance, if you go some 15 km in the Verkehrsbund Großraum Nürnberg (vgn) (http://www.vgn.de) you will pay almost five Euros one way. However, a trip of almost the same distance through a larger city like Leipzig, Berlin or Hamburg will not even reach 3€.

    But of course, most people in Europe who use public transit have monthly passes or get their ticket as part of their university or school enrollment, so the price of one single ride is rather irrelevant to the vast majority of users.

    Roland Reply:

    Anybody who has ridden BART lately can confirm that “firebox” is an accurate description of the current conditions: https://www.google.com/search?q=bart+train+fire&espv=2&biw=1025&bih=661&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X

    Aarond Reply:

    Couldn’t agree more with the article, people in the Bay Area are hugely jealous of LA. And it’s going to matter big time in a decade when LA is going to be far better connected than the Bay Area.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    Phoenix’s light rail system seriously outperform the VTA light rail system. At some point, people will stop making excuses for Bay Area transit and start demanding more. We have not reached that point yet.

    Joe Reply:

    We have 5 counties to coordinate and each has their own local interests trying to protect their local priorities. Add to that a super majority requirement for revenue and you have an explanation, not an excuse.

    LA has one county.

    As for the Bay Area, we also have
    MUNI
    Caltrain
    BART
    Other Bay Area Rail Transit systems.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    That is another excuse. Within counties, there are lot of things that could be done better with existing resources. We’ve had some particularly frustrating experiences lately with VTA’s new bus network planning process – the entire approach assumes failure instead of planning for success. Northern Europe has solved the problem of multi-centered transit with pulse systems – it is not an overnight cure but it provides really good organizing principles, a way to prioritize projects to speed up transit and thinks about how to expand networks – not reduce them.

    Everyday new office projects are approved that don’t think about really basic things about how to locate buildings so that they are transit ready – even when the transit is not ready yet.

    We can do better.

    Elizabeth Alexis Reply:

    and fwiw – have met plenty of competent bay area transportation planners who are despondent over institutional dysfunction. This is another reason to get our shit together soon – we are losing really good people who are tired of coming into work and doing things they know will suck.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Those competents could take the plunge and come out strong for something other than more BART.

    Joe Reply:

    Same old bullshit.

    BART out performs every North American system and you just trot out a lame excuse to do nothing and live in zero growth Palo Alto.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    BART “outperforms” every other system because they have been moving a huge amount of maintenance off-the-books into the bond measure(s).

    Joe Reply:

    Please edit and change the Wikipedia definition of operating costs.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Yay, another blocked WP account!

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART payroll is outperforming.

    Joey Reply:

    Joe: Really not sure how any of that accounts for VTA’s shortcomings, but OK

    joe Reply:

    For VTA, First and foremost Palo Alto wants zero growth so we cannot improve VTA performance where we cannot get cities to accept infill and growth. The most used line, VTA 22/522, runs across zero growth Palo Alto.

    This criticism is misplaced.

    Everyday new office projects are approved that don’t think about really basic things about how to locate buildings so that they are transit ready – even when the transit is not ready yet.

    We can do better.

    …and SanJose is doing better by allowing higher development along the Light rail corridor and near Light Rail stops.

    North San José Area Development Policy
    Transit Oriented Sites
    Development on sites located within 2000 feet of a light rail station may develop up to a maximum FAR (Floor Area Ratio) of 0.40 provided that the sites incorporate site design measures to facilitate pedestrian access to nearby transit facilities. In addition to providing sidewalks along all public frontages, new buildings should be placed on the site in order to establish the best possible access from the transit facility to the building. Building entries should be provided at locations to facilitate pedestrian access. Proper ties that qualify for the base 0.40 FAR are indicated on Figure 2.
    https://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/43619

    Roland Reply:

    You will absolutely love http://vtaorgcontent.s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/Site_Content/tpo_110316_packet.pdf attachment 5.b on page 13 on Thursday’s consent calendar :-)

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Maybe you need to combine counties and cities into the third or fourth largest city in the nation. I see no good reason for San Mateo County not to be a part of San Francisco, and the same goes for Marin, the Eastbay, and arguably the Silicon Valley.

    I feel the same way about LA. It is a dream of mine to have LA extend from San Dimas to Sylmar to Westlake Village to San Clemente in one contiguous city-county. Northern LA County can join Kern or Ventura County, and the Pomona Valley can join San Bernardino County. It is so phenomenally stupid for all these tiny cities to exist.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well a similar thing happened for Berlin in 1920 (just google Groß Berlin Gesetz). And not a second too early, given that the various independent cities had already greatly mucked up what would become the Berlin U- and S-Bahn (for instance, there are still two different loading gauges on Berlin U-Bahn lines).

    Berlin in 1920 was the third or fourth largest city in the world by area and the third largest by population behind London and New York City. Unfortunately, Berlin has not annexed any major territory since and once more suffers from the problem that the “greater Berlin area” really does not stop at any administrative border.

    I think LA or San Francisco annexing surrounding towns and counties would be a very good idea indeed.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    What happened to Berlin is that it did not have extra growth. A large and growing majority of the metro area’s population, about 3.6 million out of 5-6 million right now, is still in the city proper, as Brandenburg is emptying out for reasons like “the last time anyone there held a job was in 1989.”

    A better comparison for SF is Paris, and other French cities; France has too many municipalities (about 30,000, same number as in the US on 1/5 the population), so Paris has 2.2 million people in a metro area of 12 million, and Lyon has 500,000 in a metro area of 2.3 million.

    LA is a different can of worms. It has a haphazard shape, which I think is a uniquely American misfeature based on annexation patterns. It also includes a lot of suburban areas, like the Valley, while excluding closer-in dense areas like East LA, Glendale, and Compton; this is similar to Tel Aviv, which includes medium-density Ramat Aviv and points east but excludes high-density Ramat Gan and Bat Yam.

    Of note, even without amalgamation, and even with toxic city vs. suburb politics (the Metro was built to be maximally incompatible with mainline rail to keep out the suburban working class), Ile-de-France manages to run decent transit. Now if only they deigned to build some office space to take advantage of the UK’s economic suicide…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    While Brandeburg as a whole is losing inhabitants (and quite fast) all of the Landkreise bordering Berlin have gained inhabitants in the last 20 years. That’s a clear sign that Berlin should go through another round of annexations. Unfortunately, Berlin is a city state and such an annexation is politically impossible in the foreseeable future.

    Aarond Reply:

    Syno mentioned the same thing a few days ago, but the time for it passed when San Mateo County became mostly suburbs. 280 was built shortly thereafter, and the County oriented southward. Santa Clara became America’s 10th largest County, while SF is still SF (ie elitist and pompous) and gives people no reasons to join them.

    Consolidation only works if people would go for it, and nobody in the Bay Area wants to actually be a part of SF because SF governs for SF only.

    Aarond Reply:

    Additionally, the larger issue is with the actual transit connections. SF really only cares about BART and BART dead ends at SFO. Caltrain, which is how most SMC rail commuters get to SF, is neglected by the city (in terms of transfers to Muni) meanwhile VTA has good (if not excellent) transfers to VTA at Mountain View and Diridon.

    The solution here is simple: either extend Caltrain in SF or extend BART through SM County. However the city is not interested in the former while SM residents prefer improved Caltrain service. This whole situation could be fixed if (IF) the DTX was done and the TTC got a walkalator to Montgomery BART/Muni.

    Reedman Reply:

    An example of annexation is Memphis. Until recently, Tennessee allowed cities to forcibly annex adjacent cities. When Elvis bought Graceland, it was in a city named Whitehaven (the name says it all). After MLKs assassination and the Detroit riots of the ’60s, suburbs became the desired destination. Memphis emptied, but it kept expanding. So, folks who wanted to work at FedEx and not live in Memphis moved to Mississippi (Memphis couldn’t annex across county and state lines). From 1990 to 2010 Olive Branch, MS, on the Tennessee/Mississippi border, was the fastest growing city in the United States, with a growth rate of 838%(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_Branch,_Mississippi).
    If Detroit could have annexed adjacent cities, it would have done so in a heartbeat ….

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    (Putting on fake West-Texas accent) “Once them there high speed rail line to Los Angeles is completed, you will hear a giant sucking sound of all the jobs and all the people going south”…

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART was sabotaged by its own engineers and then the unions got to it.

    BART enjoys an artificial monopoly fostered by its tool MTC-ABAG. They did not build the Southern Crossing nor increase the capacity of the Bay Bridge.

    The Bay Area is not jealous that much of LaLa. It is Manhattan that it envies. No moderate transport solutions – 10 cattlecar trains, the louder the better. Highrise tenements as far as the eye can see.

    Aarond Reply:

    People are envious of LA, not the planners. The latter are stuck in the sixties, who needs big hubs when you can use the airspace for a new tower? Buses are cheaper (and better) than cars, which will all be self driving in ten years anyway so who even needs transit?

    It’s self defeating. The result is bumper to bumper traffic in filthy streets, which no sane person will continue to tolerate once the tech boom ends. Then (given the homeless problem) it’d be a quick slide into a Detroit-esque situation IF the city can’t build reasons to live there. This is especially true if Muni and BART continue to deteriorate.

    Aarond Reply:

    For those who can’t remember:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Rohatyn#New_York_City_fiscal_crisis

    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2006/12/28/nyregion/28veto_lg.jpg

    Ford To City: Drop Dead – President vows to Veto any bail-out (NY Daily News, 10/29/75)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wasn’t Ford the guy that handed out “Whip Inflation Now” buttons?

    Danny Reply:

    or more recently https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Citron

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Wait, he tried to run a county like an investment bank?

    How did anybody ever think this could work?

    Aarond Reply:

    That basically sums up America’s “financial services” industry from 1991 to 2008. The remains of it can still be seen in the rise of student loans (a thing Obama exacerbated and did not EVER attempt to fix) and the rise of subprime car loans.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A University English teacher once told me that student loans are the one debt you cannot ever default on. You have to pay them back no matter how many times you go bankrupt…

    Aarond Reply:

    Yep. I know several friends trapped in that cycle. No mortgages, no new cars, no credit cards. Cash only. It’s sorta funny because fifteen years ago when they were in college they used plastic for everything, especially their daily lattes.

    But “it seemed like such a good idea at the time” is not good enough for a bank. Which is why it’s so abhorrent that they advertise their shit inside of schools, directly to students who don’t even know how to balance a checkbook. I hope all parties involved (colleges, schools and banks) get burned over it.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Ah but the low interest government issued student loans were going to turn us all into Communists just like Medicare did so the Republicans came up with a plan that allows bankers to get their vigorish. And then had the bankruptcy law changed so they couldn’t be discharged.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    College should be a right not a privilege. The world is becoming more and more complex and the US has basically no working apprentice system, so college is what High School was fifty years ago. And fifty years ago, high school was free, wasn’t it?

    Aarond Reply:

    More years don’t matter. The only reason people even go to college is because HS standards have fallen so far, and there is almost no hands-on job training provided (the Common Core reinforces this). Thus employers want to see a 4-year paid degree as a means to vet employees because they don’t trust the K12 system. And professors do not want a K16 system as it would cause them to be replaced by the CC.

    Personally I’ve come around on the CC as it at least provides a basis for reform. Problem is that reform has to come from the Feds which is not how public education happened.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I would not say High School standards dropped. I think the average High School graduate in 2016 knows about as much as if not slightly more than the average High School graduate in 1966. But our world has become more and more complex and while simple jobs like waiting tables or screwing in light bulbs have not disappeared, a lot of them have been replaced by machines or moved to lower income countries. For the record, I consider automation a good thing. But it poses a challenge. We need better educated workers and we need some way to make on the job training better.

    And we need to make College affordable. We are wasting too many bright minds and are forcing too many would be entrepreneurs into boring careers in big companies by not providing tuition free college and health care as a right to everybody. If the only way to pay back college debt and get health care is working for a big company, fewer people will take the plunge to found their own company.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Requiring a high school diploma is way of weeding out applicants. Requiring a college degree is also a way of weeding out applicants. I know too many people who have degrees in fields totally unrelated to their work who got the job because they had a degree, any degree.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Young people in a high cost country like the US or Europe need to have 14 years of education if they want a decent job. Otherwise be satisfied being a burger flipper.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The thing is – and this is in no way meant to offend any of the people working any of those jobs – you need more education to be an engineer than you need t screw in a light bulb in a car or sell Christmas Trees. And the amount of jobs screwing light bulbs or selling Christmas Trees is not exactly growing. Which, to reiterate is a good thing.

    The reaction should be to cut working hours and give more and better education to everybody. Unfortunately, that is not what is being done.

    Danny Reply:

    it was the 90s, everyone thought the old rules of economics no longer applied
    in the late 70s we had gold; 80s oil, aerospace, and S&Ls; 90s IT, dotcoms, and energy again; and 00s housing–and each and every time we were promised that they were devaluation-proof

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    That reminds me of all those “surefire thing” investments Europe used to fall for… Be it tulips, the new “East-India” or “West-India” colonial (ad)venture or the first Panama Canal (the French tried and went bankrupt, because they though digging through mountainous rain forest would be as easy as digging through Suez)…

    They all have one thing in common: A vast all-encompassing lack of bullshit detectors.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Syn – you are right about BART and the past. You are wrong about density and the future. Urban living is on the rise and being embraced — rural Sonoma County living may be good for retirees, but younger working professionals not so much. ‘Tenements’ is a very loaded term, reflecting your biases. I support much more densification in the core Bay Area but I myself may retire in Monterey or elsewhere.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I would be happy to see the southern crossing built if it were the only way to get another rail line across the bay between Dumbarton and SF-OAK. I find the idea intriguing at least.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Good piece in the LA Times. It’s actually mildly supportive of their Measure M. Their Bay Area report card identifies strengths and weaknesses up here – including strong and growing ridership but maintenance needs. It’s a picture of where LA County can be headed, more ridership but the need to maintain what you build.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well roads also need maintenance. And unlike freeways, rail transport actually provides a potential source of money for repairs. Of course no passenger rail system in the US currently makes money, but they have in the past and there is no reason to think they can’t again in the future.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “Eventually, the whole thing needs to be replaced.”

    With standard gauge

    StevieB Reply:

    Charge automobile users their fair cost of roads and parking if you are advocating for increasing farebox recovery for transit. Autos in license fees and gas taxes pay less than half the cost of roads and parking they use. Level the playing field by reducing private automobile subsidies and watch farebox recovery rise from rising ridership.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Seconded.

    Price roads according to congestion and let car users pay the fair share of accident costs (e.g. hospitalization and injury which should be covered by the insurance of the car driver) and you will see a decrease in needless car trips and an increase in public transit.

    Roads are not free to build, so they should not be free to drive on.

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    @ Morris Brown: ‘In point of fact, BART riders should have been paying at least twice in fares, from what they have been, and then maybe the system might be somewhat efficient.”

    If BART fares were twice as much, how many of the current 400,000+ would be riding BART?

    The problem with BART is/was that for many years they, MTC, and Bay Area politicians were obsessed with grandiose extensions, which never meet the budget, and fall well below of the promised ridership.

    The core system was left to deferred maintenance. Replacing railcars, upgrading the control system was given little or no thought.

    VTA has had a number of ballot measures that promised monies to improved Caltrain, but those funds were shanghaied to fund BART to Silicon Valley. We have not learned from our mistakes, just look at BART to SFO/Millbrae.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “Bay Area politicians were obsessed with grandiose extensions”

    Nothing has changed. Witness Ed Lee’s obsession with BART on Geary and screwing TWU 250A in the process.

    Aarond Reply:

    BART on Geary is actually useful, as is BART down 19th. That, and BART assuming control over an M subway would make Muni Metro mostly obsolete. But Lee isn’t actually interested in doing anything because (gosh!) that would cost money and inconvenience people during construction.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Appalling – highrise tenements to the beach. Architects hate humanity – what the Romans used to say about the Christians.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What are you talking about?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    You have a strange idea of what is a nice place to live in.

    Most people would rather live somewhere like this: https://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/47930285/GreenlandUSA_MetroLA_LIVINGROOM_033015.0.jpg

    (Metropolis, Downtown Los Angeles)

    over somewhere like this: https://www.google.com/maps/@33.9407063,-118.2417009,3a,75y,148.37h,91.99t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sus5Rs7lHw-MBgtroXXTNNA!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo1.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3Dus5Rs7lHw-MBgtroXXTNNA%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D346.0867%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

    (Watts, Los Angeles)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    If I could chose, I’d live in something like https://www.google.de/search?q=gr%C3%BCnderzeit+haus&client=ubuntu&hs=L2I&channel=fs&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiEpL6UzIXQAhXEaxQKHblbDmoQsAQIKw&biw=1301&bih=673 this. Or of course in León Nicaragua…

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    That’s nice too. Ironically, it is an older version what many of the most desirable buildings in Los Angeles are like. (Westwood, South Park, Santa Monica, NoHo, Beverly Grove, etc.)

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    For instance, these street view images exemplify how I view the quintessential upper middle class Los Angeles neighborhood (sorry if I cot too carried away with street view, but I do find them fun to look at.)

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0743567,-118.384871,3a,75y,15.05h,98.37t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sSdQ6SuJwltLC4j1cYYn_cg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 (Beverly Grove)

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0590207,-118.4099899,3a,75y,233.8h,107.24t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sTIFJq5fIHnudaslpJO-lnw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo3.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DTIFJq5fIHnudaslpJO-lnw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D347.1029%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656 (Beverly Hills)

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0556801,-118.4441151,3a,75y,35.78h,93.34t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sntvV8dpxtiRy4QIE0Ryx9g!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DntvV8dpxtiRy4QIE0Ryx9g%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D226.5%26pitch%3D-3%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656 (Westwood)

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.1031864,-118.3372652,3a,75y,246.92h,122.51t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1scz7GelwjHwR9aownDDv7vA!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3Dcz7GelwjHwR9aownDDv7vA%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D201.87169%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656 (Hollywood)

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.139983,-118.1397202,3a,75y,223.48h,91.83t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sjWjQ89jV8KGYj537IvBTDQ!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DjWjQ89jV8KGYj537IvBTDQ%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D313.13153%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656 (Pasadena)

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.1508958,-118.2564479,3a,75y,26.65h,111.94t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sICC0rIa4NjkI80vKYZ4QhA!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DICC0rIa4NjkI80vKYZ4QhA%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D53.1659%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656 (Glendale)

    https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0418579,-118.2624289,3a,75y,278.1h,129.47t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sfo8XD1B0g9fEsgidDhq_cg!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3Dfo8XD1B0g9fEsgidDhq_cg%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D216.461%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656 (South Park)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well the Gründerzeit (that gives the name to this style) was roughly from the founding of the modern German nation-state (1870/71) to roughly the end of the 19th century. I don’t know whether any of the stuff from that era still stands in LA but it is not inconceivable.

    And one of the things this style has going for it are the courtyards and all that. And the delightfully ornamented facades.

    J. Wong Reply:

    @syno’s uses tenements as a negative connotation because he conflates them with being occupied by “those people”. The reality in Manhattan is high rises are occupied by people who can afford 3000 for a studio and more for larger apartments.

    synonymouse Reply:

    With Jerry’s 200 million the lives of “those people” and the rest will be worth in the negative numbers.

    It will be like pre-Mao China where they would go out in the morning to pick up the bodies. I was told this by a friend at work who went back to China at the beginning of the Depression but came back to San Francisco after the Japanese invasion.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Get out of California NOW man before it’s too late, for crying out loud! Save yourself while you still can! Be the leader so others may follow to safety and a better life

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Where do these ideas come from?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    A very very sick and twisted mind, apparently.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    No more broad gauge, the whole system is falling apart. But both corridors should have rail, I don’t think calling it BART is better than Muni. (I would run 19th Ave down to Daly City, and tee it up to replace BART tech to SFO.)

    Jeff Carter Reply:

    Posting this again… Originally posted on the “No on 53 “ thread.

    @ Car(e)-Free LA: “Seriously, what is it with bay area transit these days? Can you guys get anything done?”

    What is wrong with Bay Area transit?

    Here is a perfect example:

    http://watrydesign.com/uploads/sliders/projects/large/Bus-Turnaround-1024wx500h.jpg

    http://www.greencaltrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/millbrae-station.jpg

    http://subwaynut.com/california/caltrain/millbrae/millbrae9.jpg

    http://www.opacengineers.com/projectpix/BARTMillbrae-1.jpg

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Millbrae/@37.6000446,-122.3874296,487m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x33ac0a3ccc3e7571!8m2!3d37.600271!4d-122.3867068

    Windswept platforms with little protection from rain.

    Numerous leaks in the fabric “roof” shelter, awning, or whatever it’s called.

    Worlds slowest elevators.

    Frequently out of service escalators.

    Several flights of stairs to reach southbound Caltrain from southbound BART.

    Huge bus turnaround that is no longer used. The El Camino buses would spend 10-15 minutes circumnavigating left turns, stoplights, etc. It was somewhat of a hike from the station, especially from Caltrain to reach the bus turnaround.

    Now you have to figure out how to get to the ECR buses and make the trek to El Camino.

    Was supposed to have over 30,000 riders on a typical weekday, but falls far short of this.

    The people who promoted and built this monstrosity are so proud of the multi-modal transit connectivity that it provides for Bay Area transit users. America’s finest transportation planners at their best. And we are expecting something useful at the TTC?

    Aarond Reply:

    The TTC can be made almost perfect if it’s given a walkalator/underground passageway to Montgomery Street BART. And all the issues with the TTC can be done away with completely if Caltrain is given it’s own tube to Oakland.

    That said, this assumes that we can even connect the TTC to Caltrain in the first place.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    TTC should definitely have a wide underground passage to BART/Muni Montgomery, ideally with moving sidewalks and some skylights. Pretty much mandatory

    Edward Reply:

    If wide enough it would be a nice place for a few convenience shops. They can drop those though if they can keep the whole shebang inside the paid area. That however would have a few complicating, but very useful, requirements.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Do you think Montgomery BART would be better to link to instead of Embarcadero BART?

    Clem Reply:

    The plan is to link to the Embarcadero concourse level.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Thanks Clem, of course. 25′ wide.
    Plenty of shops back at the TTC itself but the passage should be able to accommodate a busker or two

    Aarond Reply:

    Won’t matter if you’re rolling by it at 4 mph:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsyC8HRFkrY

    I also do hope the SFSD is allowed to keep the TTC secure, and if they aren’t the CHP or TSA will take the job. At least in my experience 4th&King has been kept mostly clean.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Although Millbrae is far from the best I feel like some of your complaints are a bit hyperbolic: It doesn’t rain often enough for the canopies to be that much of a problem; the bus turnaround is still used by the various shuttles both public and private; most of the time the escalators are working. Maybe a bus pickup area should be added between El Camino and the West side of the station for ECR.

    Jerry Reply:

    @ Jeff
    Wait until HSR gets added to the Millbrae mix.
    When the old Airport Hilton was torn down, there was room for a Millbrae type BART station right on airport property. With straight run through tracks similar to the DC Metro Washington National (Reagan) Airport stop.

  11. JBinSV
    Oct 29th, 2016 at 15:30
    #11

    Talgo RD gauge change system.
    Maybe BART broad gauge can operate in limited sections on conventional gauge with a third rail?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwNl-g_91GE

    Joey Reply:

    Those gauge changers take a while to go over. Probably not worth it except for long distance trains.

    Everyone loves to talk about BART’s gauge, but really that’s only one aspect (and arguably not even the worst) aspect of its uniqueness. There’s the signaling, supply voltage, loading gauge, and boarding height, all of which are completely unique to BART.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Yup. And all of which are failing, and being proprietary, cost a ton to replace — typically without multiple bidders. Even as we patch it now this problem won’t go away.

    We must not extend past San Jose to Santa Clara (I loved NO on SC County Measure B for that reason). We need to think where to replace BART Tech with standard rail tech. Unfortunately the E. Bay to SJ was a huge missed opportunity. Maybe SF 19th Ave rail can replace BART to Milbrae and SFO airport with a transfer at the TTC or Daly City.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Loved -> voted

    Joe Reply:

    The bulk of public transit money is gong to BART

    I see Caltrain south county improvements but don’t believe it will happen.

    EJ Reply:

    BART’s a real puzzle. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. It’s essential for Bay Area transit, but it’s insanely expensive. I don’t envy you Bay Area folks with that dilemma.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I say build it out to where the lines have obvious connection point termini ie. Livermore, Dirdon and build a second tube to get frequency up to 7.5 minutes per line, with the end of the tube connecting to Pittsburgh/Bay Point and along the 580 through Macaurthur and Bay Point to become the service towards SJ. Then make all future services EMUs (Dumbarton, eBART from Pittsburg to Hercules Richmond Oakland SJ Gilroy, etc.) And keep BART in good repair.

    Joe Reply:

    My complaint is the costly San Jose extension benefits mostly commuters outside our county. My HOV fees from south county pays for BART to connect northward to the east bay.

    I see how that extension helps HSR and San Jose wants to leverage the system to foster development.

    Caltrain electrification is a far better deal and should anchor Pennisula growth.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I suppose, but I believe that without BART bringing in commuters, santa Clara County will lose jobs to sf and Alameda county.

    Joe Reply:

    Or commuters from the Caltrain catchment and new VTA improvements.

    Its a strategy to connect to the BART system but it will probably backfire when the bulk of money including HOV fees in the south highways goes to paying a north servicing system and on county residents.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The railfans were quite aware of BART’s idisyncratic tech, in all its aspects, in the mid-sixties but could hardly put up a word of warning due to the power of the Bechtels. Especially anyone inside the transit industry. You have the same degree of stupidity and irresponsibility with PB at Palmdale right now and the fanboys should be raising a holler about it.

    synonymouse Reply:

    add that “o” to idiosyncratic.

  12. Wells
    Oct 30th, 2016 at 19:08
    #12

    Your Google search will not survive.
    Making America great again neither.
    Gracefully accommodating intra-state visitors on Amtrak
    sorry, requires at most modest doubling twice daily departures.
    Twice Daily departures and overnight accommodations yet morning departures.
    Pullman standard sleeping compartments, refreshment and dining ventures.

  13. morris brown
    Oct 31st, 2016 at 13:35
    #13
  14. Eric M
    Oct 31st, 2016 at 15:00
    #14

    Infrastructure: Can We Finally Think Big?

    Jerry Reply:

    Excellent article.

  15. Elizabeth Alexis
    Oct 31st, 2016 at 17:39
    #15

    OT We got this memo http://calhsr.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Memo-to-File_Policy_Change_RE_Use_of_Coupled_Trainsets_for_Operation_Redacted.pdf from CHSRA. If you are staying home tonight handing out candy, interesting read.

    Jerry Reply:

    Interesting tradeoffs.
    Sort of nine of one, or three quarters of a dozen of another.
    It’s a real trick or treat.
    Damn, there’s the door bell again.

    Aarond Reply:

    quote p25, “The station platform track between entry turnout and the exit turnout along the main track shall have a 2,750 foot minimum length centered symmetrically on the midpoint of the station platform.”

    2,750 feet is about 838.2 meters, which is enough for two stock double trainsets (or, 4 sets total).

    William Reply:

    In p5, it said clear spacing between station CP to CP is 950ft. 2750ft will not do as it does not clear the main tracks.

    Aarond Reply:

    I stand corrected

    Roland Reply:

    So if I understand this correctly, the plan is to have the back-end of trains clearing diverging switches at 20 MPH on a 250 MPH line? What could possibly go wrong with that?

    William Reply:

    Nothing. HSR PTC will reduce the speed on the through trains if the tracks are not clear in time.

    Roland Reply:

    William, again, kindly help me understand which part of this presentation it is that you do not understand: https://beleben.wordpress.com/2015/02/19/andrew-mcnaughton-hs2-released-capacity-slides-february-2015/

    William Reply:

    Ah, switched to a completely different question aren’t we?

    It’s very simple. If you believe California HSR will be a huge success from day 1, then the decision to reduce platform length and turnout speed will be a huge mistake. If not, then it is a necessary compromise.

    Roland Reply:

    William, again, here is a classic example of the kind of moronic thinking behind this project not going anywhere 8 years after the voters of California approved $10B in bonds. You should work for “Caltrain”. Par-tay, J-O-B-S, whoo-hoo!!!

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Capacity/Time ticket pricing planned to be used by the Authority will be similar to what is currently used by Airlines, Amtrak and International Highspeed rail systems which will adjust capacity constraints through ticket pricing.

    So if trains get too full, they will increase ticket prices.

    What a bunch of fucking idiots.

    Roland Reply:

    You are too kind: the last time I checked, airlines and HSR were discounting empty seats, not the other way around. Having said that, it is unclear why anyone in their right mind would put a bunch of morons in charge of strategy instead of issuing an RFP for potential operators who would actually know what they are doing: http://www.eurostar.com/us-en/about-eurostar/eurostar-board-directors.

    Roland Reply:

    Talking of fucking idiots, “Caltrain” is way up there with the PB RSMFRs:

    – Existing capacity: 3,600 seats/hour/direction with some trains at over 125% capacity.
    – 2012 plan: add 1,800 seats/hour/direction (50% increase).
    – 2016 plan: remove 800 seats/hour/direction after adding another train and blowing north of $2B. W-T-F!!!

    joe Reply:

    Above you restate the proposed demand based pricing policy and call HSR morons.
    For Caltrain, you measure capacity by seats and not people.

    It’s the invective “fucken idiots” , “bunch of morons” that’s so clownish.

    Kudo’s for not mentioning toilet seats per hour.

    Roland Reply:

    I just heard the pot calling the kettle black (again).

    Joe Reply:

    You now hear colors.

    Roland Reply:

    You must be sound blind.

    Joe Reply:

    Clownish isn’t invective.

    “Bunch of morons” & “Fucken idiots” is invective. Try saying it at the next meeting.

    Roland Reply:

    Bwa-Bwa-Bwa-Bwa!!!!

    Aarond Reply:

    quote p30, “It should also be noted that Xpress West is planning for a 1320 foot long platforms at Victorville and Las Vegas, so there would be a compatibility issue if we shortened the HSR platform to 700 feet.”

    First mention of XPW in six months.

    Roland Reply:

    And proof that the private sector actually know what they are doing.

    Clem Reply:

    Biggest news in there: Diridon semi-galactic is back in the sky, with the favored plan being elevated. The sort of thing shared platforms were supposed to avoid!

    Roland Reply:

    TOTALLY amazing when Diridon already has four 1,250-foot platforms which could easily be extended by another 150 feet at a saving of a couple of billion dollars which could easily be repurposed towards an underground station with 150 MPH approaches at a later date!!!!

    William Reply:

    Right, with the planned 4th track between CEMOF and Diridon, there should be no need to park trains at platform.

    In essence this all depend on the south approach decision.

    Roland Reply:

    The 4th track has nothing to do with CEMOF and everything to do with UP refusing to electrify MT-1. Bottom line: the 4th track does not increase track capacity for electrified trains.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Am I crazy for thinking that mabye the San Jose station shouldn’t be built at Dirdon, and a new station should be built in the 87 ROW, replacing the freeway north of the 280.

    Roland Reply:

    Yes you are.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Dirdon is just so isolated, and there is no way to access it in a straight line.

    StevieB Reply:

    “Close Dirdon” just might be what a one issue candidate needs to get elected in San José. Would you donate to that candidates campaign? Volunteer?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I’m not sure if you’re serious or not. Is Dirdon widely hated? I was just proposing an unanylized alternative, but I suppose if that canidate was good enough on all the issues, I might donate some money
    I dont live in the bay area though.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    No, you are quite correct. The location is quite isolated, and not suitable for a Silicon Valley HSR stop (let alone a place to link up the other transit services). And it will be that way indefinitely, as San Jose has planned nothing but parking surrounding the site. This is also one of the reasons why the whole Pacheco vs. Altamont debate keeps coming up.

    Roland Reply:

    Completely off base: http://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?NID=1743

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Even Diridon himself says that plan sucks:

    Missing from the plan itself is Diridon’s larger vision for Silicon Valley. Diridon, currently the executive director of the congressionally created Mineta Transportation Institute, advocates for a Silicon Valley dominated by high-rise, mixed-use towers built on car-free platforms above train stations.

    It’s the only way to escape a future clogged with miserable traffic, he says.

    The current plan for Diridon Station, while exciting compared to the area’s current uses, doesn’t propel San Jose — and Silicon Valley — forward as far as it should.

    Roland Reply:

    Putting aside the fact that Diridon is in the SJC flight path, has it ever occurred to you that Rod Diridon may be one of the most likely causes of the mess California HSR is in? http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2011/01/01/rod-diridon-not-renamed-to-rail-authority-board.

    How about the VTA light rail and the Santa Teresa line that does not go to Diridon and takes the scenic route via the Great Mall on its way to Eastridge? Am I the only one seeing a pattern of decades of stupid (and expensive) transportation decisions?

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    I don’t understand….are you arguing for or against the Diridon location? It sounds like you are against, given all the reasons you just listed.

    J. Wong Reply:

    You know, it’s not the government nor any transit agency that decided to put what is now known as Diridon where it is. You’re looking at a historical artifact.

    Roland Reply:

    I am arguing against Rod Diridon, not the Cahill station which was doing just fine until Highway 87 cut downtown San Jose in Half. The “preferred” “HSR” “alignment” is the latest instalment in a long string of Rod Diridon fusterclucks. The man is beyond clueless.

    Joe Reply:

    Before HW17 there was a very wide and busy road cutting across the city. How was that better?

    Joe Reply:

    HW87

    Joey Reply:

    Joe: On the northern part sure, but for the segment that cuts between the station and downtown, there was nothing predating the current freeway

    (source: http://www.historicaerials.com/)

    Joey Reply:

    And even that surface highway wasn’t build until some time in the late ’50s

    Roland Reply:

    @Joey: There was absolutely nothing but empty space between Diridon and downtown until 1980. Are you talking about Monterey Highway or something else?

    Joey Reply:

    Roland: that’s exactly what I said. The surface highway I was referring to is north of the target area, between 101 and Coleman Ave.

    Joey Reply:

    To summarize, in case that wasn’t clear:

    – Between downtown San Jose and the station (Diridon/Cahill St/whatever), there were no highways until the current grade-separated SR-87 was built
    – North of Coleman, there was a surface highway for many years. This may be what Joe was referring to.

    Joe Reply:

    I would drive to Japantown in 91-93 on a very busy and wide surface streeet with traffic lights that is now fully separated HW 87.

    That kind of traffic volume and road width is more difficult to cross as a pedestrian than the current elevated highway which removed the traffic and makes it easier to cross.

    The traffic volume came first and highway followed in this case.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand how one walks across a berm.

    Joe Reply:

    Why the same way you cross a very busy city street, at the crossings.

    Peter Reply:

    Or in the case of a berm, at an underpass. You know, like the other ones on the Caltrain corridor?

    Roland Reply:

    Oh yes there is (all the way to east of 101 south of Bernal as a matter of fact.).

    john burrows Reply:

    Diridon Station is getting less isolated. The Diridon Station Area Plan is being implemented rather quickly, at least that part of the plan immediately to the west of the station where there are now four projects under construction, totaling 830 units, all within a half mile of Diridon.

    985 The Alameda————————-168 units
    Laurel Grove Low Income Housing—–183 units
    800 W San Carlos————————–315 units
    138 Stockton——————————–164 units

    Three of these projects will be 7 stories, One will be 6. All will be wood frame, which is the cheapest way to build residential projects of 7 stories or less. For this type of construction you can, if I remember right, get up to about 120 units per acre, which isn’t too bad for achieving a decent density. A number of other developments are in planning, but everything that I can see west of the tracks appears to be of similar height and construction.

    By the time high speed trains reach Diridon, the Area Plan may be largely implemented and the station may no longer be that isolated. Thousands of residential units and millions of square feet of office space may have been completed, but on the west side of Diridon, in the area where these 4 developments are now going up and in the area immediately beyond, I hope that we don’t end up with block after block of everything the same height because building with wood is cheaper.

    Roland Reply:

    Building with wood is not the issue. The real issue has to do with FAA height restrictions on the approach to SJC.

    Joe Reply:

    They can build a dense core within the height restrictions.

    Roland Reply:

    Do you mean like Gilroy?

    Joe Reply:

    Like San Francisco mission district.

    Gilroy has taken down single story along Monterey and built multistory live work.
    Also the city encouraged affordable townhome housing “cannery district” as infill
    Latest project is 250 affordable housing units near the Caltrain station.
    http://m.gilroydispatch.com/news/city_local_government/new-apartments-coming-downtown/article_4d74df28-2eef-11e4-a093-0017a43b2370.html?mode=jqm

    All these kinds of infill improve density and don’t require tilting skyscrapers.

    john burrows Reply:

    The area west of Diridon where these four projects are under way shows a FAA contour of 212 feet. All of the buildings have a height of 85 feet or less, which is, I believe, the maximum height you can build before you get into high-rise construction. I am not that familiar with San Jose zoning requirements, but my guess is that west of the tracks, building with wood to the maximum allowable height gives developers the most bang for the buck and that in this part of the Diridon Area Plan the FAA limit is not a concern.

    The 212 foot contour also runs fairly close to the Trammel-Crow proposed office-apartment project which will hopefully start next spring on parking lots just to the east of Diridon. Three buildings of from 10 to 13 stories will occupy 8 acres and will contain 30,000 square feet of retail, 960,000 square feet of office space and 325 residential units. This project is a good example of what can be built within the FAA 212 foot height limit.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    This is good density, the Area Plan is under way

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    LOL. 800 new housing units is a laughably tiny amount. To put in perspective, little old Berkeley has done more than twice that amount just within a few blocks of its downtown BART station during the same time frame. The SJ developments are also extremely auto-centric — the Diridon plan requires 15,000 new parking spaces.

    Joe Reply:

    “Little old Berkeley”

    LOL. Urban area with world class university and BART subway.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Berkeley – where punks mug students.

    Jerry Reply:

    Berkeley?
    They even passed a soda tax recently and in the past they paid to put BART underground.

    Aarond Reply:

    Keyword: in the past. Today the prevailing wind is against buses and light rail because it causes gentrification and urbanization things students and homeowners don’t like. Neither are particularly interested in containing the homeless situation either, which is not as bad as SF but still fairly bad.

    I’d go off on a tangent here about how nutty UCB students tend to be, but it won’t matter because in ten years the school will be unrecognizable from it’s current state.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Key did not induce any notable gentrification, altho its loss probably blighted somewhat.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    The Diridon Area Plan has 2600 residential units, mostly with 1/4 mi of the station, much of it 6-10 floors, achievable in the next several years. And more can be added after that in all directions. Plus office and hotels.

    Name another Bay Area neighborhood with that level of new residential planned and underway.

    Likewise, outside of SF Market street, name another transit hub with the number of connections and capacity current plus planned by 2025. Anyone think Oakland, Emeryville, Millbrae, Livermore, Daly City, Santa Rosa?

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    $10+ billion to bring multiple rail services to Diridon, and i’m supposed to be impressed by a whopping 2600 housing units? Diridon is (politically and functionally) is not a good fit for a HSR hub.

    Since you mention Oakland , they have 17k TOD housing units in the pipeline, and now wants to remove freeways.

    Aarond Reply:

    Diridon is a great fit because it’s where all the roads and railroads converge. The #1 priority of a hub is to be a transfer point, being a destination in of itself is secondary. And ultimately the latter is borne from the former.

    As for Oakland, they chose to remove their main station (16th street) decades ago and have not proposed a means to replace it. They won’t even consider fixing the mess that is Embarcadero West. San Jose may not have the optimal density but they have the optimal infrastructure running into it already.

    Joe Reply:

    Oh you are comparing Oakland to one section of San Jose. Why the handicap?

    Joe Reply:

    Comparative development at Diridon, Santa Clara and MTView.

    http://www.spur.org/news/2016-06-27/what-do-three-mega-projects-tell-us-about-silicon-valley-s-future

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Aarond,
    As usual this is getting off-topic, but the plan in Oakland is to remove the 980 freeway and use that ROW for possible BART/HSR/Amtrak facility:

    http://www.spur.org/sites/default/files/events_pdfs/Part2-Reenvisioning_I-980-SPUR_0.pdf

    The old 16th terminal won’t work because, like Diridon, it is in a bad location with limited room to grow, and too far from downtown core.

    Joe Reply:

    With second transbay crossing for BART and HSR.

    We’re now beyond 20 billion.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Obviously a $20 billion HSR line to the Gilroy outlet malls is much more important.

    Joe Reply:

    We’re a stop on the Pacheco alignment.

    Nice 20B project in Oakland that will remove a highway, cut and cover, and add train tubes crossing the bay for HSR/BART to build a new tomorrowland.

    Yeah that’s nicer than Diridon.

    Joe Reply:

    Not as sexy but affordable.
    SPUR writes about Diridon
    http://www.spur.org/news/2016-09-22/lessons-diridon-rebuilding-rotterdam-centraal-station

    “A third reason Rotterdam Centraal is a good model for Diridon Station and San Jose is that the reconstruction of the station was coupled with redevelopment around it to create a center of activity for employment and cultural activities. San Jose is planning similar changes for the 240-acre Diridon Station Area.”

    Zorro Reply:

    HSR is not going to Oakland, nor are HSR compatible tubes going to be built, there is no money for either, $20 Bn for San Jose to Fresno, hopefully the LA and SF measures pass, since that will fund HSR into the TBT and the Palmdale to LA section, so that leaves just getting into Bakersfield CA proper.

    Then there is Measure M in LA County, that will put in a line to replace the existing curvy line from LA to Palmdale, with one that is Metro and HSR compatible, so that would only leave the Fresno/Bakersfield to Palmdale gap to do.

    Measure M funds roads, bridges, bikeways, accelerated LRT expansion countywide, maintenance, is to be used in all of LA County and in all 88 Cities in La County and makes permanent Measure R and M sales taxes to pay for this, spending is life, not spending is death.

    Roland Reply:

    “The preponderance of the justification is to get through congested urban areas where train slots are at a premium and the trains are normally split to head to different destination.”

    Well, yeah, doh, can you spell “P-E-N-I-N-S-U-L-A”? How about coupling and decoupling @ Diridon?

    Roland Reply:

    “Due to the wide body requirement of our trainsets, unreserved seating could accommodate 3/2
    seating further increasing seating by 40 to 50 additional seats per train.”
    Kindly help me understand which part of “blended” it is that you do not understand.

    William Reply:

    @Roland, the reason that Caltrain/Stadler settled for a 3.0m wide train is puzzling is that Caltrain’s electrification RFP, and presumed the document that went to bid, specified for a loading gauge that’s can support CHSRA’s 3.4m wide train for the whole line from SF to SJ. So there will be no problem for potential 3.4m wide HSR trains to travel on the Caltrain line, after electrification is done.

    Roland Reply:

    So the trains will have to be scrapeed “in situ” then?

    Roland Reply:

    Make that “scrapped”

    William Reply:

    what about we worry about how to scrap trains when the time comes, say 30 years from the time they entered service, which would be 2060s and beyond.

    Roland Reply:

    How about having to scrap them shortly after delivery when thy figure out that they have to recall Gallery cars from the scrap yard to maintain service?

    William Reply:

    ROW will be wider than the car, period. Got that?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Just like BART gauge wider than the standard subway car. See BART going to wider cars? Cumulative resistance to change, especially when it costs money to make adjustments in concrete.

    Roland’s argument is sound; they should have gone to bid with their planned for car width from the get-go.

    Roland Reply:

    Ain’t gonna happen. Got that?

    EJ Reply:

    What’s your evidence for that statement?

    Roland Reply:

    You would not understand.

    EJ Reply:

    Anything to avoid making an actual argument.

    Roland Reply:

    There is nothing to argue about as far as I am concerned.

    Joe Reply:

    Then you should bleat “Bwa-Bwa-Bwa-Bwa!!!!”

    Roland Reply:

    No need, you just did.

    William Reply:

    The question was never on whether the new trains will scrap stations or tunnels. It is on why Caltrain didn’t use all the available (or will be available) loading gauge, especially when another agency that’ll use the same ROW already specified for trains that will.

    EJ Reply:

    Why are you arguing with a troll?

    Roland Reply:

    Bwa-Bwa-Bwa-Bwa!!!!

    Roland Reply:

    @William. Do you understand the subtle difference between scraping and scrapping?

    William Reply:

    typo: “scrap” should be “scrape”

    Roland Reply:

    Glad we got that sorted out and I was talking about scrapping since nobody will ever be stupid enough to buy Caltrain’s latest fustercluck (remember what happened to Fyra?).

    EJ Reply:

    Remember that other unsuccessful train built by a different company?

    Roland Reply:

    Can you refresh my memory?
    Going back to Fyra, one of their best features was that diesels could tow them all the way back to Italy for scrapping without scraping anything.

    Joe Reply:

    Omneo Toilet-2000.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Did anybody here say toilets?

    What about bicycles?

    Roland Reply:

    Anyone else miss level-boarding at 600mm with cross-platform transfers to HSR bi-levels?

    agb5 Reply:

    I must be possible to make 2 trains “platoon”, like self driving car demos, that is to say the rear train is not physically connected to lead train but both trains are being controlled by the lead driver and are only a few meters apart.
    It could help the capacity at Transbay if a Caltrain-unit and HSR-unit could fit on the same platform and leave the station together as one virtual train as far as Millbrae.

    Clem Reply:

    The dream of fixed guideway engineers for centuries; Hyperloop is only the latest incarnation. Too many things can go wrong, with disastrous consequences.

    synonymouse Reply:

    To some degree you could put the “space elevator” in a similar category.

    Alternately is the fixation on guideway generating the BRT phenomenon? You see the dumbness playing out on Van Ness, a corridor too small and too busy with autos to tinker with. IMHO the traffic engineer approach was about the best you can get: curb loading and stopping on the far side of traffic lights. Sometimes a mess cannot be improved upon.

    And Geary just cries out for fixed or a “fix” and is ignored. Trolley coaches are obvious – is there still anybody in planning at Geary and Presidio? With the mentality we have in place at Muni now there would be no historic streetcars on Market.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Van Ness REALLY just needs a subway (as does Geary, of course)

    Aarond Reply:

    Geary and 19th needs it more. The transit situation in western SF is far worse than in the Marina district (which a VN train would terminate in), the latter has the E/F PCC lines (which can be readily converted for modern trains) and ferry service. Also a Geary/19th subway could have a Geary/VN station which would service the area better.

    A dedicated VN subway only makes sense if the goal is to do a tube to Tiburon.

    Aarond Reply:

    Additionally, from SF itself:

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/2016/10/18/subway-metadata-master-plan/

    http://sf.streetsblog.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2016/10/Online-Reponses-1.png

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Which is heavy on Van Ness, Geary, Geneva, and 19th.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Van Ness does not merit a subway.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Sure it does. It would be a great routing of the J train, which would reduce congestion in the market St subway.

    Danny Reply:

    and the Orange Line down south

  16. Roland
    Nov 1st, 2016 at 08:18
    #16

    “Some countries have used bi-level high-speed trains to address additional seating needs and in the future trainset manufacturers could have bilevel trainsets capable of operating at 220 mph”
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/04/04/french-train-hits-357-mph-breaking-world-speed-record.html

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    Of course, they would have to use TSI-compliant platforms to use the duplex. [/facepalm]

    Roland Reply:

    Do you mean comme ci? http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SsZA-5Ert6s/VBcVW8W4qgI/AAAAAAAACUk/sf3yCxXkf84/s1600/20141015_REGI02N%2BBOMBARDIER_BORDEAUX_UFR.JPG
    ou comme ca? http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6fyQrWPxD0M/VMoVkSVNm3I/AAAAAAAAC6A/_BHMQLf_eB0/s1600/IMG_2422.JPG
    Stupid Frogs!!!

    EJ Reply:

    Trollin Trollin Trollin.

    Roland Reply:

    Bwa-Bwa-Bwa-Bwa!!!!

    jedi08 Reply:

    The US does not like trains: http://gestion-des-risques-interculturels.com/analyses/l%E2%80%99aversion-des-americains-pour-le-train/

    synonymouse Reply:

    I don’t think even livestock like cattlecars. Vote no on BART – they will just blow the money on payroll.

    Roland Reply:

    You forgot the pensions and the gold-plated medical plans. Par-Tay. J-O-B-S. Whoo-hoo!

    Joe Reply:

    http://www.bart.gov/about/jobs

    Whiners should apply and have a cushy job with gold plated medical.

    synonymouse Reply:

    BART payroll is bloated.

    Joe Reply:

    Bigoted Union pensioner angry at union salaries.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Old man yells at cloud…

    Roland Reply:

    Dated…

  17. morris brown
    Nov 1st, 2016 at 22:39
    #17

    Sac Bee: Some sneaky borrowing in billions of bonds up for voter OK

    From the article relating to BART:

    The wording of bond ballot measures and “informational” mailings to voters make lavish improvement promises, but often conceal their true purpose. And the money to persuade voters to pass them typically comes from construction companies that see the potential for new contracts.

    The state’s largest local bond measure, a $3.5 billion proposal by the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, is a classic example of the syndrome – but it’s not going unnoticed because of dogged digging by East Bay Times columnist and editorial writer Daniel Borenstein that has connected the dots.

    Even though it already faced large operating deficits, the BART board agreed to a fat contract with its unions that added more red ink, then decided to ask voters for the bond issue, supposedly to improve its aging system.

    Borenstein pointed out, however, that BART wouldn’t say exactly how it intended to spend the money and understated the property taxes needed to cover the new debt. He also did the complex arithmetic to demonstrate that a substantial part of the borrowed money would cover operating funds that had been diverted from maintenance into salaries and pensions, leading to the system’s deterioration.

    “BART needs upgrades because of past failure to plan for inevitable deterioration of equipment,” he wrote. “We can’t fix the past. We can make sure BART doesn’t misspend more tax money.”

    And then even when the Ballot measure, like Prop 1A, is carefully worded saying exactly how the funds may be used, you get the CHSRA, trying with a bill like AB-1889 (Mullin), attempting to side step what the voters approved.

    Jerry Reply:

    And only three counties get to vote on it.

    Aarond Reply:

    A friendly reminder that BART is staffed the public sector SEIU, while Caltrain, ACE, Metrolink, etc are all private sector UTU. CAHSR will likely be the latter. Right now the SEIU have a monopoly on transbay transit, CAHSR (thru Caltrain electrification) offers a solution.

  18. morris brown
    Nov 2nd, 2016 at 11:02
    #18

    LA Times: This man is bankrolling a California ballot measure to force voter approval on big bonds. Would that kill projects like high-speed rail?

    Vote Yes on 53… Power to the people…

    Jerry Reply:

    Power to the people in Redding to approve or disapprove a project for San Diego.

    synonymouse Reply:

    That’s right: power to those who are paying. Power to the rest of the State to stop the grotesque stupidity of megabillion base tunnels to PodunkDale.

    Danny Reply:

    San Diego’s subsidizes Redding–the rural areas are all teat-biters (at least moneywise)

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Furthermore, there should be no say of Pohdunk County in a LA County transit ballot measure….

    synonymouse Reply:

    Let Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn pay for base tunnels to Palmdale.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Which somehow relates to 53?

    StevieB Reply:

    Only revenue bonds are affected by the proposition so San Diego would be able to stop a bond in Yolo county that they are paying nothing for.

    Jerry Reply:

    Power to the rich people who have the money to get a proposition on the ballot. He, Cortopassi, has the money to even trademark the common expression, “arithmetic is not an opinion.”

    synonymouse Reply:

    Power to the connected unions to get whatever props they want on the ballot.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I still don’t understand why you hate it when workers organize themselves. It’s not exactly as if the capitalist system was stacked in favor of dependent laborers.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Because unions don’t let rich old white guys do whatever they want to do.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Toyota, Honda, Hyundai?

    Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Carl Icahn, you get the picture, do whatever they want to do.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Hä?

    Aarond Reply:

    Who do you think Unions are chiefly comprised of? It sure ain’t mexicans.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I was in the union for almost 40 years. Others quit because they could still get representation without paying dues. But not me.

    The Donald is actually doing the unions’ dirty work – breaking up the political correctness bullshit about discussing immigration, which strongly affects labor. In some ways he is more a shit-disturbing reformer than Hillary.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Except there is no evidence that political correctness or immigration harms anybody.

    Aarond Reply:

    It harms unions, AB60 is having it’s intended affect and is cutting down the power the truckers’ unions have. It also means more Co2, because freelance mexican truck drivers typically don’t drive CARB compliant vehicles. Why would they if they cannot be deported over it.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    it gets old white guys pissed off when other people tell them they are being rude.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    That speaks more to the structural problems of unions than to immigration. Also, you’re profiling most Californian Latinos as immigrants, which is simply inaccurate.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    You know when immigration hurts unions? When unions don’t reach out to immigrants. Immigrants often work low wage jobs that nobody else wants to do. They are exactly the people who need a union most.

    Aarond Reply:

    Hilary has her head stuck in the 90s, she wants infantry in Syria (ala Yugoslavia) and a TPP to seal up the existing free trade agreements into one system. Her solution for underemployment is subprime student loans.

    She and the party politburo are still drinking the demographic “destiny” kool aid. As immigrants gentrify, this will turn into their nightmare. This is especially true as mexican immigrants have no problem pulling up the latter from central americans like the irish and italians did with themselves. The world is changing, Hilary as President means the Democrats won’t.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Donald Trump wants to nuke Syria. His solution for underemployment is To Make America Greats Again. Just like the Republicans did in 1980.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    It will be fun discussing all this trivia after Trump had destroyed that nice Constitutional Democracy that the US was for several generations. You can talk with Susan Sarandon about when Trump will fiat mandate all employers to pay $15 minimum wage — you know he shares your goals.

    Aarond Reply:

    @Neil Shea

    Can you even imagine what the 2018 midterms would look like with Hilary? The real danger is not the White House but a GOP Supermajority. Presidents have two term limits, legislators do not.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    You don’t know for sure what will happen in 2018, and Hillary isn’t as hated as she is made out to be. Frankly, I’m optimistic that once people see her working in office, they’ll really admire her.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Hillary has accumulated detractors to rival Tricky Dicky.

    Aarond Reply:

    Obama walked into office with a Supermajority. It all came apart in 2010, all he got done was the ACA (which has now screwed over millions of Americans with higher premiums) and the unfulfilled PRIIA. Hilary will get nothing and do unto the Democrats what Dubya did to the Republicans. At the absolute maximum she might get infantry in Iraq, which is not a thing Americans want again.

    This is why she shouldn’t have be allowed to run. A Sanders/Webb ticket would have ripped the GOP apart. Now we have to settle for at least four years of mediocrity.

    Aarond Reply:

    On the PRIIA, some major projects:

    – NEC Vision (still in planning, ARC killed but revived as Gateway)
    – SEHSR (still in planning)
    – California HSR (under construction)
    – Ohio HSR (cancelled)
    – Wisconsin HSR (cancelled)
    – Florida HSR (cancelled, but revived as a private project)
    – PA HrSR (done in 2014)
    – Illinois HrSR (under construction)
    – Wolverine HrSR (done)
    – Amtrak Pioneer service (not implemented)
    – PTC implementation (delayed)

    Out of the eleven things listed, only three have been completed and four are yet to happen.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Florida HSR was to run in the preexisting reserved ROW in I-4. Between Tampa and Orlando. Which wasn’t going to cost the state much if anything. It canceled by a Republican, who lied about the reasons for canceling it.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Is TPP now a bad thing, Aarond? The Democrats can continue the way they are. May neoliberalism always prevail!

    Aarond Reply:

    @Car(e)-Free LA

    you can troll all you want but people actually do have that attitude and it’s burning the Dem party down. Also, the fact that Ted Cruz openly endorsed the TPP is proof enough that it’s bad .

    Joe Reply:

    @Aarond
    “– Wisconsin HSR (cancelled)”

    Walker changed his mind and wanted some HSR work but lost the money.
    http://archive.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/118842999.html

    Aarond Reply:

    It’s still defacto dead, though. I still find it darkly ironic that Wisconsin was the one to kill their train project and not Indiana or Michegan.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I’m trolling for standing up for the neoliberal beliefs that Democrats have democratically chosen since 1992 and have won the popular vote in 7 out of the last 8 elections and have brought prosperity to the USA and dozens of other nations? You’re as disconnected from reality, Aarond, as

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    …any alt-righter. The notion that just because ted Cruz supports something it is inherently bad thing is just low intellect partisanship at its worst. I find your self righteousness absolutely sickening.

    Aarond Reply:

    Notice how trade relations with China were only “normalized” in 2000, which is when the economies in Michegan started to fall apart. Since then the GOP have won five of the past seven nat’l elections, two of those victories being with one of the most inept Presidents to hold the office.

    Neoliberalism is amazing for us Californians, as we’re the gateway to Asia. But we’re still a minority, back east things are raw. I’d personally prefer a Democratic nat’l government, and not one run by obstructionists like Cruz. This means putting aside local gain for the larger country’s benefit.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    you can choose to believe what you want, but the facts are that the democrats have been in a historically unprecedented decent since Obama took office

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/08/democratic-blues-121561
    http://www.vox.com/2015/10/19/9565119/democrats-in-deep-trouble

    to put it simply

    Under President Obama, Democrats have lost 900+ state legislature seats, 12 governors, 69 House seats, 13 Senate seats. That’s some legacy.

    http://dailycaller.com/2015/11/04/one-tweet-shows-how-far-dems-have-fallen-under-obama/

    The reality is that the presidency is the only office the democrats continue to win on a consistent basis, they have sucked at everything else.

    oh and before you make the argument it is gerrymandering, its not. Its the concentration of democrats in a few areas an nowhere else.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/12/08/the-democratic-partys-long-term-problem-is-worse-than-you-think/

    “If Democrats were to get neutral maps drawn by God in all 50 states, they would still fall well short of winning back the House,” Wasserman concludes. “What Democrats really need is a massive resettlement program.”

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Even if the 2018 were to turn into a rout for the Democrats, that matters little as 2018 is not a census year. 2010 was so disastrous because it was a census year and Republicans could redraw the map as they pleased.

    If Trump is elected, there might not even be a 2020 election to worry about.

    Aarond Reply:

    If Trump wins, 2020 will be a mess for the GOP. If Hilary wins, then it’ll be a mess for the Democrats. Power lies in Congress: Bill, Bush and Obama all had to learn this the hard way.

    It didn’t have to be like this, as the other two Dem candidates (Sanders and Webb) are capable of working with Congress ad they are directly from it. But that point has passed.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I would be willing g to sacrifice all my personal wealth to help the billions of people in asia that neoliberalism has lifted out of poverty. Global will necessarily require some 1st world nations to get a little poorer with other nations now able to compete with them, but it benefits more people than it harms. Protectionism is selfish.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Also, people can move to where the wealth is–the has always happened in history, during the agricultural and industrial revolutions. While the transition is sometimes long and painful, the end result is always worth it. Furthermore, remember that more Americans live in America’s five biggest CSAs (NY, LA, CHI, DC, SF–25% of USA’s population) than there are “real Americans” (rural, white, Christian, no college degrees, not in coastal states.–20%of USA’s population.)

    Aarond Reply:

    I wouldn’t call wageslavery “helping” people, but let’s assume that is true. Standards get lower until the US is back to the Gilded Age where there is no OSHA, no Unions and no border controls. This is especially true considering that white collar jobs are outsourceable now. People then continue getting angry about surplus wealth is leaving the country resulting in Trump or worse.

    Conditions in the designated dumpster nations are typically deplorable and things can’t change as it would make them noncompetitive. Local cultures get replaced with Hollywood movies and Coke. End result is endless strip malls underneath a cloud of billboards and smog. Much like Bakersfield, Provo or Indianapolis; places that will be voting overwhelmingly for Mr. Trump next week.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Jesus could be in the White House and House Republicans would threaten to hold their breath until they are blue while kicking the floor with their heels.

    Aarond Reply:

    Democrats had fifty years of dominance (1930-1970) because they spread the wealth around, rather than concentrating it into a handful of urban cities. Concentrating wealth into 5-6 states is the platform of the modern Republican Party because it gives them an electoral vote advantage.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    You just don’t get it, do you. China 30 years ago was a wreck. Most people had absolutely nothing. Sweatshops are luxury jobs by comparison. The poorest Americans are phenomenally wealthy by standards of other countries.

    Also, there isn’t much of a point of controlling congress if you don’t have the presidency. There is a thing called a veto.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ adi

    Jesus could debate Hillary and the media have Hillary winning before it started.

    Aarond Reply:

    China 30 years ago was a hardcore communist country, caused by two centuries of exploitation by western multinational companies. That’s the point I’m getting at here: attempts at global centralization will result in pushback in both the dumpster zones and in the green zones.

    But you are right about Congress. Government then stops until someone gives up. Spain has been in this situation for about a year now. France’s 5th Republic turns 59 this year too. This is how coups occur.

    Aarond Reply:

    Not all Unions are equal. There’s a reason why the ILWU was pushed out in favor of the crane operator’s unions (notice how most non-bulk maritime cargo is containerized) and BLET pushed out in favor of the UTU (this is how the ’85/halloween agreement came about).

    More reading:

    http://www.foundsf.org/index.php?title=Why_the_1971-72_ILWU_Strike_Failed

    https://www.ble-t.org/pr/archive/bleqna.html

    As it pertains to transportation itself, the SEIU (ie bus, LRT and metro drivers) tend to be far more militant than their private-sector UTU counterparts (who staff most normal trains, passenger and freight).

    That said, for all of Syno’s whining the Unions are at a historic low due to outsourcing and immigration thus they are effectively pinned back into solid blue states. But even here the Democrats are looking to replace them, because they ask for too much.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    It depends on the union. Some are good and necessary; others, like SEIU and longshoremen are terrible and hold the public hostage for ridiculously high wages.

    synonymouse Reply:

    You are missing the biggies that like to put measures on the ballot: public employee unions, especially the teachers’ union.

    Aarond Reply:

    Enjoy it while it lasts, we’re only seven years into the Common Core. New k12 hires tend to not be union, due to the rise of “hybrid” and “flipped” classrooms allowing schools to instead hire tutors while Peninsula schools get competition from new private schools.

    StevieB Reply:

    “It’s what I call CEQA on steroids, because it’s another way to block infrastructure investment,” California Governor Jerry Brown said. “This is like a gift to all the crazies.”

    Aarond Reply:

    I really wish Brown hadn’t said that, because now all the crazies will actually vote for it knowing that it is CEQA on steroids.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Jerry Brown is like a gift to all the developers.

    StevieB Reply:

    Do you really believe that if California builds no housing that the population will not increase?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I thought the private sector builds housing…

    synonymouse Reply:

    No, but more population and more housing equals a degradation of the environment and of lifestyle. Humans created the concept of infinity to describe the limits to the knowable and in the case of “life” it means a whole lot. So let’s take our time and have better lives with fewer to compete for limited resources. Only so many can be alive at the same time.

    Souls are not immortal and countless potential lives don’t happen. It is in the nature of things.

    Rome needed a burgeoning population of slaves and soldiers. Does not need to be that way anymore.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    But large dense cities are nice places to live–the bigger the better.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Like Lagos and Cairo.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Or Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, London, Paris, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mexico City, etc.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    to paraphrase Yogi Berra. Nobody likes them they are too crowded?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Nonoalco – where the NdeM roundhouse was located and miles of shacks as you came into Mexico DF. on the train.

    http://adamdavidmorton.com/2014/07/planet-of-slums-rebel-cities-radical-cities/

  19. Neil Shea
    Nov 3rd, 2016 at 12:26
    #19

    O/T: SF City Atty countersues the Millennium Tower developers for knowing about and failing to disclose the first 6 inches of sinking that happened before they sold the condos
    http://m.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/City-attorney-sues-Millennium-developer-says-10591174.php

    synonymouse Reply:

    I assume Millennium Partners will ask for a change of venue.

  20. John Nachtigall
    Nov 3rd, 2016 at 13:19
    #20

    I am surprised this has not been posted yet

    http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/01/bart-janitor-grossed-270k-in-pay-and-benefits-last-year/

    Joe Reply:

    I am Surprised this Chris Pine video complaining about janitors health care costs hasn’t been posted
    http://youtu.be/YibDgSd02Xk

  21. Roland
    Nov 3rd, 2016 at 15:19
    #21

    Breaking News: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/11/03/fbi-raids-offices-of-vta-paratransitservice.html

    Roland Reply:

    Next stop: 2121 El Camino Real San Mateo

    synonymouse Reply:

    fbi raids offices of tejon ranch co.html

    in a parallel universe

  22. morris brown
    Nov 4th, 2016 at 05:18
    #22

    Robert writes an opinion piece in the LA Times today (Nov 4 2016) (Page A14)

    Why a carbon tax won’t work

    Re “Green, but not liberal?” Opinion, Oct. 31

    To answer the question Steve Malanga posed in his op-ed article about Initiative 732, one reason the Sierra Club Washington state chapter does not support it is because carbon taxes alone do not meaningfully reduce carbon emissions.

    Making carbon more expensive alone doesn’t produce the funding to build infrastructure to allow people to live their lives without burning fossil fuels. This is particularly true for low-income families and communities of color, who get higher costs but no new infrastructure to help get around without burning carbon.

    Carbon emissions are not a market problem, they are an infrastructure problem. The Sierra Club supports proposals that fund investment in green jobs, energy efficiency, transit, housing and renewable energy and that put the needs of communities of color first. Initiative 732 doesn’t do that, so we do not support it.

    ROBERT CRUICKSHANK Seattle
    The writer is an executive committee member of the Washington state Sierra Club’s Seattle group.

    And, of course, we all know that even if another $50 to $70 billion were to somehow fall out of the sky and the California HSR project could be built, it would take over 50 years of operations, to neutralize the the greenhouse gases that are released during construction.

    Joe Reply:

    California is the fifth largest economy, the US is the world’s wealthiest nation.

    Sad NIMBY living by tracks in Menlo Park with over million dollar bungalows says we cannot afford a HSR system.

    Sorry kids but your world has to burn.

    Roland Reply:

    I just can’t wait for the first train blasting through downtown Gilroy @ 175 MPH. Woo-hoo. Par-Tay. J-O-B-S!!!

    Joe Reply:

    We are looking forward to the HSR station.
    FWIW Station location still TBD.

    I’m now guessing an out of town station, less costly to HSR, and an alignment following 101 to avoid downtown Morgan Hill.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    So no connection to CapCor to Watsonville/Salinas?

    Joe Reply:

    That’s the question, if it’s northeast of downtown. “What about transfers at the legacy station/transit hub?” Also a greenfield station would cost the city more to extend utilities and roads. Buses could be rerouted so the only problem would be UP salinas trains of which we have none right now. We have the St bus which would exit one stop north and be at the station. Buses south would be competitive with rail given the UP track follows pajero river.

    The station would be near the highway at a greenfield next to the outlet mall. It’s not that far from the city core. It would be closer than the hospital.

    Roland Reply:

    That’s what happens when people shove their heads down a toilet.

    Joe Reply:

    Is the upper level of the omneo hybrid super train called the poop deck?

    Roland Reply:

    How about sticking your head up there and reporting back with what you found?

    Joe Reply:

    Hybrid trains will run in electricity or methane generated by the poop deck seats all of which have toilets. Green and brown power. Diagrams to follow.

    swing hanger Reply:

    You forgot the on-train dynamos the cyclists can hook their running gear up to- “hey guys, take a breather, San Bruno curve coming up!”

    Neil Shea Reply:

    It would suck to give up a cross platform transfer to the greater Monterey Bay area, for tourists and locals, including routes connecting at Pajaro and Castroville including to Santa Cruz county, and to force those all onto buses. Might as well build parking for many 1000’s of cars Gilroy!

    Roland Reply:

    No worries, Neil. We gave up on the enthroned King of Garlic City a long time ago. Everything is totally under control and there are no plans to blow up downtown Gilroy with 175 MPH trains because the non-stopping trains will blast by unseen and unheard east of 101.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    What proportion of the trains would stop – maybe 20%?

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Actually for the initial route to Bakersfield, well over half of the trains should stop in Gilroy. After line is extended to LA, maybe 30-40% depending on Monterey Bay area riders (including S. Cruz & the 400k+ in Salinas)

    Roland Reply:

    Only one train/hour (according to current plans). The rest is TBD but they must build something capable of a minimum of 12 trains/hour/direction if they want to use Prop1A bonds without getting sued. This is where the 145 vs 60 MPH turnouts off the HS line memo comes into play: they may get away with a single train merging/diverging every hour @ 60 MPH but anything more than that heading for downtown Gilroy is going to seriously gum up the HS line.
    This entire fustercluck is a carbon copy repeat of the passing tracks @ Bayshore & Lawrence where the trains have to slow down to 50 MPH on the freaking main line to negotiate the turnouts and then accelerate back up to 60 MPH before pulling at the station.

    Joe Reply:

    BREAKING: Gilroy station not compliant with Prop1a. Details to follow in pubic comments of next meeting.

    Joe Reply:

    CapCor riders from the north would transfer via San Jose.

    Roland Reply:

    Sounds good as long as they have no interest in visiting or transferring at Cite du Garlique.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I suppose they could create conventional rail track that loops out to the HSR station and then back downtown. Or they could just run DMUs from Gilroy HSR to Monterrey and Santa Cruz, stopping at Gilroy Downtown, and leave CapCor Salinas alone.

    Joe Reply:

    Remember there is no service from the south.
    North Amtrak ridership would transfer at San Jose.

    From the south it’s 1hour Amtrak Salinas to San Jose because the UP is indirect and heads to the coast and back inland.

    A bus, MST 55, already runs to Gilroy and would simply exit one stop north and be at the station.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Long term, the only way to fix it is to run a line from Salinas to Gilroy via Hollister, in a tunnel from about San Juan Oaks Golf Club to Natividad. Conveniently, such a line passes by a greenfield Gilroy HSR station.

    Roland Reply:

    How about HSR cross-platform transfers in downtown Gilroy? Would that work?

    Joe Reply:

    At the current densities, I think a timed bus from San Benito county will work. Planned expansion of HW 25 to a highway/toll road will carry traffic.

    Long term probably resurrection of rail between Gilroy and Holister but it’s not that far a ride or dense.

    Rail from Salinas to Monterey, Watsonville and Pajero is due 2017 and would be cheaper to bring conventional track to the HSR station and then rejoin UP ROW. Salinas might also run a bus to Gilroy.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    TAMC is actively planning for extension of CapCor to Salinas via Pajaro and Castroville, with connecting service to the Monterey Peninsula and Santa Cruz.
    http://www.tamcmonterey.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Kick-Start-rail-extension-flyer10-13-14.pdf

    If Gilroy puts HSR out on 101 there will be pressure to route CapCor and future Amtrak services to that station. Then we can replace the outlet stores with condos, and leave downtown Gilroy bucholic like somewhere Syn would be comfortable.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I just created this map of how I envision future rail and development in Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and south Santa Clara counties. Lets use it as a baseline, and debate what should and shouldn’t be changed. I welcome criticism.

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/1/edit?authuser=1&mid=1P-adgD9CSCIgSzdv8vX6Q2m4I5w

    Joe Reply:

    Environmentalists opposed a pacific highway rail line because it would foster growth. Growth happened anyway. Traffic expanded.

    Their isn’t a way to get to Santa Cruz via rail.
    Also the Monterey bike path was the old rail line to pacific grove.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    There is a rail line from Watsonville to Santa Cruz.

    Joe Reply:

    Potential but highly opposed by “environmental” interests, green-NIMBYs.
    http://sccrtc.org/projects/rail

    I guess my point is Santa Cruz from Gilroy is doable but somewhat indirect. Far better from the CV or So-Cal but from north It’s a big detour compare to HW17.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Santa Cruz County bought that old rail line, which extends to the planned CapCor route at Pajaro/Watsonville. There is active arguing about what to do with it. When the CapCor is actually running it may swing things in favor of running a couple DMUs every 20-30 minutes up through Aptos, Capitola, Santa Cruz and to the UC there. Coastal Hwy 1 there is a parking lot in rush hours there, with no appetite to widen beyond the existing 6 lanes.

    Joe: Rail along Hwy 17 is not really feasible due to the grades, lack of workable track, and mountain NIMBYs, including on the Santa Clara County side. But the roundabout route to Gilroy would be tolerable to many. S. Cruz County could even extend their DMU route into Gilroy without the transfer (and possibly on up to Diridon when/if demand warrants). This would provide more service for you and Roland:)

    There has also been brainstorming about extending some Santa Cruz trains another 30 minutes down the coast to the Monterey Peninsula

    Roland Reply:

    @car(e)-free LA http://www.abandonedrails.com/South_Pacific_Coast_Railroad

    Neil Shea Reply:

    On what corridor?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    @Joe

    I see Gilroy-Santa Cruz service primarily being used by those connecting from HSR, as well as for commutes from the southern portions of Santa Cruz county to the city of Santa Cruz itself. Imagine something like the NCTD Sprinter along this corridor.

    Roland Reply:

    @Neil: The corridor you mentioned: electrified to Gilroy, switching to diesel between Gilroy and Santa Cruz.

    Roland Reply:

    BTW, this is identical to what Leo Express are proposing for the Peninsula: Electrified between SF and RWC switching to diesel @RWJ to go across DBR and beyond (potentially as far as Livermore). The only difference is that they are proposing Stadler Flirt3s (max 100 MPH).

    Joe Reply:

    Whaaat?
    Leo Express proposed to whom and when to do what ?

    Roland Lebrun, San Jose, said not to blame TASI for the decline in satisfaction. The reason this is happening is because of the systemic failure of planning. The Short-Range Transit Plan shows the problem is that all the Gallery cars and F40 locomotives were supposed to be replaced between 2012 and 2015. Some of these trains should have been gone four years ago. What the JPB is asking TASI to do is physically impossible. Two engines blew in February and two more blew in March. This information is stale. Things have gotten worse since this survey was done. Electrification is not the solution. The solution is Leos Novotny, CEO, Leo Express, who is proposing to pay $4 million a year to run express service on the peninsula using hybrid trains.

    Roland Reply:

    Whoops! The Toilet King forgot to click on the May LPMG video link! Quelle Affaire!!!

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I just created this map of how I envision future rail and development in Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and south Santa Clara counties. Lets use it as a baseline, and debate what should and shouldn’t be changed. I welcome criticism.

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/1/edit?authuser=1&mid=1P-adgD9CSCIgSzdv8vX6Q2m4I5w

    Joe Reply:

    May 2016
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Caltrain+Modernization+Program/Meetings/LPMG+Summary+Notes+5.26.16.pdf

    CalMod Local Policy Maker Group (LPMG) Summary Meeting Notes for May 26, 2016

    • A public speaker expressed support for restrooms onboard.

    Roland Reply:

    Did anyone expect anything else from the Knight of the order of the Plunger?

    Joe Reply:

    Now let’s look at Leo Express.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LEO_Express

    LEO Express owns five long distance specially adapted Stadler FLIRT IC units five-car electric multiple units.

    Roland tells us that for four million dollars LEO Express proposes to operate their fleet of five trains on the Pennisula. This is Roland-world where your fantasy of being a train baron can come true for 44,000 a day.

    Joe Reply:

    Did anyone expect anything else from the Knight of the order of the Plunger?

    That’s it man. No Leo Express mentioned.

    Any chance you can point us to the relevant meeting notes/summary for this hot tip that Leo Express offered to run service along the ROW?

    Roland Reply:

    Try March: https://youtu.be/3TNFWZrzUw4

    Roland Reply:

    “I run a train system in four countries that is 22% profitable and we have proposed to Caltrain
    to finance and operate at a significantly lower cost enabling us to bring in a new fleet and
    make progress with high-speed rail. We can bring in hybrid electric trains. Grade separations,
    gate downtimes, everything can be solved when we all work together.” http://www.hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/SanFran_SanJose/LPMG_April_High_Speed_Rail_E_Update.pdf

    Joe Reply:

    You can’t be serious.
    A Public comment.
    This isn’t a proposal to operate Caltrain – it’s a public comment to a different entity, HSR.

    Clem Reply:

    @Joe: Leo Express had a real proposal. Even has a website. But it landed with a thud in San Carlos because it puts a big private kick in the cushy public anthill of an ecosystem that is Caltrain. This was swiftly snuffed out with great prejudice by Caltrain lawyers.

    Roland Reply:

    Page 6: “For Phase 3 of this proposal, Leo Express will purchase ten 300 seats’ hybrid electric DEMUs (Diesel-Electric Multiple Units) trains and operate them on the Caltrain mainline, branded as Caltrain+ to deliver extra 38,000 seats to the daily service capacity.”

    Page 18: “Leo Express is actively looking at introducing fast, energy-efficient trains to other countries, including the United States. Diesel-electric hybrid trains that recuperate braking energy and meet the latest EPA Tier 4 emissions standards are now available. We want to go beyond that, however, and provide a sustainable, clean solution. British experiments with legacy rolling stock show that conventional lithium-ion battery packs can run trains up to 40 miles (65 km). There are similar projects being piloted in Taiwan, China and Germany. Our goal is of a carbon-neutral train that can be recharged at stations or on short electrified segments. This futuristic goal appears to be within reach.”

    Page 49: “Half-hourly hybrid electric trains would link San Francisco and the mid-Peninsula, splitting
    in Redwood City to serve Fremont & Palo Alto.”

    Page 59: ” Compared to current locomotive-hauled trains, our hybrid electric trains (DEMUs) proposed for Caltrain+ service will have fewer noise impacts. The train noise emitted by trains from sources other than horns, e.g. wheel-to-rail, engine, and aerodynamic sounds would be less than associated with current 1980’s vintage rolling stock due to improved rolling stock design. “The DMU engines are slightly quieter than diesel locomotives… However, as shown in Table 5-9, like the Proposed Project, the DMU Alternative would not result in any exceedances of the FTA criteria.” Page 5-24, PCEP FEIR.”

    Page 60: “Modern design standards on our proposed hybrid diesel multiple unit trains provides a very low-impact vehicle, with Tier 4 Diesel emission compliance and extremely quiet operation. The noise produced under diesel operation is relatively equivalent to that of a truck. Most of the noise will be during acceleration, which on this route would occur within industrial areas. Under hybrid operation
    using batteries or ultracapacitors, the trains become virtually silent, with rail joints producing most of the audible sound. We expect our standard of service and our neighborly attitude will exceed local expectations by a substantial amount.”

    Page 64: “We assume that in 2016 and 2017 we will only operate the Caltrain+ app, integrating existing Caltrain trains with Samtrans buses, corporate shuttle buses, and API partners like Uber, Lyft, Chariot and others. In 2018, the “new trains year”, 10 hybrid electric trains start operation and are expected to reach EBITDA profitability.”

    https://leoexpress-california.herokuapp.com/pdfs/CaltrainPlusProposal.pdf

    Roland Reply:

    @Clem. The game is not over yet (not by a long shot). Watch this space…

    Jerry Reply:

    @Clem
    Thanks for the Leo Express proposal reference.
    Some interesting ideas in it.
    I’m surprised that Facebook hasn’t pushed it for the shuttle to Redwood City.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    And why is having two competing commuter lines good for consumers. It just seems inconvenient and overcomplicated for passengers, especially when transit agencies make their passengers suffer by not cooperating.

    Peter Reply:

    I’m confused about the context of the proposal. Was this just submitted as a sort of cold call? Because if so, then there’s really no reason why Caltrain would pay any attention to it, no reason for Caltrain’s lawyers to “snuff” anything out. Without an RFP or an IFB from the agency, what did Leo Express (and by extension Roland) expect to happen?

    Neil Shea Reply:

    True that the nice Monterey bike path was the old rail route to PG, serving Cannery Row. But current plans only run a light rail from the extended CapCor in Castroville down to a transit center in Monterey.
    http://www.tamcmonterey.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/mblbrochure2014.pdf

    Meanwhile of course anti-rail folks in S. Cruz County are pushing to rip up the tracks in the coastal route that the County now owns, and replace them with a trail, preventing future use as a train.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    It would be nice if the Monterey line could somehow get pushed through to the Aquarium. I suppose the line to Santa Cruz could cut inland to the 1 just south of Capitola, but I’m not sure if it would be worth the cost. Traffic is getting bad in the area, though.

    Roland Reply:

    @car(e)-free LA: you are definitely getting warm. The Oracle of Gilroy has his head stuck down a toilet.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Such a potty mouth Roland!

    Roland Reply:

    @Neil, just an old kettle firing back at an old pot calling the kettle black.

    Joe Reply:

    I thought you were a teapot, short and stout.
    There is your handle and please don’t show us your spout.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    We need to program this blog so neither of you can see what the other person wrote.

    Roland Reply:

    Kindly help me understand which part of a downtown Gilroy station with a high speed line east of 101 it is that you do not understand…

    Joe Reply:

    No Mr. Bleating Troll. You have to figure this one on your own and it doesn’t involve a toilet seat.

    Roland Reply:

    Anybody that does not have their head stuck down a toilet seat figured it out a long time ago.

    Joe Reply:

    Figuring out things not proposed or offered is your speciality.
    We have reality and omneo-world.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Just wondering if you two ever spot each other on the same train south from Diridon

    Roland Reply:

    He gets off the Gilroy train and transfers to the same train I am already on at Tamien (I take the light rail or I drive to Tamien). I have also seen him at Gilroy meetings taking pictures and generally pretending he knows WTF he is talking about after sucking up to the PB RSMFRs and repeating pretty much the same crap he is spewing on this blog. I have never seen him headed south because the Gilroy “service” is of absolutely no use to me or anyone else living 5 miles from the Blossom Hill Caltrain station (1.5 miles in my case).
    As far as “reality” is concerned, he dreams of some kind of high-accelerating, seatless, bikeless and toiletless trains with lots of doors at various heights where people crap on the upper deck.

    Joe Reply:

    I don’t take pictures at the Gilroy HSR or city council meetings. No, I haven’t had a Roland encounter.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “… the funding to build infrastructure to allow …” a gigantic increase in the population.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What are you talking about?

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Not that that would be a bad thing.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The Sierra club is just pathetic. A carbon tax is the best possible option for reducing emissions, and it should replace cap and Trade. It’s just like a cigarette tax–its designed to discourage people form bad behavior. It doesn’t have to fund infrastructure–that can come from other taxes. Don’t bet against the market Robert, you’ll always fail.

    Bdawe Reply:

    I used to think that rightwing claims that progressive’s support for action on climate change was just a moneygrab was slanderous nonsense – a red herring in the crucial struggle to mitigate climate change.

    Then I watched the Washington State progressive community prove them right. If the state’s progressives wanted to be against carbon pricing, they should have put their own measure up to the public, rather than just attacking the one that serious climate activists put forward. Put up or shut up aught to be a universal rule when it comes to climate change.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Yes. Absolutely.

    Joe Reply:

    I agree

    FWIW the Sierra club isn’t represented of the US science community or progressives. It’s the same Bernie Or Bust crowd acting out at the democratic convention.

    We are at a tipping point. This is a step backwards and I fear nothing will happen.

    Carbon pricing was once a conservative approach to carbon management as was Obamacare the conservative approach to medical insurance.

    Aarond Reply:

    A carbon tax doesn’t work in the long-term, as it incentives the state to keep emissions as high as possible. Though the Sierra Club should have proposed their own alternative.

    For example, having the state fund it’s own electrified rail network and also requiring every town to have at least one EV and H2 cell fuel station. Likewise, the state could mandate every town have both a passenger rail station and a freight transloading facility. This would then make a total ban on fossil fuel engines feasible.

    That said, this will never happen because (as you said) much of the modern “green” activist movement is just a tool for the oil industry to destroy their competition for them. The suggestion that the state knock down a tree or pave over a swamp for a rail line is preposterous to these people, which is why they block oil trains and do other stupid shit.

    Joe Reply:

    Carbon tax is not an incentive. Beyond it being illogical, there’s a counter example: the gas tax isn’t an incentive to consume gas. It’s a small tool to reduce carbon and we can estimate how much more co2 is released thanks to the sierra club.

    In CA case the carbon fee pays for carbon reducing spending. In WA it was budget neutral, not great but we need to start normalizing carbon reduction.

    Aarond Reply:

    There are better tools than just a tax. What matters is the concrete the state is willing to pour, the properties they are willing to ED, and the license plates they are willing to scrap. Admittedly this is not easy to do, especially when most “environmentalists” inadvertently help the oil industry by fighting rail projects and the rail industry.

    But I do believe it is plausible if enough people demand it. And with the US auto industry completely gutted, we are entering a new era anyway.

    Joe Reply:

    Yes.
    Better tools than a tax but this is NOT a mutually exclusive action.

    No silver bullet exists. Use multiple approaches and act now.

    Sierra Club offered nothing and promises voters unicorns. They are now part of the problem. This is as dangerous mix of poius thinking and denial.

    Aarond Reply:

    You got me on both points. Especially the latter: if the SC is going to come out against this they really need to propose exactly what they want.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The SC wants base tunnels to Palmdale and another LA there.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It won’t work in the long term because respectable people are predicting that wind, PV and battery storage with be cheaper than anything else by 2025.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I believe China will eventually go all out for nuclear, bringing that tech back into play. Its needs for electric power are truly great and they will be able, IMHO, to buy the state of the art nuclear tech outright. China has resolved to design and build its own competitive commercial jet engines, no matter how much it costs and how long it takes. Notice Japan did not do that.

    China intends to become #1.

  23. Eric M
    Nov 4th, 2016 at 10:07
    #23

    Letter: LaMalfa has head in sand on high-speed rail

    Jerry Reply:

    The article endorses Jim Reed for Congress.
    The district is in Northeastern California bordering Oregon and Nevada.

    Joe Reply:

    “Horrific new voter registration data for GOP in CA: since ’12, Ds have added 754,000 voters, Rs have lost 308,000. http://elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov/ror/ror-pages/15day-gen-16/congressional.pdf

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    No surprise there.

    Aarond Reply:

    I second this. The CAGOP satisfies nobody, they play up to a neocon base which is literally dying off and will be gone in twenty years. Meanwhile they have taken very large strides in preventing Tea Partiers from taking control, denying them even that angle. None of them like Trump either. Who is left? A smattering of Evangelicals and business people too cheap for the Democrats.

    They still don’t know how to follow up Reagan.

    Joe Reply:

    Arnold as Gov signaled they can’t win statewide office with conventional politicians. No qualifying senator candidate this cycle.

    Best CA-GOP is Fresno’s mayor, and she’s pro-HSR.
    We’ll see if any CV GOP lose and/or Issa Wednesday.

    Aarond Reply:

    The GOP needs a platform that works in cosmopolitan states, and as unorthodox as he is Trump’s the only one in the party trying to make one (even if it’s in the most unorthodox way possible).

    Aarond Reply:

    California is a square hole, and the GOP a round peg. Trump a woodchipper.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    “The GOP needs a platform that works in cosmopolitan states” -> True. Any suggestions for them?

    “Trump a woodchipper” [in some kind of good way] ->
    No, he’s a neutron bomb who is doing to the national GOP what Pete ‘Pedro’ Wilson did to the CAGOP in 1994. In no way is he helping the GOP or America

    I truly sympathize with white men without college degrees remembering that their fathers / grandfathers supported their families on a single income and even sent their kids to college. It sucks. But the racism and misogyny now embraced by the GOP is truly shocking – some dating back to Obama’s election, some to the ‘original sin’ of the Constitution, some to Newt Gingrich vs. Bill Clinton, some to the Civil Rights era in the 1960’s, and some to Reagan launching his campaign where folks were lynched with impunity in Philadephia, MS. Trump has made explicit all of this ugliness – what used to be dog whistles – and thereby broken the party.

    When I see the coded antisemitism, hear his supporters chant “Jew-S-A” and see the support of David Duke and white nationalists generally be welcomed, I know they are too far gone for reason.

    I get that, much like the commercialization of the camera in the early 1800s led to Impressionism in painting, the internet has probably given rise to impressionism in news, facts and information. But with the damage that Trump has caused to GOP with non-whites and women, how does that party make a positive contribution at this point? And what is their policy on anything anymore?

    If we date this ‘national fever’ (as Obama has called it) back to his election – when it became acute – I suspect it will run ~20 years, until Syn’s generation dies out, Boomers become the elderly pensioneers, and another younger generation comes of age. The country will not be ‘governable’ in the traditional sense during that time, rather the best scenario is a caretaker pres like Obama while we slip behind relative to the rest of the world.

    Aarond, you’ve noted that incumbent parties typically lose seats in the midterm, and that Hillary will have trouble uniting the country, this is true. But as a progressive you cannot seriously want the House, Senate, Presidency and the Supreme Court all in GOP hands. Rather than advancing a progressive agenda, that destroys it. Bernie and Elizabeth in no way favor this, as much as he wants to change the Dems.

    But if Hillary wins strongly this year, even if she remains unpopular among much of the country, and as little progress will get made, she may easily win in 2020 based on non-white, female and non-crazy votes while GOP infighting rages on. If the only things we do are appoint SC Justices and work to address climate change, that will be worth most other tradeoffs. I would however support most other parts of the progressive agenda (Debt-free College, $12-15 min wage, strong financial regulation, etc.) if Bernie, Eliszbeth and we progressives can help build support in Congress for it.

    BTW, I appreciate folks’ discussions on here and wouldn’t mind running into most of you folks in person someday, perhaps if I ever get to a transportation event ;)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They have been running since forever on a platform of “vote for us, we aren’t those evil city folk, we are Real Americas ™ “, Coming up with something will be relatively difficult.

    Aarond Reply:

    The GOP infighting ends on Wednesday. Either Trump assumes control, or the Tea Party does.

    The Dems will not comeback unless Ms. Clinton is exorcised from the party. The policy supports is extremely narrowminded and plays to a base that mostly doesn’t exist outside of hard blue states. Bush had the same style and it ruined the GOP, leading to Trump.

    The question is whether or not this process will take two years or twelve. All the Democrats have to do is be Democrats, and they can win again. This is what they did in 2006 and 2008.

    Aarond Reply:

    Think like a GOP strategist here, there are two plausible outcomes of this election:

    (a) Trump wins, and the GOP become more economically centrist, adopting many former Dem policies as their own. Second term likely, but his protectionist policies benefit Democrats more than Republicans.
    (b) Trump looses, and Cruz/Rubio are able to come back swinging in 2020 as a “new, libertarian and not racist” GOP against an unliked, establishment President.

    There’s no way the party can loose, in the long term. The true losers are neocons, they are no longer a real movement. And this is why the CAGOP is where they are: the state party politburo won’t move on from neoconservatism.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Aarond – Trump is the stealth Tea Party. If Trump loses it is the end of the GOP. The rich and corps and Wall Street have already adopted and co-opted the Democratic Party. Organized labor and enviros and Bernieboys – watch out! Look at Jerry, total sellout.

    But there is, say, a 1 in 10 chance Hillary will not last and, who is it? – Kaine? – will take office. Pelosi and the feminists would just have to live with it.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Tea Party, around here anyway, is busy splitting into even smaller parties. As far as we can tell it’s because the leader of one faction said the leader of another faction had cooties.

    Aarond Reply:

    Trump ain’t Tea Party. Cruz is Tea Party, and Cruz had the balls to not endorse Trump at the RNC. Also adirondacker12800, you are correct and it’s partially how Trump could steal Cruz’s nomination.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The Republicans welcomed the Dixecrats with open arms. The country club and main street republicans started to wander off. And then got forced out. Ted Cruz wasn’t bat shit insane enough for the Tea Party.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Aarond: Does the reunified GOP hold onto the antisemitism?
    http://www.haaretz.com/wwwMobileSite/world-news/u-s-election-2016/1.751238?v=569029A287E6210D4CA665BE48B33681

  24. StevieB
    Nov 4th, 2016 at 11:00
    #24

    Since Proposition 53 applies only to state projects, Brown could try to avoid a public vote by turning his $15.5 billion Delta water plan over to the water contractors that are underwriting it. They’d have to manage the project and handle bond financing on their own, which may not be such a stretch for the Metropolitan Water District. As former Brown adviser Jerry Meral told POLITICO California on Thursday, “Their credit rating is probably as good as the state’s … It’s really no big deal.”

  25. morris brown
    Nov 4th, 2016 at 13:35
    #25

    Sac Bee: Jerry Brown overstates initiative’s impact in anti-Proposition 53 ad

    Governor Brown is his lust to try and achieve HSR and his water tunnel projects, essentially just plain lies in his ads. Pretty amazing just how low the Governor has gone in his attempt to defeat this Proposition.

    In fact, as for HSR, with Cap and Trade revenues having essentially disappeared, there will be no revenue bond proposal.

    A bit more than 2 years and Gov Brown is gone.

    joe Reply:

    Governor Brown is his lust

    And you’re displaying these three deadly sins:
    Greed
    Wrath
    Pride

    Jerry Reply:

    And Menlo Park is lusting after Facebook jobs but not for housing it’s employees or mitigating the extra traffic problems.

    synonymouse Reply:

    La Fronde se leve dans le SV:

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/04/new-york-times-digital-awe-almost-have-riotsa-tensions-flare-in-silicon-valley-over-growth.html

    Jerry Reply:

    Silicon Valley needs an app to deal with their growth.

    StevieB Reply:

    Proposition 53 stinks of private interest. If Proposition 53 will have minimal impact then why did Dino Cortopassi and his wife, Joan, fund the entire campaign with more than $5 million of their own money?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Why do unions slip money to Jerry or the Tejon Ranch?

    Roland Reply:

    @StevieB: “The activist, who made his money by transforming rented farmland a half-century ago into a successful food processing enterprise, is now mostly retired and gives money to a number of causes through his family foundation.
    “My economic interest would be to be in favor of the tunnels,” he said, noting that his holdings in a canning plant would benefit from more water tunneled to tomatoes in the San Joaquin Valley”
    http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Prop-53-could-bring-big-projects-to-a-halt-9972588.php

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