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(Some Guy)   CA highspeed rail, which would help the environment by reducing vehicles on the road, may be derailed by environmentalists   (bizjournals.com) divider line 235
    More: Ironic, environmental impacts, Bay Area, right-of-way, Southern California, federal funds, PR Newswire, board members, concentrate  
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9975 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Aug 2009 at 2:27 PM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-08-27 02:44:55 PM
DeadZone: These the same environmentalists who fight the installation of transmission cables from the solar plants in the desert to LA to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels?

Could be related to the evirons that blocked the widening of 101 south of Santa Rosa due to a couple of newts living in the median.
stupid newts.

Can't get much done in CA. Propose a few lines through parts of Dumdfarkistan and it would be built within three years.
 
2009-08-27 02:44:59 PM
ne2d: What about us braindead slobs?

You'll be given cushy jobs
 
2009-08-27 02:45:45 PM
And still no California tag...
 
2009-08-27 02:45:50 PM
People who live in Menlo Park and Atheron are too rich to use high speed rail - they are worried about the lovely trees on their several-acre parcels. Not sure this is really "environmentalists" at work.
 
2009-08-27 02:46:06 PM
Since there are like 20 stops along the way, it'll only take SIX HOURS to get from SF to LA via high-speed rail!
 
2009-08-27 02:47:29 PM
Dr.Knockboots: You'll be given cushy jobs

Were you sent here by the Devil?
 
2009-08-27 02:47:59 PM
Yes, every environmentalist in the world is behind this.
 
2009-08-27 02:48:37 PM
Yeah, you take a plane because there isn't a wonderful high-speed rail system.

I've taken the regular train from San Diego to LA. Its nice, and really cheap, compared to the East Coast.

A train from LA to the Bay Area would have to be really high speed, and cheap. That is a long trip.
 
2009-08-27 02:48:45 PM
E_Henry_Thripshaws_Disease: This isn't Europe or Japan, they know trains, America does not

BS. America "knew trains" perfectly well for many, many years, until our system was systematically dismantled and destroyed by corporate-backed government favoritism for roads and interstates. The ONLY thing lacking here is the political will.
 
2009-08-27 02:49:40 PM
BunkoSquad: Were you sent here by the Devil?

The Kwik-E-Mart is really...D'oh!
 
2009-08-27 02:49:55 PM
Mono...doh!
 
2009-08-27 02:50:29 PM
I like the Chicago plan:

Under Obama's "vision" for high speed rail, Chicago is in the running to be the center of a hub network linking Chicago, Milwaukee, Twin Cities, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Louisville.Link (new window)

Because I really want to go to those crapass towns.
 
2009-08-27 02:50:55 PM
The ring came off my pudding can!
 
2009-08-27 02:51:07 PM
Mnemia: E_Henry_Thripshaws_Disease: This isn't Europe or Japan, they know trains, America does not

BS. America "knew trains" perfectly well for many, many years, until our system was systematically dismantled and destroyed by corporate-backed government favoritism for roads and interstates. The ONLY thing lacking here is the political will.


Made sense when most of the oil in the world was drilled here.

Cheap coal electricity will look this stupid in 50 years as well.
 
2009-08-27 02:51:12 PM
vernonFL: A train from LA to the Bay Area would have to be really high speed, and cheap. That is a long trip.

One of the big advantages of high-speed trains compared to airports is that they can go right into the city center instead of somewhere far out from the downtown. So even if the train trip itself took a bit longer than the flight itself, the train could still, in theory, be faster if the logistics of it were more reasonable as far as ground transportation, lack of delays/waiting on the ground, etc.
 
2009-08-27 02:51:37 PM
Build it ONLY if it can run profitably. Otherwise its a waste of economic resources.
 
2009-08-27 02:51:39 PM
Brainsick: DeadZone: These the same environmentalists who fight the installation of transmission cables from the solar plants in the desert to LA to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels?

No, it's the kind that works for Union Pacific. Meh. Why don't companies innovate anymore? GM sucks at building cars, why not move to solar-panel manufacture or something? Union Pacific doesn't want to lose right-of-way...build electric freakin trains then! How many thousands of miles of track are already laid? Explain again why they can't refit the existing lines to run cleaner and more efficiently? Business in America makes my head hurt...


Electrifying line is expensive, so is yielding right of way to passenger rail.
 
2009-08-27 02:52:28 PM
good. The reason does not matter - the rail needs to die.

/CA resident
 
2009-08-27 02:52:43 PM
Wouldn't it be great if the government bought all our cars and installed high speed rail all over the country.

Think of the savings.
 
2009-08-27 02:52:53 PM
ne2d: The Kwik-E-Mart is really...D'oh!

With legalized casino gambling, I could tighten my stranglehold on this dismal town!
 
2009-08-27 02:54:00 PM
FarkinFarker: vernonFL: dittybopper: Meh. It's not like anyone would have actually ridden on it anyway.


This. If you need to go from San Fran/Sacto to LA/San Diego, you take a plane.

Yeah, you take a plane because there isn't a wonderful high-speed rail system.


High speed rail in the US isn't like some Japanese Commuter version of "Field of Dreams". You build it, and guess what, people will largely ignore it.

High speed rail works in countries that don't have as large a base of automobile ownership as the United States. About the only way to ween people off of hopping in the car is to tax the living dogpiss out of gasoline, up to European levels, in order to discourage car usage, and to subsidize the rail system.

Otherwise, it's like standing behind a fan and asking Gonzo to build a jacuzzi: Expensive, and irrelevant.
 
2009-08-27 02:54:34 PM
rodeofrog: Check the probate.

Cloverleaf Industries.


Only a toon would think up this cockamie idea!
 
2009-08-27 02:55:58 PM
forresttriax: Let's run it right up the middle of the 5. Giant tunnel thru the "grapevine" hill

passin' cars like they were standin' still
 
2009-08-27 02:56:01 PM
DarnoKonrad: Made sense when most of the oil in the world was drilled here.

Cheap coal electricity will look this stupid in 50 years as well.


America's big problem is that we are so capitalist that we only care about results/efficiency/sustainability/effectiveness in the very short term (nothing wrong with capitalism, but it does create a bias towards short-term-thinking). I personally think we need to temper that a bit. Short-term results are good, but not at the expense of larger long-term costs. I would argue that the best way to ensure long-term sustainability in energy or transportation infrastructure is to invest in deploying a diverse mix of different technologies. That way, we aren't stuck with ridiculously high costs to replace EVERYTHING should one or another technology become unsustainable for whatever reason in the future.
 
2009-08-27 02:57:24 PM
So glad you all voted us an additional TWENTY BILLION dollars in bond debt for this thing. Way to not read the voters' guide.
 
2009-08-27 02:58:10 PM
dittybopper: FarkinFarker: vernonFL: dittybopper: Meh. It's not like anyone would have actually ridden on it anyway.


This. If you need to go from San Fran/Sacto to LA/San Diego, you take a plane.

Yeah, you take a plane because there isn't a wonderful high-speed rail system.

High speed rail in the US isn't like some Japanese Commuter version of "Field of Dreams". You build it, and guess what, people will largely ignore it.

High speed rail works in countries that don't have as large a base of automobile ownership as the United States. About the only way to ween people off of hopping in the car is to tax the living dogpiss out of gasoline, up to European levels, in order to discourage car usage, and to subsidize the rail system.

Otherwise, it's like standing behind a fan and asking Gonzo to build a jacuzzi: Expensive, and irrelevant.


You mean like taxing smokes for cancer research?
Or sodas for Diabeetus?
Or Fark memberships for Special Ed?

Thats crazy talk!
 
2009-08-27 02:58:58 PM
rodeofrog: Check the probate.

Cloverleaf Industries.


Yeah. Check the probate. Why, my Uncle Thumper had a problem with HIS probate, and he had to take these big pills, and drink lots of water.
 
2009-08-27 02:59:54 PM
The_Sponge: patrick767: Umm... yeah. This doesn't look like environmental activists trying to stop it.

It's not nearly as good as the "oops" factor when windmills were being built like crazy in CA in the early '80s. We Americanized the old, slow windmill design by making windmills bigger and more importantly, faster spinning, then put them on a ridgeline in an area with threatened golden eagles among other birds. The windmills became bird cuisinarts. As the golden eagle carcasses piled up, environmentalists found themselves protesting against windmills.

/great story, bro?


IIRC, they're next to the 580 freeway.


Yes, you'll see them when going through Altamount Pass.
 
2009-08-27 03:00:10 PM
The Capitol Corridor between Sacto and SF is great, it's just too slow.
 
2009-08-27 03:00:14 PM
Environmentalist are anti human. somehow humans are not natural.
 
2009-08-27 03:01:43 PM
Mnemia: E_Henry_Thripshaws_Disease: This isn't Europe or Japan, they know trains, America does not

BS. America "knew trains" perfectly well for many, many years, until our system was systematically dismantled and destroyed by corporate-backed government favoritism for roads and interstates. The ONLY thing lacking here is the political will.


I blame the successor to this guy:

weblogs3.nrc.nl
 
2009-08-27 03:02:22 PM
Trains have to be profitable? What a double standard.

Interstate 35 has never sent me a check in the mail, representing its profitz. Not even once.

/never writes, nor calls, either
//starting to think it doesn't care
 
2009-08-27 03:03:53 PM
Disfunction: bhcompy: Noone, because there is no I-5 in CA. We drive on THE 5.

Up here in the part of California where we don't need gills to breath, we refer to our highways by name. INTERSTATE 5 or HIGHWAY 12. It's not a band, so stop referring to it as such.


Gills to breathe? Funny Band in the San Jose area played at our Junior HS dances and they were called Interstate 5.

I still don't recall hearing traffic reports in Tahoe, Sac, SF or here in San Diego ever calling freeways with "interstate" in front of them. Highway? Maybe once in awhile but, unless you are in some back country place where few interstate highways pass why bother being so verbose?
 
2009-08-27 03:03:54 PM
dittybopper: High speed rail works in countries that don't have as large a base of automobile ownership as the United States. About the only way to ween people off of hopping in the car is to tax the living dogpiss out of gasoline, up to European levels, in order to discourage car usage, and to subsidize the rail system.

Cars and roads don't last forever. It's a set of deliberate government choices for us to continue investing in making them cheaper and more practical (by building more roads, etc) rather than investing in alternatives like high-speed-rail. So I pretty much totally disagree with this part of your argument (though I agree that increased gasoline taxes or costs would greatly improve the economic case for high-speed rail). I think that we use cars so heavily because the government invested in infrastructure for cars. We don't use passenger rail heavily because the government hasn't invested nearly as much in infrastructure to make it practical.
 
2009-08-27 03:04:17 PM
As far as considerations of populations and distance, a north-south route in CA is probably one of two places in the country where HSR makes sense. And the other already has Acela.

In Europe, and to a lesser extent even in the Bos-Wash corridor, all those cities have strong centralized local public transportation... you can realistically get to where you want to go without a car. Southern CA does not at all. So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.
 
2009-08-27 03:05:19 PM
Pinner: dittybopper:
Otherwise, it's like standing behind a fan and asking Gonzo to build a jacuzzi: Expensive, and irrelevant.

You mean like taxing smokes for cancer research?
Or sodas for Diabeetus?
Or Fark memberships for Special Ed?

Thats crazy talk!


img74.imageshack.us

You tell him, and I will smack you. I will smack you like a bad, bad donkey, okay!
 
2009-08-27 03:06:00 PM
Brainsick: Business in America makes my head hurt...

I've long been under the impression that business in america (at least Big Business) is only about the economic subjugation of the lower classes. Their chosen method of doing so is to place roadblocks to making necessary infrastructure improvements that would lower living costs, and/or producing greatly inefficient products of poor quality that constantly need replacement or repair.
 
2009-08-27 03:08:48 PM
tuna hp: So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.

Yeah, probably the reason an airport will never get built in LA, either.

/wait, what?
 
2009-08-27 03:08:59 PM
dittybopper: Meh. It's not like anyone would have actually ridden on it anyway.

Agreed. The entire concept is a boondoggle from beginning to end. There simply is NO evidence that a high speed rail system would carry even enough passengers to break even. More likely, it will cost tens of billions more than the heavily fudged projections already floated, never operate at anything close to capacity and end up draining enormous sums of money needed elsewhere until it finally gets abandoned.

Also, rail systems do NOT reduce traffic. Studies done for the proposed light rail system in Seattle showed that even if the most rosy projections were correct, it would have very close to ZERO impact on traffic. In fact, even the best Sound Transit projections show that the cost for the project is so high that no realistic ticket price covers even a fraction of the actual operating cost per passenger. In other words, no matter what ticket price a rider pays, the government (meaning your taxes) must subsidize each ticket by hundreds of dollars. Sound Transit's own numbers were so dismal that they could have abandoned the rail system and bought a new car for every rider and still spent less money.

The San Francisco Bay Area already has BART and a passenger train system on the Peninsula, but traffic continues to grow. The problem is that the vast majority of commuters live and work too far from the rail lines and so their commute would be just as long, or longer, to use a rail system.

Unlike Japan, which has such a dense network of rail and subway systems that you can get almost anywhere in Tokyo by rail, California completely lacks the infrastructure needed to get a passenger from the rail station itself to his destination easily. Just like flying, a high speed rail passenger still has few options for getting himself from his transit terminus to his final destination. You still have to rent a car unless you want to pay hundreds of dollars in cab fare or schlep your luggage onto a bus.

And who is going to use this boondoggle? Airlines already have to discount their fares to keep their planes full. For example, Southwest has had a $78 round trip (yeah - round trip) from SFO to San Diego all year long so obviously they don't have mobs busting down the doors to go there, otherwise they would be able to charge a higher fare. How stupid does anyone have to be to see that high speed rail would be duplicating a service that not only already exists, the current system is running below capacity, is cheaper, faster and already exists with infrastructure in place.

California needs to abandon this white elephant before any more tax dollars get flushed down its infinitely hungry maw.
 
2009-08-27 03:09:04 PM
dittybopper: High speed rail in the US isn't like some Japanese Commuter version of "Field of Dreams". You build it, and guess what, people will largely ignore it.

High speed rail works in countries that don't have as large a base of automobile ownership as the United States. About the only way to ween people off of hopping in the car is to tax the living dogpiss out of gasoline, up to European levels, in order to discourage car usage, and to subsidize the rail system.


Don't forget that there needs to be a critical mass of commuter/traveler rail systems in place for that to work.

Gas can be $10/gallon, but people still won't go on the rail if it doesn't go where they want.
 
2009-08-27 03:09:30 PM
tuna hp: And the other already has Acela

Acela sucks. Its too expensive for what it is.

When I go to NYC, I take one of those Chinese busses.

$40 round trip, biatches.
 
2009-08-27 03:09:49 PM
Shostie: Pocket Ninja: Actually, it sounds more like Union Pacific is pretending to give a shiat about environmental concerns as a beard to protect its real interest, which is protecting its existing right-of-way.

There's that plus the fact that any construction project requires an environmental impact assessment before it can go forward.


It's neither. Or possibly both. The lawsuit is arguing about whether or not the environmental impact report was WRITTEN PROPERLY, which is why environmental groups drive me insane.

FTA: The ruling grew out of a lawsuit filed by the cities of Menlo Park and Atherton that challenged the adequacy of an environmental impact report...A Sacramento County Superior Court judge said Wednesday that portions of an environmental review of high-speed rail service will have to be rewritten,

Whenever you see one side or the other filing a suit saying the reports weren't "adequate" or weren't "written properly", it usually means the environmental impact has nothing to do with it. They're just trying to hang the issue up in court, knowing it will take another 18 months to iron out the details, and hopefully kill the project.
 
2009-08-27 03:11:14 PM
japlemon: patrick767: The windmills became bird cuisinarts.


I prefer bird slap chops


I always have to turn the channel when that commercial comes on. The "You're going to love my nuts" line is just too much.
 
2009-08-27 03:11:28 PM
tuna hp: As far as considerations of populations and distance, a north-south route in CA is probably one of two places in the country where HSR makes sense. And the other already has Acela.

Acela is not really true high-speed-rail, so it just goes to show that we have a problem with government not properly investing in infrastructure and not solving the underlying structural problems even in places where HSR could be quite feasible.

In Europe, and to a lesser extent even in the Bos-Wash corridor, all those cities have strong centralized local public transportation... you can realistically get to where you want to go without a car. Southern CA does not at all. So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.

Yes, HSR really should not be thought of as a stand-alone transportation system, but rather as the long-distance component of a broader regional rail or other transportation network. It works a lot better when it has a lot of slower feeder lines to deliver passengers to and from it in the cities it serves. Of course, maybe the HSR project might actually spur the creation of those feeder lines, since they would have somewhere to go...it's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem. But the same thing is true of roads...interstates wouldn't be very useful if there weren't a bunch of surface roads connecting onto them. It's just a matter of proper investment.

My big question is how come we can manage to get projects to build new freeways planned and built in this country without taking decades, but rail is seemingly impossible nearly everywhere?
 
2009-08-27 03:11:37 PM
tuna hp: As far as considerations of populations and distance, a north-south route in CA is probably one of two places in the country where HSR makes sense. And the other already has Acela.


Never taken acela, have you?

tuna hp: In Europe, and to a lesser extent even in the Bos-Wash corridor, all those cities have strong centralized local public transportation... you can realistically get to where you want to go without a car if it is a city. Southern CA does not at all. So you take the HSR from up north down to LA... then what? You walk to wherever you're going? Yeah right. You're still going to need to take a taxi or rent a car.
 
2009-08-27 03:12:16 PM
FTA: Judge Michael P. Kenny ruled that the California High-Speed Rail Authority had failed to address concerns by Union Pacific Railroad about sharing its right-of-way in a stretch of the system further south, between San Jose and Gilroy, in its environmental review.

subby is pretending he/she lacks reading comprehension to use a good trolling headline, yes?

/worked on me ;-P
 
2009-08-27 03:12:25 PM
Roger Arseways: PlusCestLaMeme: Um, why the exception for veterans benefits? If the prop system is retarded (which it is), why not vote against all of them?

Because I don't want to deny funding to veterans because of dumb politics.


That's how I feel about education, environmental projects, aid to the poor. Slippery slope, that.
 
2009-08-27 03:13:16 PM
Brainsick: Explain again why they can't refit the existing lines to run cleaner and more efficiently? Business in America makes my head hurt...

Because why would any business spend millions to run a cleaner system that doesn't make a dime more profit than what already exists?
 
2009-08-27 03:14:39 PM
vernonFL:
When I go to NYC, I take one of those Chinese busses.

"Me drove you rong time."
 
2009-08-27 03:15:23 PM
ambercricket: There simply is NO evidence that a high speed rail system would carry even enough passengers to break even.

Do we demand that interstate highways "break even"? Where are they producing revenue (and don't say the gas tax, because the highways cost far more than that takes in)?

Things like HSR are about the future, not the present. I will agree that there's no point in building it unless you want to revolutionize your whole transportation system, but that's kind of the point, isn't it?
 
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