The Sacramento Bee reports today that the money, which requires a matching state grant, can likely bring the first constructed segment from north of Fresno to Bakersfield (approx. pop. 325,000), rather than the original plan of north of Fresno to near Corcoran (approx. pop. 25,000), news which disappointed many. State Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani was told by the HSRA that the money will also likely allow for stations to be planned and designed in Bakersfield and Merced, north of Fresno. While the Fresno to Corcoran span was about 65 miles, with Bakersfield added on the southern end the initial segment stretches 90 miles. On top of the $600+ million, another $8 million was directed to Caltrans for inner-city rail lines in the state.
Twenty-five years ago, a methane gas explosion ripped through a Ross Dress for Less store in the Fairfax District, injuring nearly two dozen people and delivering a seemingly fatal blow to plans to build a subway along Wilshire Boulevard to the Westside of Los Angeles.
The area was designated a “methane gas hazard zone” and Congress moved swiftly to outlaw tunneling through the area.
California can use the money. Our state's future high-speed rail line from San Diego to San Francisco and Sacramento is already hitting snags, and we expect many more before the system is complete. The $624 million from Wisconsin and Ohio, combined with the $3 billion in federal funds the state has already received, will help smooth the way. Thanks a billion, cheeseheads.
Woodland Hills CA - Hottest spot in Los Angeles City Limits
Re: Mass Transit 2 the Disneyland Resort
Originally Posted by sediment
Here's something idiotic in that editorial:
Um, unless you can sell the "free" train system (as you can a free car) to the highest bidder, the analogy is not apt.
TANSTAAFL. There ain't no such thing as a "Free Lunch".
The bar hangs out that "Free Lunch!" sign to get you in, serve you some inexpensive and tasty yet Spicy Hot and/or Salty stuff for "free" (things like Red-Hot Buffalo Wings) then they expect to sell you a Draft Beer or three to wash it down... (And $Cha-Ching!!$ they just got 'paid' for the Free Lunch.)
The State might well have to turn down the Feds giving them "free" rail system, because as a state we're not only broke we're way underwater - it's like the Maharajah giving a local tribal chieftain (you) a White Elephant.
Caring for a White Elephant is a great honor, but now you have to house the elephant befitting it's Royal status, and hire people to feed and care for that elephant, and that gets Real Expensive Real Fast. And you can't just release the elephant back into the wild or get a mahout and put it to work moving logs in the forest or freight on the docks - White Elephants can't be worked.
And good luck giving it away to someone else - they know the score too, and will politely decline. (Or not so politely...) Oh, and the Maharajah knew the financial and political ramifications perfectly well before he gave you the elephant.
Same theory if they "Give" us a train that will only be a regional connector for the Fresno to Bakersfield area till (and if) it ever gets completed. And it would be Real Easy for the Enviro-nuts to get completion of the system tied up in red tape for decades, as they keep finding more little patches of Endangered Species habitats along the route that have to be detoured around...
You have to acknowledge up front that getting it only partially running will create a huge money pit, as it can't possibly support itself from the farebox as a regional commuter system. Maintenance, electricity for the trains and fuel for the service vehicles, and all those Salaries and Benefits for all the Engineers and Conductors, ROW Maintenance and Signalmen, Station Agents and Railroad Police...
Any HSR project can't break even or make money unless and until the system is completed from San Diego to San Francisco, and develops a good reputation for fast and reliable express service that beats driving or flying by a comfortable margin...
PLUS they need to run a seperate "Local" Medium-Speed train to service all those smaller towns and cities along the way better than an inter-city bus line can do, or the HSR System won't get any support from them - they have state legislators that vote on things too! The folks all along the Central Valley route don't want to watch the Express trains fly by all their towns with no way for them to get on board.
AND they need an option to extend the HSR system all the way from the Oregon Border to the Mexican Border to allow for interconnections...
It really does have to be an "All Or Nothing" proposition, or we can't afford even "free".
On its way from downtown Los Angeles to Westwood, the alignment that would pass under the high school would lead to a station in the middle of Century City, a location that Metro planners favor for its centrality. A less expensive alternative would follow Santa Monica Boulevard but arrive at a station that some contend would be less convenient for commuters. The debate over these two alignments has brought out an array of concerned citizens. Some of them express informed, nuanced opinions about cost, walkability, and local control. Others fear for high schoolers' lives.
I don't actually have a position on the subway alignment, but I do have a position on the uphill battle that planners have to fight despite, or perhaps because of, these quantitative methods. For better or worse, planning has embraced metrics and objective measurements of everything from walkability to regional planning (see CP&DRVol. 25, No. 14 July 2010).
Can't make everyone happy.
Upside of a strong central government is its ability to do what it thinks is right and not worry about some small number of complainers.
Downside of a strong central government is sometimes what it thinks is right is actually wrong.
I think the Century City stop is important, as there are tons of people that go there for work and for shopping. And it's a bit messy carwise because of that.
LOL the reality is that those in Beverly Hills and the Westside do not want their side of town to be easily accessible to those from lower income areas. The highschool is just a pawn on a much bigger chessboard.
That's actually outdated thinking, not the conventional wisdom any more. The Beverly Hills Council gave Metro the green light to go under Wilshire to Santa Monica but not the deviation under BHHS to align the subway to the middle of Century City. The reality is, they see that this is the only chance of moving more people to/from employment centers in that part of town, to keep them thriving when the streets are pushed beyond capacity, they'll benefit from a train that runs at a high speed accross the landscape. That's why they've reversed course since the early days of the Red line.
I think a stop at Wilshire and Santa Monica Blvds is key. Then one at Ave of the Stars and Santa Monica, or perhaps a little southeast of that corner. Then down SM Blvd to Westwood Blvd, up to Federal Bldg and Westwood and VA Hospital, before going up and over the Sepulveda Pass.