Skip to main content

View Diary: Myth of the High Speed Rail "Boondoggle" (302 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Urban sprawl is a problem (21+ / 0-)

    I'm not as familiar with Los Angeles, as you used it as an example. But the HSR stops in San Francisco I think are very well placed, and San Francisco's density is much greater than the LA Basin. (With San Jose, I may just agree with you).

    But I think this argument is a good one to make to improve bus services in California. Buses are great for transit and the environment if dedicated lanes are constructed and efficient lines are drawn to maximize ridership.

    •  Agreed (6+ / 0-)

      So efforts have to exist to plan cities better in terms of new commercial real estate development.  For example, I would want more office space in downtown San Jose.

      This might serve to up the light rail ridership, which while cool is very under used.

      SF is definitely well laid out so CalTrain definitely should be electrified.  Imagine a 30-40 minute commute from Gilroy to SF.

      "And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space" Khalil Gibran

      by bcdelta on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 08:46:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Urban sprawl (16+ / 0-)

      won't stop until we start building mass transit, and we can't wait until the density is there to justify it.  If we wait until the density is there, the cost of building the supoorting infrasture is that much higher.

      Also L.A. is a suprisingly dense city.  (by American standards) and it's mass transit is far better than many think and getting better every year.

      The world will end not with a bang, but with a "Do'oh!"
      "America is a free speech zone."

      by Love and Death on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 12:07:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  LA isn't dense at all (0+ / 0-)

        It's an enormous sprawl.  NYC is dense.

        "And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space" Khalil Gibran

        by bcdelta on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 08:30:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm intimately familiar with L.A. transit ... (9+ / 0-)

      ... and can state that a stop at Union Station is potentially a very good hub location, given Metro Transit improvements made recently or to be made in the near future.

      Out of Union Station one has access to the Metro Red Line (to North Hollywood or through downtown to the west side), and Gold Line (north to Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley, and east to East L.A.). Planned extensions will connect the Red Line all the way to Santa Monica, and the Gold Line to Southbay. The Blue Line currently runs from a Red Line station at 7th Street downtown to Long Beach, close to the waterfront and convention center. The East-West mid-town Green Line is slated to (finally) connect directly to LAX and to Norwalk (the county's government offices). Other lines will serve East LA and extend further into the San Fernando Valley. MetroLink service (much like CalTrain) is available for those connecting to several neighboring counties, although it is probably either too expensive or too inconvenient for most casual or business travelers, as would be Amtrak service.

      Overall, the Los Angeles rail system has suffered from poor long-range planning; early lines were put in without clear consideration for broad useability, and the bus system is often nonsensical, or at least, not amenable to many business travelers. But, realistically, airports do not rely on the mass transit grid in most areas - travelers arriving at an airport frequently use private, taxi or rental cars to get to their ultimate destination. Judged along these lines, I'd say that HSR represents a very viable alternative, especially as hotels, restaurants and other businesses begin to focus on HSR hubs as development zones. The ripple-in-the-pond effect factors strongly in any new infrastructure investment, and HSR in other countries has been no exception.

      ---

      "The fundamental curse of the Republican party is its irrepressible disposition to meddle with other people's business, and impose its notions, and its will, on people who do not freely accept them." -- The New York Freeman's Journal, 1861

      by dzog on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:06:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site