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HSR Get Nationwide Rejection

Original post made by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Nov 12, 2010

We in the Peninsula, the Bay Area, or California are not alone in our skepticism about High Speed Rail.

I am an NPR listener and there was a feature on its Friday evening news program about HSR concepts in other parts of the country, such as Florida, points connecting to Chicago, among others.

All the elected leaders affected by HSR in their jurisdictions expressed at a minimum misgivings, and in some case outright opposition to HSR. None fvored it.

The concept is great, it works well in places where there is dense popualtion. Other than the US eastern corridor, it won't "fly."

The Obama Administration seems to have blinders on about this concept, just wanting to fund unviable projects all over the country even when people push back.

I am a far cry from a Tea Party guy, but as far as High Speed Rail is concerned here locally and apparently around the country, make mine Earl Gray.

Comments (5)

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Nov 12, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Its really important right now that those that oppose HSR here need to reach out and make the serious concerns we have here, known to the republican leadership in Washington. Loud and often. They need to really understand the HSR debacle that is happening here now.


Because the other states are turning down HSR money now, and the California HSR lobby is jumping all over the nationwide sentiment against HSR to try to get that additional funding pointed over here. The nationwide rejection of HSR is going to turn very UGLY very fast for us here in California unless we let the national republicans know that WE DO NOT WANT THE MONEY HERE EITHER. This is not tru HSR! This is Caltrain on steriods speed HSR, that will run through neighborhoods, through school yards, and will be forced to slow down (or devastate) through hundreds of small towns - and WE DONT AGREE. WE don't support it, they are doing it wrong. They are damaging property owners and tax payers. They are mismanaging the project on every front, they are ignoring the laws, they are lying about benefits, revenues riderships and costs, and WE DON"T WANT IT EITHER! WE have to make this known. Otherwise, Washington thinks that California is the only 'true hsr' and our HSR foamers are all too happy to try to nab all that funding that the republican governors are starting to reject elsewhere.

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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 13, 2010 at 6:56 pm

France and China are lobbying like crazy to get this money.
The future for CA is instead computerized traffic flow systems an variations of the Google car.
You enter your destination and the flow/queuing system takes over--we will be able to read, text etc until the system tells us to take control again.
Of course you will not be able to weave speed etc when in the system--but it will solve congestion in LA, Bay Area etc without the need to build additional freeways.
Another good thing is that we can sell these systems to China, France etc at a huge profit for American companies.
HSR is a 19c technology with lipstick---dead in the water--- as we do not need it and have better technology through software and systems engineering

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Posted by John
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 13, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Once again, I will remind that our city council approved this disaster, UNANIMOUSLY. The green team in full monty.

At what point do we wake up to what is happening in Palo Alto, with the "new urbanism", density housing, transit corridors, welfare housing (BMR), Opportunity Center...and other collectivst concepts?

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Posted by Alex Panelli
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2010 at 10:58 am


I wish that the Rail Authority would restrict its efforts to securing the necessary rights-of-way for HSR, much like the way toll roads have been built along the East Coast.

Generally, those toll roads are built on public owned rights-of-way, but are built and operated by private companies for some set number of years (based on the economics), and then are turned back over to the public.

I would feel much better about this approach, because it would (1) ensure that the economic model is viable (no private company would entertain the business unless they could profit) and (2) it would ensure that the taxpayers are not on the hook for perpetual subsidies/cost overruns, etc.


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Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Palo Alto
on Dec 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Paul Losch is a registered user.

Hi Alex,

Nice to know you are reading my blogs from time to time.

My biggest objection to HSR is at the policy level--transportation funds are put to better use developing more local transit capabilities to get people from home to work or school, and reduce as much as possible auto trips. HSR serves far fewer travelers and does nothing to ameliorate the majority of trips, which are local.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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