Patterico's Pontifications

7/18/2012

Jerry Brown Signs $68 Billion High Speed Rail Measure

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:43 pm

Luckily we have $68 billion lying around:

California moved full steam ahead on Wednesday with a $68 billion high speed rail project, a move that comes as the state slashes spending to close a nearly $16 billion budget deficit and as a string of its cities mull bankruptcy.

At a ceremony in Los Angeles, Governor Jerry Brown signed an initial funding bill for the train project, clearing the way for construction of a 130-mile section of track through the state’s agricultural heartland.

At least we’ll see the benefits soon:

Calling naysayers “NIMBYs,” “fearful men,” and “declinists,” the governor celebrated a project that he first signed a bill to study 30 years ago.

“It’s taken that long to get this going,” he said, flanked by dignitaries and construction workers at the site of San Francisco’s future Transbay Terminal. “You may not be around when it’s finished.”

. . . .

“You have to take the bull by the horns and start spending and investing in things that make sense,” Brown said Wednesday.

Sometimes you just have to mortgage our children’s future even more.

For the children.

98 Responses to “Jerry Brown Signs $68 Billion High Speed Rail Measure”

  1. I think $68 billion is about $1800 for every man, woman, and child in California. Feel free to correct my quick back-of-the-envelope calculation.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  2. Patterico, opposite coast, but see latest comment on the Weiner post.

    elissa (65233d)

  3. In the bad old days, children were sold into indentured servitude and forced to work off debts that they had never agreed to. Glad that doesn’t happen anymore.

    ras (be1e0d)

  4. P.S. Can the pols’ pensions be invested in the project, such that they will get their money just as soon as it hits its ridership projections? Who could argue with that?

    ras (be1e0d)

  5. 19th century technology at 21st century prices. What could possibly go wrong?

    Gazzer (c90af1)

  6. California’s bullet train network, expected to take decades to complete, would eventually connect Sacramento and San Francisco to Los Angeles, with stops along the way.

    Hey, I know, let’s call it the Amtrak!

    Patricia (e1d89d)

  7. Has the LATimes editorial board opined?

    elissa (65233d)

  8. You have to take the bull by the horns and start spending

    Democrats

    Dustin (73fead)

  9. Building a first-in-the-nation project would provide a lasting legacy for the 73-year-old Democratic governor as he moves into the twilight of a long political career. His father is revered for promoting the construction of California’s comprehensive water system and expanding the state’s higher education system into a national model.

    Essentially, Gov. Brown is leveraging the entire state of California and its residents (and residents-not-yet-born) all in the name of leaving a legacy. Priorities, people.

    According to the California High Speed Rail Authority in 2008, the estimated cost for Phase One of the project linking just San Francisco and Los Angeles was $34 Billion. This phase eliminated Sacramento, Oakland, the Inland Empire, and San Diego. By early 2012, their estimated cost for this Phase One more than tripled and could reach $118 Billion.

    Despite spending more than $500 Million, not one mile of track was built between 2008 and early 2012 and plans became dependent on billions of dollars of future federal grants or billions of dollars of debt or private investments that the taxpayers of California will be responsible for repaying.

    I live in California and I have yet to meet one person who supports this nightmare.

    Do any of our California commenters know anyone who supports this?

    Dana (292dcf)

  10. Petition to put high speed rail back on the ballot for Californian voters here.

    Dana (292dcf)

  11. Another recall, Dana?

    elissa (65233d)

  12. They could buy a fleet of 737′s and provide faster air service by using a couple of airports that aren’t used much. For example, expand the airport at Gilroy, CalTrain connects from SF to Gilroy and fly folks from there to, say, Burbank.

    69 billion is a lot of airplanes. Why waste all that money on a train nobody wants?

    crosspatch (6adcc9)

  13. I’d bet that Google trains will be running in I-5 and Rte 99 long before CA’s high speed rail makes its inaugural run.

    A Google train is simply a collection of Google cars driving practically bumper to bumper at high speeds on the freeway. Cars will be in constant communication with other cars within their own train as well as other trains ahead and behind. So if traffic is stopped a mile ahead, the train can slow down smoothly ahead of time.

    Fuel efficiency improves; you arrive faster (because traffic will flow more smoothly and lanes are higher capacity); you can still take a break anytime you want; and you have your own car when you arrive.

    That’s going to beat the pants off high speed rail.

    MartyH (49fda0)

  14. John and Ken call it simply and poetically: THE BROWNDOGGLE, the train to nowhere.

    More debt added to the pile.

    The Commies in Sacramento continue to scew this once Golden state.

    PC14 (87cbf8)

  15. I assume forced eminent domain takings will be involved? Or has the land already been acquired? In my state one would automatically assume that connected fat cats and dirty pols are already well positioned on the land deals and for lucrative future real estate ventures and provision of supplies along the route.

    elissa (65233d)

  16. Just remember North Dakota, you didn’t build that low unemployment, low tax, fiscally responsible, economically booming state of yours.

    Somebody else built it. Somebody else made it happen. In your state as well as others where sanity reigns.

    That someone would be Governor ” take the bull by the horns and start spending” Moonbeam of Kali.

    Now that he’s destroyed or chased out his tax base he’ll be asking Obama to transfer all of that money that belongs to him back into his slush fund to spend on an indoor wind turbine power plant in the Sierras that he plans on “investing” in next.

    Indoor wind turbine power plants are the next big thing in renewable energy. If you keep the turbines indoors at a climate controlled environment they don’t freeze up in winter and snow can’t enter the cooling vents and short out the electrical components. Plus if you keep the turbines out of the elements the blades don’t freeze up and fling lethal chunks of ice at people. After making Kali the world leader in indoor wind turbine energy, he’ll retire.

    To Nevada. Because you’d have to be kuhhrazy to stick around and pay those skyrocketing Kali taxes on a fixed retirement income.

    Steve57 (65d29f)

  17. Moonbeam Train.

    nk (875f57)

  18. ____________________________________________

    Calling naysayers “NIMBYs,” “fearful men,” and “declinists,” the governor

    And that nitwit still is going to have the nerve to promote his proposition on the upcoming ballot in November as a necessary and appropriate increase in taxes, because, in his mind, there’s no other way to balance the state’s budget. But the real rub may be that due to the state being full of so many truly stupid liberals, he may find a lot of willing suckers out there among the electorate.

    So ridiculous and nonsensical, it’s the ultimate in a case of: ‘ya can’t make this s— up.

    Mark (a346be)

  19. elissa,

    Here is the pamphlet that they High Speed Rail Authority has prepared for residents.

    THE RAIL AUTHORITY’S POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN

    A person’s private property rights are protected by the federal and state constitutions and applicable federal and state laws. The principal right is that “just compensation” must be paid for private property acquired for a public project.

    The vast majority of Rail Authority’s property transactions are settled by contract. However, if the owner and the Rail Authority cannot agree on the terms of sale, the Rail Authority may initiate the eminent domain process to avoid delaying the project, and may eventually be required to initiate condemnation proceedings.

    Before filing a condemnation action in court, the Rail Authority will give you an opportunity to question whether public interest, necessity, planning and location require the proposed project and your property.

    Condemnation lawsuit documents are prepared by the Rail Authority and filed with the court in the county where the property is located. The summons and complaint in eminent domain will then be served on all persons having a property interest in the parcel. The persons served must answer the lawsuit within 30 days.

    Counsel for the parties will then prepare for trial, and the court will set dates for briefing, preliminary motions and the trial.

    Dana (292dcf)

  20. I think they may have enough rope, finally. Between plastic bag bans, demands for higher taxes, the refusal to deal with the pension bomb, floods of illegals, closing universities, and boondoggles like this, there may be some hope that people will stop blindly voting for Democrats just because of social issues.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  21. Moonbeam Train.

    Comment by nk — 7/18/2012 @ 9:44 pm

    In the spirit of the Gene Wilder – Richard Pryor comedy Silver Streak, John & Ken of KFI — who were railing against the entire project when it was a ballot measure in keen anticipation of this very thing happening — refer to the train as “The Brown Streak” (pun intended).

    L.N. Smithee (d4881b)

  22. Yeah Dana- Nasty business. Back in the day my grandparents’ grain farm (along with many others) got destroyed when it was cut in half along with some buildings lost, by construction of a major interstate highway through it. Adequate compensation from the government? Hardly. Heartbreaking? Very much so.

    Jerry’s providing good work opportunity for lawyers, too, along with all the construction jobs. Obviously it pays to be part of the Dem base.

    elissa (65233d)

  23. Off topic, but Brett Kimberlin has threatened to file criminal charges against me, again. Read here.

    Aaron "Worthing" Walker (23789b)

  24. The secondary scandal in all of this is that Gov. Moonbeam had TWO bill signing ceremonies for this boondoggle today, one in the morning in Los Angeles and the other in the afternoon in San Francisco. How much taxpayer money was wasted flying Brown and his retinue from Sacramento to LA to SF and back to Sacramento, all in the name of a massive PR stunt by the senile, egocentric governor of our increasingly indebted state? Why isn’t anyone asking the governor about this?

    JVW (edec8d)

  25. ____________________________________________

    but Brett Kimberlin has threatened to file criminal charges against me, again

    I’m sorry you have to put up with such crap. But more and more, it’s like 2012 is a time of creepy, disgusting insects crawling out of the woodwork.

    Kooks like Kimberlin, loons like Jerry Brown and his train, nuts like Obama and his weird disdain of business builders. There’s a thread that runs throughout all of this: leftism, or liberalism, truly is a mental disorder.

    Mark (a346be)

  26. Bakersfield to Madera. That’s what you will NOT read in any of these stories, but that’s all that will be built in the next few years. The rest depends on Uncle Sugar continuing to run trillion dollar deficits to fund crap like this. Which won’t happen, because it really can’t.

    Gonna be some pretty upset cows getting off the train in Bakersfield after their 200 mph trip in cattle cars. Speaking of crap.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  27. I think $68 billion is about $1800 for every man, woman, and child in California.

    What’s that in Bakersfield-Madera train tickets?

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  28. I’d bet that Google trains will be running in I-5 and Rte 99 long before CA’s high speed rail makes its inaugural run.

    Well, they’d probably want to buy the roads and fix them up.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  29. … but they don’t have enough money to fix the damn roads that *everyone* uses. Recently I drove from Mountain View to Stockton and back for an event, about a 200 mile round trip on some of CA’s major highways. There probabaly weren’t more than 10 miles not studded with potholes. It seems like the roads are constantly being repaved but actually never *get* paved. It’s like a third-world country.

    FOAF (afeaef)

  30. Brown, Green Jobs, High Speed Rail, etc.

    Funny thing about democracy, people tend to get the government they deserve. Majority rules and all that.

    Fortunately voting with your feet is still legal in this state. For now anyway…

    Brad (faf27b)

  31. My husband, a staunch Democrat, is certain this thing is going to wither on the vine once it gets to the environmental approval stage.

    The politicians don’t dare kill it (all those jobs!), but I too believe it will just disappear.

    MayBee (fb7121)

  32. In 1980, Brown’s campaign slogan was “protect the Earth, balance the budget, explore the universe”. California should have followed Royko’s suggestion to put him on a rocket ship with a globe and a calculator.

    nk (875f57)

  33. Bakersfield to Madera

    Ask yourself who are the people that need a ride from Bakersfield to Madera.

    Dana (292dcf)

  34. More evidence Moonbeam did too many drugs with Linda Ronstadt.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  35. A friend sent out an email this morning containing a picture of the California state flag–except on this version the bear is a skeleton.

    elissa (4fe1f3)

  36. My husband, a staunch Democrat, is certain this thing is going to wither on the vine once it gets to the environmental approval stage.

    There’s something we could do without. Between diversity programs and environmental review boards there’s an awful lot of government to cut. Frankly, delays caused by environmental review of critical transportation projects probably need environmental review.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  37. Didn’t Jerry Brown run for election for Governor this time as being a Democrat not afraid to make the tough spending decisions? Able to tell Democrats “no”?

    So much for that?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  38. funny that neither article mentions Obama and his deeply weird high speed rail fetish

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  39. The economics of such a rail system are questionable at best.

    I just did a quick search on air fares from LAX to SFO, leaving on a Friday and returning the next Monday. It was $156 round-trip, and each flight takes an hour, non-stop.

    In order to make a multi-stop rail trip attractive to travelers, the price difference must be great enough to justify the additional time needed. A price point of around $75 would be the maximum consumers would pay.

    Further, the rail trip must compete with the relatively low expense but somewhat longer time it would take to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

    So, how long will a rail trip take? And where are the termini?

    Chuck Bartowski (3bccbd)

  40. $156 round-trip, and each flight takes an hour, non-stop

    plus there are about 5 places in the LA area you can go and catch a flight up north – you don’t have to go Union Station, which is a fairly ghetto and unpleasant place to go really

    it has a starbuck’s now at least

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  41. *starbucks* I mean

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  42. Does the train connect to ‘Hadleyville and North Haverbrook.’

    narciso (ee31f1)

  43. Well, Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society sure turned out to be a great investment, huh ? Why not, why not one more “investment” ?

    And one more point – all of Obama’s roads and bridges, infrastructure that he talks of in HeDidn’tBuildThatGate – could have been created faster, better, and cheaper by private enterprise through state and local jurisdictions.

    DaveinMinnesota (685527)

  44. 25.____________________________________________

    but Brett Kimberlin has threatened to file criminal charges against me, again

    I’m sorry you have to put up with such crap. But more and more, it’s like 2012 is a time of creepy, disgusting insects crawling out of the woodwork.

    Kooks like Kimberlin, loons like Jerry Brown and his train, nuts like Obama and his weird disdain of business builders. There’s a thread that runs throughout all of this: leftism, or liberalism, truly is a mental disorder.

    Comment by Mark — 7/19/2012 @ 12:00 am

    Yes, there is. Which is why Kimberlin fits in so nicely with lefties who don’t care that he’s a serial bomber, amongst other things. He operates the same way they do. Thuggery.

    Steve57 (65d29f)

  45. Impossible for me to get past Aaron’s weird letters, so comment here.

    Impossible for Kim Berlin to “file” criminal charges. He makes a complaint, gives a report, if a prosecutor takes him seriously charges are filed.

    Burden, reasonable doubt. Proof, more than speech. Necessity, law that can withstand First Amendment scrutiny. Standard of scrutiny, overwhelming state interest. Response to Kim Berlin, “take a running jump at a rolling donut”.

    nk (875f57)

  46. plus there are about 5 places in the LA area you can go and catch a flight up north – you don’t have to go Union Station, which is a fairly ghetto and unpleasant place to go really

    In fairness, it must be pointed out that you can hop on one of the light rail systems in L.A. County and end up at Union Station. So you don’t have to drive there. And while you’re waiting for your bullet train, you can check out Olvera Street. That used to be fun, at least when I was a kid.

    But another point to make is just how frequent flights to San Francisco are. How times each day will a train leave bound for up north? And how convenient will those departure times be, compared with the ease and convenience of flight? (To say nothing, of course, of the infinitely flexible departure times of driving there on your own.)

    Chuck Bartowski (3bccbd)

  47. 26. Bakersfield to Madera. That’s what you will NOT read in any of these stories, but that’s all that will be built in the next few years. The rest depends on Uncle Sugar continuing to run trillion dollar deficits to fund crap like this.

    “Bakersfield to Madera;” it reminds me of the difference between the Air Force and the Navy and how they’d deal with Congress and appropriations.

    If the Navy got funding for a naval or air base, they would build the piers, ship repair facilities, runways, hangars, tower, etc., and if they ran out of money before they built the living facilities they’d go back to Congress and try to get more. And fail to get enough.

    The Air Force would get the money, then build the golf course, the pool, the base clubs, lavish living facilities, then run out of money before they got around to building the airfield. They’d go back to Congress and get all the money the wanted. You can’t have an Air Force Base without a runway, can you?

    If they built a portion of the high speed rail line where it actually served a large population they might not be able to get more money. Building it in the middle of nowhere first means they can petition the feds for more money so they can extend it to reach those populations and prove it can work.

    It’s sort of like you have to pass it to find out what’s in it. In this case, you have to build it to find out if it works. They can’t risk building a portion of it serving one of the population centers they say it’s intended to serve first because that would risk proving it won’t work before they have a chance to ask for more money.

    Which won’t happen, because it really can’t.

    Comment by Kevin M — 7/19/2012 @ 12:23 am

    They don’t believe that. Or don’t care. They see other states that aren’t in the hole and as far as they’re concerned that’s money they can loot.

    And King Putt is all about wealth transfers from red to blue states. That’s all his porkulus was; a heist.

    Steve57 (65d29f)

  48. BTW, Aaron,

    If not for the SWATtings ….

    There was a scene in the Wild Bunch (opening scene): Bunch of Mexican kids are watching a bunch of ants crawling all over a scorpion. Mexican kids bring tinder and set both the ant and the scorpion on fire.

    Ain’t you gots bigger problems? While you’re crawling on Kim Berlin, ain’t no matches over your tinder?

    nk (875f57)

  49. The LAX to SF high speed rail line exists, and it’s called Southwest Airlines.

    MayBee (fb7121)

  50. There’s something we could do without. Between diversity programs and environmental review boards there’s an awful lot of government to cut.

    I’m not cheerleading the environmental review board. Just guessing at the future of this train project.

    MayBee (fb7121)

  51. 31. My husband, a staunch Democrat, is certain this thing is going to wither on the vine once it gets to the environmental approval stage.

    The politicians don’t dare kill it (all those jobs!), but I too believe it will just disappear.

    Comment by MayBee — 7/19/2012 @ 5:46 am

    Maybe it will eventually just disappear, MayBee, but not before billions of dollars are wasted constructing useless facilities then more billions on useless environmental impact lawsuits (at the very least). And taxpayers will not doubt fund both sides. The government defending obviously, and the “public interest” environmental group that brought suit via government grant money.

    Steve57 (65d29f)

  52. I really don’t know of anyone who approves of high speed rail; but then I don’t hang around with the homeless crowd at 2nd & Los Angeles.

    BarSinister (664312)

  53. 46. In fairness, it must be pointed out that you can hop on one of the light rail systems in L.A. County and end up at Union Station. So you don’t have to drive there.

    Comment by Chuck Bartowski — 7/19/2012 @ 7:40 am

    I believe light rail also goes to LAX. If it doesn’t, the fact you have to drive to LAX but you don’t have to drive to Union Station is hardly an argument for building this entire browndoggle to connect Union Station with San Fran. When it’d be far cheaper to connect light rail to LAX, and other LA area airports.

    As you pointed out in a previous post, the economics of this are questionable. I don’t believe so; I believe they’re fairly certain. Not only will the construction be a crushing burden on the taxpayers, but so will the ridership. Seeing as how the operations of this monstrosity will have to be heavily subsidized to bring ticket prices down to where they are competitive.

    This is par for the course on these vanity projects. Some sort of transit system is proposed that few will use, but many will have to pay for.

    Steve57 (65d29f)

  54. “Madera, Ho-ooooo!

    Kiss your job good-bye, Jer.

    Space Cockroach (8096f2)

  55. no light rail to LAX

    the cab drivers shut that down

    it’s a third world city you know that’s how things work here

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  56. Like he needs the job, moron. Like Bloomberg needs the job. They’re there because they want to fuck with peoples’ lives.

    nk (875f57)

  57. Do any of our California commenters know anyone who supports this?

    Other than Jerry Brown, no.

    Andy (b63f79)

  58. I love how they never take into account the cost of crime associated with lightrail. Business that can afford to, move away, and the ones that remain usually see an increase in theft and vandalism.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like not having to pay for parking when I go into the city, but at least in my car I don’t have to worry about gang fights or a homeless guy jerking it in my backseat. But for God’s sake, these projects are so financially effed, they can’t even afford a “tickets, please” guy on every train, let alone security.

    Unless you’ve got a Bernie Goetz style to ya, I’d recommend walking.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  59. I believe light rail also goes to LAX. If it doesn’t, the fact you have to drive to LAX but you don’t have to drive to Union Station is hardly an argument for building this entire browndoggle to connect Union Station with San Fran.

    Wasn’t making that argument, I was just countering happyfeet’s point that going to Union Station was a bad thing. Union Station is in a crappy area, but you can get there without worrying about your safety.

    no light rail to LAX

    There’s a light rail stop right next to the VSP lot on Aviation. (I think the lot is called something else now, it’s been a while since I lived in So Cal.) You can pick up a bus to the terminal from there.

    Chuck Bartowski (3bccbd)

  60. I’m not cheerleading the environmental review board. Just guessing at the future of this train project.

    Comment by MayBee — 7/19/2012 @ 7:51 am

    The purpose of the Environmental Review Board is to impede business, not Government. This will pass without review.

    thomas (24de1f)

  61. The LAX light rail terminal omission does illustrate the third world nature of Los Angeles politics.

    SPQR (fff735)

  62. Comment by narciso — 7/19/2012 @ 7:14 am

    I’m told it does go through Petticoat Junction!

    Light-Rail to LAX…..
    I have actually used the GREEN-LINE to LAX.
    You get off at Aviation, and get on the FREE Shuttle-bus that Metro provides to get you to and from the terminals at LAX.

    The problem for those without easy access to the GREEN-LINE is that you have to get to the crossing of the BLUE-LINE/GREEN-LINE at roughly Wilmington/Imperial Hwy to access it.
    So, for someone in the Valley, you would take the RED LINE to Downtown, transfer to the BLUE LINE and head South to the GREEN LINE.
    They built a hub-spoke system to attempt to compete with a freeway system that is not – and people wonder why it hasn’t taken people out of their cars.
    Essentially, they were replicating the old Pacific Electric Rwy interurban system that was designed in the late-19th/early-20th Century, to compete with modern transportation in an area that has been built-out on a different model. There is no central downtown in Los Angeles per se, the L.A. Metropolitan Area is a collection of independent centers dispersed over three or more counties, with multiple freeways connecting those centers in a random spider-web.

    As some wag said some time back:
    The most effective public transportation system ever invented is the personal automobile -
    It goes where you want to go, when you want to go there, and returns when you want to, via whatever route you choose.

    And, that is why you will never get people out of their cars except at the point of a gun – and the government does not have enough guns.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  63. Why you can’t have a bullet train from San Francisco to Los Angeles:

    Problems:
    1. San Francisco is too densely populated and the landowners have too much pull with the City Council so it is impossible to use eminent domain to take land to make a central, useful train station in San Francisco for this bullet train. You will have to get on a slow-speed transit train in San Francisco and travel for an hour to get to the bullet train station.

    2. The train, both politically and for ridership, will have to stop at useful locations along the way like Fresno and Bakersfield. But that requires that it slow down from bullet train speeds and then speed up again. People hear that the bullet train can sustain speeds of 120 mph and they imagine, looking at a map, that that means you can get from SF to LA in about three hours based on distance. But they aren’t taking into account that the bullet train accelerates and decelerates very slowly and carefully at higher speeds. Stopping takes the possible transit time from SF to LA from 3 hours to 4.

    3. The Tehachapi mountain range is in the way. It has a famous road through it called The Grapevine that starts in Grapevine Canyon and winds its way up to the Tehon Pass through the mountains. You can’t bullet train up a mountain and you can’t bullet train around turns – a train has to slow down to safely gain altitude and travel through the twisty mountains that make for an acceptable path through the Grapevine. You either go over the Grapevine path and lose your speed to do it or you take a really really long detour around the Tehachapi mountains. Either way you lose an hour and now your transit time is 5 hours to LA.

    4. If you drive at about 70-75 mph down highway 5 it takes about 7 hours to get from SF to LA assuming no rush hour traffic. (It can be done faster, but it’s very dependent on where you start in each city and where you want to go and how much you want to speed.) The train as we have described is going to be 5 hours + 1 hour to get to the train station outside SF.

    5. The scenery is very boring scrubland, industrial farms, then mountain hills.

    So you can spend 6 hours on a train and not have a car at the end or spend 7 hours driving, less on gas, and have your car. Or spend an hour at the airport on either side and one hour in the air and not have a car. Driving your own car is cheapest. Taking a plane takes much less time. The bullet train is in the perfect sour spot between the two. It’s not cheap enough and it’s not fast enough and it’s not convenient enough.

    It will never, ever, ever work out.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  64. SPQR, the original design concept for the GREEN LINE was to supplement the 105-Frwy moving people from East County to the then-existing aerospace-related manufacturing in the vicinity of the airport, and to only provide airport access. There was going to be a loop through the terminal area, but it would have slowed service on the entire line, plus have added to the cost of construction – a cost that had already escalated after 30-years of delay on the freeway itself, plus the changes from five-lanes in each direction to just three with light-rail down the median. So, they settled on the shuttle-service from and to the Aviation Avenue Station.
    If they had been truly serious about this, they would have built a direct link from the San Fernando Valley to LAX along the 405, which has been at over-capacity for 30-years, and has no available right-of-way that can be grabbed for expansion without paying for real-estate that is valued in “unobtainium”.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  65. Fred Willard arrested for “pulling a Pee-Wee” (so to speak).

    Say it ain’t so, Fred!

    Icy (66b07f)

  66. Having lived in California my entire life (and wishing I were in Arizona), I can say that it is clearly an echo chamber with no input from conservatives. Gov. Arnold was a Republican but he quickly joined the ranks of the looneys on issues like global warming, the siza of budget, etc.

    Greece here we come. And don’t forget the idiot voters gave us this stupid train that won’t come close to paying for itself and won’t be used.

    AZ Bob (7d2a2c)

  67. It will never, ever, ever work out.
    Comment by luagha — 7/19/2012 @ 10:00 am

    Which is why the Progs want to do it, so they can point to another failed plan that only failed because the “right people” were not in charge; and it’s all the fault of those stupid voters who refuse to do what the Progs know is best for them.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  68. Cross back over the border, Bob!

    Icy (66b07f)

  69. BTW, another shoe is dropping in SoCal:

    The City of Compton, which disbanded its police and fire departments about twenty-years ago to contract with the County for service, is about to declare BK – they have nowhere else to cut to keep paying into those retirement funds for the people who used to work for the City.

    Who said that the 13th-A outlawed Indentured Servitude?

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  70. AZ Bob,

    Make sure to get the word our about Elizabeth Emken. She’s running for Feinstein’s seat. I know, I know, Feinstein’s tush is firmly cemented to the seat, but perhaps voters are are having a moment of sanity in light of the high speed rail debacle and being financially devastated. And Feinstein has repeatedly refused to debate with Emken, which doesn’t speak well for her – or her opinion of Californians.

    A girl can hope.

    Dana (292dcf)

  71. ____________________________________________

    I think all of us in California should wear one of those T-shirts that has on its backside an arrow with the words “I’m with stupid.”

    Sacbee.com, January 2012:

    Since the late 1980s, Spain has spent about $60 billion to build and equip its high-speed network. The long-distance AVE trains and their regional cousins Avant and Alvia, which share the high-speed tracks, connect major urban centers but pass through smaller cities and stretches of farmland, just as is planned in California.

    President Barack Obama touted it as a model for American high-speed rail plans when he announced billions of dollars in federal investments in April 2009. Spain’s system, however, was launched in different conditions than California is experiencing today. Political unity, a thriving economy and the spotlight of international events – a world exposition in Seville and the Olympic Games in Barcelona – provided impetus for Spain to embark on its high-speed journey.

    Despite assurances from the Spanish government that the long-distance AVE trains operate without a public subsidy, academics and analysts don’t believe that even the busiest high-speed route – between Madrid and Barcelona – musters enough riders to cover its operating costs, much less the billions of euros spent on infrastructure over the past 20 years.

    Tourist-class tickets on the Madrid-Seville train run between $56 and $112, depending on the departure time. A bus ticket from Madrid to Seville costs about $27, but the trip takes between 6 1/2 and eight hours. Airline flights are faster to cover the distance and can be about the same price or less.

    [Andreu] Ulied [director of a noted engineering and consulting firm in Barcelona] and Germà Bel, a professor of political economics at the University of Barcelona, agree that none of the Spanish high-speed rail routes carries enough riders to make the system financially sustainable.

    The busiest high-speed lines in the world are capable of making money, Bel said, including those between Paris and Lyon, where about 25 million people ride the French TGV trains each year, and the Japanese Shinkansen trains between Tokyo and Osaka, which draw about 130 million riders a year.

    “But this is not the case with any single line in Spain,” Bel said.

    Even the enthusiastic Spanish officials are curious about the logic of starting in the sparsely populated middle of California. The environmental benefits won’t be realized, they said, if the cities along the first line don’t have enough people to generate ridership.

    “You need to have either Los Angeles or San Francisco,” said Pedro Pérez del Campo, environmental policy director for ADIF, Spain’s Administrator for Railway Infrastructures. “They should build it where it will have an impact so that people will support it.”

    Mark (a346be)

  72. Minnesotastan is currently expanding their light rail system for Mpls/StP a mini-LA urban sprawl.

    First leg connected Mall of America and the airport to downtown Mpls and the Metrodome along Hwy 55. Second leg, called NorthStar connected Northern bedroom communities along I-94 to Mpls. Third leg St. Paul to Mpls in third year with a couple left to go.

    Mpls is a hub financial center. So beside government employees in St. Paul soon to be serviced, the daily customers are well-paid financial workers. Tickets on Northstar are 80% subsidized and daily ridership is up over 2000, one way.

    So for an investment of several billion and a hundred odd million in yearly operation costs something under 10,000 well-paid citizens and visitors to our great state will get a daily perk out of a population in excess of 3 million.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  73. Just in case anyone was wondering, T-Paw as VP will probably be a wash with respect to carrying MN.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  74. Regarding the comments above from Mark and from Gary:

    I remember hearing about a study (from Syracuse University, I think) that looked at high-speed rail systems and concluded that ridership in every case failed to meet the projections that had been given at the project launch. Spain I think had come closest, but they had overestimated ridership by 10-15%. Some other example, perhaps it was Italy, missed it by 50%.

    Keep in mind that the backers of California high-speed rail are claiming that there will be at least 88 million annual riders by 2030. That is nearly three times as many people who are projected to make air trips in the state by then.

    JVW (edec8d)

  75. Your governor, Dayton, the Target heir, a real rocket surgeon,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  76. Commuter rail systems steal money from the lower class (most are funded by sales taxes) to subsidize the upper middle class. In urban RTDs rail systems often take more than half the operating budget while serving one-tenth the ridership of the district.

    SPQR (f02213)

  77. So you can spend 6 hours on a train and not have a car at the end or spend 7 hours driving, less on gas, and have your car. Or spend an hour at the airport on either side and one hour in the air and not have a car. Driving your own car is cheapest. Taking a plane takes much less time. The bullet train is in the perfect sour spot between the two. It’s not cheap enough and it’s not fast enough and it’s not convenient enough.

    It will never, ever, ever work out.

    Comment by luagha — 7/19/2012 @ 10:00 am

    Actually, I disagree that taking a plane takes much less time. When I was stationed in Sand Dog I had the option of driving or flying. And I’d often visit friends in the SF Bay Area when I had the chance.

    Especially after 9-11 with the security nightmare I found I had to spend a lot more time than just an hour at the airport. Often I couldn’t take a direct flight and had to take a puddle jumper to LA (short flight; by the time you get your coffee the Stewardess comes by to collect your still-full cup as you’re already descending to land). Then wait for a connecting flight.

    And you still had to get to the San Diego airport and from the SF airport, or Oakland or San Jose airports, to your final destination.

    If you drive, you just leave your house and go directly to your final destination. The time difference door-to-door wasn’t great enough to fly.

    Plus, have you ever tried to travel with a firearm? I’d often go hunting with friends on these trips. That adds about an hour of extra time when you fly. The guy behind the counter never knew what he was supposed to do. So he’d start talking to me like a hostage negotiator. “You have a gun? It’s cool man, it’s cool, just wait here…”

    Travel tip: When flying with firearms work out what you’re going to say ahead of time. Start off with something like, “In accordance with airline and FAA regulations I wish to declare that as part of my checked baggage I have an unloaded and locked…”

    I never made this mistake myself, but you don’t want to lead off with something like, “I have a gun…”

    After 9-11 and the subsequent evolution of security into sexual harassment, I decided if I’m going less than 1,000 miles it’s easier and more dignified to drive rather than fly.

    Steve57 (65d29f)

  78. Liberal yuppies as parasites on the poor. That is the Democratic vision.

    SPQR (f02213)

  79. 77. Liberal yuppies as parasites on the poor. That is the Democratic vision.

    Comment by SPQR — 7/19/2012 @ 11:34 am

    Up until July of 2011 the Kali subsidy for an electric vehicle was up to $5K depending on the vehicle and price. Now it’s $2.5K.

    The federal subsidy is $7.5K. But Obama wants to raise it to $10K.

    One way or another, the libtards want to force people who make %75K and can’t afford a Tesla or Fisker to give Leonardo DiCaprio $12.5K for his next exotic electric toy.

    Steve57 (65d29f)

  80. Sometimes, the light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train.

    Space Cockroach (8096f2)

  81. You have watched too many roadrunner cartoons.

    elissa (4fe1f3)

  82. Why wound anyone in LA want to go to San Fran and vice versa?

    AZ Bob (7d2a2c)

  83. At one time (it only cost $10 one-way, and you could pay at the head of the stairs) you’d do it just to look at the PSA stews in their mini’s.
    Plus, you could pick-up some fresh-baked SF Sourdough for the return trip.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  84. It’s a big, big deal to have your car when you get there, wherever it is. Worth a lot, even if you don’t price in cabs, busses, and other local transit.

    Richard Aubrey (0aac79)

  85. 74. Had to think for a moment about that one.:)

    He may not quite measure up to T-Paw, but he does beat ‘the Body’ and WI last Guv, Boyle.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  86. Maybe it will eventually just disappear, MayBee, but not before billions of dollars are wasted constructing useless facilities then more billions on useless environmental impact lawsuits (at the very least). And taxpayers will not doubt fund both sides. The government defending obviously, and the “public interest” environmental group that brought suit via government grant money.

    I’m predicting it will be much like China’s Wonderland:

    http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTR2V5YT#a=1

    Sad that they’re going to go ahead and displace people from their property – property that is primarily in the breadbasket of California – the Central Valley, only to create the rusting rotting heap of metal that it will be in about a decade.

    Brandon (d777af)

  87. If there is anything that is representative of how twisted the Democratic Party has become in California it is this:

    http://www.laweekly.com/2012-07-19/news/betsy-butler-mike-eng-SB-1530-alex-padilla-sex-abuse-teachers/

    The legislature shot down a bill that would make it easier to fire teachers who abuse students. Now, what that isn’t already easy, I have no idea. But here you have Democrats actively voting to protect abusive teachers. The party has completely lost its way. The Democratic Party of California has become rotten to the core.

    Next time Occupy Rebellion gives anyone any grief about “conservatives” being abusive, “she” needs to get a dose of that article.

    Absolutely sickening.

    crosspatch (6adcc9)

  88. #82 Ahh, nostalgia! Too bad we can’t go home again

    Angelo (34a3ce)

  89. 88. Sorry, I don’t pay Governor Prozac much mind, for obvious reasons, and that ignorance bit once again.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  90. The City of Compton… is about to declare BK

    Or, as the linked article has it, the “Los Angeles suburb Compton.” Not really the image I get when I think of Compton.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  91. The legislature shot down a bill that would make it easier to fire teachers who abuse students. Now, what that isn’t already easy, I have no idea. But here you have Democrats actively voting to protect abusive teachers. The party has completely lost its way. The Democratic Party of California has become rotten to the core.

    Absolutely sickening.

    Comment by crosspatch — 7/19/2012 @ 3:44 pm

    We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto!

    peedoffamerican (ee1de0)

  92. The legislature shot down a bill that would make it easier to fire teachers who abuse students. Now, what that isn’t already easy, I have no idea. But here you have Democrats actively voting to protect abusive teachers. The party has completely lost its way. The Democratic Party of California has become rotten to the core.

    to be more specific, it is the Democrats on the Assembly Education Committee who killed the bill. In the Senate, it overwhelmingly passed.

    Michael Ejercito (2e0217)

  93. Comment by crosspatch — 7/19/2012 @ 3:44 pm
    Comment by Michael Ejercito — 7/19/2012 @ 8:59 pm

    Betsy Butler is my truly awful assembly member. She may be Patterico’s too. As the LA Weekly story explains, she has been redistricted out of her seat which formerly included the Beach Cities (where registration is split 50/50 between Republicans and Democrats) and will now have to run in a Venice/Santa Monica district where hardcore liberals hold sway. This is why she abandoned abused children in order to side with the teachers’ union. She desperately needs them on her side for financial and organizational support. Anybody that votes for her deserves to have cruddy neighborhood public schools (but, to be clear, nobody deserves to have their children molested).

    JVW (edec8d)

  94. .

    “You may not be around when it’s finished.”

    ==============================
    That’s not a BUG, that’s a FEATURE
    ==============================

    .

    Smock Puppet, Like... Duh? (8e2a3d)

  95. You have to take the bull by the horns and start spending executing

    Democrats

    You missed a correction, there, Dustin. Glad I could help.

    Smock Puppet, Like... Duh? (8e2a3d)

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