Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Prop 1A Results Thread

NOTE: We've moved! Visit us at the California High Speed Rail Blog.

Prop 1A is holding a narrow but steady lead - as of 12:45 AM we're at 51.7% Yes, 48.3% No, a lead of 225,000, with 63.4% reporting.

It may get tighter as more report, but we are holding firm. Some counties are flipping back to Yes, including San Benito County (the Gilroy station is almost just over the county line) and Del Norte (um...well, I'll take it) and very close to turn Kern Yes.

Have at it!

UPDATE: Calling it a night at 1:30 AM. We still have a stable lead of 52%-48%, 328,000 votes. Several big counties are continuing to report, including Alameda, LA, San Bernardino, and San Diego. It would take a large anti-1A vote in the remaining precincts to offset our advantage. We haven't won anything yet, but it is looking promising.

Next update in the morning.

64 comments:

mike said...

spokker - San Bernardino has reported 22% of the vote with an 18k margin against 1A. If the remaining 78% of the county follows the same pattern, it will add a net of 63k votes against 1A. Even if the remaining SB votes have a margin twice as bad as projected, it's still only 126k votes against 1A. We have a 270k vote lead right now, so we can survive San Bernardino going wacky as long as all the other anti-1A counties don't also go wacky in the last uncounted votes.

mike said...

And we still have 1/3 of LA Co and 1/2 of Santa Clara Co in reserve.

Stephen said...

I'm SUPER excited that Prop 1A is passing. I knew that it would pass. After all, I didn't skip class last Friday to go campaigning in San Francisco for no reason! Just a few more hours before it is confirmed that Prop 1A passes by a few percentage points!

Current results as of 1:07 am
Yes 3,713,182 51.9%
No 3,440,061 48.1%

mike said...

OC has reported 90% of its precincts (LA Times map not updated as of this post) and the margin of defeat in OC continues to narrow very slightly. Basically the only wild cards now are SD and San Bernardino. And SD continues to trend towards us with just over half the votes counted...margin of defeat in SD is now below 7 points.

Anonymous said...

At 1:06am we are up by 272,435.

yes on1a said...

Thought LA would pass this by a higher margin...seems stuck at 9%??

Anonymous said...

OC/SD/SB project to come in with 150k net negative votes, LA/Santa Clara/Alameda project to offset with about the same amount of net positives, leaving our +270k lead intact.

Keep fingers crossed.

mike said...

By my count using the LA Times map, this is what it would take to lose:

(1) Uncounted votes in every small anti-1A county go against 1A by a 25-75 margin.

PLUS

(2) Uncounted votes in San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego counties all go against 1A by double the current anti-1A margin in those counties.

PLUS

(3) Uncounted votes in every pro-1A county go for 1A by a 50-50 margin (i.e. they are neither for or against 1A on net from here on out).

All three of those things happening simultaneously sounds unlikely to me.

yes on1a said...

OK whats in Del Norte? a College?
they have a great pass rate

mike said...

SB county has reported about 30k votes more on the CA site than appear on LA Times. As expected, it continues to trend towards 1A rather than against it. I'm logging off pretty optimistic. Robert and everyone else that contributed to this site over the past 6 months - thanks for the great work.

yea1a said...

Kern County is now on the YES side!!!

Anonymous said...

I'll second what Mike said, you did a great job Robert. The road ahead is long and there is much work to be done. I hope the web site is either continued, or a new site started with the same purpose in mind.

You can bet that starting tomorrow there will be a petition going to cancel the project, and it will be on the next ballot. This is the way things work now. See the Florida bullet train for what can happen. The guys who put the business plan together *absolutely must* hit the ball out of the park the first time and get it right. If they don't, we will be watching a proposition in 2 years that will undo everything that we have accomplished with 1A.

I'm hitting the sack, confident of victory. I'm very happy as I'm sure you all are. Lets all get together in 2010 and take a ride on the California Bullet Train!

Robert

Robert Cruickshank said...

I'm going to call it a night as well. Thanks everyone for the comments, especially rafael, mike, and the anon who have done some excellent number crunching.

I haven't the slightest clue why Del Norte County voted yes. I'm pleased they did, but I don't quite get it.

Anonymous said...

LA County just bumped in, now up by 328,286.

yeson1a said...

Del norte has a giant state prison
over 3400 inmates..can they vote?

Rafael said...

Measure B still stuck at 66.0% with 60% of precincts reporting.

Measure R at 67.2% and rising with 77% of precincts reporting.

---

In other news, looks like Obama may end up winning both NC and MO by a whisker. MT looks like a goner, but NE-2 is within a few hundred votes.

GA just figured out it hasn't counted 600,000 early votes yet. Oops. Could still flip Dem, run-off election for Senate seat next month almost certain.

Alaskans are re-electing Ted Stevens and Don Young. I'm not making this up. Both of these crooks will almost certainly be expelled from Congress on ethics charges, leaving Bible Spice to appoint their replacements with Republicans of her choice. It's the thrilla from Wasilla.

Anonymous said...

Rafael,
Don't forget the MN senate.

Franken 1,200,649
Coleman 1,202,960

99% in.

On CNN they were saying that Palin could put herself in the Senate...

Rafael said...

@ yeson1a -

Del Norte, Imperial and a bunch of other counties are probably just reporting early ballots they tallied before the election. The 100% figure of precincts reporting just confirms all of them have done just that. Those rural counties will all report their final results sometime tomorrow, it almost certainly won't change they outcome.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is looking good. I am an ex-pat living in Europe, but don't worry. I'll be back in time to help pay for it with my taxes. This is going to be a huge project! Something OBAMA would support...jobs, innovation, and so much more.
I am pround of all of you!

Stephen said...

I think the LA Times has the numbers wrong for Del Norte County. If you check the CA SOS website, then you'll see the yes/no votes are flipped.

http://vote.sos.ca.gov/Returns/props/all.htm

Still, it's an insignificant number ~3000 votes. LA County will more than make up for the difference.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rafael, great info! where are you getting this stuff?

jojo said...

As an avid supporter of 1A, I just want to thank you sooooo much, Robert, for such an amazing, descriptive, detailed, and up-to-date blog. I don't think I could've enlightened my friends and family without it. (I've learned so much myself) No matter what we wake up to tomorrow, I wanted to drop a note to tell you how much I appreciate all of your hard work keeping us all informed.

Anonymous said...

David here, in LA County. I'm absolutely elated that it looks like this is passing. LA County's Measure R sales tax for transportation is also passing.

What a FANTASTIC night!!

Maybe California has a bright future after all.

Spokker said...

I can't wait for that business plan on the 8th so I can see what we voted for.

Sorry, I had to!

Rafael said...

@ anon -

yeah, Franken might make it. Maybe he could ask Bachmann if she is or ever was a member of the Republican Party. You know, do an expose.

Palin appointing herself to the Senate would be very very veepy. She'd be in charge and if she wants to, really get in there and make some good policy changes with Joe the Biden. Besides, who at the RNC could even fit into those clothes, anyhow.

Rafael said...

Ok, time to declare victory and hit the fluffy stuff.

Anonymous said...

FYI, after the Lisa Murkowski business the law in Alaska was changed: so after Stevens and Young are kicked out, there will be two special elections to fill their seats!

Wonder if they'll run again? :-P

Stephen said...

Do the special elections mean that we get another chance to put a Democratic candidate up?

BTW, Prop 1A is doing really well with a 400K vote lead and 87% of precints reporting. Here's a link to the data from the SOS's office - all the propositions and how the counties voted on a map.

http://vote.sos.ca.gov/Returns/props/59.htm#cnty

Time to go to sleep...have class in the morning.

bossyman15 said...

right now as of 5:54am its 51.9% to 48.1% at 92.3%

bossyman15 said...

OH SORRY! I was looking at wrong prop. :/

its 52.3% to 47.7%

the prop i was looking at was prop 8 :/

Jathnael said...

Rawk.
I am quite excited that this is going to pass!

Quark said...

I was following this very closely - living in Europe, I have enjoyed high speed train travel for a long time. Every time I'm in California, I am reminded how much this state needs high-speed rail travel.

Really excited that this has gone through! These elections have shown that America can still lead, innovate and make the right decisions after all - I had to defend you guys for far too long! :)

All the best!

nikko pigman said...

6:01AM

92.3% precints reported

Yes -- 52.3%
No -- 47.7%

Counties with under 70% precincts

San Bernardino (29.2% in, 45.1% Yes, 54.9% No)
Riverside (69.5% in, 48.9% yes, 51.1% no)
Monterey (64.7% in, 58.2% Yes, 41.8% No)

I'm guessing prop 1a will fail in San Bernardino but the question is by how bad. It'll pass for sure in Monterey. Riverside is a toss up. As long as San Bernardino isn't a landslide loss, I think its safe to say that prop 1a has passed.

Rafael said...

With 100% of precincts reporting:

Measure B Santa Clara county 66.27% (NO by less than 2000 votes)

Measure R LA county 67.4% (YES)

Bay Area Resident said...

If this passes I will organize a petition and possibly sue in the Willow Glen San Jose area, to go along with the Menlo Park Atherton suit (unless Menlo Park is a class action- which we will join).

This train plows through every quaint small town in the peninsula and sits smack in the middle of residential areas. Willow Glen is the most expensive part of San Jose. No WAY. Rod Diridon has some nerve putting this POS in the backyard of every Silicon Valley executive. what a crock

Brandon in San Diego said...

Today is mostly a very good day. HSR on the way feels vry good. I look forward to veting next steps.

Rob Dawg said...

Prop 1a wins, HSR loses. Congratulations, now spend that $2b before it disappears down the $15b deficit hole. Oh, and don't even think about the State credit downgrade next week as being unrelated.

bossyman15 said...

Prop 1a wins, HSR loses.

huh? what? i don't get it?

Anonymous said...

It looks like someone's a bit of a sore loser here.

Rob Dawg said...

Prop 1a will immediately spend the $950 million in ancillary transit and up to $1b to "backfill" organizational expenditures, personell, management offices and such*. The authority will have enough money to prepare a real business plan and I already know that answer. The price for the Oakland to LA segment will be placed at $33b and likely cost $43.1b. The speed will be 220mph but concessions to UPRR and NIMBYs in LA and tunnel compromises in the Tehachapis will make that irrelevant and thus the travel time will jump to a more realistic 3h40m.

*and such. That means lawyers. Lots of really expensive lawyers as UPRR presses its Rights in the Federal Courts.

Avinor said...

Congratulations from Sweden! With this decision, you have brought California from the backwaters to the forefront of HSR development. Looking forward to spending my tourist euros traveling your great state when the line is operational.

mjp said...

6.10am results:
http://www.kpbs.org/news/election08/state_results

Prop 1A passes with 52% of the vote. Good news.

Spokker said...

"This train plows through every quaint small town in the peninsula and sits smack in the middle of residential areas."

The vote in San Mateo County pretty much indicates that few along the peninsula really cared about the concerns of these "quaint little towns".

Have fun with your lawsuits. Can't wait to see how many HSR in California racks up before it "destroys" Menlo Park and Atherton.

mike said...

bay area - Willow Glen is not a city, it's a neighborhood. It has no standing as a legal entity. The city you live in is San Jose and the county you live in is Santa Clara. Both have strongly endorsed Prop 1A (and implicitly the Pacheco routing) because of the obvious economic benefits to the city and county. Good luck trying to get either one of them to join the lawsuit.

big sky husker said...

I'd like to congratulate California for voting to lead the country in the development of high speed rail. I'm a Republican living in Montana and I say... thank you California for doing something our politicians at the national level can't get done. Well done.

mike said...

Seems like the only big loss for transportation was BART to San Jose. But many of us, myself included, are not enthusiastic about that project anyway.

Now Fremont-San Jose will be the only Bay Area corridor without first-class, electrified rail service. I wonder if this increases the chances of an HSR extension from SJ Diridon to Oakland via East Bay. In principle it could provide overlaid "express service" with BART from Fremont to Oakland if it could connect with BART at several key station (don't know of this is feasible as I haven't looked at the rail maps in the East Bay...rafael probably knows).

Matt said...

Thanks for this great blog you have been writing Robert. I hope you continue to update it with news from the project and others like it. (Like what is happening with desert express? Should they connect at Palmdale?)

And thanks to everyone who voted, this will be an important project. And when we look back on these elections, the two things we will remember most are Obama and High Speed Rail.

Rafael said...

@ bay area resident -

good grief! This has been in the works for 12 years, there's been ample opportunity for public consultation - twice over for the Bay Area - and NOW you discover your inner NIMBY? Pretty selfish, don't you think?

Anyhow, just FYI. The tracks would hew very close to the railroad that's been there for decades. High speed trains have zero tailpipe emissions and generate much less noise than freight trains or even Caltrain. Thanks to full grade separation, road vehicles will be able to move unhindered and grade crossing accidents a thing of the past. There will also no longer be any train horns blaring.

Moreover, the project-level planning of exactly where and how the alignment will run at the scale of city blocks has not yet been finalized anywhere in the state, though CHSRA obviously had construction firms make some assumptions in preparing their bids.

Almost regardless of how it is implemented, property values in Willow Glen would likely rise after construction is completed. Please do some research on what the impact of HSR has been in urban areas of other countries where it has been implemented before litigating.

IFF obtaining an affordable and technically acceptable ROW between SJ and Gilroy proves impossible, AB3034 allows for an alternative: Altamont Pass instead Pacheco Pass, preferably with the SJ station moved to Santa Clara/SJC so trains can run through.

This would keep the SF-LA time penalty to around 8 minutes, vs. around 30 if trains have to reverse direction at SJ Diridon. A new Dumbarton rail bridge would NOT be needed and 100% of trains to and from SF would make a stop in Silicon Valley. The solution would serve all of Northern California much better than Pacheco Pass.

Unfortunately, the option was discarded after SJ decided it absolutely, positively had to have a subway through downtown at any price. Parsons Brinkerhoff is the lead consultant on both projects and presumably sought to maximize its revenue opportunity. I can't fault them for that, they're not a charity. Now that Measure B appears to have been rejected very narrowly, Santa Clara county lacks the funding needed to extend BART all the way to Santa Clara.

The fallback option has always been a network of bus rapid transit (BRT) routes. Between Fremont and Milpitas, HSR could run in a trench covered by rebar slabs. These would double as a dedicated express road for the buses to avoid I-880 and I-680. Many cross roads could remain at grade. BART would be extended only as far as an intermodal station at Fremont Irvington (Paseo Padre parkway) where passengers could transfer to HSR or BRT. While a BRT route is much cheaper to construct than a subway, he downside is that each bus only has 1/7th the seating capacity of a subway train, so you need to employ many more drivers.

Meanwhile, total HSR network construction cost estimates are comparable to the preferred Pacheco Pass alternative. However, Altamont would map the Manteca-Chowchilla segment (~$2 billion) into phase I, the SF-Anaheim starter line. Pacheco would defer that investment until phase II, the spurs to Sacramento and San Diego.

Note that CHSRA will be loath to abandon Pacheco Pass after spending years on a process to arrive at a decision on this. SJ will be loath to abandon plans to extend BART. Dragging this out in the courts severely delays the project and adds literally billions to the final tab, even before you consider the opportunity cost.

Money doesn't grow on trees, so please either accept the democratic process or at least channel your opposition into a constructive, affordable alternative. California's population is expected to grow to 55 million by 2035 and all those extra people will need to be even more mobile than you are today.

bossyman15 said...

i voted for BART but I am also unsure about the BART project since i found out that VTA, which was rated the nation's worst transit agency, would be in charge in building it.

I'm kind of glad it didn't pass.

Maybe now this project would be possible.

http://www.bayrailalliance.org/caltrain_metro_east

this looks far better than BART IMO.

Nebraska HSR Fan said...

Congratulations! As of 10:30AM CST, you're still in the lead. I hope you will be a model for the rest of the country.

Tony D. said...

To those in Santa Clara County, Bay Area, Measure B BART has nearly 66.27% voting for. That's an overwhelming majority, but not quite the stupid 66.67% needed for passage of the 1/8 cent sales tax. While there's still hope that it will barely win, let's just say it doesn't. 66% of SCC voters saying yes to BART send a strong message: San Jose/Santa Clara County wants BART! I'm sure the powers that be in Silicon Valley will figure something out in terms of operations/maintenance costs for the proposed extension. Forget all this nonsense about bus rapid transit and Caltrain Metro East...WE IN SAN JOSE/SANTA CLARA COUNTY WANT BART!! I'm more confident than ever that we'll finally get it.

Rafael said...

@ matt -

Desert XPress is a purely privately funded effort to implement diesel-powered intercity trains running at 125mph between Las Vegas and a gigant parking lot in Victorville. They perceived I-15 as a bottleneck and decided the much more expensive maglev line all the way to Anaheim would never happen.

Senate majority leader is still pursuing it, though. This, along with opposition from Indian gaming interests in California, has kept both projects firmly on the drawing board. Reid also wants to build a new relief airport for McCurran next to I-15 between Jean and the California border.

Now that prop 1A has passed, Feinstein and Boxer should suggest an alternative approach: scrap both maglev and Desert XPress but salvage the EIR/EIS work already done for the latter between Las Vegas and Barstow.

Instead, plan a spur to Las Vegas off the 220mph, all-electric Calfornia network at Mojave and justify spending federal dollars on both under the headings of "foreclosure crisis", "alternative to more cars on I-15" and "interstate commerce".

Get creative with on-board check-in and security procedures so Las Vegas can use Palmdale as its relief airport. Use the money to fund the overhead catenaries instead. Add secondary stops in Barstow and Jean IFF those city can figure out how to avoid sprawl and obtain the water needed to grow their populations.

Use the land intended for Ivanpah airport for a solar thermal power plant instead to power the trains. Investigate the feasibility of using extra-tall catenary masts to support a high-voltage trunk line in addition to the 25kV AC wire for the trains. This new trunk line would feed reliable solar-cum-hydro power from desert areas in southern California, Nevada and perhaps even Arizona into the California grid in support of AB32 and energy independence.

All those extra millions of people will need electricity as well as mobility. San Diego Gas & Electric's plans for a new trunk line through Anza-Borrego ran into fierce opposition from environmentalists. If you're going to build a new railroad with fugly catenaries, you might as well piggy-back a trunk line onto that.

As the say in mathematics, sometimes the way to solve a problem is to complexify it.

Anonymous said...

It would probably make more sense for the spur to connect at Palmdale but I guess you can't really show that with Google Maps.

bossyman15 said...

is the counting finished? it has been stuck at 95.8% for hours.

and look at http://vote.sos.ca.gov/

that site kinda broken just one list link to the ballot result.

bossyman15 said...

oh never mind its now 96.4%

Ed C. said...

I am a Republican living in Southern California but I'm also a frequent Metrolink commuter and I approve of 1A. This is going to be awesome the state of California will join the ranks of other developed nations with high-speed rail systems (i.e. Taiwan, France, Japan, Korea).

YES ON 1A said...

HURRRAYYY!!!!! just woke up!! wenr to bed around 220AM!!!! guess I will have to change my "Name"

Kevin Gong said...

Congratulations California on this much needed bond! I'm giddy with excitement that after such a long journey (I've been reading this blog since it was launched), we finally have a start for our state's future.

I can only hope that with a new President who is sensitive to the liberties of all Americans, that we can come to a positive resolution for gay rights in California.

Jaguarandine said...

I've been following California High Speed Rail for about 2 years and to see it finally come to frution is very satisfying. It means Californians understand that we need alternate transportation that doesn't rely on oil. That current transportation is getting more expensive by the minute.

Anyway, it's sad to see Measure B fail by such a narrow margin. I'm a resident of Contra Costa county, and I can see how such a project could be beneficial to the East Bay, as well as San Jose. Is it possible that some funds from Prop 1A could be used for BART to San Jose? Part of the money from Prop 1A will be used to upgrade existing trains. Could that be expanded to include BART?

Either way, Obama's election and the passing of 1A can't have anything but positive effects on this project. Or has VTA really bumbled this?

Rafael said...

@ anon @ 3:03 am -

there's already a freight rail line along SR58, so for EIR/EIS reasons you'd want to stick to that corridor. In terms of distance to Palmdale, it makes little difference on which side of Edwards AFB you run the tracks. In terms of distance to Bakersfield and points north, it does. The point is to connect Las Vegas with all of California, not just Disneyland.

Note that La Poste in France owns and operates a small fleet of cargo versions of the TGV design. Imagine how many trucks and how much air freight you could avoid if Las Vegas got all of its farmed freshwater fish, fresh produce and flowers delivered at night via high speed trains from the Central Valley.

Note that LA Metro bought the Harbor Subdivision Transit Corridor ROW from BNSF in the context of the Alameda Corridor project. It is now mulling what to do with it. If it is preserved as a standard gauge heavy rail alignment, electrified and FRA approves a quiet zone plan and safety measures, high speed cargo trainsets could run - albeit slowly - beyond LAUS to San Pedro, giving virtually all of California and even Las Vegas access to extremely fresh ocean fish.

Throw in an expensive spur into LAX and you could leverage that airport's existing position as the largest hub on the West Coast for trans- and inter-continental passenger and air cargo traffic. It might even be worth splurging on a dual track alignment, one stacked on top of the other if need be. During the day, Metro would run local commuter rail shuttles between LAUS, LAX and Long Beach TT (cp. NCTD Breeze and now, SMART up in the North Bay). At night, you'd run those cargo trains - no horns, none of the clak-clak you get from sectional track.

Jobs, baby, jobs.

jon said...

I am extremely happy about HSR and I dont live in CA. Our country needs one true HSR line to show the rest of the country what is possible for their neck of the woods. This was a huge hurdle to overcome, but I'm not ready to celebrate yet especially when theres another 2/3rds (or at least 1/3) of the money needed. Though as I understand Pelosi has said the feds will chip in. But we also saw what happened with Florida HSR 4 years ago.

If this is built as planned (and not value engineered to death), this will be the best thing for California since the gold rush, particularly for the Central Valley. Massive scale infrastructure projects always create future prosperity and new industries built around them and positively change how we live and work. Just imagine the implications of living 1 hr away from both Los Angeles and the Bay Area via a relaxing train. You'll think nothing of traveling from the Bay Area to LA for the day in the same way you currently think nothing of traveling from SF to San Jose.

Rafael said...

@ jaguarandine -

BART will get around $240 million of the prop 1A bond. Most of that will have to be spent on expanding pedestrian flow capacity in the network's core in San Francisco. Wider stairs, escalators, that sort of thing.

In theory, they could add platforms on the right side of the train, connected directly to the concourse level. Passenger connecting to and from Muni subway would use the central platform instead. However, such construction would be seriously expensive. It might only make sense for the station that will ultimately be connected to the new Transbay Terminal via a pedestrian tunnel (see page 11), most likely Embarcardero since that's within walking distance of the ferry terminal.

For reference, the BART extension to Santa Clara is currently projected to cost over $300 million per mile, roughly five times the per-mile cost of HSR. It's a nice idea but SJ planning officials have lost financial control of the project. There's only so much money to go around and this would do to both Caltrain and VTA what the SFO extension did to SamTrans. BART enjoys funding primacy.

The billions approved by the 2006 sales tax hike would be much, much, much better spend in the context of an integrated transit plan for all of Northern California:

* Silicon Valley HSR station at Santa Clara/SJC, all high speed trains to and from SF would stop there

* HSR route around South Bay via Altamont Pass instead of Pacheco Pass. This is a biggie possible only if the WPML ROW is not used for BART.

No HST overlay would ever be needed. No new Dumbarton rail bridge would be needed. SF-LA express line haul time goes up by 8 minutes, but the East Bay, Delta and Sacramento will enjoy vastly superior connections with the SF peninsula. Multiple freeways would be decongested. A high speed train would get you from SF to Sacramento in the time it takes to drive when traffic is light, freeing up capacity on the Capitol Corridor and Contra Costa freight lines so Oakland can get a handle on its air quality problems. The Delta counties would be part of the HSR network a decade earlier.

* extend BART south only as far as an intermodal terminal at Fremont Irvington. Also extend BART east to an intermodal terminal just west of Livermore. Buses would provide connecting service to LLNL, downtown Livermore, downtown Pleasanton, Dublin/Pleasanton BART, San Ramon, Danville and Walnut Creek.

* shut down ACE, use trains to improve rail service frequency between Sacramento and the HSR stations in Tracy and Modesto until the HSR spur to Sacramento is completed. At that time, use the trains to improve standard-speed connecting service to Chico and Redding.

* run the HSR tracks across SJ along the I-880 median as per EIR/EIS or else, as stacked single tracks in a deep trench underneath the existing SPML freight line. UPRR retains this as a backup in case the main line through the salt flats becomes unavailable. It would be unavailable during construction, which would also have significant impact on properties adjoining the narrow ROW. The water table an earthquake safety issues would have to be resolved, especially underneath 101.

* run HSR tracks between Milpitas and Niles side-by-side in a trench along the WPML ROW. Cover it with rebar slabs and use these as dedicated road for a couple of bus rapid transit routes. Secodary cross roads could remain at grade, which keeps costs down. BART requires full grade separation because it uses third rail electrification, a serious safety hazard.

* express bus route #1 would connect Fremont Irvington, Fremont Warm Springs, Milpitas Great Mall, Golden Triangle (Montague Express way, Trimble Road, N. 1St/Airport Pkwy (VTA light rail stop), SJC terminals and SJ Diridon. Bus route #2 would run past Milpitas and along E. Santa Clara street to SJ Diridon, the east side of Santa Clara/SJC and the SJC terminals via the access road to long-term parking, doubling as a shuttle.

* run these buses at intervals of 2 minutes during rush hour to match the capacity a BART subway with 15 minute intervals would have delivered. Ridership would be high because the two routes run past many office buildings and also connect to rail and airport infrastructure. VTA would have to employ a lot more drivers, but the infrastructure cost of BRT would be much lower.

* terminate Caltrain service south of SJ Diridon after electrification. Instead, extend the diesel-powered Capitol Corridor to Gilroy for selected trains. Further extensions to Hollister, Salinas and/or Monterey Cannery Row (new tracks south of Sand City).

The cost/benefit trade-offs are poor only when each transit system is designed as a stand-alone entity operated by bureaucrats who jealously protect their turf. Intermodal connections need to be at the heart of any meaningful transit strategy.

mike said...

rafael - Wow, I only just saw how enormous Palmdale is (5,800 acres). If they build the connection right and create a smooth check-in procedure, Palmdale could become the airport of choice for everyone living from Fresno to Glendale.

What would really be smart would be if they closed down Bob Hope Airport, sold off the land for a couple billion dollars, used the proceeds to improve transportation networks, and allowed Palmdale to develop into a hub on the scale of SFO/LAX. I doubt various special interests would allow that to happen though (and I think the FAA doesn't allow cities to close airports...crazy).

Ed C. said...

As of 1:05 PM Pacific time, LA Times called it. 1A is going to pass. And if it is official, what would the next steps be?