Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Morning

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

CBS's venerable Sunday Morning program took an in-depth look at California high speed rail today. The link takes you to the main online article, which is something of a transcript of the video segment. They include a background on earlier CBS News reports on high speed rail, from Walter Cronkite riding the Shinkansen in the 1960s to Charles Osgood on the TGV in 1990. Quentin Kopp gets face time, as does Phil Angelides. Overall it's very much a pro-HSR piece, with only one HSR critic getting just a tiny bit of screen time.

Until the video of their HSR segment is available, content yourselves with another excellent Sunday morning video.



Addendum from Rafael: Here's the video of the CBS Sunday Morning story.

66 comments:

bossyman15 said...

"Once you've been on high speed rail, whether it's France or Japan or Spain or Germany - you never forget it,"

so true... so true.

Robert Cruickshank said...

That is definitely true. My trip from Madrid to Córdoba and Sevilla on the AVE in December 2001 was a revelation. I remember sitting there thinking "we need one of these in California." And so here we are!

Bianca said...

I remember sitting there thinking "we need one of these in California."

Exactly!

For me, it was a week-long JR railpass riding the Shinkansen all over Japan.

Anonymous said...

God forbid CBS should air a unbiased news segment. Sunday Morning is usually pretty good, and it's a shame their airing pro-boondoggle pieces for a State that's going to be bankrupt before one inch of rail for this mess is ever laid. The Kool-Aid's in the big jug, boys.

bossyman15 said...

Bianca @ 1:07pm

same here, only it's 2 weeks for me. :)

Anonymous said...

Yea, we can pay for this.

Recent AP article --

Tax receipts are on pace to drop 18 percent this year, the biggest
single-year decline since the Great Depression, while the federal deficit balloons to a record $1.8 trillion. Other figures in an Associated Press analysis underscore the recession's impact:

Individual income tax receipts are down 22 percent from a year ago.
Corporate income taxes are down 57 percent. Social Security tax
receipts could drop for only the second time since 1940, and Medicare taxes are on pace to drop for only the third time ever. The last time the government's revenues were this bleak, the year was 1932 in the midst of the Depression.

YESonHSR said...

And we built far more than just a HSR rail system then and still enjoy the work of those people..So try and stop acting like this is going to be the death of the Cailfornia..if you even live here..or maby its justs a nimby from PA opinion

Anonymous said...

The California HSR would probably never have been built anyway, but the recession is the final nail in the coffin for this absurd boondoggle.

There's just no way Californians are going to assume tens of billions of dollars in new debt so wealthy businessmen have a new way of getting from LA to SF when the state already faces a crushing deficit and is cutting education and health care programs left and right to try and balance the books.

wmata said...

Then how was it we were able to build all of those public works projects (many of which remain in use to this day) during the Great Depression, an economic downtown much worse than the one today?

The opinion of anyone who uses the word "boondoggle" to criticize HSR and does not use facts and figures to back up their opinions is worthless and adds nothing of value to the discussion. Full stop.

lsm said...

We indeed face our roughest financial straits since the Great Depression. But that was the same Great Depression when far-sighted Californians reached deep down and managed to invest in Shasta Dam and the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. Imagine how much poorer we would be today if Californians then had cried poverty and failed to build those "boondoggles." Imagine how much farther behind the Japanese and French and Chinese and Spanish and Taiwanese and British our children will find themselves if we fail to invest in this vital infrastructure now. We can and must stay globally competitive in this new millennium.

Jake said...

@anonymous 2:49
Golden Gate Bridge: opened 1937.
Bay Bridge: opened 1936.
The IND subway: opened 1932.

The Great Depression: 1929-1939.

BruceMcF said...

wmata said...
"The opinion of anyone who uses the word "boondoggle" to criticize HSR and does not use facts and figures to back up their opinions is worthless and adds nothing of value to the discussion. Full stop."

Of course, just using numbers is no guarantee. After telling us that he views O'Toole as an "articulate critic" of HSrail, Morris says that the cost of three Midwest Hub lines are $200 per resident of the largest cities on the corridors.

Now, annualized at a real interest rate of 3% over 30 year, that's under $10.25 per resident, and of course the corridors serves populations BETWEEN as well as at in the largest cities, but never mind: $200 is a almost as big as the stimulus checks, while $10.25 per year is nowhere near as scary.

angeleno said...

Thanks lsm for reminding me of what Northern Californians--and thanks Jake for adding what New Yorkers--were wise enough to invest in during the Great Depression. Did we sit on our hands in Southern California while the sky was falling?

lsm said...

Living a dozen miles from the Union Station stop of the CHSR, I feel remiss for not previously mentioning the Colorado River Aqueduct and (at the risk of getting banned from this board) the Arroyo Seco Parkway.

Anonymous said...

Californians then had cried poverty and failed to build those "boondoggles." Imagine how much farther behind the Japanese and French and Chinese and Spanish and Taiwanese and British our children will find themselves if we fail to invest in this vital infrastructure now.

If governments in other countries want to throw tens of billions of dollars down a rathole, that's their business. Doesn't mean we have to follow them. The idea that the French and the British are responsible stewards of public funds is especially laughable. The names "Concorde" and "Channel Tunnel" come to mind.

Jake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
looking on said...

Here's an op ed from the Washington Post that has it right:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/23/AR2009082302037.html


A Rail Boondoggle, Moving at High Speed



Of course all the posters here that insist on building this worst of all possible HSR projects, won't do anything other than say the author doesn't know what he is talking about.

Bianca said...

looking on:

I'm sure that others will have their comments, but the first thing that popped out at me was this statement:

"Densities are much higher, and high densities favor rail with direct connections between heavily populated city centers and business districts. In Japan, density is 880 people per square mile; it's 653 in Britain, 611 in Germany and 259 in France. By contrast, plentiful land in the United States has led to suburbanized homes, offices and factories. Density is 86 people per square mile."

86 people per square mile sounds awfully low, but that's the entire United States he's talking about. California's density is 217 people per square mile, which is within shooting distance of France. More specifically, the density of Los Angeles county is 2,344.1 per square mile and the density of San Francisco County is 9,999.9 . When you look at just the City of San Francisco proper, the number rises to 16,636 persons per square mile. (I'm actually unclear on why the difference is so large, I thought the City and County encompassed the same area. In this particular instance, however, either number amply proves my point.)

Using low density as the reason why HSR won't work, and using a number that includes Alaska and Wyoming is a giveaway that Robert Samuelson isn't very serious. We aren't talking about building HSR across the entire United States; we're talking about building it in California.

Brandon in San Diego said...

Bianca, You're right... California is much denser than the rest of the US. And the urban counties like SF and LA are even more dense.

With your comments in mind, I think the appropriate comparison would be the combined County populations and densities that HSR will serve.

Spokker said...

The HSR special was great. I came five times while watching it. I think I might put it into my regular rotation.

Bianca said...

Okay, I pulled the numbers from the US Census site (linked above.) Note these are numbers based on the year 2000, so current numbers are likely higher.

San Francisco County – 9,999
San Mateo County- 1,575
Santa Clara County- 1,303
Merced County- 109.2
Fresno County- 143.1
Tulare County- 76.3
Kern County- 81.3
Los Angeles County 2,344.1
Orange County- 3,607.5

average: 2,138 persons per square mile over nine counties served by HSR.

This is just for the San Francisco to Irvine section, but I think we can safely lay density to rest as an argument.

Spokker said...

"The names "Concorde" and "Channel Tunnel" come to mind."

You don't know shit about Concorde.

Sam said...

Bianca, SF City and County do occupy the same area. The county amount that you have appears to be including all water area as well (and SF County includes substantial areas of the Bay and ocean).

Sam said...

Bianca, no actually, I looked at the link and the reason that SF county is only showing 9999.99 for density is that the column only allows 4 before the decimal digits. If you take the population and land area in the link, it comes out to your 16k+ figure.

Bianca said...

That's pretty much what I suspected, Sam. Using the higher number (16,636), the average is 2,875.

Just the final nail in the coffin of "86 people per square mile."

observer said...

Hey Bianca, go check the density of a city in Spain like Barcelona, where HSR really works...

SF is the DENSESt city in California, and comes nowhere near the densities of european cities where HSRs work.

Anonymous said...

You don't know shit about Concorde.

You don't know shit about shit.

Bianca said...

Observer, I never said that San Francisco was denser than anything in Europe.

What I am saying is that using the overall population density of the US as a reason why HSR won't work here is intellectually dishonest. Of course the overall population density is too low. That number includes Alaska, which has a density of 1.2 persons per square mile (2007 numbers).

No one here is talking about building HSR across Alaska.

Anonymous said...

This is just for the San Francisco to Irvine section, but I think we can safely lay density to rest as an argument.

Your numbers here are meaningless. What matters to the potential market size is the size of the population within a reasonable distance/travel time of the HSR stations. The city of San Francisco is dense, but it has less than a million people. The Los Angeles metropolitan area has a huge population, but the vast majority live far from downtown LA.

lsm said...

The strawman arguments convinced me. Citing the Washington Post Op-ed piece, which boldly rails against building an HSR system between Whitefish, Montana and Devil's Lake, North Dakota (how else to explain its purported anguish over an Amtrak reproduction, a US density of only 86 people per square mile and the ineffectiveness of HSR versus airplanes for hauls over 400-500 miles?), and mentioning the Concorde, which forcibly likens investing in the proven technology of HSR to speculating on pioneering a super-sonic, commercial passenger jet, amply prove that we should curl up into fiscal fetal positions, continue to squander our limited funds on airport runways and freeway lanes dependent on limited fossil fuels and whine about our inability to move forward with the rest of the global economy. You have solidly sold me on maintaining our enviable status quo.

Anonymous said...

how else to explain its purported anguish over an Amtrak reproduction, a US density of only 86 people per square mile and the ineffectiveness of HSR versus airplanes for hauls over 400-500 miles?)

Er, the facts that Amtrak is a hugely inefficient, bloated money pit and that the distances between America's major cities preclude even high-speed rail service that is competitive with air travel.

and mentioning the Concorde, which forcibly likens investing in the proven technology of HSR to speculating on pioneering a super-sonic, commercial passenger jet

The Concorde is also "proven technology." In decades of operation it had only one serious accident. The problem with both the Concorde and HSR is that their costs vastly exceed their benefits. That is why governments have to fund both of them. No private investor would go near them without massive government subsidies.

Anonymous said...

Anon @10:43pm

You think Airbus or Boeing would exist and be building/designing any planes without massive government help? Boeing and Airbus receive MASSIVE amounts of money from governments around the world - billions and billions and billions each year.

Robert Cruickshank said...

And yet we don't bat an eye at the truly massive subsidies that go to the vast Interstate Highway System, which most certainly does NOT pay for itself. The only difference between it and the Concorde, despite the vastly superior safety record of the Concorde, is that conventional American wisdom is that interstates are necessary and supersonic transport was a frivolous toy.

The interstates never have penciled out. Not in the 1950s (which is why massive federal spending was needed to get them built) and not in the 2000s.

Every single HSR system in existence covers its operating expenses. It doesn't necessarily cover its capital costs, but I don't know of very many pieces of major transportation infrastructure that do.

If someone is going to make an argument based on cost, then they have to apply it across the board, otherwise it is hypocrisy.

Robert Cruickshank said...

Most studies and analysts believe that HSR is competitive with air travel between two points if the trains can make the journey in 3 hours. In practice that means about a 400-500 mile distance depending on your average speed. SF Transbay Terminal to LA Union Station is 432 miles, and CHSRA is confident that they can cover that distance in 2 hours 38 minutes.

The notion that the US is somehow unfit for passenger rail or HSR is a bald faced lie. There's really no other way to sugarcoat it.

jim said...

It appears that there are some people, whom I assume live in california since they are posting on this board, who do not like the california way.

In country with 50 free, open, and politically, functionally and ideologically diverse states from which to choose, I just don't understand why people stay put in a place that goes so against the way they want to live.

California does stuff that leads the nation. California is known for going out on a limb.
Its known for being a little to the left.
It's known for doing a lot of public spending.

And no matter how much some of you may complain, and disparage this state, and its current finances.... the bottom line is this is still the worlds 7th - 8th largest economy.

Out of the nations 250 million people, nearly 40 million of them live in this one state. The US economy would be hard pressed to compete in the world without California's help.

And in spite of the bitter pea brained crybabies who hold their breath and stomp their feet, California is still a fascinating beacon to people all over the world. So, if you can't hack it in the big league, then you better take your sorry little asses someplace sweet and cute like Rhode Island or Alabama, or Oregon where the lifestyle and politics may better suit you.

This state is a machine. It needs a tune up but it will be ready to stomp anything that gets in its way again in no time. Get on board or get out of the way.
Why don't you just pack up your shit and get the hell out you big fat losers who can't hack it and quit talking trash about Cali...you don't even deserve to live here and you're killing everyones buzz.

dave said...

@ looking on - @8:19pm

Robert Samuelson’s Column is a Train Wreck

Anonymous said...

they're "venerable" until (god forbid) they come out with something against HSR - then they'll be stupid nimby deniers.

Observer said...

No Bianca, what's intellectually dishonest is using a comparison of SF to all these other california cities, saying, oh my goodness look how DENSE San Francisco is - which of course is perfect for HSR. When in fact, SF is no where near dense enough for HSR, and nothing outside of SF comes NEARLY close enough to enough density to support HSR.

Intellectual honesty? Why don't you give us a density list of SF compared to cities that successfully host HSR?

Anonymous said...

No Robert - we don't bat an eye at subsidies for highways. Because:
a) once built via tax payer dollar everyone can use them freely
b) they are efficient and get people exactly where they need to go
c)are already there and don't require us to take a massive leap of faith (aka ignorance, massive group wet dream ala Spokker) to recall a throwback to ye grande ol yesteryear of train travel heyday, to see the value and productivity that those investments in highways provide to every man woman and child in the country.

Anonymous said...

Jim, have another cocktail.

Spokker said...

"a) once built via tax payer dollar everyone can use them freely"

Untrue. Disabled people can't use them. Those who cannot afford a car cannot use them. Millions of people are left out of driving.

"b) they are efficient and get people exactly where they need to go"

Untrue. The very nature of a bunch of cars doing different things at once makes highways an uncoordinated mess. Drivers act in self-interested ways, which causes traffic, gridlock and congestion.

"c)are already there and don't require us to take a massive leap of faith"

Continuing to rely solely on the personal automobile is a giant leap of faith, as if cheap oil is always going to be there.

"a throwback to ye grande ol yesteryear of train travel heyday"

These aren't steam trains we are talking about, but 21st century technology that other, more civilized nations have embraced.

" to see the value and productivity that those investments in highways provide to every man woman and child in the country."

That productivity has come at an immense price. Pollution not only blights urban settings, but takes a toll on your health. An average of 40,000 people are killed in car accidents a year.

wmata said...

a) once built via tax payer dollar everyone can use them freely [after purchasing/renting a car, paying for gas, buying insurance, etc.]
b) they are efficient and get [most] people exactly where they need to go
c)are already there and don't require us to take a massive leap of faith


Exactly like HSR! Glad you've come around to supporting it. After all, HSR is: a) available for anyone to use [as long as you buy a ticket]; b) efficient and get [most] people exactly where they need to go [in conjunction with local public transit]; and c) are already there [in other countries] and don't require a massive leap of faith.

matt said...

The big difference between Highways and HSR which is rarely mentioned on this blog, is their relationships between usage and usability. With a highway, if it it highly used, that it is awful to use. On the other hand, if it was poorly planned and has low usage, than it is very seful for those who do use it, as rush hour traffic does not slow you down.

With rail the opposite is true. rarely used lines have infrequent service and poor connections. High usage lines have frequent service, with expresses, and limited, and good connections.

As rail is used more it collect more and more money from fares, which can be directed into service expansion. Capacity can be increased with more frequent trains or longer trains. ROW expansion is only needed in extreme cases.

Meanwhile highways get no benefit from high usage except more gas taxes, which are pooled nationally and statewide, and do not even cover maintenance with out subsidy. Expansion of a highway ROW incrementally increases capacity. expanding a 10 lane highway by one lane each direction only increases capacity 20% (although lane merging effects may knock that down a bit.) The same ROW takes for a 2 track HSR system would increase capacity 100%.

Something must be done to ease congestion on Highways. You can knock HSR all you want, and yes it does have negatives, but it is cheaper, cleaner and faster than highways, and it can expand capacity much better than highways.

So to those opposed, suggest something else. I am all ears. But the status quo is not sufficient.

Andre Peretti said...

Citing the Channel tunnel as misuse of public money is a lie. At Margaret Thatcher's insistence it was entirely privately funded. She hated trains, and transit in general. She is famous for saying: "Any man who rides a bus to work after the age of 30 can count himself a failure in life".
As the French insisted on a tunnel for trains, not for cars, she obtained that "not a penny of public money" be spent on it. There was no European low-interest loan as is the rule for projects involving more than one country. This caused the banks (244 of them) to impose very harsh terms as the British attitude made it appear as a very risky investment. 2008 was the first profitable year for the tunnel. One of the reasons for the unprofitability of the tunnel was the lack of high speed line on the British side until 2008. On arriving on British soil, the Eurostar had to slow from 186mph to about 60mph on old winding victorian-era tracks. The pantograph was lowered and the trains were powered by third rail 700 volts DC. They were sometimes delayed by fallen leaves and another British specialty: "the wrong kind of snow".
Now that the situation has been normalised, all European experts consider the tunnel has a bright future. I think European experts are a little bit more qualified than American self-styled experts who have never been involved in HSR operation in any way. I fail to understand how clowns like Randall O'Toole (who wrote that the Shinkansen was the biggest failure of all!) can even be quoted by self-respecting journalists.

Brandon in San Diego said...

I'd agree that a national HSR system is doomed to failure... insufficient rider demand in middle American and insufficient demand to 'cross' middle America given the time and distance involved.

That said, at least one HSR network is on track to be developed; California HSR system. And the speed we're at, or the support that there is behind it... it kind of blows my mind that naysayers have the energy to debunk it and recommend not moving forward.

Alon Levy said...

California is actually denser than Spain and almost as dense as France.

Rafael said...

Why are we still having a discussion about the merits of building HSR in California, about population densities and Concorde (of all things) and Lord knows what else?

In November of 2008, a majority of California voters decided they wanted the HSR system and, that they were willing to take on $9.95 billion in extra state-level debt to help make it happen. Period.

Ideological right-wingers lost the argument, they need to deal with that on their own. There's no need to rehash absolutely everything all over again.

At this juncture, we ought to focus narrowly on exactly how to run the HSR tracks along the chosen route and, on how to get $12-$16 billion from the feds plus billions more from private investors to help pay for it.

lsm said...

Strawman arguments misrepresent an opposing position and then refute the misrepresentation to give the illusion of refuting the opposing position. Samuelson uses this dishonest tactic in his Washington Post Op-Ed piece when he likens HSR to Amtrak. Amtrak is a national network connecting US cities from coast to coast. HSR proposals in the US call for regional systems linking cities in areas about 500 miles long. Attacking regional HSR proposals because our coasts lie 3000 miles apart or because population densities are low in Montana or the Dakotas is inappropriate; regional HSR proposals do not call for a coast to coast, Amtrak style, national network.

BruceMcF said...

looking on said:

... well, words to the effect that he supports the following as honest argument:

(1) Consider the cost of a hypothetical Express HSR corridor with a potential ridership of 1.5m, max, which would not be funded under the current HSR policy

(2) "It costs too much"

(3) Samuelson drops off the 1.5m ridership, and says, "Glaeser shows that HSR costs too much".

(4) This is used to criticize the California HSR corridor, which will certainly have ridership in the 10's of millions, with the uncertainty about where in the 10's of millions it will be.

This argument does not actually tell us anything about the California HSR corridor, but it does tell us that looking on has either been duped or is engaged in deliberate deception.

Because when the bare facts escape the spin being put on it by the tag team of Glaeser, Morris and Samuelson, they don't hold water.

jim said...

@ andre and bruce quit telling the truth and making all that sense.

I see why the PAnimbys might be against hsr - as a way to keeep it away from them. But I don't see why any one else would be against it as there is nothing to lose by building it. Its going to cost a lot of money but so is any other solution including building the same amount of road and air capacity and the benefit of hrs, especially on the chosen route, is that it brings incredibly short, convenient travel times to the people who currently have the least amount, and slowest of options.

It gives everyone a third choice of travel and who doesn't like choices?

i really think that there are people out there who are truly so stuck on automatic stupid that they can't see past their own negativity.
Not building this isn't going to save the state 40 billion.

Alon Levy said...

But I don't see why any one else would be against it as there is nothing to lose by building it.

The highway lobby is livid at the idea of HSR - it means less money for building mega-freeways. Similarly, the oil industry doesn't want oil consumption to go down. Both lobbies have paid a lot of money to prop up Reason and Cato and Demographia.

YESonHSR said...

HERE.HERE..Rafael!! why do all the naysayers still rant away on here..Prop1A PASSED on Nov8 2008.
The choice was made..well boohoo if the Reason foudation and other lies did not work..or that a samll group of nimbys did not get there way.And GOD forbid that we invest in HSR after spending 30 billion on GM..or 700!!billion on Wall Street mistakes..so much for"free thinking minds"

Anonymous said...

The hsr is ok but Kopp & Bechtel are botching the routing.

BruceMcF said...

Anonymous said...
"Er, the facts that Amtrak is a hugely inefficient, bloated money pit and that the distances between America's major cities preclude even high-speed rail service that is competitive with air travel."

You mean, all of America's "major" cities between Minnesota and East Texas and the Pacific Northwest and California?

Because there are no LARGE cities east of the first tier of states west of the Mississippi that are too far apart from other cities to support HSR corridors that are competitive with air travel.

So your definition of "major" city excludes New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston(*), Philadelphia, San Antonio(*), Dallas(*), San Diego and San Jose ... of the top 10 most populous cities in the US, only Phoenix qualifies as "major", I guess.

Also, Amtrak does not have the budget to be a hugely inefficient money pit. That would be the Interstate Highway System. Heck, we get to build highways without raising a finger for cost-benefit analysis, simply by designating them as part of the "Appalachian Development Highway System".

Rafael said...

@ BruceMcF -

Top 50 US cities by population. Indeed, Phoenix is the only one with over a million between the Mississippi and the West Coast.

If you look instead at MSAs, Minneapolis-St.Paul-Bloomington and Denver-Aurora qualify as well. For HSR purposes, that may not be as relevant as these MSAs are huge and not exactly blessed with copious local/regional transit services.

LA-Phoenix along I-10 might become a viable HSR route IFF gas/kerosene prices reach nosebleed levels. There are about 1/4 million people in the Palm Springs-Coachella area along the way. Blythe only has ~22000.

YESonHSR said...

6 of the top 50 cities will by on CAHSR ,with 3 of the top 10 plus SF at 14..enough of this system will never work BS

jim said...

Anonymous said...
The hsr is ok but Kopp & Bechtel are botching the routing.

How so? The routing is perfect. not only for the first phase but for the second as well.

matt said...

@Rafael

You forgot about Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Which makes four of nine cities with > 1m population between the Mississippi River and the West Coast States.

If you look at MSA's you have those Four plus St. Louis (Technically), Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Austin, Oklahoma City, New Orleans (Again, on the river), Salt Lake City, and Tucson.

The West is not totally desolate.

Anonymous said...

Rafael,

In November of 2008, a majority of California voters decided they wanted the HSR system and, that they were willing to take on $9.95 billion in extra state-level debt to help make it happen. Period.

So WHAT? Do you seriously think more than a tiny fraction of those voters had studied the issue sufficiently to make an informed decision? For most of them, it was more like "high speed rail - keeewwwwwlll!" Voters make dumb choices all the time. But one of the great features of democracy is its capacity for self-correction. Florida voters also authorized HSR funding back in 2000 - only to repeal it four years later when the stupidity of the project became clear to them. I am confident that wiser heads will eventually prevail in California also. In any case, Prop 1A just authorized the sale of bonds and appropriation. Where's the actual money? Where's all the private funding? Where's all the federal funding?

Rafael said...

@ matt -

fair enough, Texas may well be a good candidate for true bullet trains. As for the others, they're just too small and/or too far apart to justify that level of investment.

Btw, in September Brazil will invite proposals from contractors for the Rio de Janeiro - Saõ Paolo - Campinas bullet train line. Estimated construction cost for the 322 miles is $15-$20 billion, the country is still hoping to run the first trains in time for the 2014 World Cup (soccer).

Argentina's tren bala, on the other hand, appears to be on hold. Basically, the country can't afford it right now.

Alon Levy said...

Florida voters also authorized HSR funding back in 2000 - only to repeal it four years later when Jeb Bush derailed the project due to family oil interests.

Corrected.

Bianca said...

Florida voters also authorized HSR funding back in 2000 - only to repeal it four years later when the stupidity of the project became clear to them.

You are holding up Florida as a shining example of democracy at work?

Really?

Sun Rises, Sun Falls said...

Florida actually APPROVED some HSR funding during their infamous 2000 election. Did they check all the hanging chads???

Only later did 64% of Florida voters reject the HSR mandate after a loss of public confidence in FHSRA. Could this happen in California? Absolutely.

NONIMBYS said...

This is not stupid Florida..We have a lot more smart Blue ..dream on Red Neck

Brandon in San Diego said...

I don't like the CBS piece. It's fine for providing an update and overview or hitting some key points... I suppose.

But, the bit at the beginning about historic trains... granted, I understand the piece was produced for a Sunday morning audience... but I kept imagining 70 year old men sitting in rocking chairs on their porch watching the news.

Basically, I felt the intro marginalized the purpose of HSR.

Jack said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.