Saturday, October 10, 2009

23 Members of Congress Sign Letter Supporting HSR Stimulus Funds

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

Led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, 23 of California's Congressional delegation have signed a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo supporting the CHSRA's application for federal HSR stimulus funds. The presence of Pelosi and the two Senators alone is significant, as they are among the three most powerful members of Congress, but the other 20 members of Congress are significant as well in that they show widespread support in California for this application.

As you can see in the letter below, the members of Congress emphasize the potential for significant and badly needed job creation as a primary reason to approve the stimulus application:

CA Congressional Letter to USDOT/FRA re: ARRA HSR stimulus

One name is notably absent from the letter: Anna Eshoo. She represents the 14th Congressional District, which includes the Caltrain corridor from Redwood City to Sunnyvale. In contrast, Jackie Speier, who represents the other half of the Caltrain corridor on the Peninsula, did sign the letter. Speier has been a tenacious advocate of passenger rail, particularly during her time in the state legislature - and her work in support of Caltrain earned her the distinct honor of having a Caltrain locomotive named after her. Other representatives whose district includes or is near the Bay Area portion of the HSR route, including Mike Honda, Zoe Lofgren, and my own representative Sam Farr, all signed the letter.

The letter states that the San Francisco to San José section of the HSR route would "directly create 11,400 jobs and be responsible for a total of 34,200 jobs beginning immediately."

So the question is, what does Anna Eshoo have against job creation in her district?

Addendum by Rafael:

This is an economic stimulus issue, the focus is on jobs, jobs, jobs.

Considering the fiscal hole California has fallen into is even deeper than already feared, getting people back to work is indeed a high priority. Remarkably, California state bonds are now trading at yields slightly below those in April, though 7.23% is still nosebleed territory for the eighth-largest economy in the world. Still, investing in infrastructure now is the right thing to do, even if the cost of borrowing is high. The Bear Republic cannot recover through spending cuts alone, it needs to take on additional debt so it can act as the spender of last resort - in partnership with the federal government.

The letter is signed by both of the state's US Senators and 22 members of the House, all of them Democrats. Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D - 10th) resigned in June to serve as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security in the Obama Administration. Her seat is vacant, a special election is pending.

That means 11 Democratic and 19 Republican members of the California delegation failed to sign this letter, whose sole purpose is to bring $4.7 billion federal dollars to the Bear Republic just when they are most needed. Anna Eshoo is among them, but she is not alone.

Democratic Non-Signatories:

Lynn Woolsey - D - 6th
Barbara Lee - D - 9th
Pete Stark - D - 13th
Anna Eshoo - D - 14th
Lois Capps - D - 23rd
Xavier Bacerra - D - 31st
Diane Watson - D - 33rd
Lucille Roybal-Allard - D - 34th
Maxine Waters - D - 35th
Joe Baca - D - 43rd
Susan Davis - D - 53rd

Republican Non-Signatories:

Wally Herger - R - 2nd
Dan Lungren - R - 3rd
Tom McClintock - R - 4th
George Radanovich - R - 19th
Devin Nunes - R - 21st
Kevin McCarthy - R - 22nd
Elton Gallegly - R - 24th
Howard "Buck" McKeon - R - 25th
David Dreier - R - 26th
Edward Royce - R - 40th
Jerry Lewis - R - 41st
Gary Miller - R - 42nd
Ken Calvert - R - 44th
Mary Bono Mack - R - 45th
Dana Rohrbacker - R - 46th
John Campbell - R - 48th
Darrell Issa - R - 49th
Brian Bilbray - R - 50th
Duncan Hunter - R - 52nd

To see if your Representative in the House is among those listed above, please consult the maps of congressional districts. If so, ask him or her to fight the Golden State's corner!


Bianca said...

It's interesting to see the whole list of who did not sign, but it should not surprise us that the Republicans who represent Shasta and Lassen counties aren't signing. HSR doesn't come anywhere near their districts, and they are Republicans to boot, and these days all the Republicans seem to do is say "NO!" to everything.

I'm not super familiar with the ins and outs of the HSR route as it goes through the various Congressional districts in the LA metro area, but I would be interested to find out if there are any other Democratic districts to be served by HSR whose member did not sign the letter. Is Anna Eshoo taking a lonely stand, or does she have company?

無名 - wu ming said...

good to see mike thompson in there.

as for lassen/shasta counties, don't be so sure. given the choice between driving 2-3 hours to sac and then flying to LA, or driving 2-3 hours to sac and then zipping there in another 2 on HSR, you'd be surprised how many sac valley residents might choose the latter. people have family and business all over the state, and while it would be nicer for them to be able to get on a HSR in red bluff or redding (which is a loooong way out if ever, although there may eventually be more regular rail feeders to sac's HSR station if the demand is there), you're not going to be flying out of susanville airport in most cases.

Rafael said...

@ Bianca -

I understand that Republicans in general and those in the northern part of the state in particular aren't as enthusiastic about the HSR project as the signatories to the letter.

Nevertheless, those Republicans are cutting off their noses to spite their faces if their objective is to send HSR funding to other states. California taxpayers will be footing more than their share of their $8 billion in any event and right now, the Golden State really needs the stimulus.

It's not as if saying "no thank you" to HSR money means you get more out of some other pot of gold in the ARRA bill, either.

As for Dems that are not on board, I didn't try to match up all of the district boundaries with the HSR route. Anna Eshoo's 14th district includes much of the Menlo Park - Gilroy section. Susan Davis' 53rd district includes most of the University City - San Diego section. Etc.

Rafael said...

@ wu-ming -

good point. Fwiw, Rod Diridon has hinted that after the starter line and the phase 2 spurs to San Diego and Sacramento are built, further extensions of the network could be considered. Running tracks up to Chico and Redding would be relatively cheap and straightforward.

The question is if such an up-front investment would encourage decades of smart growth in the northern Central Valley.

jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rafael said...

@ jim -

I deleted your comment because it contained profanity and advocated violence.

The rules regarding appropriate language apply to everyone, please.

Rafael said...

@ Jim -

fwiw, here are the official prop 1A(2008) results by county. Voters in Modoc county rejected it.

Perhaps more relevant in the present context are the official prop 1A(2008) results by Congressional district.

jim said...


ok here is the cleaned up version. Its still true.

Wally Hereger is a jerk anyway.

Eventually and perhaps soon, the north valley is going to have a san joaquin extension (train 701) up to redding. that would easily tie those folks into the hsr network in the future. also didn't modoc county 9 the most far flung of all) vote FOR hsr?

anyway, republicans are jerks. period.

They are not interested in helping california or californians in any way. They are interested in their own personal agendas of money grubbing.

Just like they like that cheap help they get to clean their houses down in Laguna Niguel.

They need to be held accountable for the damage they are doing to the state.

Anonymous said...

It is so gratifying to see some real opposition to this boondoggle arise.

Robert, in case you have forgotten, this is not a jobs project, but a project that is supposed to move people from the north to south and back etc.

In case you don't understand, the state will be pouring billions into the project at a time it simply cannot afford such a luxury.

There are just one hell of a lot more needed priorities than this with the state in financial ruin right now.

Funding is the critical item right now. There simply are not the funds. Private equity had not and will not appear. Anew business plan, that is to be peer reviewed is due Dec 15th. If the Authority again fails to produce a real plan, expect to the the legislature put a halt to this nonsense.

Just remember, we now know, that what was a 33 billion project last summer is not quoted at 40 - 45 billions. We know that LA to Anaheim has doubled in cost in 12 months. All of this predicted by some of use a couple of years ago.

Now if Obama (with approval of the house and senate) is willing to fund the California project not with 4 billion (or less) but with 25 - 40 billion, maybe the project can be built. Otherwise it is a dead issue.

jim said...

interesting, sonoma, yolo, napa and mendocino counties all voted for hsr even though not only will it not serve them now but it won't serve them directly in phase two either. Which may indicate that when they do come to the bay to travel, they want access to another option.

the 99 north results don't surprise me, ( yuba/chico etc) as a grew up around these folks and you will enver get anywhere with them not ever. hey are hard core haters and they have a very nasty attitude towards progress. far more so than the central valley. Anything that has anything to do with making any part of the state north of the placer county line any more like the rest of california, and anything that has anything to do with letting more of "those people" have access to any part of the state north of the placer county line - willb e souldy defeated at the olls as will any kind of job creation, unionization, building of highways, or other infrastructure, aid to families, or anything that changes the current status quo of the wealthier land owners versus the poor and working class. They will stop any attempt to provide upward mobility to their unwashed. They are quite a nasty bunch of folks.

For expamle, a woman who's husband owns a farm, refers to the farm workers as "her mexicans"

thats the attitude among other things. don't think Im kidding either. I have a lifetime of experience with those folks.

jim said...

anon There are just one hell of a lot more needed priorities than this with the state in financial ruin right now.

I don't see any ruins. I'm looking out my window, the navy is town, the hotels are packed, the shoppers are shopping, the diners are dining, the tourists are touring, the cable cars and clanging.

the blue angels are flying around doing tricks. its a gorgeous day. The sky has not fallen.

The only thing thats a shambles is the no we can't attitude of some people who wish failure on america.

So bitter about losing, that they wish a pox on all our houses.

I'm just glad they are speaking out and holding themselves up to the light for all to see.

YESonHSR said...

@Jim yes the F18 are now flying ..and the Sun is out!! I Agree enough with the old naysayers and others..HSR is going to be a wonderful addition to this city and California!!

jim said...

I just can't get enough of this

vive tgv

what california wouldn't want us to be the first in the nation.

too bad we can't run it at this speed and cut the sf-la to one hour flat.

Anonymous said...

Posts like anon 235's use to piss me off. Now, I read them, laugh, and really, really feel bad for these folks. How terrible there lives will be when HSR is up and running...if they're even still around.
By the way, what "real opposition" are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

No Robert, I think the real question is how these folk can sign their name to the CHSRA package without a business plan, without really any viable plans, and without the authority or the means to fund the project, and really rather just lie through their teeth about the state of the project, just to attract the $$$.

Jobs paragraphs mentions Sacramento to LA? REally? Have we changed the project then?

1st jobs bullet says basically says SF to SJ is shovel ready to start creating jobs now. REally? And we've got these politicians signing this crap? Its astounding really.

But that's OK, its a clear list of who's neck is on the line for scandal.

Rubber Toe said...

Just e-mailed my congressman (Schiff) thanking him for doing this. Also suggested he do his part for follow up funding in the yearly transportation budgets.


Anonymous said...

@ anon 4:38,
It must really, really hurt.
Oh well! See you all on the bullet train!

NONIMBYS said...

anno is here because little PA on line did not have any HSR stories to print after the ruling..funny every other time they are trying to stir up crap...SO the nimby whinners come here

jim said...

But that's OK, its a clear list of who's neck is on the line for scandal

scandal? really? over the bullet train? please mary, enough with the hysterics.

A bunch of politicians signed their name in support of brining billions of federal dollars ( its about time) back to california for a project that voters in their districts approved.

Politicians doing something right for a change might be news but its far from scandalous.

You know if you don't like the train running near your house thats understandable so just say that.

political_incorrectness said...

A scandal is what I'd call BART's OAC and BART to San Jose. Those two can also be called Boondoggle's. HSR from SF to LA in the nation's second busiest air corridor? Makes plenty of sense to me, especially considering the situation Spain was in with Barcelona-Madrid. Helps the legacy carrier's bottom line as well.

Anonymous said...

PUBLICITY STUNT. This will come back to bite this handful of politicians as chsr progresses. Does anyone think Lahood believes this small group of signing California politicians has the power to make things happen in California politics, or california budget? That's funny.

無名 - wu ming said...

yolo is on the capitol corridor, which will be a quick transfer to sac's HSR in phase two. napa really isn't all that far away from either SF or fairfield. sonoma and mendocino aren't all that far from SF either, and they have to drive there to fly to LA anyway. i can't speak for the other counties, but yolo also has a lot of positive experience with rail (and in the case of davis, a significant % of the population that has actually been to europe and asia and seen what decently-supported rail can do).

the HSR trunk line will serve the whole state in ways most people aren't imagining right now, even those of us who won;t be able to walk to the station from their mass transit. i'm glad to hear about the san joaquin extension to chico/redding. once HSR opens in merced, i expect that line will serve a critical role as a feeder line.

無名 - wu ming said...

additionally, not to beat a dead horse, but i still think this site would benefit from requiring commenters to choose an identity/handle.

無名 - wu ming said...

@anon 8:04 -

yeah, the speaker of the house, a senator on the appropriation committee (subcommittee on transportation and HUD), a senator on the commerce, science and transportation committee, and a whole bunch of representatives with committee assignments on appropriations, transportation and infrastructure, ways and means, etc. etc.

what could they possibly do to support a bid for federal funds?

jim said...

san diego hsr plans

jim said...

their choice of mira vista is going to be problematic.

Clem said...

how these folk can sign their name to the CHSRA package without a business plan

I sure would like to see the business plan for BART to San Jose. Or the business plan for the 880 - 237 freeway interchange. Or the business plan for Doyle Drive in San Francisco. Or the business plan for the eastern span of the Bay Bridge. Those can't possibly be worth building unless the numbers pencil out, can they?

Be glad HSR even has a business plan, no matter how faulty.

Anonymous said...

Jim, I myself prefer this version: it's raw (no TV comment) and almost real-time from 0 to 357 kph.

Anonymous said...

For those who are harping, (Rafael and others), California can't afford to pass up the stimulus dollars, would do well to see what has happened here.

The Governor, killed off 3 to5 billions in requests from CalTrans for project that were shovel ready and should have been included. NO NO, the Authority didn't want any competition from other agencies for these funds.

So now, very significant opposition and getting stronger everyday to this boondoggle of a project will do what it can to stop this nonsense.

Look, its is out in the open. This is not a $33 billion project as advanced by deception and lack of information, no it is already 40-45 billions and getting bigger by the day. LA TO Anaheim doubled in cost.

Passage though the peninsula, a total fabrication in the EIR cost of 4.3 billions, will be 8 - 12 billions. UP Up and away. Money nowhere to be found.

Time to come down to reality. We don't need this and we can't afford this.

Anonymous said...

This is not a $33 billion project as advanced by deception and lack of information, no it is already 40-45 billions and getting bigger by the day.

Source? $40-45 billion was always the number I saw for the full project. $33 billion was mentioned for the first phase.

Anonymous said...

Anon 908,
You have absolutely no room to talk about "reality" when you're obviously detached from it.
And again I ask, what significant opposition (which you claim is growing stronger) are you talking about?
Whatever opposition does exist is no match to the will of the people and powerful politicians who signed the letter.


O richard/Martin/Jay you lost on friday..nobody cares what you think on this board

jim said...

Anonymous said...
Jim, I myself prefer this version: it's raw (no TV comment) and almost real-time from 0 to 357 kph

yeh I like that version too. ( but I like hearing them speak all the french in the other one too)

Anon 9:08 - you can keep saying its not going to happen, even after the trains are running, but its not going to make it true.

At a certain point you have to realize the momentum and benefit of the project. You know contrary to popular belief, people and their representatives do actually get valuable things done. At a certain point you have to change your attitude from hoping the project will go away and instead start thinking about ways you can benefit from it. ways you can make it better and make it work to your advantage.
It better to be on the winning side.
Where do you live? are you one who doesn't want it cuz you live by the tracks?

or are you just a party of no reactionary who's upset in general about everything?

you have to acknowledge your real motivation for being against it, so you can figure out how to make it work for you.

just repeating the mantra that the state is broke is not an honest response.

the state being broke has nothing to do with anything except balancing this years budget. and hsr has nothing to do with this year's budget.

its a long term investment. and california isn't in a permanent recession that will last for ever and ever.

so don't be disingenuous and tel the real reason you don't want it built and then you can look for ways that the hsr may benefit you.

Andre Peretti said...

@ Anon 9:08
In 2008 France's GDP per capita was $34,145 and California's was $43,344. Yet France can afford HSR and California can't?
Of course, you can consider that some nations have subnormal IQs and don't realize they are wasting their money. Then the French, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, etc... must be the dumbest people on earth.

Anonymous said...

@ Clem

The projects you cite are pets of the Pelosi machine, therefore exempt from "business plans". Don't worry - the hsr is in the same protected category.

This is how we get fiascos like Kopp's BART to SFO. All the boondoggles are a done deal.

Alon Levy said...

Yet France can afford HSR and California can't?

French people don't think raising taxes to pay for things is communism.

Also, France manages to build HSR for very low cost, by leveraging existing ROW and avoiding tunnels. When it needs tunnels, for example with the TGV to Nice projects, it can waste money just like everyone else.

jim said...

you really need to get over bart/sfo/kopp. its over and done with.

how can you hang on to such resentment for so long?

Bianca said...

Heh, if Robert had a dollar for every time some anonymous poster took a potshot at Kopp, Diridon, and/or PB, or used the word "boondoggle", Robert could be comfortably retired by now.

Anonymous said...

The BART to SFO, like BART's Indian broad gauge, serve as ongoing examples of how badly "ëxperts" can up botch things.

The Techachapis detour falls into that category of monumental screw-up.

jim said...

The Techachapis detour falls into that category of monumental screw-up

really? How exaclty?

Anonymous said...

The Techachapis detour falls into that category of monumental screw-up.

I don't understand the continual focus on this. There were controversial alignment picks within the advocacy and rail communities (Pacheco vs Altamont, I-5 vs 99), but Tehachapis vs Grapevine really wasn't one of them, because the time difference between the two is soooooo minimal. Talk about mountain out of a mole hill. It's like saying that BART to SFO was bad because you have to take an escalator to the Airtrain.

You're ignoring the mistakes that CHSRA has potentially made by focusing on one that really wasn't a huge deal either way. Just because it looks nicer on a map doesn't make it nicer (For an example of this, I present Altamont vs Pacheco).

Andre Peretti said...

Mile for mile, the line to Nice will cost more than CHSR, due to all the tunneling and bridging. But I won't call it waste because whatever the route, the line has to be built. The SNCF can't finance it and neither can the region. So, it will be mostly paid by national tax.
The difference between the US and France is that we don't find anything wrong with it. If I were American, maybe I would say: "if the people in Nice can't stand the noise of the planes, let them pay for their train, I'm not concerned".
I admire America, but there are things that shock me. Among them, that habit of calling boondoggle anything that doesn't procure an immediate personal advantage.
PS: I'm not a communist and not even a socialist.

Alon Levy said...

Andre, I know you're not a communist. I'm just saying, in the US many people think that non-military, non-prison spending is either pork or communism.

And personally, my reaction to the LGV Provence is that if the NIMBYs in Provence don't want the cheaper, faster A8 alignment, they should pay the cost difference. It's really no different from Palo Alto and Menlo Park's demand for a tunnel.

Off-TRAC said...

Mr Anon Tolmach-

Please use your name or put a blog on your website. Public debate hiding behind anon is like shouting at a speaker from the bushes behind the crowd.

jim said...

I admire America, but there are things that shock me. Among them, that habit of calling boondoggle anything that doesn't procure an immediate personal advantage.
PS: I'm not a communist and not even a socialist.

Well Im an american and I wish I was a socialist because the way americans think is always short sighted, money motivated, and selfish just as you described and I'm sick of it. It wasn't always this way here, only since 1980.

jim said...

alon-And personally, my reaction to the LGV Provence is that if the NIMBYs in Provence don't want the cheaper, faster A8 alignment, they should pay the cost difference. It's really no different from Palo Alto and Menlo Park's demand for a tunnel."

it is different because that is france and this is america and the french don't think that way because they have more respect for the overall good. Americans are only concerned about the next dollar someone stuffs into their wallet and the next cheeseburger they stuff into their fat faces.

Alon Levy said...

Well, I'm happy about the overall good. But the overall good in France is to build the LGV Provence based on the original alignment, which is through Provence rather than closer to the coast. That alignment would've required a split between Marseille and Nice, but cost much less and allowed shorter Paris-Nice runtimes. It would only have been bad for the special interests of Avignon and Aix-en-Provence, which would've been relegated to a branch line, and for the NIMBY tastes of Provence.

jim said...

Well, special interests is subjective and I think If I lived in a place like the south of france I'd be pretty careful about how to go about tearing it up.
Most places in america are not that special. There are a few places though that require special consideration no matter the public good.

I mean you wouldn't run hsr through Yellowstone Park either, you'd go around in spite of the extra travel time.

Of course Palo Alto is neither Le Midi nor Yellowstone Park. Not by a long shot.

Anonymous said...

The 99-Tehachapis will add on an extra half hour to SF-LA.

Ah but who cares if it ends up costing $100 billion in 30 years and requires an operating subsidy. Just level more taxes on the peasants.

Alon Levy said...

The 99-Tehachapis will add on an extra half hour to SF-LA.

Says who? The Coalition for Tunneling Through Unknown Geology, brought to you by the Society for Drowning Government in the Bathtub (motto: the more inefficient government is, the more we can cut it)?

jim said...

Did you all cover this story yet from fridays examiner on

transbay terminal funding

An unexpected delay in funding for the new Transbay Terminal could set construction plans back months and cost the project another $100 million.

they may build it without the train box. ( Im sure that will make all the tbt haters happy)

jim said...

Says who? The Coalition for Tunneling Through Unknown Geology, brought to you by the Society for Drowning Government in the Bathtub (motto: the more inefficient government is, the more we can cut it)?


jim said...


please, go move someplace else. to a red state. where they do things just the way you like.

(oh wait a minute, I forgot , all thebroke ass welfare sucking red states are ugly @#$%holes that no one wants to live in.)

I suggest Idaho.

NONIMBYS said...

AND 10 Billion to the "Real Americans" bill so we can have B-2 bombers fly over NFL football games to make sure WE run the World
The world wants to be run...sounds like Pan died..

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised Lynn Woolsey didn't sign: although Sonoma-Marin will not be served by HSR, her district voted for a sales tax increase for a passenger line going from the south end to the north end of her district (Larkspur to Cloverdale), showing (a) that her constituents are 66% in favor of rail transport and (b) creating an obvious tie to the HSR project even if it needs a bus bridge to get to SFO or Richmond.

I also think it's notable that Buck McKeon, who represents Santa Clarita and Palmdale, did not sign. The HSR route is a huge boon to the 25th, and will make these commuting communties considerably more attractive. Admittedly, he does tend toward the far right for Republicans.


jim said...

per the tbt story:

so now, we had a piece of actual hsr construction that was about to turn dirt. and its going to be cancelled if the feds don't come up with a yes or no answer quickly.

sf will move forward with or without the train box and then its gonna be up to hsr to fund there own whole deal later on after the fact. which means its gonna wind up at 4th.

Anonymous said...

I live in mendocino county, and I'm very happy that Thompson signed on.

Indeed, although HSR will not go here, Mendocino/Humboldt is served by the Amtrak California bus line, which feeds into the Amtrak grid. The alternative is to drive (for me) an hour and a half south to Santa Rosa to catch an airport bus that takes me to SFO or Oakland. The shuttle plus parking alone costs almost as much as a train ticket to go all the way to Los Angeles. And, the stop is only a few minutes from my house.

The Amtrak bus on the 101 route has been nearly full every time I've ridden it.

Eureka has a small commercial airport, but most of this area is better served by Amtrak - even the pathetic service that we have today - than by air for intra-state travel.


AIRINDIA said...

AND..where is the Chicken Tika Masala??? when I what Now??
Of all the Nations of the world HSR makes the most sense in India
Yet they are acting like 1955 America and building the "Golden Triangle" highways ..mistake!

Anonymous said...

The 99-Tehachapis will add on an extra half hour to SF-LA.

I'm curious to see your logic on how fifteen miles for a 200 mph train equals 30 minutes.

Peter said...

@ Jim re TBT funding

Sounds like Beale St may still be in the running...

@ Robert

Did you happen to be on the 2:00 pm Caltrain out of San Jose yesterday?

Peter said...

And lo and behold, if the train box gets axed, it wouldn't be CHSRA's fault, after all!

Alon Levy said...

AND..where is the Chicken Tika Masala??? when I what Now??

Chicken Tikka Masala is Indian-British, not Indian. You won't find it in India any more than you'll find Kung Pao in China.

And yes, Mumbai-Delhi is potentially the world's busiest HSR corridor. The problem is that India is too poor to afford the technology right now.

Instead, the federal government is spending scarce transportation rupees on a guaranteed 50/50 match for urban subway systems; rapid transit is more labor-intensive and less technology-intensive than HSR, making it a better first-priority investment for a poor but rapidly growing economy.

jim said...

well if the train box gets axed then sf doesn't get the 400 million for it, then sf doesn't have to pay for it either. . chsra will have to pay for their own stuff. which is even better.

Its not likely they can put it on beale though as the city probably already has development plans for that area.

There's still plenty of room at 4th.

Anonymous said...

There certainly is no requirement that a project, no matter how much of a pork boondoggle tax payer ripoff, have a business plan before politicians support it (or jump on the bandwagon). However, in this case, there IS a requirement for a coherent business plan, showing among other things, where 100% of the funding will come from, prior to the use of the Prop1A funds. And there is no such business plan to date and yet these poltiicans don't seem to give a crap what or if that business plan can ever exist. But the requirement for a coherent defensible business plan is written into the prop 1A law.

So business plan IS a requirement if any of these politicians think that California will be following through on any kind of committment to match federal funds. Now if any think California has the money to fund high speed rail WITHOUT prop 1A bond funds, OR that they feel they can get new HSR through the budget process - by all means lets have these band wagoneers tell us more about that - WHERE IS the california promised funding to come from??? (Which they are VOUCHING FOR by signing this letter.) And wrt the business plan, the lack thereof and these politicians utter lack of interesting in the details of the CHSR plan, speaks apparently to their vast and unquestioning confidence in the CHSRA, that that gang should be handed blank check state and federal funds. INteresting position for these politicians to take.

And by the way, wonder where they got the jobs numbers from. Since there is no valid business plan, and no valid ridership assumptions, no valid cost assumptions, how did these jobs numbers come about. I'd LOVE to see the backup for these very specific numbers. And certainly the SF to SJ is no where near shovel ready, so I'm wondering how 11,00 jobs are created immediately? And this letter states the CHSR plan is Sacramento to LA? Really? Since when? Again, I'm really surprised we have this many politicians actively vouching for the CHSRA.

Peter said...

And another anony-mouse taking cheap shots. You guys are sad. Get some cojones when you start trashing the project. Even Toys does it.

jim said...

In fact, should the feds fail to cough up money for the phase one version of train box construction, then I plan to contact the BOS and upcoming mayoral candidates ( who are eager for votes) to ask them to introduce legislation that makes sure the SF taxpayers are not to be put on the hook for chsra train box at a future date in an alternate location.

No federal funding and no transbay terminal location = no $ from the city of SF treasury.

Anonymous said...

@ anopnymouse 9:18 am

"We don't need no stinking business plans!"

The California judiciary is totally politicized. Don't expect any judge to lift a finger against the Pelosi machine.

The only recourse left is to deal Schwarzie's peripheral canal a stinging defeat. At least that will get the attention of Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer et al.

Adirondacker12800 said...

In fact, should the feds fail to cough up money for the phase one version of train box construction...

...they could build a more rational station someplace else.

It's expensive to put the trains under the buses. It results in a less than optimal station that won't be able to handle passengers from other destinations - East Bay and beyond.

The state and federal government have powers of eminent domain. They can build a mingy station under the bus station or they could use the money to buy up the land between Main and Beale south of Mission.

Two 45 degree turns from 4th and Townsend that way instead of two 90 degree turns. Design it so trains can access the tunnel from Oakland when that gets built. Could even put tall office buildings or hotels or condos over it or combination of them. . . Or even a bus terminal. . Apparently this has been proposed over the years but been turned down.

jim said...


well there wont be any eminent domaining going on around here. That isnt gonna happen, but if they wanna build elsewhere on the federal/hsr dime they can knsock themselves out. all Im saying is that if it doesnt go in tbt as part of the tbt project, then sf taxpayers arent going to fund any of it. its entirely up to the feds and chsra to find a place for it, build it and pay for it.

jim said...

mingy?!!! well. take it to oakland then.

Peter said...

More like mangy, Jim.

Robert said...

All the negativity reminds me of when Portland was building its light-rail system in the 1980s. I was visiting and my dad took me for a drive, pointing out the route and insisting that it was a waste of money, that it didn't go where people wanted/needed to go, and that no one would ride it in such a car-oriented city.

Twenty years later, the system is heavily-used and continues to expand. It has driven development along its routes. I'm sure there are studies that show how much it has reduced traffic in a growing city. And yes, by the way, when my parents want to go to Saturday Market, they drive to the nearest MAX station and take the train downtown.

Twenty years from now, how many of the NIMBYs will be taking CAHSR, and delighted to have it? Many, I preditc.

Alon Levy said...

Robert, you're talking about a system with 110,000 boardings a day, right? That's less than in New Jersey sprawlburbs.

Anonymous said...

"anyway, republicans are jerks. period."

Simple minds use labels. I guess we know a lot about jim now.

Are all Democrats Jessie Jackson?

What a dumbass.

Anonymous said...

Well it doesn't matter. The Democrats are going to lose the majorities in 2010, so the spigot for HSR will be turned off pretty soon.

jim said...

I didn't say jerks originally. Rafael made me change it.