Some California high speed rail items to keep you occupied and engaged as we approach the weekend. Apologies for not being able to offer a more in-depth post, but after that wild storm came through this week, the beautiful weather here in Monterey calls me outside.
- The Caltrain/California High Speed Rail Authority’s Policymaker Working Group met last night to get their work off the ground in providing advisement to Caltrain and the CHSRA about the rail improvement project. As Gina Papan's comments showed, not only is misinformation widespread, but there's a disturbing willingness of elected officials to believe whatever they hear from constituents.
- Merced Mayor Ellie Wooten and Merced County Supervisor John Pedrozo published a pro-HSR op-ed in the Merced Sun-Star today. It offers some very good restatements of the basic case for HSR, from jobs to the environment, but the main reason for their op-ed is to reiterate their case for building the maintenance hub at Castle Airport.
- A recent HSR scoping meeting in Escondido showed that NIMBYism can be found virtually anywhere in the state. Although most attendees supported the project, one whiner claimed "I'm going to fight it" because he's convinced the noise will lower his home values. Someone living in Escondido, which currently lacks a direct link to either the LA metro region or to the job centers in San Diego, should think twice about leaving their city's fate in the hands of oil and freeways. (Yes, Escondido has a rail link to downtown SD via the Sprinter and the Coaster, but it is indirect, requiring a transfer at Oceanside.)
- Over at the Transport Politic, Yonah Freemark criticizes the FRA's preliminary rail plan that avoids pissing anyone off (a classic trait of the Obama Administration) and therefore doesn't actually offer any specific recommendations about how to develop a national rail program.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone.