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Join HSR group? City lets it blow by

Original post made on Jun 10, 2009

Mountain View will not be joining a coalition of Peninsula cities that aims to advocate for the region when it comes to running high speed trains through the Caltrain corridor, the City Council informally decided Tuesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 10, 2009, 1:38 PM

Comments (24)

Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2009 at 3:57 pm

"Most have not been against the idea.."--- says who?


Posted by curious, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 10, 2009 at 4:32 pm

"While many Mountain View residents are concerned about the design of the project, most have not been against the very idea of running high speed rail up the Peninsula."

This is based on what poll?? Or did Mr. DeBolt just wet his finger and put it in the wind? Mtn. View may have voted for the initiative but at that time there no details. No one thought the designers would be so stupid as to put the 100+ mph train on an elevated track through the middle of the city.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Bait, meet switch.


Posted by People for HSR, a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2009 at 8:19 pm

To eric and curious,

Try the 65+ percent that voted yes for it all along the peninsula!!


Posted by bikes2work, a resident of The Crossings
on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:15 pm

I voted against it at the polls, but I support it now. The Caltrain corridor as an alignment makes the most sense, and it will get rid of the remaining at-grade crossings.

Good job Council!



Posted by tommygee, a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 10, 2009 at 10:51 pm

We need HSR period---we are now in the 21st century. One at grade crossing to change is the Rengstorff at Central Expy intersection. That is THE WORST intersection around concerning trains and cars and what the traffic is like in the morning commute and in the evening commute.
Stop the bickering...


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 10, 2009 at 11:49 pm

People for HSR, as I said-- bait and switch.

I'll keep asking this question until an HSR supporter is willing to answer-- what transit expert has ever explained the move from an orientation through the Oakland freight lines to SJ to the current much, much more expensive and disruptive alignment? Where is the cost-benefit analysis?


Posted by People for HSR, a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm

eric,

That is a dumb question and it shouldn't need any explaining, just a little common sense, but here is a little: Oakland is not a tourist destination, San Francisco is. San Francisco is a major financial destination compared to Oakland. No point in having the HSR line terminate in Oakland without a new transbay tube put in place, which will cost billions in itself. People have talked about this before and apparently you didn't get the answer you wanted when you asked this before. Now again.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Its not a dumb question at all, but your answer seems uninformed. Since you clearly havent been following this for long, the original plan had a terminus in SJ VIA Oakland (as I stated above) and the much more workable Freight ROW.

There is an enourmous cost associated with this change. Billions. It will shave maybe 20 minutes off a trip from SF to LA (as opposed to an SF-SJ Caltrain trip followed by an HSR leg). So, where is your cost-benefit analysis for 20 minutes? What is the projected additional ridership? What revenue is generated by this additional ridership? What percentage of potential riders would choose a different mode of transport with the more cost-effective intitial proposal? What is the projected return on this additional expense?

If you cant answer these fundamental questions, dont criticize someone with an opposing point of view for wanting hard info. If Diridon and company cant answer these questions, then there is something deeply fishy about the whole thing.


Posted by curious, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 11, 2009 at 2:33 pm

I voted against this and my worst fears are coming true. Cost/benefit analysis is not in the equation, just political expediency. The $10 billion was a 'down payment.' By the time this is finished, it will be $100's billions. This is in a state that is flat broke.

"We need HSR period---we are now in the 21st century."
And CA and the US are not Europe. The distances between major cities are an order of magnitude larger. Cars are needed to get around at destinations. How do you propose we get around LA without a car? And if you think you are going to change that in the foreseeable future, you are delusional.


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2009 at 4:10 pm

"How do you propose we get around LA without a car?"

You could take the myriad of local bus, rapid bus, express bus, light rail and heavy rail options at your disposal at Los Angeles Union Station. You could also rent a car, have someone pick you up, or take a taxi, as people do now from airports. But you're going to have a hell of an easier time taking mass transit from a train station than an airport.


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2009 at 4:14 pm

"Since you clearly havent been following this for long, the original plan had a terminus in SJ VIA Oakland (as I stated above) and the much more workable Freight ROW."

What original plan? There was always this debate about what the final alignment to get into the Bay Area was going to be. On the maps of the proposed HSR system it was this patchwork pattern between the Bay Area and the Central Valley as a placeholder for a final alignment. There were many alternatives studied.

Web Link


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Here is the CHSRA's web site from mid-2000. Web Link

Check out the Route Map.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Spokker, when are you going to answer the core questions about cost-benefit and ridership analysis for the Peninsula stretch? Billions for 20 minutes?


Posted by Ben, a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Eric,

Instead of trying to be spoon fed, why don't you got to the CAHSRA web site and find it. It is there, you just need to do some reading. Enought spoon feeding!!


Posted by curious, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm

"How do you propose we get around LA without a car?"

"You could take the myriad of local bus, rapid bus, express bus, light rail and heavy rail options at your disposal at Los Angeles Union Station. "

Yeah, right. Well good luck to you, you might get to your destination after half a day.

"You could also rent a car,"
What about the global warming?? Oh yeah, you can an rent an "emission-free" electric car. That only requires generating power at a coal-fired plant in New Mexico, and then losing half the energy transmitting over the overloaded power grid to CA but everyone knows electric cars are green.

"light rail"

Speaking of this. How about we put in the HCR (high cost rail) when the load factor on the Santa Clara County light rail goes above 5%?


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2009 at 6:42 pm

"Spokker, when are you going to answer the core questions about cost-benefit and ridership analysis for the Peninsula stretch? Billions for 20 minutes?"

It's going to cost billions no matter where you put it.

"Yeah, right. Well good luck to you, you might get to your destination after half a day."

Where do you want to go?

"Speaking of this. How about we put in the HCR (high cost rail) when the load factor on the Santa Clara County light rail goes above 5%?"

Most light rail lines do significantly better than the one in San Jose.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Ben, are you joking? Have you been to their site? Its a marketing piece, nothing more. Many of their claims are intentionally deceptive (do you really think HSR will REDUCE traffic on 101 locally? Quite the opposite) If you or any of the other proponents of this boondoggle had answers, you'd be beating me over the head with them.

Spokker, I'm referring to the billions in ADDITIONAL cost for the unneeded Peninsula extension. Billions MORE for 20 minutes?


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2009 at 8:54 pm

eric, perhaps we should get on the same page. First, where do you ideally want HSR's Bay Area terminus and how do you want it to get there?


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2009 at 11:55 pm

um, how about the route that all the independant studies said would be cheaper and serve a larger population?


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2009 at 12:35 am

Okay, so what is that route? The Reason Foundation's Due Diligence Report gives CAHSR about 23 million riders in 2030. So moving the alignment to Altamont increases that by how much? Going straight up I-5 increases that by how much? What is the magic alignment that is going to make this thing wildly more successful than going through Pacheco and up the Peninsula?


Posted by Smart Growther, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 12, 2009 at 8:14 am

"we don't want HSR to cut our city in two,"

Apparently some council members are unaware of the existing set of Cal Train tracks that split our city. The HSR offers an improvement since it will pay to remove the at grade crossings on rengstorf and castro. Unclear to me how this will cause a further split in the city that doesn't already exist?


Posted by tricked by CHSRA, a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 12, 2009 at 8:49 am

Talk about intentionally deceptive. Has anyone taken a good look at the picture of the sleek HSR train speeding along it's route? I was looking at the one recently published in the local paper, connected with the article about MV's position regarding joining the rest of the cities' efforts in the HSR planning.I noticed that the electric wires above the tracks are blurred out and conveniently obscured by clouds. And the wall upon which the train glides is represented as just a few feet above ground. But the nifty engine and sleek train represented, gleaming in the sun. You guys are right--bait and switch! Let's see some renderings of what this will really look like cutting right through the middle of the Peninsula, ugly walls and wires and all the rest.


Posted by eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 12, 2009 at 11:41 am

spokker, if you havent read the studies, I'm not going to debate this with you


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