By Steve Levy
The HSR DecisionUploaded: Feb 13, 2019
I was a consultant on the first HSR study in 1998. And I voted against thew bond.
BUT times have changed and i think the Governor's decision got a couple of things right and made a huge mistake. This blog is about the mistake I think was made.
The system has several pieces as originally envisioned.
--Within the San Joaquin Valley
--From the Valley to San Jose
--From San Jose to San Francisco
--From Bakersfield into Southern California
--From the Valley up to Sacramento.
I agree with dropping the SJ to SF routes thought we still must deal with grade separation for CalTrain.
I can leave the Valley to SoCal and Sacramento to later. I think Valley to Valley ridership will be low but I suggest a new ridership study peer reviewed.
The mistake is dropping the Fresno/Maders to San Jose route.
It is the Valley/SJ connection that most helps people seeking low cost housing and non car commuting options to Bay Area jobs.
And that same connection is the best shot for improving the economy in places like Fresno.
The Valley to SJ route is one piece of addressing the Bay Area worker shortage driven in part by high housing prices and soon by surging retirements.
Much as I want more housing at all income levels to be built in the region, I respect the right of people to seek loss expensive single family housing adjacent to the region, especially if they can at the same time avoid the car commute.