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View Poll Results: Should the US build or improve it's HSR network?
Yes 249 89.57%
No 29 10.43%
Voters: 278. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 16th, 2011, 12:16 PM   #2501
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Originally Posted by G5man View Post
We know $4.00 per gallon is the threshold before people start looking for alternatives.
Europe has a high car ownership (not so relevant) and usage (relevant) despite prices above $ 6,00/gallon for 2 decades - or more -. There might be other considerations in regard of high-speed rail, but cost of car mobility certainly should not be one one the most relevant, in the sense that good high-speed rail systems are meant to compete with air, sometimes with long distance buses, but not with driving.

In any case, I think people in CA needed to act together and lower the environmental restrictions and compensatory measures there, which place a large financial burden in the project. Now every valley city wants some tunneling instead of elevated tracks etc.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 07:45 PM   #2502
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Europe has a high car ownership (not so relevant) and usage (relevant) despite prices above $ 6,00/gallon for 2 decades - or more -. There might be other considerations in regard of high-speed rail, but cost of car mobility certainly should not be one one the most relevant, in the sense that good high-speed rail systems are meant to compete with air, sometimes with long distance buses, but not with driving.

In any case, I think people in CA needed to act together and lower the environmental restrictions and compensatory measures there, which place a large financial burden in the project. Now every valley city wants some tunneling instead of elevated tracks etc.
Europe is not North America , stop saying North Americans will adapt to higher gas prices... I hate the Europeans on this site who think they know whats best for the US / Canada , they don't and they should keep there opinions to there selfs.... Even though its a free board , alot of us North Americans feel this way , 6.00$ a gallon is very hurtful and doesn't have to be this way. The Oil Companies are corrupted and the Govt protects them.....
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Old May 16th, 2011, 08:10 PM   #2503
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I hate the Europeans on this site who think they know whats best for the US
lol


That's the way a teenager talks about his/her mom
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Old May 16th, 2011, 08:12 PM   #2504
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6.00$ a gallon is very hurtful and doesn't have to be this way. The Oil Companies are corrupted and the Govt protects them.....
So deal with that by not buying their oil as much. Drive cars that get good mileage. Take a train. Move away from oil products altogether. That's how you fight those corrupt companies.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 08:16 PM   #2505
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So deal with that by not buying their oil as much. Drive cars that get good mileage. Take a train. Move away from oil products altogether. That's how you fight those corrupt companies.
Thats easier said then done , when states like mine want to expand or restore there Railway network or Clean energy system. Southern states line up and block our funding , due to there Oil friends.
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Old May 16th, 2011, 09:11 PM   #2506
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Thats easier said then done , when states like mine want to expand or restore there Railway network or Clean energy system. Southern states line up and block our funding , due to there Oil friends.
lol then what are you blaming Europeans for?
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Old May 16th, 2011, 10:19 PM   #2507
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lol then what are you blaming Europeans for?
The ones on this forum , seem to think they know whats best for this country and they don't. Actually its more like a few members , not the Majority of this site...
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Old May 17th, 2011, 03:26 AM   #2508
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Originally Posted by Silly_Walks

lol then what are you blaming Europeans for?
For being so insensitive about the gas prices.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 04:52 AM   #2509
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California's high-speed train wreck

The state's plan to build a bullet train has become a monument to the ways poor planning, mismanagement and political interference can screw up major public works. We can do better.

California's much-vaunted high-speed rail project is, to put it bluntly, a train wreck. Intended to demonstrate the state's commitment to sustainable, cutting-edge transportation systems, and to show that the U.S. can build rail networks as sophisticated as those in Europe and Asia, it is instead a monument to the ways poor planning, mismanagement and political interference can screw up major public works. For anti-government conservatives, it is also a powerful argument for scrapping President Obama's national rail plans, rescinding federal funding and canceling the project before any more money is wasted on it.

We couldn't disagree more. We pointed out back in 2008, before voters approved nearly $10 billion in state bonds to fund the project under Proposition 1A, that it would be more expensive and difficult to build than its backers were letting on. But we endorsed it anyway because of the economic and environmental benefits the train could bring. The benefits still outweigh the costs, and none of the $43-billion project's troubles are insurmountable. Fortunately, a report last week from the state Legislative Analyst's Office offers strong recommendations for getting the system back on track.

The train's biggest problems can be laid at the feet of the High Speed Rail Authority, which is overseeing its construction. Inexperienced board members appointed by the governor and Legislature on the basis of political patronage rather than expertise have made a host of poor decisions. Not the least boneheaded of these is the board's plan to take a circuitous route from Los Angeles to Bakersfield by veering through Palmdale and Lancaster. Compared with the more direct route along Interstate 5 through the Grapevine, this would add 30 miles to the trip plus $1 billion in construction costs, and make it all but impossible for the train to meet its promised travel time of 2 hours and 40 minutes from L.A. to San Francisco. The legislative analyst calls for slashing the authority's proposed budget for next year by $185 million and eventually eliminating it, transferring the bullet train's oversight to another agency. We heartily agree.

Not all of the bad decisions can be blamed on the rail authority. To qualify for federal funds, planners had to agree to break ground by 2012. With political battles raging throughout the state over routing decisions, federal officials deemed that the only segment that would be ready for construction so quickly was in the sparsely populated Central Valley. As a result, the bulk of the $3.5 billion kicked in by the Obama administration must be spent on a train running between the tiny towns of Borden and Corcoran. Ridership on this initial segment would be slight, making it impossible to operate the train without taxpayer subsidies. Yet under the terms of Proposition 1A, the state can't issue bonds to pay for the project unless it has been demonstrated to be self-sufficient. What's more, if federal and other funds for further construction dry up, California could end up with an expensive train to nowhere.

The only practical way out of this mess is to follow the legislative analyst's advice and start over, renegotiating terms with the federal government and building the initial segment in a more populous area, such as between San Francisco and San Jose or between Los Angeles and Anaheim. That way, even if the rest of the line is never built, we'd still end up with a heavily used urban rail line. Such renegotiation could jeopardize federal funding and delay construction, but the needless haste created by Washington's arbitrary deadlines have resulted in mistakes that could be extremely costly.

Obama's inspiring vision of a nation crisscrossed by bullet trains, providing cleaner, safer and cheaper competition to airlines and reducing reliance on gas-guzzling automobiles, is in serious jeopardy as a new Republican majority in the House looks to slash his funding plans. In this environment, California is a test case for whether high-speed trains can succeed in the U.S. — and so far, the state is failing the test.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...,5409734.story
More evidence the people running this operation are a complete joke.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 05:01 AM   #2510
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But this shows, it's not HSR itself that is failing, it's politics as usual. We can't get past anything in this country or any state without it being a political issue. Screw the economic benefits, let me make a statement to __________. We've seen it in Wisconsin and Ohio. My sad excuse of a Governor in Florida ignored the fact that HSR would cost $0 to the taxpayers in this state to send a political message to Obama. And we're seeing it here.

High Speed Rail can be successful in this country, but at the end of the day, it's another target to use as a political weapon against the opposing party.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #2511
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Perhaps the real problem, apart from arguments about the route, is that politicians cannot or will not find the money to build the entire line between San Francisco and Los Angeles in one go. Because of this lack of will, planners are obliged to come up with some kind of backup plan for the first section so that it will still be useful if the rest of the high speed line is never built. A credible plan to use the first section for commuter rail if the rest is cancelled might encourage assembly members to vote for building the first section, but it might also be too credible and encourage them to cut their losses and abandon HSR once the first section is built.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 07:24 PM   #2512
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TampaMike View Post
But this shows, it's not HSR itself that is failing, it's politics as usual. We can't get past anything in this country or any state without it being a political issue. Screw the economic benefits, let me make a statement to __________. We've seen it in Wisconsin and Ohio. My sad excuse of a Governor in Florida ignored the fact that HSR would cost $0 to the taxpayers in this state to send a political message to Obama. And we're seeing it here.

High Speed Rail can be successful in this country, but at the end of the day, it's another target to use as a political weapon against the opposing party.
I agree. It is not HSR as a technology that is a problem. It is that there are vested interests opposed to this project and are determined to see it fail. These vested are in the form of oil, highway contractors and auto lobbies, conservative think tanks (anything done by the govt is socialist and anti-american types) and NIMBYs.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 08:46 PM   #2513
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I agree. It is not HSR as a technology that is a problem. It is that there are vested interests opposed to this project and are determined to see it fail. These vested are in the form of oil, highway contractors and auto lobbies, conservative think tanks (anything done by the govt is socialist and anti-american types) and NIMBYs.
You make it out as anyone against this is somehow bad and conspiratorial. How about those of us who just have a real problem with the Government borrowing all of the money to do this. I'm pretty Conservative by nature but even I see the benefits of this type of transportation (in two very specific areas, Cali and NEC) but I cannot support the Government expenditure when we are already at our (phantom and silly) debt ceiling. If this was fiscal 1999 or 2000 and there was enough actual money in the treasury to do this I'd be for it as an infrastructure enhancement (again, only in Cali and the NEC) but right now the Federal Government needs to shrink, not branch out into something else.

Waiting patiently for Hoosier and his friends to tell me that all we have to do is halve the military and tax those God-aweful rich people.....
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Old May 17th, 2011, 09:11 PM   #2514
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I think what he is saying is that we need to adjust our transportation policy priorities such as stopping roadway expansions and focus on maintaining the Interstates, fixing structurally deficient bridges, etc. Redirect funding to rail instead of placing all into the pot of highways. There is not much of a point in expanding something that will not be used in the future.

My only thing I want to have happen is more people use public transportation for their commutes and daily tasks such as shopping for groceries. That would reduce the number of auto trips, reducing volumes. On the weekend, most people drive with someone else, reducing volumes from single-occupancy vehicles which I do not find an issue with.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 09:16 PM   #2515
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Originally Posted by Gag Halfrunt View Post
Perhaps the real problem, apart from arguments about the route, is that politicians cannot or will not find the money to build the entire line between San Francisco and Los Angeles in one go. Because of this lack of will, planners are obliged to come up with some kind of backup plan for the first section so that it will still be useful if the rest of the high speed line is never built. A credible plan to use the first section for commuter rail if the rest is cancelled might encourage assembly members to vote for building the first section, but it might also be too credible and encourage them to cut their losses and abandon HSR once the first section is built.
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Originally Posted by Smooth Indian View Post
I agree. It is not HSR as a technology that is a problem. It is that there are vested interests opposed to this project and are determined to see it fail. These vested are in the form of oil, highway contractors and auto lobbies, conservative think tanks (anything done by the govt is socialist and anti-american types) and NIMBYs.
LMAO. The posted editorial had nothing to do with conservatives. I like how people like to blame every negative article written about high speed rail on the right. That game is just plain old. Not everyone has an agenda against public transit or government or high speed rail in general. I think high speed rail would be a welcome addition in some regions. But just because people think California's high speed rail is a complete disaster doesn't mean they're politically-motivated, agenda-driven pro-oil auto lobbies. Give me a break.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 10:00 PM   #2516
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Originally Posted by FlyFish View Post
You make it out as anyone against this is somehow bad and conspiratorial. How about those of us who just have a real problem with the Government borrowing all of the money to do this. I'm pretty Conservative by nature but even I see the benefits of this type of transportation (in two very specific areas, Cali and NEC) but I cannot support the Government expenditure when we are already at our (phantom and silly) debt ceiling. If this was fiscal 1999 or 2000 and there was enough actual money in the treasury to do this I'd be for it as an infrastructure enhancement (again, only in Cali and the NEC) but right now the Federal Government needs to shrink, not branch out into something else.

Waiting patiently for Hoosier and his friends to tell me that all we have to do is halve the military and tax those God-aweful rich people.....
In most cases (if not all) the opposition is actually conspiratorial. Also one should not forget that HSR is a direct revenue getting undertaking (revenue from passengers)unlike roads where it is mostly through taxes. Of course while spending money when the country is in debt is always a tricky issue, but the money spend is ultimately an investment and if an organization or a country has is in a tricky situation (like the US in in) it should not lose sight of investment that can help in the future.
And why do you want to bring the military and rich people into this?
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Old May 17th, 2011, 10:17 PM   #2517
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LMAO. The posted editorial had nothing to do with conservatives. I like how people like to blame every negative article written about high speed rail on the right. That game is just plain old. Not everyone has an agenda against public transit or government or high speed rail in general. I think high speed rail would be a welcome addition in some regions. But just because people think California's high speed rail is a complete disaster doesn't mean they're politically-motivated, agenda-driven pro-oil auto lobbies. Give me a break.
I don't think I blamed the article on the conservatives. Although, it is possible some of them may be behind it. And yes a lot of the opposition to HSR is actually politically motivated and agenda driven. The article as I read it describes the supposed "mismanagement" of the HSR plan in Cali. As 'Tampamike' pointed some of the changes made by planners were due to politicians playing hide and seek with the funding and other populist issues. And this gives the impression that there is widespread mismanagement and incompetence amongst the project planners (the CHSRA is not perfect). These fallout issues are being cited as proof that somehow HSR itself is a faulty technology/undertaking and to further to demagogue the public against it.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 10:41 PM   #2518
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These fallout issues are being cited as proof that somehow HSR itself is a faulty technology/undertaking and to further to demagogue the public against it.
The article didn't state or imply anything of the sort. We don't have a problem with the technology, we have a problem with starting it in the middle of nowhere when funds could easily dry up.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 10:56 PM   #2519
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The article didn't state or imply anything of the sort. We don't have a problem with the technology, we have a problem with starting it in the middle of nowhere when funds could easily dry up.
It is not the article that does that but others opposed to the project who are doing that or will do it.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 11:07 PM   #2520
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It is not the article that does that but others opposed to the project who are doing that or will do it.
Whatever, you can keep bringing up politics, but I personally don't really care about the politics of it. But it should be done right. California is already a national laughingstock. This train to nowhere would take it to another level.
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