CA High Speed Rail (HSR) Dollars Being Contended For

by on November 10, 2011

in consumer

High Speed Rail TrainWith California’s High Speed Rail (HSR) debacle straggling along, there’s a fair chance they could be losing monies that was going to be slated for them.

Of course, as it stands, voters who didn’t read the entire proposition voted in the High Speed Rail Project, back then touted with a $10B bill, has now hit new estimates of upwards of $99B.† Nice sales pitch on the proposition.† If anything, this sad fight for our future says we need to read our voter pamphlets.† The whole thing!

But as it stands, Union Pacific chimed in a few weeks ago, sounding like they weren’t going to play ball with the HSR project… and rightfully so.† (It’s up to them to grant passage rights or not.)† And the worst possible aspect is starting to raise its head….

The HSR committee doesn’t know where they’re going to get most of this money they need, so they’re only going to build, at one section at a time.

The federal government has pointed just over $3B to the project, with the disclaimer that construction has to start next year.† So to make sure they get the money, the HSR project will start building their highly technological new transportation avenue in the Central Valley of CA, from Borden to Corcoran.

[Crickets]

As far as I can tell, if they’re allowed to actually take the $3B and apply it to two points in the state with the absolute lowest impact of usefulness to anyone, I have raise an eyebrow and wonder how they’re allowed to commit this act of waste.

HSR in Central Valley, CA

California High Speed Rail in the Central Valley

Going nowhere, real fast?

All I see is a future ghost town or ghost project that will become an eyesore if the HSE gang does not figure it out.

In the meantime,† the feasibility of the CA HSR plan is being looked at and the House Transportation Committee is going to review of the monies slated for CA could possibly be used for a Boston/Washington connector instead.

I’m all for high speed rail, and the premise it represents.† It’s been done in other parts of the world, (T?kaid?ís Main Line, France’s Paris to Lyon line) so why not here?† Well, when it was first announced, the CSHRA came at citizens as if they were going to plow them over and do what the will, rather than work with them.

Stunts like Rod Diridon telling people it was a done deal because the HSRA didnít need any input from local cities because they already decided how the tracks will run through the Peninsula.† Or Quentin Kopp blowing off citizen concerns as if they didn’t matter definitely didn’t help.† Both taking place when lawsuits from Palo Alto and Menlo Park were flying high.

And if we were going to drop that kind of money, which, the first initial reassessment had put the bill at twice of CA’s deficit, why couldn’t we pay off the deficit and move forward productively instead?

I know it’s complicated and one hand not knowing anything about what the other hand is doing and all, but someone has to step up and pull it all together, for the sake of the state.

At least that’s how it feels from behind this keyboard… but hey, I don’t know all the ins and outs going on in the background.† I’m just one voice, wondering out-loud, what’s up with the California High Speed Rail Project?

[Bottom of article, huge list of HSR based links]

[Inspiration/source: 11/10/11 Palo Alto Daily News, pg 3]

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