Today’s Headlines

  • Crashes Involving Pedestrians “Have Skyrocketed” on Van Ness Ave (SF Examiner)
  • Chronicle Offers More Coverage on Efforts to Solve Caltrain’s Funding Crisis (SF Gate)
  • Infrastructurist: “Hating on the California High-Speed Rail Haters”
  • T4A Blog Corrects Media Coverage Blaming Pedestrians for Rise in Ped Deaths
  • L.A. Mayor “Pitches Transit Projects to New Members of Congress” (LA Times)
  • Jerry Brown’s Redevelopment Proposal “Rich with Small Ironies” (Calwatch)
  • Six Reasons Free Parking Is a Bad Idea (Grist via Sblog LA)
  • Muni Working on Long-Term Solution for Noisy N-Judah Trains (Muni Diaries)
  • Intercity Buses “Fastest Growing Transportation Mode” (Infrastructurist)
  • Redding Gets Low Walkability Score But Some Improvements Being Made (Record Searchlight)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • CACuzcatlan

    I hope Villaraigosa stays as LA mayor instead of trying to move to a higher spot in CA politics. He’s so pro-transit in a city that has long since fallen behind in that area. I could eventually see myself moving back to LA in 20 years if all the planned/studied transit projects get built.

  • The Infrastructurist piece you link is nothing but the usual pro-train blather that avoids the fatal financial flaws in the California HSR project. For a thorough analysis, see this report on CHSR:

    The SPUR report referenced by The Infrastructurist is a hollow, pro-development approach to HSR that doesn’t address the financial problem.

    The problem with CHSR is that it was a fraud from the beginning, since it was only sold to state voters because by law it won’t be subsidized by taxpayers. That makes the $10 billion in bonds authorized in 2008 unmarketable. Not a single investor is likely to invest in CHSR since it will never make any money. In fact it won’t even get enough money to get built in the first place. Just because trains aren’t cars doesn’t mean they make enconomic sense.

    Take a look at the financing of CHSR:

    Federal Grants $17-19 billion
    State Grants (actually Prop. 1A bonds) $9.95 billion
    Local Grants $4-5 billion
    Private Debt or Equity Funding $10-12 billion

    The Feds have chipped in a few billion already, but does anybody really think they are going to give CHSR $19 billion? Not going to happen.

    The other sources are even shakier. As I pointed out, the state bonds are unmarketable without state guarantees—that is, subsidies—which are prohibited by the HSR measure passed by state voters in 2008.

    Can anyone really think that cities and counties are going to invest $4-5 billion in a statewide rail system when they are all swimming in red ink?

    Tally it up: limited future Federal money, state bonds that private investors won’t buy, no money from cities and counties, and no private investment without government guarantees that are in fact illegal under the proposition passed by the voters.

  • Hit and run with injury leaves no one injured

  • Wow, an anti-rail comment from Rob Anderson! Didn’t Rob claim to be car-free? I wonder how this guy gets around if he hates bicycles and trains. Does he ever leave his neighborhood?

  • Alex

    John: Maybe he’s got two feet and can use them. Maybe takes the bus. It is really amazing how someone could get around without a train AND a bicycle. lol.

    In other news, I’m SHOCKED. Absolutely STUNNED that Streetsblog didn’t cover this bicycle vs automobile accident:

    Could it be that accidents where the bicycle rider was being reckless just don’t make for good news? lawl.

  • What’s a little surprising is how the anti-car folks have adopted high-speed rail as a Good Thing. Look at the numbers I supplied earlier in the thread and tell me how this system is going to be built in California.

  • Churt

    Rob actually makes a really strong point. HSR is far from a magic bullet…train. All bad blood and bad puns aside, considering the arguments against HSR in addition to its possible benefits is a wise move for anyone concerned with transportation infrastructure or finance.

  • The important point to consider about the CHSR system approved by voters in 2008: the proposition and the legislation forbid any public tax money to subsidize its operating expenses. Even assuming enough money is raised to even build the system—a rash assumption—it will never make any money and the state of California cannot pay to operate it. CHSR is already a dead man walking. It just hasn’t fallen over yet.