Monday, June 10, 2013

Your California High-Speed Choo-Choo Update

Alternate headline: It's Come to This

A week and a half ago, B-Daddy of The Liberator Today alerted us to the latest goings on with respect to the legal wranglings of California's $68 billion (ha!) high speed choo-choo project.

A Sacramento County Superior Court judge is scheduled to hear arguments in a lawsuit that claims the project doesn’t comply with a statewide ballot measure approving $9.9 billion in bonds for the systems.

. . . Former Sen. Quentin Kopp, involved in planning high-speed rail since 1992, states in an expert declaration in the case that the so-called “blended” system forcing the bullet train and standard rail to share tracks from San Francisco to San Jose is not genuine high-speed rail.

The practical concern here is that using conventional tracks (non-high speed) would increase the travel time between Los Angeles and San Francisco over the advertised time of 2 hours and 45 minutes. For those of you in Placentia, California who are scratching your head thinking why this is such a big deal as one can jump on a commuter plane and accomplish the same feat in about 45 minutes have reached just one conclusion as to how colossal a clusterfark this has become.

The use of conventional tracks is just one legal matter facing California's high-speed choo-choos. Folks in the Central Valley are bringing suit against the Railroad Commission because they don't have all their funding and environmental approvals in place prior to construction.

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

The project faces several potential pitfalls, including technical reviews and legal challenges that could halt progress. Last week, attorneys for a farmer, rural homeowner and Kings County told a judge the authority is breaking its promise to voters who five years ago approved $9.9 billion in bonds to help fund the bullet train.

The case alleges the high-speed system violates several aspects of Proposition 1A, including requirements that the state have all funding and environmental approvals in place for an initial phase before starting construction. Lawyers representing the authority countered that the ballot measure’s provisions applied only to the promises bullet-train officials made to state lawmakers, not the voters.

(italics, ours)

You make me promises, promises... why do I believe...

There you have it, gang. The level of respect your betters in Sacramento have for you and the degree of honesty that is being practiced with high-speed choo-choos summed up in a single sentence.


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K T Cat said...

If this were the 1890s, tracks would have been laid and trains would already be running. The only studies would have been to determine the best route and how much dynamite to buy to cut through the mountains.

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