This Week’s Mtg: California’s Transportation Solutions

This was Chris’ idea.  Unfortunately, he can’t attend, and I know little about transportation policy.  Still, since the state’s government remains paralyzed as our infrastructure continues to rot, Thursday presents a good opportunity to (1) introduce us to our under-appreciated transportation problems, and (2) discuss the state’s future in general, especially in light of Governor Brown’s desperate effort to ask the public to vote in June on how to balance the budget. 

I’m not going to prepare anything this week, except for a 5-minute issue introduction thing.   

LINKS —  

  • 2-pager on what CA’s transportation systems look like.
  • 6-pager on proposed transportation solutions, from a think tank.
  • A bit about the proposed California 700-mile high-speed rail (HSR) network.
  • An op-ed supporting building the HSR, and criticizing the media’s coverage of the issue.
  • UPDATE:  See Chris’s comment to this post for some more links, including one critical of high speed rail as a solution to CA’s problems.

RELATED LINKS —

  • 4-page summary of a report on preparing California’s for the next 25 years.  It tries to be polite, but says basically that, unless voters grow more willing to pay for our future needs for educational, transportation,and other public goods, the state’s future will be grim. 
  • I’ll summarize Governor Brown’s proposal in my intro.  Much more detail than I’ll give can be found here.
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2 responses

  1. A primer on the drawbacks of High-Speed Rail:

    Let me say that while I love trains, I think it’s highly, highly unlikely that they’re the solution to our transport problems nowadays.

    In San Diego specifically, there’s been lots of conflict about various options.

    Express busses may finally be coming to San Diego (I rode the 101 the other day and it took 2 hours to get what I can normally do in 25 minutes), but there are complaints about where they won’t be going: http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/survival/article_b1c511a0-3015-11e0-8e6c-001cc4c002e0.html

    A personal issue near and dear to me: the lack of bike lanes in San Diego and the competition for parking spaces (it’s every biker’s fear that 5 feet in front of you a car door swings open) http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/this_just_in/article_23e13d5e-17ac-11e0-8a5c-001cc4c002e0.html

    If you’ve ever tried to bike in the “bike lanes,” you’ll realize they’re just glorified death traps with even more bumps and potholes. Stop signs placed everywhere, ostensibly to slow down cars, also make life miserable for bikers. Basically, nothing’s designed with bikes in mind, even the commute between the grad housing at UCSD and the main campus, which gets at least several hundred commuters a day (including myself).

    More info about San Diego’s 2050 plan for transportation solutions http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/survival/article_aad9a15a-13b7-11e0-94f0-001cc4c002e0.html

    And of course it wouldn’t be a govt. project without random execs pulling down massive salaries: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/feb/08/caltrain-ceo-is-highest-paid-transit-boss-in-calif/

  2. James Zimmerman | Reply

    I can only hope you’re wrong. I’m preparing to drive to San Francisco–9 hrs.
    Wouldn’t it be nice to do it in two or three?
    Of course, I could fly. But could I fly to Bakersfield, Fresno or Stockton if I
    were going there? Or what about all those small towns in between?
    You’re certainly right about bike lanes; around here, they don’t even understand what they are.

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