Peter Calthorpe's Impassioned Argument for High Speed Rail

Architect Peter Calthorpe lays out a forceful argument for the lower costs and higher benefits of constructing high speed rail versus expanded highways to serve the state's growing population and economic development.
January 10, 2012, 6am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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According to Calthorpe, "California's 520-mile-long high-speed rail would connect north and south for half the dollars that otherwise would be needed for highway expansion and new airport facilities. More significantly, it would become a catalyst for urban renewal, enhance local transit systems and generate market-wise development opportunities."

Perhaps most significant for the health of the environment and the state's residents, "In the transit-oriented development future, average vehicle miles traveled per household would be reduced 40 percent, the equivalent of taking 18.6 million cars off the road. There would be fewer roads and parking lots built, less runoff water to be cleaned and stored...Less driving means less air pollution and less associated respiratory diseases. More walking means healthier bodies and less obesity, affecting health costs.

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Published on Thursday, January 5, 2012 in San Francisco Chronicle
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