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California Governor Envisions Revitalized Cities Along Curtailed Rail Route

California Governor Gavin Newsom dropped a bombshell earlier this week by announcing that California's ambitious high-speed rail project would be pared down. He envisions the Central Valley segment as the spine of a resurgent urban region.
February 14, 2019, 1pm PST | Josh Stephens | @jrstephens310
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"With the self-consciously blunt, nearly Trumpian preface of 'let’s be real,' Newsom proclaimed that 'the project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long….there simply isn’t a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A.' Instead of building the statewide system, he lent his enthusiastic support to the completion of the 119-mile initial operating segment between Bakersfield and Madera, plus a little more to Merced."

"Without connections to Los Angeles and the Bay Area, the economic impacts may be limited, but planners can still hope for the psychological impacts to justify and motivate the type of redevelopment they envision. Newsom outlined a strategy for rail-based revitalization: 'We can align our economic and workforce development strategies, anchored by High-Speed Rail, and pair them with tools like opportunity zones, to form the backbone of a reinvigorated Central Valley economy.'"

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Published on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 in California Planning & Development Report
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