Paper Approves HSR Plan; Columnist Has Doubts

The editorial board of The Sacramento Bee was pleased with the new business plan of the HSR Authority, especially its new focus on improving commuter rail, while its premier columnist, Dan Walters, continues to see the project as unnecessary.

2 minute read

November 4, 2011, 9:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid


The High Speed Rail Authority released their long-awaited new business plan on Nov. 1 to a skeptical crowd at the Sacramento Rail Museum. But the increased costs, revised time-line, and new focus on improving commuter rail on shared tracks won the praise of many, including skeptics, who continue to have doubts.

"The latest business plan from the California High-Speed Rail Authority will not change the minds of long-time critics – there's still too much unknown about this major infrastructure project that will take decades to complete. But it should provide comfort to those who do believe that rail should be a part of California's 21st-century transportation network.

The new plan is much more explicit about tying the system together with existing commuter and intercity rail systems, promising "connections at all new high-speed rail stations to existing regional and local transit systems." In particular, the new plan calls for getting spending under way quickly using $950 million set aside by voters in Proposition 1A for regional and local rail improvements."

From Dan Walters: High-speed California choo-choo slows down: "Whether a 200-mph bullet train is a rational approach to California's transportation issues is still problematic, since local rush- hour congestion is the biggest problem. But at least the newly revised plan scales back the pie-in-the-sky ridership figures that the CHSRA was peddling, but no one was buying."

From Sacramento Bee: California's high-speed rail backers take steps to quiet critics: The revised figures drew praise from a key legislator.

"Sen. Alan Lowenthal, the Long Beach Democrat who chairs the Senate select committee on high-speed rail, said the regional approach is a "major step forward" for the agency."

"I think up until now we've been on kind of a collision course, the Legislature and the High-Speed Rail Authority, because I don't think the High-Speed Rail Authority felt any reason to have to respond to any of our issues unless they were forced to do it," Lowenthal said. "At least now I think there's an attitude of trying to work with us. We will see what that translates into, but I think it's a great first step."

Thanks to One Bay Area

Thursday, November 3, 2011 in The Sacramento Bee - Opinion

View of Mount Hood at golden hour with Happy Valley, Oregon homes in foreground.

Clackamas County Votes to Allow ADUs, Residential RVs

County officials hope the zoning changes will help boost the housing supply in the region.

June 18, 2024 - Mountain Times

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Aerial view of intersection in New York City with yellow cabs and zebra crosswalks.

Planners’ Complicity in Excessive Traffic Deaths

Professor Wes Marshall’s provocatively-titled new book, "Killed by a Traffic Engineer," has stimulated fierce debates. Are his criticisms justified? Let’s examine the degree that traffic engineers contribute to avoidable traffic deaths.

June 13, 2024 - Todd Litman

View of Palos Verdes Drive along Pacific Ocean in Palos Verdes, California at sunset.

Erosion Threatens SoCal Road, Lloyd Wright Icon

The city of Palos Verdes is closing parts of a roadway to cyclists, citing safety concerns as the land underneath moves between 7 and 12 inches per week.

June 23 - Daily Breeze

Faded image of vacant storefront in rural area with American flag stars painteind on windows.

COVID Isn’t to Blame for the Retail Vacancy Crisis

A drop in demand for retail space began well before the seismic shifts of the pandemic.

June 23 - Slate

Heavy New York City traffic headed toward Holland Tunnel in Manhattan.

Judge Rules in Favor of MTA in Congestion Pricing Suit

Advocates of the program are calling on Gov. Hochul to reinstate the program in light of the decision.

June 23 - StreetsBlog NYC

City Planner I

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner II

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner Supervisor

Department of Housing and Community Development

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.