Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Alas More Funds for The Cal High Speed Rail, But Will it Stop in Palmdale?

In 2008 voters approved nearly $10 billion in state bonds to fund the Cal High Speed Rail project under Proposition 1A and now this past month Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood took Florida’s $2 billion and gave it to 15 states and Amtrak. Florida’s new governor and legislator rejected their high speed rail, California gets a new $300 million which will be used to continue laying the groundwork for the nation’s first 220 mph high speed rail system in the state. The initial plan according to federal and Rail officials would be to run along the Central Valley as it would be the least expensive to begin. This is an essential part of the Obama Administrations proposed shovel ready projects. Thus the lion’s share of the $3.5 billion provided by the Obama administration must be spent on the rail line running between the tiny towns of Borden and Corcoran, Ca. Borden is outside of Merced and Corcoran is next to nowhere and is best known for its prison.
This can be chalked up to California’s continual poor planning as the CalHighSpeedRail Authority indicated earlier that there will be no ridership on the first phase. We believe they guarantee that with starting in sparsely populated Borden and Corcoran. Another issue that bogs the speedy trains is the disagreement with running the train from Bakersfield to Los Angeles via Lancaster and Palmdale Ca. Many including the LA Times writers want the direct route via Hwy 5 through the grapevine. They indicate it will save $1billion, and 30 miles. Yet, isn’t the trains objective to carry passengers? Bypassing Palmdale would eliminate potentially 700 thousand potential riders in Palmdale, Lancaster and Victorville. If the train is not potentially a commuter train, then why build it in urban areas like San Diego, LA, and San Jose, or it is only a train to compete with SouthWest airlines?
The final southern route into LA County will be debated, but there looks to be plenty of new opportunities along Hwy 99 as the White House and Governor Brown administration will not stand in the way of this moving train. Will it be a sign of more government waste by Democratic administrations, or a future jewel of the West U.S. Most land along Hwy 99 is farmland as we have been saying all along the farmers are the best long term land bankers over time. Check out our land along the future potential route in Lancaster Ca. via so you can be a land banker too.

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