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January 17, 2018


Bruce Dickinson

Guys, it doesn't take Bruce Dickinson to tell you that as others mentioned, no thinking person really believed that this runaway train would cost only $65 billion dollars. Just the segment in the central valley is running almost 50% above the initial projection. Then when you stop and think about it, the HSR cost estimates made in 2009 (and revised downward!), at the depths of the real estate recession. Bay Area land prices are up 40% from these levels, and when you consider the value of the economic activity of business endeavors (that makes developed real estate even more valuable to businesses), as well as the fact that the consultants (hired guns of HSR) are probably not being aggressive enough in their estimates given their history of convenient understatement, you are probably looking at Bay Area HSR cost overruns of 2x-3x in today's dollars!

In the meantime, the value of public transportation, including rail infrastructure is actually going down given the vast amount of resources that are being shifted into driverless vehicle technology. In a driverless vehicle world, not only will people not have to take public transportation as much, but sharing the cost of a vehicle with others given that vehicles today are not driven 95% of the time will become commonplace. Having fractional ownership of vehicles (or just owning fewer vehicles per family) will free up tremendous resources and costs associated with owning vehicles today.

This HSR concept will be 30 years too late and $200 billion too short!

Peter Garrison

Why does HSR continue to exist? If it is because of some vested interests, then I imagine most could be shifted to building damns, reservoirs, and fixing potholes...

Steve Kassel

It's time to kill the program entirely.


This HSR is so large, in every single way, there is not, or ever been the ability of Citizens of California to stop HSR.
Nobody knows anyone connected with this "program."
I hate to believe this is an "X-Files," event. However, this project has been going forward regardless of complaints, and inquire into who is "Backing" HSR, as well as names, and Financial Institutions.
Unfortunately, political party affiliations have become a "touch stone," as well.
The only reason we,as a nation are faced with "Hundreds" of "Small BS" events, is due to the FACT that NOBODY CARES.
You get what you pay for.


If this isn't the solution can we brainstorm on the best way to move an increasing population of people between major metropolitan areas of California?

-Build more airports?
-Increase capacity of highways?
-Cruise ships?

Question authority...

I believe that the future of transit across California is stronger in self driving, electric cars than HSR that no one needs.

We have this illegal (we didn't vote for this project) HSR project due to the fallacies of direct democracy.

Direct democracy does not work well, when a small fraction of citizens show up to vote, and when they do many couldn't pass a basic test about the issues at hand with each vote.

At the heart of our local community and greater country's health is to preserve and promote free speech and debate to help to push the issues in front of each citizen, and to improve their engagement and coherent voting.

In California and locally in the Peninsula, there's a 'super majority' of one political party whose minions strongly discourage free speech and debate from their majority views.

The result is arrogant disasters like Leland Yee and other convicted and unconvicted felons in our midst that run our communities, formally or informally.

At that intersection of corrupt politicians and crony construction companies and labor unions is where the seat of High Speed Rail lies.

HSR makes much more sense for very dense population like in Japan, parts of Europe and maybe on the East Coast of the US. HSR has never penciled in California.

I'd like to see quotas for city council seats, the state senate or other arenas whereby if the citizens of Burlingame are 35% registered Republicans, then 35% of the council seats are for Republican candidates, and then the citizens vote for which candidates will fill those seats. Or, perhaps no less than 1/2 of the registered voters for any given party. This would encourage better debate of issues and stop party line voting.

I'd encourage all citizens to vote for anyone - BUT NOT Gavin Newsom. Gavin not only supports HSR and other crony capitalism projects, but he is of the same ilk as Leland Yee.

Peter Garrison

Mr. Gavin was originally in favor of getting rid of high-speed rail. He has changed his mind and is now in favor of high-speed rail.

I’m going to vote for John Chiang the state treasurer – he knows something about money.


This may not belong here, but I trust Joe or Russ will move it around to where it "fits". Thanks in advance-- this is progress, I think.


San Mateo officials lobby in D.C.
City seeks support for sewer infrastructure and to reduce train noise
By Samantha Weigel Daily Journal staff 7 hrs ago 0

"A delegation of San Mateo city officials ventured to Washington, D.C., last week as they sought federal buy-in on local projects including an overhaul of its wastewater treatment plant and efforts to reduce train noise along the Caltrain corridor...."

Like many other communities through which Caltrain runs along the spine of the Peninsula, San Mateo is interested in pursuing improvements to create “quiet zones” at some of its crossings. Currently, passenger and freight trains are required to blast their horns to alert of their arrival at all hours of the day and night. But with homes long located along the corridor and transit-oriented developments increasing density near the tracks, there’s a push for that to change. Caltrain is also nearing electrification and high-speed rail officials are hoping to run more trains along the tracks prompting a number of cities to seek approval for quiet zones.

Meeting with federal officials offered an opportunity to learn more about various standard and non-standard improvement options that could be implemented to create quiet zones, Underwood said.

With 11 crossings across San Mateo and train horns sounding thousands of times a month, Papan noted it’s a pertinent quality of life issue for residents. While enhancements are costly and the city will have to find funding partners, she expressed optimism in a path forward.

“What we learned is they’re very willing to work with communities. It’s going to take money, but they’re willing to work with us,” Papan said. “The [regulations] are nationally based and that doesn’t necessarily take into account the nuances of a suburban area. … But regs aren’t going to change any time soon, so we’ll have to figure out how to comply and create a quiet zone.”

"...City and transit officials are expected to partner in considering a range of safety improvements that would earn federal approval to lift requirements conductors sound their horn at crossings. Traditional options might be quad gates while other non-standard possibilities are different safety enhancements along the street, Underwood explained.


San Jose Mercury News says it is time to kill high-speed rail but never gets around to endorsing any candidates for state office that would do that. Such hypocrites.



Very heartened to see Jennifer's post about San Mateo officials meeting with the FRA in Washington about train noise, particularly those friggin' freight trains. Would be great if Burlingame and other Peninsula city governments could work together with San Mateo and apply pressure in a concerted and coordinated way to address this issue. I know it's been discussed, but this is the first I've heard of a F2F meeting. It really is a quality of life issue for tens of thousands of residents along the Caltrain corridor trying to get a good night's sleep. Thanks for posting Jennifer!

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