Suggestions for a stripped-down high-speed rail project (Bakersfield Californian)
With the state’s bullet train project still trying to secure funds for the $43-billion route between Anaheim and San Francisco, some new ideas are emerging to overhaul the project to make it less expensive and more likely to actually get built. The Bay Area Council, a regional chamber of commerce, is proposing running the tracks mostly along existing freeways — specifically the 580 in the Bay Area and the 5 the rest of the way — to shorten the route and to prevent the expense of having to build new tracks through rich farmland on the eastern side of the San Joaquin Valley. With funding a big problem for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, it’s likely that more proposals will come forth about rewriting state law concerning the bond. Of course, such a rewrite may also require going back to voters for re-approval of the bond that passed with a slim majority in 2008.
Deep below Park Avenue, a monster at rest (New York Times)
The giant cutter end of the tunnel boring machine used to dig new Long Island Railroad tunnels to Grand Central Station in New York won’t be seeing the light of day again. The Spanish contractor who did the work has decided it’s cheaper and more practical to leave the giant cutter — it created the new 22-foot diameter tunnels — entombed in concrete, 14 stories below Park Avenue. It will be interesting to see what the apes, or the humans running from them, do with it when they discover it one day in the future.
Interview with Zev Yaroslavsky (L.A. Streetsblog)
A thorough two-part interview on transpo issues with the long-time county supervisor and Metro Board member that is well worth reading. A few interesting points:
•Yaroslavsky says that he believes that rail is the most appropriate form of transit for the Sepulveda Pass project to connect the San Fernando Valley to the Westside that is partially funded by Measure R. Note: Metro’s planning for the project has yet to begin.
•He also says that should the Westside Subway Extension need to tunnel under Beverly Hills High School property, Metro officials can accommodate future building plans for the school — but that school officials have yet to provide any such plans to Metro.
•I also thought it interesting to hear Yaroslavsky talk about the need in the future for some transit projects that were not included in the Measure R plan. Among those: a subway through West Hollywood, which I also think would be a tremendous project with high ridership.
Here’s the link to part two of the interview.