Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
High Speed Rail

Gabbard: High Speed Rail Route, Business Plan, Deserve a Chance

As a long-time observer of the California high speed rail project who advocated in favor of the 2008 bond, to me one interesting recent trend is that the original hotbed of support (the Central Valley) of late has become much more skeptical and critical. Some of that is due to the dynamics of large projects -- early on excitement holds sway whereas when construction begins to approach folks begin to confront the downside impacts of such ventures, causing a backlash. And frankly, until recently, I think it can be fairly said the Authority's outreach and handling of politically sensitive aspects has been less than stellar.

I am well aware a lot of folks are having serious sticker shock about this project. But the improved business plan seems to be attacked for merely doing what critics have long asked for -- provide realistic estimates of costs, ridership and the likely timing of private investment. Plus many cities are reeling from the technology's attributes resulting in many towns being impacted without the benefit of having a station.

All that said, I am not big on second guessing the authority unlike many other rail activists. Having the first segment in the Central Valley seems a reasonable approach, especially since it is a condition of the federal funding they have been awarded. And after many convulsions this latest news of a preferred route seems to auger the project getting back on track with support from those to be most effected.

I am not unaware this is just one step in a lengthy process. And that there are many more obstacles ahead. But I think those predicting loudly of late the bullet train is on life support are being premature.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

L.A. Street Vendors Celebrate Removal of No-Vending Restrictions in Huge Win Against City

The victory is the product of a decade-plus-long battle to legalize sidewalk vending on our city streets

July 23, 2024

This Week In Livable Streets

East L.A. Food Bicycle Tour #3, Metro/Caltrans 91 freeway expansion, Metro board meeting, C Line delays, Metro East Valley light rail, and the Citywide Housing Incentive Program Ordinance

July 22, 2024

Metro and Caltrans Expect to Complete Torrance 405 Freeway Widening Project Next Month

Metro and Caltrans are adding nearly two miles of new auxiliary freeway lanes, a new on-ramp, and widening adjacent streets including Crenshaw Boulevard and 182nd Street

July 19, 2024
See all posts