Friday, December 02, 2011

Road Trip with Tim and the kids

The Bay Guardian's Tim Redmond drove to L.A. for Thanksgiving:

I want to take a few Republicans on a road trip. A few days after the GOP-led Congress cut off funding for high-speed rail in California, I drove to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. I wish the critics of the project were with me in the car, with two kids fighting in the back seat, constant traffic delays, and about as unpleasant an automobile excursion as you can imagine.

It sounds like a set-up for one of those National Lampoon "vacation" movies: a progressive goes on the road with his out-of-control kids, his ponytail quivering with indignation at the shortcomings of our transportation system. Why isn't there a deux ex machina like high-speed rail to make the trip easy for him?

It's typical that Redmond's editorial is completely fact-free. Like Mayor Lee, SPUR, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feintein, the Democratic Party, and President Obama, he's apparently unaware of the extensive criticism of the California high-speed rail project. With this poorly-conceived, wasteful project, Democrats and progressives provide Republicans with a perfect example of liberal fecklessness on spending. Of course they're going to cut off funding for this dumb project. That's what they should do, based on the facts. And I say that as a Democrat who likes President Obama. And of course they especially enjoy doing that because it's President Obama's project. Democrats---and progs like Redmond---are saying, Never mind how much it will cost or even that there literally isn't any money---federal, state, local---available to build high-speed rail, we want it anyhow!

I bet 90 percent of the people on that wretched roadway Thanksgiving week would have been thrilled to take a train directly from downtown San Francisco (or Sacramento) to Union Station in L.A.---particularly if the ride took half the time of the drive and cost about the same.

Since he's clearly not familiar with the literature, Redmond doesn't know that projected ticket prices and ridership numbers are among the many issues that are being debated, with the official numbers earning widespread scorn.

And how would Redmond get to Grandma's house once he arrived at Union Station via high-speed rail? He would have to rent a car or Grandma would have to pick him and the kids up at the station, which would have also been the case with plane tickets.

skeptical presentation by the Legislative Analyst's Office on the CHSR's latest business plan.

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At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And how would Redmond get to Grandma's house once he arrived at Union Station via high-speed rail? He would have to rent a car or Grandma would have to pick him and the kids up at the station, which would have also been the case with plane tickets.

Unlike LAX - Union Station is well served by public transit including the vast LA Metro rail system.

The projected ticket prices are a subject of debate - but so is the projected cost to drive in the time frame the train is projected to run - gasoline is not going to get any cheaper. Of course, you would posit that everyone is just going to be saved by a deux ex machine like The Chevy Volt!

At 4:19 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

A "vast" rail system in LA? Not exactly.

No, I simply suggested that the battery and electric car technology used in the Volt makes the anti-car Peak Oil scaremongering increasingly implausible.

If you want to make an argument for high-speed rail, let's have some citations to that literature---you could start here---instead of your usual snide, cheap-shot comments.

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a nasty nasty man you are Mr. Anderson. Thank god I live in the City that Works. We just added more bike lanes - and this in a city with brutal winters. I bet Mr. Anderson goes to Amsterdam or Florence and marvels at how if they just got rid of all these narrow streets and old buildings traffic would flow thru so much faster!!

At 7:00 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Are you sure your comment is meant for this post? You may even be in the wrong city. San Francisco has "brutal winters"? I've lived here off and on since 1961, and I haven't noticed that. You might even argue that our summers are worse than our winters (plug in the Mark Twain quote here).

San Francisco is a "City that Works"? The caps are interesting. Do you work for the Examiner? Even they probably wouldn't capitalize "Works."

Besides, it hasn't been working terribly well lately, what with the pension crisis, the Central Subway debacle, the now-chronic budget deficit, etc.

What about Tim Redmond and high-speed rail? What is "nasty" about the subject of this post?


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