Was It Something We Said? HSR Board Blinks

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Responding to mounting criticism about taking a bunch of property along the proposed right-of-way for its multibillion dollar boondoggle, the California High Speed Rail Authority took a step back the other day and voted 6-1 to entertain a shared track option previously discarded when they thought nobody was paying attention. Read all about it in the LA Times.

Even lobbyist and fixer Curt Pringle, the termed-out Mayor of Anaheim, joined the majority. Is he perhaps starting to fear a Buena Park, Fullerton, and Anaheim backlash that might spoil all of his crafty electoral machinations for 2010?

Well, it’s a step in the right direction, but it still begs the question of bureaucratic and rolling stock cost vis-a-vis minimal travel time gains to downtown LA.

The lone “no” vote came from Quintin L. Kopp, the former Bay Area politician who also advocated for the controversial BART extension to the San Francisco Airport. Apparently Kopp thinks it’s too late to be smart – always a bad sign.

7 Replies to “Was It Something We Said? HSR Board Blinks”

  1. Actually the decision was first approved by the Operations Committee, Chaired by Richard Katz, Curt Pringle left the room for the discussion, and it passed unanimously. When it went to the full Board for approval the next day, Kopp whined and fussed, never making any sense, just trying to stir the pot. After 2 days of listening to him spout off I am convinced the man should never be allowed out in public without his nurse. Arnold needs to get this guy off the CHSRA Board. NOW.

  2. Interesting.

    Any explanation as to why Pringle left the room on day one? And do you think he might finally be feeling some heat on HSR/ARTIC? Or is that just wishful thinking?

  3. Well for one he is not on the Operations Committee, and may well have had prep work to do for his own Committees. http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/images/chsr/20100327061844_2010.04.07%20-%20Agenda%20-%20Operations%20Cmte.pdf

    I do not know for certain what is driving this new direction. Curt sure isn’t talking to me about it-in fact we flew up on the same plane and he did not talk to me…he was decent and said good morning, but there was no bonding time over a pack of Southwest Airlines peanuts, that’s for certain. My best guess is that nobody was concerned about the takings because they were counting on tunneling, and then realized the ground here is not conducive to Deep Bore. So suddenly they had to find a way to go At Grade and not destroy their own communities, remember we have Pringle on one end of the segment and Katz on the other, they both have their concerns for home sweet home.

    On this one I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say they came to realize how bad it would be, rather than all of us taking a bow for being rabble rousing policy changers. We are not nearly as powerful with this blogging thing as we give ourselves credit for. I’ll give this one to Pringle and Katz. Now if I do not see some CSS as promised, there will be a whole new discussion. And it will be animated. But for now let’s be grateful for what we got.

    1. FYI, the takings for tunneling is the same legal process as any other condemnation. The end result may be less of a physical impact on the servient tenement but an impact and burden none the less justifying reasonable compensation at the detriment to us tax payers.

  4. Oh, and that Committee tore the heads off at TY Lin, who is supposed to be overseeing the work of PB. VERY strong words used to tell them to get it together and do their jobs. I like Katz. I like Katz a LOT. He was kicking consultant butt and taking no prisoners.

  5. Denis Bilodeau had told me he was doing that, but I had not caught when he was putting it on the agenda. I have another meeting tomorrow, do they televise or record those? Or can someone watch it and report back please?

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