Transportation Policy

Out-of-Control Bullet Train Destroys Hundreds of Homes, Businesses


Or so fear local transit officials in Los Angeles and Orange County, who wonder why the new state bullet train planners want to build new dedicated rail lines between Anaheim and L.A. that will require condemning and destroying lots of private homes and businesses. More details and links at my California news and politics blog "City of Angles."

See the Reason Foundation's Adrian Moore explain why the whole statewide bullet train dream in California will be an expensive, underused mess:

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50 responses to “Out-of-Control Bullet Train Destroys Hundreds of Homes, Businesses

  1. Imminent domain, central planning, and high speed rail. Progressives all over America must be cumming in their pants over this.

    1. it doesn’t do it for me;-)

    2. Eminent domain seems imminent.

  2. Obama booed fairly audibly when introduced at Nats home opener, sounded much like Cheney’s reception several yrs back.

    1. I think those were the people who just realized they were at a Nats game.

  3. But, but, but
    We’re behind China in high speed rail capacity. This cannot be allowed to stand.

    Some other things in which we lag China –
    Air pollution
    Coal miner fatalities
    Political prisoners
    Executed political prisoners
    Forced abortions
    Sex selection abortions *
    Patent and copyright infringement
    Low efficiency solar panels
    CO2 emissions
    Workplace poisonings
    Toxic baby formula

    Feel free to add to this list.

    * sex rejected abortions would be a better description

    1. Don’t forget murdering Tibetans and members of the Fulon Gong. How can we ever compete when we lag behind in so many important areas?

    2. The US hasn’t murdered anyone from a splinter religious sect since 1993. That is nearly 20 years.

      1. Waco: A New Revelation has been in my queue for awhile now waiting on a (re?)release date.

        Any top-notch book or doc recommendations on the subject?

      2. The US hasn’t murdered anyone from a splinter religious sect since 1993.

        No, but we did kidnap hundreds of kids at gunpoint last year.

        So there’s that.

    3. Don’t forget that their housing bubble is far more massive than ours.

    4. Religious intolerance in general.

    5. Acid emitting drywall.

    6. And children’ toys that contain large amounts of lead.

    7. We only lag China in number of political prisoners because they have 5 times our population.

      Plus, we don’t call our political prisoners political prisoners. We pretend they are in prison for some other reason.

      Then again, the Chinese do the same thing.

  4. Can’t you guys just stick to uploading videos on Youtube? This thing, she’s so damn slow.

  5. wonder why

    Because no one’s invented “bullet pyramids” yet.

  6. Similar logic: “I’m a year or two behind on my mortgage, and my car was just repossessed. But I *need* a new Lamborghini…”

  7. High speed train A leaves Los Angeles heading north traveling 200 miles / hour at 8:30 AM. High speed train B leaves San Francisco headed south at 220 miles per hour at 9:20 PM.

    1. How many environmental impact studies will the conductor have to fill out before his mandatory lunch break?

    (a) 27
    (b) 40
    (c) none, that’s not in the union contract

    2. Which organization will file the first lawsuit against the train?

    (a) MALDEF
    (b) ACLU
    (c) LA RAZA
    (e) NAACP
    (f) CAIR
    (g) ACT UP
    (h) ACORN
    (i) NO ON PROP 8
    (j) NASCAR
    (k) NORML
    (l) SAG


    3. What is the principle economic industry of the state of California?

    (a) Movies
    (b) iPods
    (c) Medical marijuana
    (d) crazy train ideas
    (e) state pensions

  8. Too bad the preferred access to L.A. isn’t through the middle of Beverly Hill and right down Rodeo Drive.

  9. So, I was in Japan last week (I am sure you missed me). Road the shinks back and forth between Tokyo and Kansai. God, if we only had such things here! Indeed, if we only had their entire network!

    I had dinner with a some old friends of mine, a Japanese couple. They don’t own a car. They have no need. Indeed, they have only driven a handful of times in their life. While their salaries are probably a bit lower than mine (we have similar jobs and educations), they save an enormous amount of money each month by avoiding car ownership, which in reality probably runs me around $500/month averaged over each car I have owned. So here is yet another way our GDP looks high, but is largely because of waste. They get wherever they want, whenever they want, and so do I….I just have to earn an extra few hundred a month to do so. Brilliant.

    According to GDP, we are richer than the Japanese. This is despite the fact that they eat better, dress better, look better, and live a hell of a lot longer than we do. But we got granite countertops and a phat GDP number, right?

    1. God, if we only had such things here! Indeed, if we only had their entire network!

      If only we had their population density here!

      1. First, we have sufficient density along the coasts, and along the midwest cooridor between Chicago and New York. That encompasses most Americans.

        Second, good public transportation CREATES the very density that it needs. Train stations attract both business and residents.

        1. Population density New York to Chicago does not come close to that of Japan. You think its desirable to have Japan’s population density? The higher the population density, the less easily sanitary living conditions can be managed. And Japan’s urban areas are quite dirty and cramped, I’d say, compared with the more spacious urban areas like Chicago. Do you think people like walking around wearing painting masks?

        2. What’s your evidence that “train stations attract both business and residents”?

          1. never been in one?

          2. Property values. Do your homework. There is a multitude of research on urban and suburban growth out there.

            Or here is another one. Take a trip to Japan. Take any of the lines between Osaka and Nara, and look out over Osaka as you head over the mountains. It’s a great view, and a very telling one. You can literally SEE the core subway map by just following the high-rises. The big stuff gets built at the stations

    2. *woof* The sound your logical fallacies make when they burst in to flames.

    3. Chad|4.5.10 @ 6:33PM|#
      So, I was in Japan last week (I am sure you missed me).

      Actually, we were kinda hoping you had taken up some parts of Japanese culture.

      Like seppuku. Or eating blowfish.

      BTW: The first person singular past imperfect of “to ride” is “rode”.

    4. There is no comparing the optimal productivity of transportation between Japan and the United States. The geographical situations of each country create a drastic difference. Japan is much smaller, and having such a high population density make passenger railroad services more practical, and potentially profitable. The U.S. is larger, has more cities spread further apart, and so many travel patterns that it is easier to accommodate most passenger needs with airline service. There might be a select few routes in the U.S. that would be practical for intercity railroad travel, but never on the scale that you desire. Japan also has a piss-poor railroad freight network, compared to the U.S. This is because the shorter the distance, the more practical trucking is. Also, being an island, it is much easier to ship freight by water than in most of the U.S., and water freight is more efficient than anything.

      1. No, Angus. Japan is similar in size, geography, weather, and population to our east coast. There is no reason that our Boston-DC corridor could not be as heavily developed as the Tokyo-Kansai corridor, for example. Japan has simply chosen to do things differently, and it works.

        1. Japan is similar in geography to the U.S. east coast? Really? Have you ever been to the U.S. east coast?

          I have lived on the U.S. east coast my entire life and have been to Japan. The geography is quite, quite different.

          For one thing, we don’t have guys in big rubber suits ripping through all the power lines.

        2. Between Amtrak and the commuter lines, the Northeast Corridor already has extremely high train frequencies. So according to you, it should already be as heavily developed as Japan. Among all the heavily subsidized forms of transportation on the east coast, the market must have chosen the combination that best fits the needs… And behold, it isn’t what King Chav demanded.

    5. So, I was in Japan last week (I am sure you missed me). Road the shinks back and forth between Tokyo and Kansai. God, if we only had such things here! Indeed, if we only had their entire network!

      You can have that by moving to New York City, or even Chicago or Boston.

  10. This is despite the fact that they eat better, dress better, look better, and live a hell of a lot longer than we do.

    Every single one of those is cultural.

    1. Really? Perhaps they eat better because their government doesn’t massively subsidize corn syrup, but rather local foods. Perhaps they dress better because they will be seen by lots of people every day, both because they are using public transit and because the high density makes it more pleasurable to be out and about than sitting at home watching the boob tube. And if you don’t think a major fraction (indeed, most of) the reason they look better and live longer is the 30-60 minutes of walking built into everyone’s day by their transit system, you don’t know what you are talking about. Of course, the rest of both of these is largely due to the lack of corn-syrup subsidies.

      1. Maybe the Japanese have a different diet because the types of food available there is different than in the U.S. Maybe they are subsidizing what is easily local there (not corn), while the U.S. subsidizes what is easily local here (corn). Maybe Japanese want to eat more corn, and Americans want to eat less corn, but both governments are fucking with the market too much for people to have what they want. Maybe the words “dress better” are not up to the fashion snob Chav. Who the fuck are you to determine that it is more pleasurable to participate in activities in a higher density setting? Or that one should exchange sanitary living conditions, for more walking?

        1. OMG: Did you say that we have “more sanitary living conditions” than Japan.

          You REALLY don’t know what the hell you are talking about. They are the cleanest people you will ever see. America is a shit-hole full of foul barbarians in comparison.

          1. You find the Oriental mind to be quite inscrutable, as well, right Charlie?

            Does ‘traveled to Japan, and met old friends’ translate to ‘found someone’s copy of Asian Times in the coffee shop around the corner from where I live, picked it up, read a few headlines, and then tossed it’ in meat space?

          2. Less sanitary living conditions are part of living in any densely populated city. More garbage, more people, more contact with everyone, more bums, slime covered concrete, stinky trucks and buses. All cities everywhere tend to be barbarian shit holes. Its why people leave cities, and maybe they are fine to trade some physical health for more sanitary health. We have the space and the resources to do so in the United States.

      2. Why do Trolls

        Always reappear?

        Bearing empty sneers

        Just like he

        They want to be

        Roasted by you

        Why do ‘tards

        Think they can fly?

        So sad when they try

        Just like he

        They want to be

        Roasted by you

        He stayed too long
        But he keeps on
        No matter how worn down
        He still believes
        He is the one left standing.

        He stayed long past
        The point of regress
        Never rattled by doubt
        He still believes
        He is quite outstanding.

        His trip ups
        always on cue,
        To underline what’s true
        Just what he needs,
        Is to be
        Roasted by you

  11. I like the idea of a fast train network, but I think these guys are jumping the gun. With new technologies, including new machines for tunneling, we could have a low-cost high-speed underground network that could link most of the Americas, and if we combine this with new ideas about real estate (most notably by making it easy to separate surface versus subsurface ownership) it could be done with little disruption and possibly even very little use of eminent domain . . . IF we are willing to wait 20 years. Doing it with today’s technology is insane on several levels, especially knowing that better methods and lower costs aren’t far away.

    1. OK, put me down as a short-sighted fuddy-duddy who doesn’t foresee the wonderful new tunneling technologies we’ll have in twenty years. My prediction: tunneling will still be damned expensive.

  12. What’s this about serving California’s expanding population?? The only population that’s expanding in California is the illegal one and my hunch is they won’t be traveling much on high speed trains.

    See, the mayor is the kind of Republican we have in CA. He wants to spend billions of dollars we don’t have to build something we won’t use and which will end up having to be subsidized in perpetuity by an ever-shrinking tax base.

    Please, somebody, shoot this state and put it out of our misery.

  13. I personally have tried to contact the CA HSR authority THREE times to inquire about retail and service business opportunities along the line. Response? None. You’d think that they would jump at the chance to talk to business people that would lease space, etc. Oh, yeah, boondoggle it is.

    1. Crony capitalist.

  14. re: “Or so fear local transit officials in Los Angeles and Orange County, who wonder why the new state bullet train planners want to build new dedicated rail lines between Anaheim and L.A. that will require condemning and destroying lots of private homes and businesses.”

    If I recall correctly, that route is dictated right in the text of the initiative.

  15. Hi
    — Watching this from old Europe.
    I’m traveling from Brussels to Paris on a regular basis. Let me put it this way: I’m a perfect example of who the Central Planners of Public Transportation White Elephants intend to target. Theorically, I’d have everything to gain using the Thalys high speed train between Brussels and Paris.
    But I don’t. Why? Because 95% of the time people spend commuting or moving for any reason, is sopent on LOCAL itineraries. You go to work, go to the mall, get your kids at school, all of this within a 15 miles radius.

    Setting aside the everlasting strikes and other “technical problems”, I don’t use the Thalys, simply because once I arrive in Paris, what am I supposed to do? I reside in Versailles, in Paris suburbia, and over there I do need a car.
    So I basically have no choice but driving from Brussels to Paris and back, because I need my car when I’m arrived at my destination, it’s as simple as that.

    Oh, and don’t believe for a minute that “in Europe the trains are punctual, they arrive of leave within a minute of the time they say, and they’re clean and fast”: this is just not true, and this fat black guy just never had to use trains in Europe, I tell you.

  16. Alan – the fact that you used the word “oriental” to describe an Asian culture speaks volumes to your ignorance.

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