Experts Expound

“Are the nails going into the coffin of high-speed rail? The LAO sees wasted money, critics want a repeal on the ballot, towns not on the proposed route have never liked it anyway, and the state’s finances are shaky. So what now?”

The nails are in the coffin already.  It just seems like the media is going to play this thing out so we can have a two-month funeral and throw the dirt on the coffin one dirt clod at a time.

It moves forward, because in spite of all the easy political and journalistic cheap shots, California needs it, and can’t afford not to have it.  

It’s a zombie. Nails, coffins don’t matter. Yet.

The fate of high-speed rail depends on whether California and Californians can do big things again. After initiating our war with Iraq, there were attempts to disdain all things French – including renaming French fries. But France at least has a sophisticated high-speed rail system. Why can they do it and America cannot?

The project slows to a halt but the High-Speed Rail Commission doesn’t get the message and they keep spending.

A lot of money is on the table for stakeholders, so the brawl is intense. As for “what now,” the sensible action is a ceremonial pulling of the plug. To paraphrase Omar Bradley, this is the wrong project at the wrong time using the wrong resources. California can find more realistic uses for the money and effort than to proceed with a white elephant likely to be obsolete and irrelevant before it can be built.

What is obvious is that our leaders are failing either to deal with the reality of the unaffordability of the project, or are failing to lead.

Pull the plug on this turkey and spend the bond money on local transit projects that will actually help commuters.

At a minimum, the calls for a revote and re-look  will definitely change the debate.  The focus on waste, cost and route will at best delay any momentum the board had hoped for with the release of a new, better calibrated, more realistic plan.

 Andrew Acosta, Elizabeth Ashford, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, J Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Mike Donovan, Jim Evans, Kathy Fairbanks, Jeff Fuller, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Greg Lucas, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio,  Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Bill Packer, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ralph Simoni, Sam Sorich, Ray Sotero, Garry South, Kevin Spillane, Robin Swanson, Angie Wei, Rich Zeiger

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