Why Jim Patterson Opposes HSR
None of those promises to the people have been kept by the High Speed Rail Authority.
Aug 19, 2013
There are many reasons to oppose high-speed rail and we've listed most, if not all, of them in our newsletters. Here are the reasons Jim Patterson opposes HSR:
Too Much at Stake: Why I Oppose High Speed Rail
Super-high-speed rail (250+ mph) is prohibitively expensive. Because it is, it will be built with $200 billion of general obligation bond debt (principal and interest payments over the life of the debt). That kind of debt takes first position for the state's general fund obligations, and will crowd out much needed money for public safety, public education, public works, public parks, etc. In short, the path HSR is on presently, and the cost and financing it will rack up, will steal huge state resources from fundamental services, and will lead to higher taxes and further erosion of our over-all quality of life. On top of that, repair, maintenance and the cost of a ticket will all have to be subsidized, even further eroding resources for our primary, fundamental government responsibilities.
Consider the other alternatives. Fast rail, like the Acela trains (125+ mph) that run on the east coast, cost pennies-on-the-dollar to build and operate compared to super-high-speed rail, and run along existing rail routes, therefore eliminating the taking of prime AG land, private property, and existing businesses by eminent domain.
Proposition 1A promised existing rail routes would be used, prime AG land would be spared, average speeds would be 250+ mph, and at least a third of the capital and operating expenses would come from private investment. None of those promises to the people have been kept by the High Speed Rail Authority. That is why thoughtful people ought to oppose this mess, re-think and re-vote on this entire proposition. Even Judge Quentin Kopp, one of the founding members of the High Speed Rail Authority, agrees.
There is still time for cooler heads to prevail. We all want more jobs and a better economy, but this is not the way to do it.
Member, California Legislature
Assembly District 23
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