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Tri-Partisan Cooperation On Infrastructure USA  
User currently offlineMoltenRock From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (4 years 5 months 12 hours ago) and read 1736 times:

In a tri-partisan cooperation between Republicans, Democrats and Independents the Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), Gov. of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell (D), and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) have come together to start a funding source and think tank to move America's infrastructure investment from the disgustingly paltry back up to its historical average so that America can start to compete in the 21st century.

They announced this cooperation a few weeks ago but have now gained momentum in their cause, and attention of America's beleaguered progressives and pragmatists who have been saying since 9/11 and before that America needs to rethink transportation, urban planning, and the infrastructure crumbling under every American taxpayer's feet.

Gov. Schwarzenegger said:

Quote:
America needs $1.6 trillion worth of infrastructure over the next five years yet federal investment has been cut in half as a percent of gross domestic product since 1987. This is disastrous because without adequate infrastructure to quickly and safely move goods and people our economy and our traffic will stop dead in its tracks.

Gov. Ed Rendell said:

Quote:
In the past 20 years, state and local governments have been forced to pay more and more of the cost for infrastructure repairs and expansion. Three-quarters of our nation’s infrastructure spending is by state and local governments. In the past five years Pennsylvania has increased state funding for bridge repairs by 300 percent, yet the number of structurally deficient bridges has increased. Our country can’t do it without federal leadership.

Mayor Bloomberg said:

Quote:
Sound infrastructure is critical to American competiveness, quality of life, environmental sustainability and public safety. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave U.S. infrastructure a “D” letter grade and estimates that over the next 5 years the U.S. will need $1.6 trillion of infrastructure just to raise it to a passing level. This is an issue that crosses party lines and we need significant federal investments now to ensure the safety of our citizens and economic prosperity of our nation.

This engineers report they are talking about can be found here: http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/index

The $1.6 trillion over 5 years is just to get America's infrastructure to a C-. To get to a B- will take $2.2 trillion in 2009 dollars. America and her leaders have lived off the massive investments made to end the Great Depression, Interstate highway defense project building her freeways, and other large investments in the 1950s and 60s. Since then spending has been pathetic. In China they spend 9% to 11% of GDP on infrastructure. In Europe they spend 5%. Reagan was the first President ever to decimate the infrastructure spending to a paltry 8 year average of his term to 1.8%, of which it has never recovered and Republicans go apoplectic on the mere mention of reinvesting in America. Very unfortunate, but now the US is facing a future as a 2nd rate country trying to compete against world class cities and countries with modern, clean, efficient, reliable, infrastructure.

Finally we have politicians waking up to this fact to start to deal with these issues that have been ignored for a generation.

http://gov.ca.gov/index.php?/press-release/8569/

http://www.usatoday.com/news/mapxmlfiles/trafficcongestion.htm

http://www.epa.gov/osw/rcc/resources...eetings/rcc-2009/esslinger-pl1.pdf

http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=1529

[Edited 2010-02-23 16:09:59]

42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5562 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 10 hours ago) and read 1712 times:

$1.6 trillion would be slightly easier to come up with if we weren't involved in two wars.

This is not to say either way whether we should be in one or both, but just a statement of fact.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19371 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 10 hours ago) and read 1696 times:

The state of our infrastructure is truly disgusting. In the San Francisco Bay Area, rush hour is officially 6-10 and 3-7. 8 hours of the day. In Los Angeles, gridlock exists even in the wee hours of the morning. Commutes that should take 15-20 minutes can take in excess of 1.5 hours due to the chronic congestion that afflicts our cities. In addition, half of the bridges in our country are nearing or are at the end of their design lives and yet they are not being replaced. The Brooklyn Bridge has been deemed structurally obsolete. The San Francisco Bay Bridge is *FINALLY* being replaced after the mayor of Oakland held up the original replacement plans because the new bridge wasn't pretty enough. Rail (whether local commuter or intercity HSR), successful in every other country, is somehow avoided in the U.S., primarily for "religious" (i.e. not logical) reasons having to do with bogus straw-man arguments about how rail somehow magically won't help in this country. And if we can't have rail, then we should have an updated ATC system, but we aren't getting that any time soon, either.

Almost every time someone tries to build new infrastructure, special interests intervene. Endless environmental impact studies need to be filled out, even though the construction may well already be in an ecologically devastated area (like the middle of a city). By the time all the paperwork is done, the new projects are often obsolete. In addition, NIMBYs have too much say in this country. Everyone wants more trains and more freeways and more runways... just not if it's going to make them move. The government needs to be less fearless about exercising eminent domain.

But transport isn't the only place where our infrastructure is behind. Water in the West is a major problem and it can be solved with infrastructure. Power is another major problem. Almost every summer, New York City has brown-outs and often black-outs caused by inadequate power grid to the demand. The whole Katrina disaster was caused by inadequate infrastructure design and maintenance; it could have just been a hurricane. It's more of a problem in some places than others, but this country needs infrastructure. These projects will stimulate the economy by providing jobs and by assisting in the movement of goods and people.

What about private sector? If there's a market then THEY can build a runway or their high-speed rail or whatever, right? Not so fast. With rare exceptions, purely private ventures can't exercise eminent domain and so all it takes is one family refusing to move and the whole project is sunk. So without giving these private ventures power of eminent domain (which I would not be comfortable with), that's simply not practical.

Instead, the government has been involved in schemes like buying new hybrid vehicles for government agencies and cash for clunkers. These are short-term programs without long-term benefits. I was so hopeful that the stimulus bill would really crank up the infrastructure and I was very disappointed.


User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 10 hours ago) and read 1681 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
Rail (whether local commuter or intercity HSR), successful in every other country, is somehow avoided in the U.S., primarily for "religious" (i.e. not logical) reasons having to do with bogus straw-man arguments about how rail somehow magically won't help in this country.

For the cost of building a HSR, how much improvement could be made to existing infrastructure?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
Endless environmental impact studies need to be filled out, even though the construction may well already be in an ecologically devastated area (like the middle of a city). By the time all the paperwork is done, the new projects are often obsolete

I expect that the ecotards will probably do their best to shoot down whatever improvements are proposed.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19371 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 5 hours ago) and read 1638 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 3):
For the cost of building a HSR, how much improvement could be made to existing infrastructure?

The question is moot. Both projects are necessary. Existing infrastructure cannot be made sufficient to the task that HSR can do in selected markets, like California, NEC, MWC, TX, and FL.

The only reason you hate HSR and I maintain that it is the *ONLY* reason is that you view it as a "Liberal" idea. It's something those "Socialist" European and Asian countries do.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 3):
I expect that the ecotards will probably do their best to shoot down whatever improvements are proposed.

Oh they will do a fantastic job, as well the farmers and the people who scream "Socialism!" at the slightest sign of any sort of government-sponsored project that doesn't directly benefit them at the expense of others.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 4 hours ago) and read 1622 times:

We had the chance to fix up our roads long, long time ago. And now they waited until 2010 to do something about it? And with what money? Why didn't they do this when we needed it most.

Here in Colorado, it seems that the #1priority is fixing bridges. I am fine with that, but what about the roads as well? I-270 between the US36/I-76/I-25 interchange to the truck stop before the I-70 is nearly undriveable anymore, it is an embarrassment! The US36 between Westminster and Boulder is starting to get worn down now. Heck, anywhere in Denver is just.....I cannot begin to explain....

The best roads I've ever driven on was in Arizona for the most part of the state. Washington State has better roads than Colorado does.....



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlinerwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3077 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months ago) and read 1609 times:

The current US infrastructure consists of a crumbling and obsolete highway system built in the 60s, overloaded and outdated air traffic control, and a token rail system. Public transit in major cities is also behind that of most other countries, especially in terms of maintenance and continuous expansion.

The problems are interconnected. People regularly fly short distances because the alternatives (congested freeways or slow and often unreliable trains) do not work. If we had true highspeed rail between major cities we could address highway congestion and air congestion at the same time. Massive public transport works would help too, in order to feed the high speed rail and to make it easier to get around major cities. Even cities with extensive rail systems, like New York and Washington, do not make the necessary ongoing improvements to keep the systems safely running and meeting demand.

Lots of Americans seem to have their heads in the sand regarding how we will move around in the next 50 years. One would have thought that the high gas prices a couple years ago would have pushed some into action. In 2030, will we still be relying on the same crumbling highways and antiquated air system as our only options?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 3):
For the cost of building a HSR, how much improvement could be made to existing infrastructure?

What do you define as an improvement? Consider the cost of HSR between Los Angeles and San Diego. Compare that with continuous upgrades to I-5 and I-405 (including buying land for new lanes every 10 years or so, continuously rebuilding interchanges and local roads to meet the increasing demand, and maintaining the heavily-trafficked roads on a regular basis), and the billions of dollars in future airport improvements at LAX and SAN to sustain increased traffic between the cities. I would bet rail is very competitive. This doesn't even consider the impact of future environmental regulations, or the intangible benefit of train travel vs. the stress of flying/driving.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 1):
$1.6 trillion would be slightly easier to come up with if we weren't involved in two wars.

This is not to say either way whether we should be in one or both, but just a statement of fact.

A very good point. Paying for things like trains, education, and health care is a lot easier when you're not paying for endless wars and throwing money down the drain for a large standing army that isn't necessary.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 5):
We had the chance to fix up our roads long, long time ago. And now they waited until 2010 to do something about it? And with what money? Why didn't they do this when we needed it most.

There's more to it than fixing roads. The current model of everyone driving everywhere is not sustainable in a growing country that is already dealing with a lot of congestion. We could never spend enough money to eliminate all congestion and guarantee reliable driving times.


User currently offlineMoltenRock From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1607 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 1):
$1.6 trillion would be slightly easier to come up with if we weren't involved in two wars.

This is not to say either way whether we should be in one or both, but just a statement of fact.

I certainly agree and understand that. However, no one bothered to discuss that when initiating the war, you know?

The USA is and has been facing an economic war and has been getting beat like broken-down rented mule. Reinvesting in your own company or country is mandatory. It's not "optional".

Quoting rwSEA (Reply 6):
Lots of Americans seem to have their heads in the sand regarding how we will move around in the next 50 years. One would have thought that the high gas prices a couple years ago would have pushed some into action. In 2030, will we still be relying on the same crumbling highways and antiquated air system as our only options?

Hence why the minute after 9/11 happened Bush (ha ha ha ha ha) should have raised gasoline retail prices by $ .50 a gallon with another $ .25 per year every year until it had reached $1.50 to $2.00 additional per gallon. The real tragedy is that Gore didn't realize he needed to be more aggressive in claiming the Presidency given the generational financial set back Bush & Republicans put America in .....but I digress. History no matter how tragic and avoidable, is still just that.

After gas prices soared prices for homes in most urban cores rose, and gentrification of many inner neighborhoods took off due to GenX preferring as a rule to live in city centers, and the formerly 2 hours per day or more commuting class decided maybe having a smaller footprint within the city where they could ditch a car, not heat a 3,500 sq. ft. mini-mansion in the far off 'burbs and gain 2 or more hours per day in productive time. It was also in these far flung hellhole 'burbs with no services that multi-billion dollar highways were built to, and whose prices collapsed after the housing bubble burst. It wasn't in the city cores by in large but in the 'burbs people were buying homes they couldn't afford.

[Edited 2010-02-24 04:43:50]

User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 3928 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1590 times:

Quoting MoltenRock (Thread starter):
Three-quarters of our nation’s infrastructure spending is by state and local governments.

And that is wrong exactly how? Isn't that, for the most part, their responsibility?

Quoting MoltenRock (Reply 7):
given the generational financial set back Bush & Republicans put America in .....

Oh God, not this crap again... start talking about something bipartisan and suddenly move into ridiculous statements on how the Republicans destroyed the economy... Yes, it is was all Bush's fault, everybody knows the economy does not work in booms and busts, it should be a straight line going upwards except for those pesky Republicans, yada yada yada.



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineMoltenRock From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1581 times:

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 8):
And that is wrong exactly how? Isn't that, for the most part, their responsibility?

......it should be a straight line going upwards except for those pesky Republicans, yada yada yada.

So you think America's infrastructure is just peachy then? If you read the article you would have seen this is a coordinated effort by the three tri-partisan leaders to get all three; federal, state, and private entities to reinvest more into America's infrastructure.

My point mentioning Reagan gutting federal spending on infrastructure, while at the same time gutting payments to states so they had less money to work with was a double whammy to infrastructure spending. Private investment in most all circumstances follows support and financial help from one or both government sections.

The difference of 1% of GDP in spending on infrastructure over the past 30 years as it should have been is $4.35 TRILLION. Quite a sizeable sum.


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 960 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1563 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
Existing infrastructure cannot be made sufficient to the task that HSR can do in selected markets, like California, NEC, MWC, TX, and FL.

Well let's not get ahead of ourselves.

High speed passenger rail makes zero sense in Texas. The population centers are too spread-out and there is ample land to continue building roads.

Quoting MoltenRock (Reply 7):

Hence why the minute after 9/11 happened Bush (ha ha ha ha ha) should have raised gasoline retail prices by $ .50 a gallon with another $ .25 per year every year until it had reached $1.50 to $2.00 additional per gallon.

Are you suicidal? The U.S. economy was already in a recession on September 11th. But what the hell; raise energy prices by 25% when consumer confidence is non-existent. That's brilliant economic policy.

Quoting MoltenRock (Reply 9):
My point mentioning Reagan gutting federal spending on infrastructure, while at the same time gutting payments to states so they had less money to work with was a double whammy to infrastructure spending. Private investment in most all circumstances follows support and financial help from one or both government sections.

Texas is a net exporter of federal income. We pay more in taxes than we get back in federal funding. So why is our infrastructure outstanding in comparison to so many blue states? Heck, I can often get in my car near the peak of rush-hour and cross a city like Dallas in 45 minutes. Houston may take a bit longer, but it has improved.

Since the 90s, Texas has greatly expanded the number of toll highways in the state, many of which are brand-new and silky-smooth. Controlled access highways should be toll roads, IMO. It makes no sense to pay a gas tax that gets sent to Washington for federal bureaucrats to decide how it should be dolled out back to the states. Pay a user fee for the specific road you are driving on and cut the politics and the middle-men out of it.


User currently offlineLOT767-300ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1552 times:

Quoting MoltenRock (Reply 7):
Hence why the minute after 9/11 happened Bush (ha ha ha ha ha) should have raised gasoline retail prices by $ .50 a gallon with another $ .25 per year every year until it had reached $1.50 to $2.00 additional per gallon.

  

Thats one of the biggest jokes I have read on Airliners.net in the 10 years I have been on this site.

[Edited 2010-02-24 07:46:49]

User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 12, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1535 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):

The only reason you hate HSR and I maintain that it is the *ONLY* reason is that you view it as a "Liberal" idea. It's something those "Socialist" European and Asian countries do.

1. Who is going to run it? Amtrak?
2. I think that it is bound to run into all sorts of political considerations. Every state representative will want a stop in his neck of the woods and before you know it the high speed rail isn't really high speed anymore.
3. Some of these high speed railways aren't really high speed to start with. A Chicago to St. Louis plan I saw would upgrade tracks so trains could go about 100 mph versus the 70-80 they do now. That doesn't seem like nearly enough improvement for the money.
4. Quite frankly, what we already have is rather poorly maintained that we should get that up to standard before moving forward with a new rail system. It would really bug me to be bouncing through potholes while the government tosses billions towards high speed rail.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8021 posts, RR: 26
Reply 13, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1521 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
It's something those "Socialist" European and Asian countries do.

Right, tell that to Hong Kong and Singapore. Even highway and replication of American lifestyle-happy China is now building over 125,000 km of new HSR and commuter rail.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 10):
High speed passenger rail makes zero sense in Texas. The population centers are too spread-out and there is ample land to continue building roads.

Nonsense - Texas is a perfect candidate due to wasteful airline service (much as I hate to say it) and easy straight-line distances between cities with little interference from terrain. If anything HSR would be a boon for the trucking industry.
There will never be enough population in Texas to use all that land - however the city centers are becoming more and more crowded with time. Given the efficiencies inherent to HSR, it makes sense in the long-term.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 10):

Since the 90s, Texas has greatly expanded the number of toll highways in the state, many of which are brand-new and silky-smooth. Controlled access highways should be toll roads, IMO. It makes no sense to pay a gas tax that gets sent to Washington for federal bureaucrats to decide how it should be dolled out back to the states. Pay a user fee for the specific road you are driving on and cut the politics and the middle-men out of it.

This should absolutely be the norm rather than an exception in this day and age. Still not sure if its viable or fair to give breaks to trucking though.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
2. I think that it is bound to run into all sorts of political considerations. Every state representative will want a stop in his neck of the woods and before you know it the high speed rail isn't really high speed anymore.

The solution for that in other countries is defining station need by net users, area traffic flows, or population density. Fortunately those numbers can't be fudged by even the slimiest politician. Alternatively, you have different express lines running on the same right of way so that within the schedule more local stations can be served.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
3. Some of these high speed railways aren't really high speed to start with. A Chicago to St. Louis plan I saw would upgrade tracks so trains could go about 100 mph versus the 70-80 they do now. That doesn't seem like nearly enough improvement for the money.

100 mph is not HSR no matter what anyone says - don't believe it for a second. The Japanese are working on a new generation MAGLEV shinkansen that has already gone over 300 mph in testing and could link Osaka and Tokyo in as little as 1 hour 10 min.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 12):
4. Quite frankly, what we already have is rather poorly maintained that we should get that up to standard before moving forward with a new rail system. It would really bug me to be bouncing through potholes while the government tosses billions towards high speed rail.

User fees have the potential to take care of that issue. The less used a road is, the less maintenance it should need and vice versa.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15715 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1519 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 13):
User fees have the potential to take care of that issue. The less used a road is, the less maintenance it should need and vice versa.

That is already done in the form of a gasoline tax. We don't need more toll roads anyway.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 13):
100 mph is not HSR no matter what anyone says - don't believe it for a second.

Well, that is what I saw proposed.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1510 times:

Quoting MoltenRock (Thread starter):
In a tri-partisan cooperation between Republicans, Democrats and Independents the Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), Gov. of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell (D), and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) have come together to start a funding source and think tank

Some how I have a problem seeing "political leaders" as a "think tank".

Quoting MoltenRock (Thread starter):
Finally we have politicians waking up to this fact to start to deal with these issues that have been ignored for a generation.
Quoting MoltenRock (Thread starter):
Reagan was the first President ever to decimate the infrastructure spending to a paltry 8 year average of his term to 1.8%, of which it has never recovered

We do not have anyone waking up to anything. Remember the I-35W bridge collapse in MSP a few years ago? There have been several other bridge collapses before that one, yet the politicians will only fund pet projects and do nothing until people are killed. This is not something you can just blame on President Reagan. What did Carter, Ford, Nixon, and Johnson do before him, or Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama after him do? NOTHING. It is the Congress that holds the Government checkbook, and they are the ones not writing the checks for new or maintaning current infastructure.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
Rail (whether local commuter or intercity HSR), successful in every other country, is somehow avoided in the U.S., primarily for "religious" (i.e. not logical)

That "religion" is called the automobile, and the gas taxes it generates is suppose to go into the highway fund, but it is not going there.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
The whole Katrina disaster was caused by inadequate infrastructure design and maintenance; it could have just been a hurricane.

The levies around NO were identified years before Katrina as a weakness for a big storm. But curroption took most of the money. It is not just a New Orleans problem, look at your own state capital, Sacramento. It too (along with Stockton, CA) is surrounded by levies, many more than 150 years old, yet the only work done is to patch the current leaks. Sacramento is a ticking time bomb if the rivers ever experience major flooding from melting snow in the mountains.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 4):
The only reason you hate HSR and I maintain that it is the *ONLY* reason is that you view it as a "Liberal" idea. It's something those "Socialist" European and Asian countries do.

No, there is less of a reason in the US for HSR as the distances are much, much greater in the US than the EU or Japan that need to be traveled. What many US cities have for traffic conjestion is subways and/or light rail or bus systems that are much more efficent for the US. You have BART near you, do you use it, or drive your car? Dallas/Fort Worth has DART, the "T" and the Trinity Railway express, and ridership is very high. Boston has the MBTA subway, light rail, and bus service, and New York City has the MTA bus and subway along with the LIRR.

HSR will not work in the US, and is a liberal 'pie in the sky' idea that will get very little users. Look at the one example of HSR in the US, the AmTrac HSR between Boston, New York, Baltimore, and Washington. It is failing because it cannot compete with the speed or costs of the DL and US shuttle aircraft flying between DCA, LGA, and BOS.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1481 times:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 10):
High speed passenger rail makes zero sense in Texas.

Or anywhere in the Western U.S.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6575 posts, RR: 24
Reply 17, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1473 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
It is failing because it cannot compete with the speed or costs of the DL and US shuttle aircraft flying between DCA, LGA, and BOS.

You might want to check your facts on that. Since launching Acela, ridership on the DL/US Shuttles has plunged. You'll notice that DL used to fly 738's on DCA-LGA and now they fly E175's....a huge downgrade.

Acela's biggest problem is that they can't add enough trains to service all the demand. And in all likelihood, Acela would steal even more riders if it was faster....right now Acela rarely exceeds 90mph.


User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7509 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1470 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 17):
And in all likelihood, Acela would steal even more riders if it was faster....right now Acela rarely exceeds 90mph.

That's due to that fact that it rides on the same right-of-way alignment (sharper curves) that's existed long before the Acela was on the drawing board. Any attempts to either flatten or straighten out the curves (so that the Acela could reach its true high speed potential) would be met with the same amount of fierce NIMBY opposition that a highway or airport expansion would encounter.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlinetexan From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 4272 posts, RR: 52
Reply 19, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1466 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 17):
Acela's biggest problem is that they can't add enough trains to service all the demand.

While that is certainly one of their big problems, I think its biggest problem is that it has to rely on existing gauge track, slowing its speed considerably. Make the infrastructure improvement to the track gauge, the trains can run faster.

We actually entered into an agreement with TGV back in 1991 to build HSR in Texas (TGV Texas). The plans were shot down after lobbying efforts by many groups, including the airlines. Now AA and CO at least are supporting the HSR effort. I can't remember if WN is or not.

What I do not like, what is ridiculous, is the "Texas T-Bone" plan. When the government designated high-speed rail areas in the U.S., they put Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio in one plan and Houston in a separate plan. So instead of having a direct link between Dallas and Houston, or Austin and Houston, or San Antonio and Houston, to get to Houston you will need to connect in Temple or Belton on the Gulf Coast Corridor instead of the South Central Corridor.

Texan



"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
User currently offlinerwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3077 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1464 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
No, there is less of a reason in the US for HSR as the distances are much, much greater in the US than the EU or Japan that need to be traveled. What many US cities have for traffic conjestion is subways and/or light rail or bus systems that are much more efficent for the US.

No one is proposing a nationwide HSR line. What is proposed is HSR in specific corridors where it makes sense. Of course it won't work for Los Angeles - New York traffic, but in corridors of 300-400 miles and with high density, it will work great.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
Look at the one example of HSR in the US, the AmTrac HSR between Boston, New York, Baltimore, and Washington. It is failing because it cannot compete with the speed or costs of the DL and US shuttle aircraft flying between DCA, LGA, and BOS.

First it is not failing because it has taken a lot of market share from the airlines.

Second, it's not true HSR. True HSR is built on its own dedicated tracks which are built specifically for HSR (no grade-crossings, more gradual curves, etc.). Acela is an attempt to shoehorn HSR into an existing corridor that is congested and antiquated. If an investment was made in the corridor for true HSR, Acela would be even more successful than it is today.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 16):

Or anywhere in the Western U.S.

Nonsense. Would work extremely well on San Diego - Los Angeles - Bay Area, Los Angeles-Las Vegas, and Los Angeles - Sacramento. Also Vancouver-Seattle-Eugene. Would also reduce the need for the literally hundreds of flights a day on these routes.


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 960 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1462 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 13):
Nonsense - Texas is a perfect candidate due to wasteful airline service (much as I hate to say it) and easy straight-line distances between cities with little interference from terrain.

There is nothing wasteful about the airline service in Texas. Our airports are under capacity and the airlines operate without public subsidy. Southwest, American, and Continental carry a respectable 10-15,000 people per day. Not nearly enough to sustain a high-speed rail network.

Texas has looked at the idea every few years since the 80s. The realistic answer is that high-speed rail might be an attractive option by the 2040s-2050s. There will not be a business case for at least another generation. The Trans-Texas Corridor project would have aquired a tract of land for HSR, but still not developed the tracks until the late 2030s.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 13):

This should absolutely be the norm rather than an exception in this day and age. Still not sure if its viable or fair to give breaks to trucking though.

Many turnpikes charge multi-axle vehicles a higher fee, which seems fair if they occupy a bigger stretch of road and wear the pavement faster.


User currently offlineMoltenRock From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1431 times:

First off let me say that infrastructure is just not about high speed rail. Or just about highways. It's about all of her infrastructure.

Interestingly enough, as most of you know so-called conservatives love to complain about subsidizing other people's "bad behavior" or bad choices. They don't feel it's their duty nor responsibility, to pay a dime towards this since they never use it. However, they refuse to pay for their own subsidies they receive and get angry at a notion they should have to when one of the largest subsidies goes to them.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
That is already done in the form of a gasoline tax. We don't need more toll roads anyway.

The gasoline tax comes nowhere near the actual cost of subsidizing and transferring wealth to suburbanites. The real cost of gasoline is closer to $7.00 to $12.00 a gallon for all of the subsidies required to bring it to the pump. The federal gasoline tax is a pittance at $ .184 cents per gallon. All in for fuel taxes in the average US state is $ .46 cents per gallon. The last federal tax increase was almost 20 years ago and was a whopping $ .043 cents, of which Al Gore as VP had to cast the tie breaking vote. Clinton - Gore had wanted a $ .50 a gallon tax phased in at about $ .125 cents per year until the $ .50 was met. Republicans were apoplectic over it as you can imagine and still whine about the $ .043 cents per gallon to this day.

Here was a 1998 report back when gas was cheap showing the subsidies alone at an absolute minimum needs to have a $ 5.50 or higher per gallon tax plus the price of the gasoline. If you start including other things you quickly exceed that number. Providing protection for America's oil supply alone and nothing else is about $1.00 per gallon at the federal level.

Additionally, the system of highways, bridges, and other projects needs an immediate rise of $ .92 a gallon rising to $1.05 per gallon by 2018 just to pay for the system in place now to maintain it and rebuild it up to snuff. Now add in the corporate welfare oil and auto companies receive that need to be accounted for, plus the environmental damage that smog, pollution, and oil spills cause and you begin to see the real picture.

An immediate $ .50 per gallon raise with another $ .25 or more per year raise until the additional $ 1.50 or $ 2.00 per gallon is reached.

http://www.icta.org/doc/RPG%20security%20update.pdf

http://www.ethanol.org/pdf/contentmgmt/The_Real_Price_of_Gas.pdf

http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=oil_home

http://www.gasda.org/Lists/Consumers%20Info/DispForm.aspx?ID=26

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
Well, that is what I saw proposed.

Yes and no actually. All of the midwest HSR initiatives are a phased approach that continue to build on the existing infrastructure which is quite rickety as is everything else in America's infrastructure but continue to increase speeds up to 150 MPH

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 17):
Acela's biggest problem is that they can't add enough trains to service all the demand. And in all likelihood, Acela would steal even more riders if it was faster....right now Acela rarely exceeds 90mph.

Acela is hamstrung by a many things which should be addressed. Obama is addressing a few of these to help them out. I take the train from Boston to NY and NY to Philly quite often when I'm back in the states so find the experience much more pleasant than the ridiculous charade which are TSA "secured" airports.

[Edited 2010-02-24 13:03:33]

User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19371 posts, RR: 58
Reply 23, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1402 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
o, there is less of a reason in the US for HSR as the distances are much, much greater in the US than the EU

The statement is incorrect. The distance between SF and LA is comparable to the distance between Madrid and Barcelona. The distances between DC, NYC and Boston are far less. What we need is TRUE high-speed rail (not this joke of an "Acela" that has an average line speed of 86mph) to take the load off the freeways and the air transport system in these high-volume, mid-distance markets.

Nobody, I repeat NOBODY is suggesting that it is a good solution for longer journeys. Maglev, which is still prohibitively expensive, is the solution for those journeys and nobody is seriously proposing that at this time.


User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 3928 posts, RR: 28
Reply 24, posted (4 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1373 times:

Quoting MoltenRock (Reply 9):

Nice hatchet job in editing out my statement. I did not say that infrastructure spending should not grow. I merely criticized how a topic started on a legitimate topic (infrastructure spending) suddenly turned out into a totally unrelated "let´s blame Bush on the economic crisis" train of thought.



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
25 AirframeAS : I think you are really, really purposely exaggerating that. I, for one, 1,000,000% disagree with you. It won't work. The land mass in square miles is
26 MoltenRock : My point was post 9/11 the President had once in a generation opportunity to fundamentally change the way America does business and travels. The Amer
27 DfwRevolution : The flaw of such studies is that they often include external factors to exaggerate a point. Namely, the U.S. would not field any smaller of a militar
28 FlyPNS1 : But what if our lifestyle isn't economically sustainable. Is it really sustainable to have a population that has a savings rate of near zero (as it w
29 BMI727 : Your finances are your business. People should save, but if the people across the street don't, it isn't my problem. Yes, if you can pay them. If you
30 DfwRevolution : People will gradually transfer from one lifestyle to another as necessary to maximize the satisfaction they can obtain from their resources. There is
31 N1120A : There is something to be said for aesthetics as a part of engineering. The original proposal was terrible. Existing infrastructure is already flawed.
32 DfwRevolution : Every single point you make is wrong. 1. Many interstate trips are local in nature. High-speed rail would do nothing to alleviate this traffic. 2. HS
33 Aaron747 : California's a different animal. The approvals process to pass environmental muster through CEQA alone costs hundreds of millions of dollars in legal
34 DocLightning : Well, duh. How can Amtrak possibly turn a profit when they have no way to compete effectively with other forms of transit? They need an adequate netw
35 Post contains images DfwRevolution : Amtrak is so uncompetitive, they carry 28 million people per year! Obviously they can obtain riders in significant quantity. They have demonstrated a
36 MoltenRock : Try $800 billion or more by the time you pull in all the disparate parts of the budget directly tied to defense, like nuclear arms being paid for und
37 FlyPNS1 : But it will be your problem because if those people have no money when they age, they will rely on social security, medicare and other government ser
38 Post contains images DfwRevolution : What constitutes "too much" infrastructure? Sounds arbitrary and subjective to me. Do you have some quantifiable figure that is meaningful? The cost
39 MoltenRock : You think Texas roads are "similar" to California's? Have you forgotten earthquakes? Any road or bridge that gets an overhaul in California then has
40 DfwRevolution : Completely valid point It is not a bad comparison. It illustrates the broader point that California invests less in infrastructure as a portion of it
41 Maverick623 : 76000 people per day is hardly a relatively significant quantity, especially compared to how many people airlines and our own interstate highways car
42 tz757300 : I don't think you realize that rail isn't going to replace anything fully, it will be supplemental and have its own market-share. I know many people
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