November 2009 home page


Bullet Train on Slow Track
Dave Druker | 11th Street


Photo FOX 5 San Diego Staff.
Public gets first comments on new bullet train
Posted on October 11, 2009. www.fox5sandiego.com/news/kswb-speedtrain-sd,0,5885432.story

In the last election the voters of California approved a bond issue to continue the construction of a high speed rail system from San Diego to Los Angeles to Sacramento and San Francisco. The next step in this project is to finalize the routes, reduce the alternative routes and prepare the Environmental Impact Reports. The closest that the High Speed Rail comes to Del Mar is about 6 miles southeast – at University Towne Center.

The proposed route from Los Angeles to San Diego goes from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to Ontario to Riverside to Temecula to Escondido (down 1-15) to the Miramar area. Then the train will cut across San Diego County either along Miramar Road or Carroll Canyon to UTC. From UTC the train will travel down I-5 to Lindbergh Field or the Santa Fe Depot. Unfortunately the segment between Los Angeles and San Francisco will be constructed before the San Diego to LA segment even though the San Diego to LA corridor is the second most travelled corridor in the country behind Washington to Boston.

While there are many arguments against the High Speed Rail mostly due to cost and viability, ultimately I believe that High Speed Rail will be good for California. About 40% of the airline traffic at Lindbergh field is due to planes going to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Los Angeles. If some of this traffic could be reduced by high speed rail, the viability of Lindbergh Field would be extended. For many people living in Modesto, Fresno and Bakersfield the ability for travel by airplane is extremely expensive. A few months ago, my daughter tried to fly from Seattle to Bakersfield; the cost was outrageous and the flight choice was limited to one flight a day. She ended up flying to San Diego and then driving to Bakersfield. For San Diego the high speed rail will provide a better means for those people living in Temecula to get to work in San Diego. Finally the time it now takes to fly from San Diego to Sacramento or San Francisco is almost the same as it will be to take a high speed rail (time includes need to get to the airport at least an hour early for security checks and getting to and from the airport at both ends of the trip).

For Del Mar, we are not directly affected by High Speed Rail, but the impacts for more convenient travel will be a great indirect benefit.


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