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High-speed rail: Here comes the cash

I don’t post every news headline that pops up on fresnobee.com, but I feel this one needs some notice simply because of the potential for high-speed rail to profoundly impact this region:

As President Barack Obama voiced strong support for high-speed rail in his State of the Union address Wednesday, federal officials announced that California will get a big share of the $8 billion fund for projects nationwide. California will get $2.25 billion to help build a high-speed rail system connecting Southern California to the Bay Area through the San Joaquin Valley …

Lots of ink has been spilled on this already, of course. But this marks a significant step. I know that high-speed rail is going to take a LONG time to come to fruition, but it might end up having more of an impact on downtown revitalization/culture/Fresno’s city image than just about anything else in our lifetimes.

Responses to "High-speed rail: Here comes the cash"

tay says:

wow….I hope this happens while I’m still alive…lol (I’m 23)
But really, this would help Fresno out so much!
Jobs, culture, business…..everything!

Plus, it would be cool to get to LA of SF faster and hopefuly cheaper!

Tay

Kathy says:

I take Amtrak to SF sometimes and it’s great. It would even better to be able to cruise the state in fast way. I love leaving the car at home.

Chris Campbell says:

Fresno is here solely because Leland Stanford decided to put a railway station at the Easterby Ranch so it would be fitting that a 21st Century train revives downtown.

anonymous says:

I’m Skeptical…how exactly will this help fresno? According to the High Speed Rail Authority the train will be used to compete with air travel, so i don’t see it spurring downtown growth much. Maybe some auxillary businesses will sprout around the station, but that doesn’t mean people will start living downtown or air pollution is going to get better. I was once excited about this project, but I have kind of come to think that the supposed benefits don’t out weigh the costs.

i go a little in both directions on this topic. how much business can we give it? the train and airports have slashed prices because not many see fresno as a hub of travel. i am sure if a stop does open up some day business will jump, but will soon fall flat. i hope it does not.

Donald Munro says:

To Anonymous and Billy: I don’t think the economic impact will be as much in terms of actual people traveling here as the billions in infrastructure and support that will be spent on it over the years. Already the city is aggressively trying to land a maintenance facility for it, which would provide lots of good-paying jobs. And that’s what Fresno needs. Also, having a high-speed rail station with easy transport will change Fresno’s relationship to the rest of the state — making it much more accessible and attractive to businesses and residents.

Donald, in the words of the immortal budweiser whazzup commercials: true, true.

anonymous says:

I think Fresno’s relationship to the rest of the state would change for the worse. Greater accessibility to SF and LA would just exacerbate their cultural influence on Fresno, which some may see as a good thing, but i think somewhat sad. If someone likes Fresno for what it is or atleast was, they wouldn’t want it to become more like LA, or SF, or Sacramento.

As for the maintenance facility, what if we don’t get it? I think the mayor is doing the right thing going after it because if it’s coming we might as well get all we can out of it, but that doesn’t mean we, as citizens should support it. Our economic development shouldn’t rely on state infrastructure projects, they are no substitute for good public policy on education,city planning, crime, etc.

I don’t think HSR is going to benefit Frsno much and I REALLY don’t think it’s going to benefit the state. Dan Walter’s has a good piece on this http://www.sacbee.com/politics/story/2484870.html

And he doesn’t even mention the effect such a large project will have on California’s landscape, think of Los Banos becoming a super-sprawled commuter town, and Pacheco Pass being torn up. Maybe I am just afraid of change, but I could see this project leading to some tragic losses for our city and state.