05/25/2018

News

The Fatally Flawed Centerpiece of California’s Transportation Future

There is a stark contrast between California’s private entrepreneurial culture, as reflected in the marvels of transportation engineering they are developing, and California’s political culture, as reflected in their ongoing commitment to “high speed rail,” in all of its stupefying expense, its useless grandeur, its jobs for nothing, its monumental initial waste, situated miles from […]

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Where Commuting Is the Worst

In 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau found that it took the average commuter more than 26 minutes to get to work. That figure might sound less than much—26 minutes is about enough time to finish a podcast, after all, and some historians argue that a roughly half-hour commute has been optimal since caveman days. But […]

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California’s Transportation Future, Part One – The Fatally Flawed Centerpiece

California’s transportation future is bright. In every area of transportation innovation, California-based companies are leading the way. Consortiums of major global companies have offices throughout the San Francisco Bay area, pioneering self-driving cars that consolidate technologies from not just automakers, but cell phone manufacturers, chip designers, PC makers, telecoms, and software companies. In Southern California […]

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Editorial: Hyperloop Is Running Circles Around California’s ‘High Speed’ Rail Boondoggle

Just five years ago, Elon Musk proposed his breakthrough “hyperloop” transportation idea, and there is already talk of building it in major urban areas. Over those same five years, California’s government-funded high-speed rail project has seen nothing but cost overruns and delays. When Musk announced his futuristic hyperloop idea — a mass transit system in […]

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Why New York City Stopped Building Subways

In the first decades of the 20th century, New York City experienced an unprecedented infrastructure boom. Iconic bridges, opulent railway terminals, and much of what was then the world’s largest underground and rapid transit network were constructed in just 20 years. Indeed, that subway system grew from a single line in 1904 to a network […]

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Recent years prove we need more water storage

The need for more storage has been evident for decades, and although Southern California’s water agencies, particularly the Metropolitan Water District, have been diligent about adding it, Northern California, where most of the rain falls, has been negligent. . . . The recent drought was by no means the first. Gov. Jerry Brown’s first governorship […]

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Why Sacramento County dumped 290 tons of recyclables in a landfill

For one week in early February, roughly one-third of all recyclables collected by Sacramento County — an estimated 290 tons — was packed into trucks and dumped at a county landfill. The amount of cardboard, newspapers, bottles and cans taken to the landfill totaled about 8.5 percent of the 3,400 tons of recyclables collected monthly, […]

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Connecting the Dots by Transit in Los Angeles?

Over the past three years, the nation’s largest transit systems have endured a broad and unprecedented ridership decline. By far the largest drop has been in Los Angeles and this has resulted in justifiable consternation. Metro, the largest transit system in Los Angeles County, has seen its passenger counts (boardings, see Note 1) drop from […]

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Humans slapped and shouted at robot cars in two of six DMV crash reports this year

The human response to possible takeover by robot overlords is off to a troubling start. Of six crash reports involving robot cars filed in California so far this year, two involved a human approaching the car and attacking it. On Jan. 2, a Chevy Bolt EV operated by General Motors’ Cruise driverless car division in […]

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Driverless cars are expected on California streets in April. What does it mean for you?

Starting in early April, auto manufacturers and technology companies will be free to put cars onto California city streets for testing with no one at the wheel – and in fact no one even in the car. The Department of Motor Vehicles received legal approval Monday to publish the ground rules – and will begin […]

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New bullet train business plan will show higher costs, CEO Brian Kelly says

The California bullet train will take longer to build and cost more than previously estimated under a soon-to-be-released business plan, but plans to begin the project by linking the Bay Area to the Central Valley remain intact, according to the rail authority’s new chief executive, Brian Kelly. Kelly, who took over leadership of the project […]

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Bureaucrats are blocking badly needed reservoirs

Four years ago, California voters directed the government to update our state water system by passing Proposition 1, a $7 billion water bond that included clear guidelines for investing $2.7 billion in new reservoirs. Voters expected billions of gallons of water to be added to our surface storage system. Sadly, with a dry start to […]

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California water agency gets scolded: Speed up spending billions on new reservoirs

With California facing another potential drought, legislators demanded Wednesday that a state agency release $2.7 billion in bond funding for dams, reservoirs and other water storage projects. Assembly Republican Leader Brian Dahle, pulling a child’s red wagon, arrived at a meeting of the California Water Commission with a stack of petitions with 4,000 signatures supporting […]

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Facing specter of drought, California farmers are told to expect little water

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Tuesday that most farmers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta who get water from the federal Central Valley Project will receive just 20 percent of their requested allocation this year. Some south-of-Delta farmers on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley will get 30 percent allotments because of […]

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What Can Go Wrong with Trump’s Infrastructure Plan? Look to California

To see how bad decisions can be, look at California, a state which once led in economically critical infrastructure but now striving to present the worst possible example. Over the past two decades, California has become among the states least committed to new infrastructure, despite absurdly high tax levels. And when the spigot has been […]

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