State should never build high-speed rail

We cannot afford a high-speed rail system. It should never be built. The only thing this thing will create is a statewide BART fiasco.

Greg Fitzgerald

Sacramento

Less-expensive options instead of new system

Why are we still considering this expensive boondoggle when there is a less expensive high-speed rail system that can be built with upgraded existing trackways at less cost? It won't be a fancy bullet train, but will serve more communities and more people.

The proposed system will serve two communities -- those at either end. When you consider time to get to either end, you have already lost your time advantage.

Airports have more access points, but you must submit to metal detectors, having your porno picture taken by TSA scanners, being groped by TSA agents, and other affronts to the Fourth Amendment. That and other delays eat into any time advantage air travel used to have.

Upgrading the existing rail system will yield more access points and fewer hassles for boarding. This should make up for any time lost because the trains won't go as fast as bullet trains.

I think suspending environmental laws is a second stupid idea on top of a first stupid idea.

Andy Breglia

Fremont

Spend money fixing the Delta instead of plan

I oppose spending $69 billion for high-speed rail.

California desperately needs that money to repair our aging and failing Delta water system dikes, without which we all go begging for water -- an economic disaster for the state.

That's far more important than the railroad. It would be a waste of time and money to even consider suspending environmental laws just so the governor can get his pet project done.

Thomas Kirkpatrick

Half Moon Bay

Not a viable project; it must be stopped

High-speed rail is not a viable project and needs to be scrapped in its entirety, post haste.

Simon E. Earnest

Fremont

Investment would bring great benefits

Cultures and their governments make guns-vs.-butter decisions nearly weekly. California culture and elected government have too often selected butter.

One clear result with daily impact for all of us: Insufficient refinery capacity for our population. Impact: High fuel prices at the petrol pump.

Now comes environmental regulation/interests in conflict with a super-infrastructure project with state capacity-changing implications for decades to come. This is clearly another guns-vs.-butter decision.

It's a mistake to use our positive environmental culture as a red herring to stop the high-speed rail. No country that has one regrets the connections it brings, not one.

As sophisticated as arguments are to the contrary, they are really only as sounding brass and tinkling cymbals compared with the strategic benefits such an infrastructure investment would yield.

Eric Stoddard

San Ramon

High-speed rail project would only serve rich

The June 10 article about stopping high-speed raid said it best. Thanks to the paper for having the courage to stand up for schools, social services, etc.

We need to stop high-speed rail that would serve only rich people.

Alice Hansen

Los Gatos

Project is symbolic of government problem

If Gov. Jerry Brown wants voters to take his tax proposition seriously, he should cancel the high-speed rail project. The overburdened taxpayers of this state will vote for yet more taxes only if they are convinced that the government is doing everything it can to eliminate waste and fraud.

This project is symbolic of the problems in government today: An idealistic project is sold to the public with unrealistic (if not fraudulent) cost and benefit projections, a commission is created and consultants are hired, lobbyists arm-twist and make contributions to elected officials, and the project takes on a life of its own even though it is nowhere close to meeting its original objectives.

If Brown were to place the rail issue back on the ballot, he wouldn't need to face the dilemma of suspending the environmental laws.

By the way, by even suggesting a suspension of the environmental requirements, the governor is tacitly admitting that these regulations may be unduly burdensome. Perhaps a streamlining of those rules might help in getting our economy moving again.

Bill Lau

Lafayette

Not the time to do anything like this

This is not the time to be spending billions of dollars on a fast railroad system, especially when we are not even improving anything but speed. (Need to change the size and other factors.)

Timothy Moder

Berkeley

Interesting that Brown wants to avoid scrutiny

So, Gov. Jerry Brown doesn't want the environmental rules that the rest of us are stuck with to apply to his pet projects -- fancy that.

If the environmental laws are that bad, then let's eliminate them for everyone, especially if, as Brown says, we can create more jobs faster without these laws.

Of course, when private industry creates jobs, it's typically because they make things that people want and can afford. Brown's train is little more than the modern analog to the pyramid, another useless monument to an oversize and undeserved ego.

The Legislature should not allow Brown to escape the laws he supported. In fact, let's use them to stop more of our money from being squandered.

We know now that the original $30 billion estimate was absurdly low, and given that BART is spending several billion for just a few miles of new track, the bullet train will likely cost closer to $300 billion.

Few Californians will be able to afford Brown's train -- no wonder he wants to eliminate further scrutiny.

Dick Patterson

El Cerrito

Our children will have to pay for this mistake

Many reasons not to build it, among them being that such a train is unnecessary in California, which is far more sparsely occupied than places where high-speed rain is successful. The citizens have spoken.

Environment reports indicate it is a flawed plan. It will cost far more than we should be spending/planning to spend in this troubled economy.

Why should our children and their children pay for such a boondoggle? Stop it now before any more money is spent, money we don't have.

Who would buy a California bond to finance it? Not I.

Gov. Brown mistakenly thinks this will be a feather in his cap. Not likely.

Jeanne Hassenzahl

Piedmont

Spend money on better things than rail project

I will not vote for another Democrat.

There is a $15 billion budget deficit this year, California schools are the arm pit of the nation and facing more cuts, poor people are being ignored -- and they want to build a train costing $70 billion?

Oh, and they are asking voters to approve a tax increase. Get real. We can't afford to do this anymore.

Forget about the high-speed rail and concentrate on what the people of California really want: safety and education.

Hank Jones

Pleasanton