High-speed rail needed now

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Do these issues mean anything right now? Severe highway congestion getting worse each year. Aviation in continuous decline with increased cancellations, delays and bankruptcies. Permanently rising fuel costs for transportation. Jobless claims through the roof and no money coming into the state’s tax coffers from the unemployed or the businesses where they would spend their earnings if they had good jobs. Honestly, do these things mean anything to you right now? Please don’t fall for the scare tactics of State Senator (Doug) LaMalfa in which he purchased a full-page ad to persuade everyone to sign on to another initiative to destroy the dream and the promises of the first high-speed rail system in the nation. High-speed rail provides congestion relief, mobility, time savings, convenience, creates millions of jobs nationwide, a catalyst to real estate market renewal, tourism renewal, transportation safety and reliability, energy savings (which lessens our dependence on foreign oil), is sustainable with renewable sources of energy, lowers our carbon footprint and is profitable. State, federal and private funding will make this a reality. There are private firms standing in line and expressed great interest in getting involved, but they won’t budge until the state and federal government make the initial investment move for the beginning stages of construction. The “train to nowhere” slogan LaMalfa uses is a red herring! The very best place to start building this project is in the Central Valley where the train can easily obtain a top speed of 220 mph, and the costs of construction would be a lot less because of the rural area it would traverse. Compare this fact to starting the building process in Los Angeles. Eminent domain issues would slow the process down, and the costs would be the highest of anywhere else on the proposed route. Additionally, the current Amtrak route would be blended into this finished section of high-speed rail until such time as the entire route is finished, thusly resolving the train to nowhere notion. HSR will put many people back to work and will exponentially increase our state’s and nation’s tax base. Let’s not be penny wise and pound foolish. We need high-speed rail and the sooner the better! If not now ... when? Tim Smith, Cool