The high-speed rail bill -- what the heck happened?
Even as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger keeps track of just how badly our state Legislators have blown the budget deadline (56 days and counting), he's ignoring one of his own, Steve Hymon, our Road Sage, reports:
A deadline has expired for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign a bill, AB 3034, that would have put in place financial guidelines for the $9.95-billion bond on the November ballot for a high-speed rail system in California.
Legislators spent most of the summer squabbling over the proposed route for the bullet train and other perks for their own districts they wanted in the bill. By the time they sent it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for his signature, Schwarzenegger had already said he wasn't signing any more bills until the state's budget shortfall was solved.
Quentin Kopp, the chair of the California High Speed Rail Authority, put out a statement today saying the authority would adopt most of the guidelines anyway. ... The most interesting part, I think, is that he reiterates his promise of the train taking only 2 1/2 hours to run between L.A. and San Francisco.
Steve does the math and comes up with an average speed of 140 mpg for the hypothetical train. (And asks for readers to check his work in case he somehow miscalculated.) The rest of the post -- and lots more transportation news -- can be read in the Bottleneck Blog.
-- Veronique de Turenne