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Posts Tagged ‘San Diego’

Big Parking In Little Italy

Behold! San Diego’s new 10-story parking edifice:

sd_parking

This lot, near the Amtrak station and right at a light rail stop, is some very desirable real estate. How visionary of San Diego to utilize the lot for a giant parking garage:

The vision for the Waterfront Park at the County Administration Center led to the creation of the new garage. While visitors to the County building can use its new underground parking, employees needed a place close by to park. And the Little Italy structure allows the neighborhood to accommodate more visitors as well.

“It encourages people to visit this culturally rich and progressive community, a community with some of the best restaurants, hotels, stores, open markets and public events in the downtown area,” said Supervisor Ron Roberts.

General obligation bonds will be used to pay for the $24 million project.

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Shared Infrastructure

A misguided Editorial in the North County Times (San Diego) questions whether HSR service into San Diego would preclude extending the Sprinter DMU service into downtown San Diego:

Now state rail planners want to run the high-speed rail line along Interstate 15, which brings its own problems. Chief among them is that it would seem to eliminate the possibility of a local and long-talked-about light-rail line running from Escondido to San Diego proper along I-15. While we continue to believe that scarce transportation funds should be put into those methods that most people use —- i.e., freeways —- surely a light-rail line like the Sprinter or Coaster, or even an extension of the San Diego Trolley, makes far more sense than an expensive, intrusive and highly controversial bullet train.

This is certainly not the first time a newspaper editorial has raised the issue of HSR vs. local transport. It is a false dilemma because it presumes railroad tracks cannot be shared among a multitude of services.

Within urban areas, HSR trains will be traveling at conventional speeds anyway. And HSR is not like a metro, with trains running every few minutes. There is any number of ways an I15 alignment could be engineered to incorporate an extension of the Sprinter service. Indeed, that should be the goal! And it would be not complicated either, as Sprinter already uses UIC-spec, non-FRA-compliant rolling stock.

The real blame here is not with Editorial writers, but the CHSRA itself. They seem utterly uninterested in the regional/commuter benefits of this new infrastructure. If CHSRA won’t promote the local benefits of new ROW, then no wonder Editorial writers are confused.

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