There has been a lot of grumbling about the expense of the proposed high speed rail line that would link Northern and Southern California. As with any massive infrastructure development, the issues are complex, effecting landscapes, people, and a myriad of special interests and the cost seems impossibly high for our poor, bankrupt state. That is, until you hear how much it will cost to bring freeways and airports up to par to meet the growing needs of our urbanizing population.

Our friend Peter Calthorpe has written this article in support of the project. He proposes a broad vision for the future of California. It’s different from our past, but it might be a better fit for who we are now. I for one, would like to ride it one day!

Why California needs high-speed rail
By Peter Calthorpe
San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, January 5, 2012

Just as the ’56 highway bill helped spawn the modern suburb, high-speed rail would energize a new generation of community building – one that fits our current environmental and economic needs. This is an investment we cannot afford not to make.