While riding the Shinkansen from Nagoya to Kyoto and back last year, I got a real eye opener. It wasn't just the amazing scenes of sleepy villages and snowy bamboo hillsides that passed by between dark mountain tunnels but rather the vision that had gone into imagining the future. I could picture a group of people excitedly talking about the possibilities of moving people at high speed, smoothly and comfortably, all across the country, freeing up road space and stimulating economic opportunity. I don't know how much resistance their plan met along the way but apparently they were able to convince the right people and made it happen.
This November, the people of California will have the opportunity to vote on a $10 billion bond measure which will show the world they have the vision to put in place the needed infrastructure to meet a crowded future. I know $10 billion is a lot but if you put it into a certain perspective, it's not so bad. Especially if you look at it as an economic investment.
Imagine going from downtown L.A. to San Francisco in under 2 1/2 hours while working on a presentation (or commenting at your favorite blog) or just watching a movie on your laptop. No annoying click clack of rails or encumbering traffic. How about if the train was powered by electricity made with zero greenhouse gas emissions (PDF)? Sounds great to me. Need more information? Check out a video by California High-Speed Rail Authority.