The Grizzly Bear Constellation represents a supportive recognition of the leadership and reality of the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s leadership on high-speed rail in the USA, Brightline USA’s plan to connect to Las Vegas, as well as a few modest suggestions for faster growth for corridors outside of the central valley. I firmly stand by Gov. Newsome’s strategy to complete the initial segment from Merced to Bakersfield. Current funds should not be reallocated to other areas. This map is a suggested proposal for requesting new federal funds to build two new segments in Northern and Southern California. By requesting dedicated funds to two new separate lines, connecting the largest cities in Northern and Southern California, San Francisco to Sacramento and Los Angeles to San Diego, it serves large populations, and creates an opportunity for friendly competition to complete new lines faster. The planning, design, and construction teams could be rewarded with bonuses and the publicity of completing their corridor first, along with rewards for safety and accuracy.
The Bear Constellation connects the state’s two major metropolitan areas, with the state capitol, and the port city of San Diego, and eventually connect with the central valley corridor currently under construction. Connections to Anaheim and Barstow, as considered in California’s master plan, can happen later. Once Bakersfield and Merced are connected through Fresno, Californians can turn their attention to serving the megaregions of Northern and Southern California, this will help with connections to the Nevada and Arizona high-speed rail programs.
Sacramento being the state capital, there is already the Amtrak Capital corridor connecting with San Jose and the east bay, but not San Francisco, directly. San Francisco being the capital of the bay area and silicon valley should have a high-speed passenger rail direct connection with the state capital. From Sacramento, long-distance Amtrak lines stretch north to Oregon and Washington and east to Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and beyond.
Los Angeles, America’s second largest city, is an expansive and expensive city, and more opportunities for affordable housing should extend throughout southern California. That’s why I propose connecting San Diego with L.A. by way of San Bernardino with strategic stops in between. This line can follow the I-210 and I-215 / I-15 corridors and eventually spur connections to Anaheim and Barstow for the Las Vegas connection. The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner route will be supported with connections in San Diego and Los Angeles. It also can connect to the Amtrak station in San Bernardino for existing long-distance lines east to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and destinations further east.
The Grizzly Bear Constellation helps connect the central valley, Northern California and Southern California. This improves travel to and from Sacramento, San Diego, and almost every medium-sized city in the north and south sides of the state. These in-state extensions and enhancements will provide high-speed stations in four primary urban areas in California to connect, improve real estate values, incentivize construction in smaller cities, and extends passenger rail growth across the state to smaller mid-state cities, not just enhance Los Angeles and San Francisco. Imagine what you could do when traveling the 120 miles from Los Angeles to San Diego in under an hour, or San Francisco to Sacramento in under an hour!
Consider the possibilities for business or recreational, comfortable, low-carbon travel between these major Californian cities. This could help more Californians meet with their elected officials in state government, strengthening our democracy, as well as local basketball, football, baseball, soccer, and hockey rivalry games across the state. Californians, whether regular tourists or business travelers, should support a complete, competitive California High-Speed Rail network beyond just the central valley for clean-tech jobs in construction and maintenance, and to support a clean-tech economy for the new decade and beyond. From San Diego Bay to the Sacramento River Valley, and numerous stops in the LA Basin, the San Fernando Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area, multitudes of tech companies, farmers, ranchers, fantastic restaurants, breweries, wineries, coffee roasters, stunning landscapes with modern hotels and quaint beds and breakfasts, the Grizzly Bear Constellation will connect California faster than ever before.
Following the I-80, 99, I-5, I-210, I-215, and I-15 corridors, this plan will reduce carbon emissions from car, airline, and bus travel, which is good for the planet, California tourism, small businesses, tech corporations, farming, hunting, and wildlife, and help Californians be more connected with contacts, family and friends in nearby cities and provide better, more reliable rail access to Nevada and Arizona also.
The second phases (beyond the already allocated central valley line) of 207 miles from Los Angeles to San Diego and San Francisco to Sacramento could cost around $24.6 billion and could create $218 billion in economic benefits to the state. Once California completes its high-speed rail program, the major metropolitan areas of North, South, and Central regions of the state will have access to fast, reliable passenger rail from San Diego to Sacramento, extending a leading extensive network of regional travel possibilities.
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