180 and farmland – Part 1

One of the arguments being used against High Speed Rail in California is the impact it will have on agricultural land. After all, the valley depends on the prime farming land for our economic needs, and it just doesn’t make sense to pave over productive farmland.

The argument itself isn’t a bad one. Yes, high speed rail will take up farm space. Yes, high speed rail will require taking people’s property.

But my question is, why aren’t these same people bringing up these concerns when it comes to other transportation projects in the valley?

Some like to bring up the building of I-5 as an example, but I don’t think it’s a good one. The same people protesting today were in a very different place 40 years ago, so I can’t blame them for not bringing up the concerns in the past. After all, people’s opinions change, and people generally become more informed as time goes on.

So let’s look at the here and the now: The millions and millions being spent to extent 180, from nowhere to nowhere. Of course, you’ll recall those who framed HSR as a “train to nowhere” due to the cities chosen as the starting point of construction. That’s a fallacy because the plan is to connect SF to LA, and of course there are many major stops along the way.

But the 180?

Well, let’s take a look for ourselves. I am going to be posting some imagery from google of the project. The satellite imagery is from 2009, and the aerial (angled) imagery is from 2010.

Please note the farmland being consumed.

2009: Locan to Dewolfe

2010: Locan to Dewolfe

2009: Dewolfe to Leonard

2010: Dewolfe to Leonard

I’ll continue tomorrow.

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