High Speed Rail Neg – Table of Contents

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Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League High Speed Rail Neg

355 S. Grand Ave, Suite 3500

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High Speed Rail Neg – Table of Contents

Glossary 2

Glossary 3

Glossary 4

No Harms – Climate Change – Not True 5

No Harms – Climate Change – Humans Can Adapt 6

No Harms – Competitiveness – Private Sector Solves 7

No Harms – Competitiveness – Economic Collapse Doesn’t Cause War 8

No Solvency – States Will Reject 10

No Solvency – Climate Change 11

No Solvency – Climate Change – Too Fast 12

No Solvency – Climate Change – China Outweighs 13

No Solvency – Climate Change – Other Emissions Outweigh 14

No Solvency – Competitiveness 15

No Solvency – Competitiveness – China Example 16

No Solvency – Competitiveness – Other Issues Outweigh 17

No Solvency – Competitiveness – Other Issues Outweigh 18

No Solvency – Urban Sprawl Turn 19

No Solvency – Urban Sprawl Turn 20

No Solvency – Urban Sprawl Turn – Link Extension 21

No Solvency – Urban Sprawl Turn – Answers to: Urban Sprawl Increasing Now 22

Spending/Taxes Link 23

States Counterplan Solvency 24


Amtrak. The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States (Wikipedia)
Annual. Annual is every year. For example, if you have a subscription to an annual magazine you will receive that magazine once a year.
Anthropogenic. Anthropogenic means it is caused by humans. In context, anthropogenic warming is warming caused by humans.
Appropriation. An appropriation is the amount of money that is made available for a specific purpose. For example, Congress could appropriate $1 billion to develop new railroads.
Climate change. “Climate change” refers to the total average change in the earth’s climate that is due to human influence, particular the burning of fossil fuels (primarily coal and oil)
Commuter. Many people live outside large American cities and take local trains to work. These people are referred to as commuters.
Competitiveness. Competitiveness refers to the ability of the United States to compete economically by being able to sell goods at affordable prices, particularly prices that lower than companies from other countries. Competiveness refers to the quality of the goods.
Coral reef. Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps are like tiny sea anemones, to which they are closely related.

Domestic. Domestic refers to within the United States. The term is contracted to “foreign,” which means outside the United States.

Depression. A depression is a severe economic downturn that lasts for many years.
Electricity grid. The electricity grid is the power stations and power lines that supply electricity throughout the country.
Electrification. Electrification refers to making rail tracks capable of supporting trains that run on electricity.


Export. When goods are sold and shipped abroad they are exported.
Federal. Federal refers to a government structure. In the United States, the federal government is the central governing body of the United States.
Freight. Freight is goods that are transferred on things like rail, boats, and airplanes
Global warming. Global warming is another term for climate change.
Great Power. Great Powers are the major, most powerful countries on Earth. The US, China, and Russia are currently great powers.
Indisputable. Indisputable means that something is true and that the truth cannot be refuted.
Intercity. Between cities
Manufacturing. Manufacturing is the production of goods.
Monopoly. A monopoly is an entity that has complete control.
Oil dependence. Oil dependence refers to the idea that a country needs to import its oil in order to have enough to meet the domestic demand for oil.
Revenue. Revenue is money that is taken in or earned as part of a particular project.

State. State refers to the individual 50 states.
Spearhead. Spearhead means to lead.

Strait of Hormuz. The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow, strategically important strait between the Gulf of Oman in the southeast and the Persian Gulf. On the north coast is Iran and on the south coast is the United Arab Emirates and Musandam, an exclave of Oman.

Urban Sprawl. The development of large suburbs on the outskirts of big cities where people live and then commute into work.


AAR. American Association of Railroads
CBO. Congressional Budget Office
CFR. Council on Foreign Relations
CO2. Carbon Dioxide
GDP. Gross Domestic Product
GHG. Greenhouse gases
IPCC. International Panel on Climate Change
K-12. US grades kindergarten-12th grade
MIT. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
NASA. National Aeronautic and Space Agency
PTC. Positive Train Control
PWRG. Passenger Rail Working Group
STB. Surface Transportation Board
UCS. Union of Concerned Scientists

No Harms – Climate Change – Not True


[____] Climate change theory is false – humans not to blame

Senate Minority Report, 2007

(December, http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.SenateReport#report)

Atmospheric scientist Dr. Nathan Paldor, Professor of Dynamical Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has authored almost 70 peer-reviewed studies and won several awards. "First, temperature changes, as well as rates of temperature changes (both increase and decrease) of magnitudes similar to that reported by IPCC to have occurred since the Industrial revolution (about 0.8C in 150 years or even 0.4C in the last 35 years) have occurred in Earth's climatic history. There's nothing special about the recent rise!" Paldor told EPW on December 4, 2007. "Second, our ability to make realizable (or even sensible) future forecasts are greatly exaggerated relied upon by the IPCC. This is true both for the numerical modeling efforts (the same models that yield abysmal 3-day forecasts are greatly simplified and run for 100 years!)," Paldor explained. "Third, the rise in atmospheric CO2 is much smaller (by about 50%) than that expected from the anthropogenic activity (burning of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas), which implies that the missing amount of CO2 is (most probably) absorbed by the ocean.

No Harms – Climate Change – Humans Can Adapt

[____] Adaptation to climate change solves

World Bank, 2012

(“Climate Change Adaptation,” http://climatechange.worldbank.org/overview/climate-change-adaptation)

Climate change affects the poor and the vulnerable in two main ways. First, agriculture productivity is very sensitive to changes in rainfall and the length of seasons, and poor people are heavily dependent on agriculture as a source of income and sustenance. Many poor people also live in areas that are acutely vulnerable to severe weather, and greater extremes will continue to make their lives more fragile. The World Bank is helping developing countries and their people find ways to adapt to the changes that have begun. Traditional development activities often enhance adaptive capacity, but some can worsen problems. Adaptation is thus not a standalone issue, but needs to be integrated throughout national, sectorial, regional, and local planning processes, as well as at the project level. Developing drought-resistant crops, managing scarce water supplies, protecting forests and coastal ecosystems, and improving access to energy will all help vulnerable groups survive in coming decades.

The World Bank is helping countries adapt in many ways, including:

Improving weather data collection and forecasts (for farmers and insurers)

Providing technical assistance (such as extension services on new crop varieties, help for health systems addressing new diseases)

Developing and sharing knowledge on options in land use, forestry, and agriculture

Assessing risk and vulnerability

Prioritizing investment through better understanding of options and costs

Helping develop drought- and saline-resistant crops


Eliminating counterproductive incentives (such as subsidies for water-intensive crops)

Creating appropriate incentives for private sector action (including private insurance)

Improving land security and social protection

Improving integrated river-basin and ecosystems-based planning


Strengthening institutions in key sectors (including water, agriculture, infrastructure)

Increasing coordination among sectors for disaster risk management

Improving participatory processes and community involvement in decisions

Strengthening disaster preparedness and safety nets for disaster-hit households

Providing key public services (hydro-meteorological services, early warning systems)
No Harms – Competitiveness – Private Sector Solves


[____] Private capital is sufficient now

McClellan et al., Woodside Consulting vice president, 2011

(Jim, “The Future of Rail”, 5-11, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703834804576301230350030512.html, DOA: 4-19-12)

MR. MCCLELLAN: I am moderately bullish on the freight railroads. The mainline network is in great shape; as good as I have seen it in my 40-plus years in the business. Railroad finances are in good order. Railroads showed remarkable ability to weather the great recession, and they now seem able to deal with wide swings in traffic volumes in an efficient manner, which is in marked contrast to what I saw in the '60s and '70s. MR. RENNICKE: If the traffic-level trajectories are correct, then ton-mile [one ton of paying freight shipped one mile] growth could be in the 80% range by 2035 to 2040, and on this basis, industry prospects are bright. Rail activity could possibly even double by the midpoint of the century. North American rail-freight rates would continue to be the lowest or one of the lowest in the world, and the industry would finance most or all of its capital requirements without public support.

[____] Private sector solves

Business Insider 2012

(“A Complete Breakdown Of Freight Railroad Spending In The US”, 1-31, http://www.businessinsider.com/a-complete-breakdown-of-freight-railroad-spending-in-the-us-2012-1, DOA: 4-19-12)

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) announced yesterday that it plans to spend a record $13 billion on the nation's freight railroads and hire more than 15,000 new employees in 2012. “Unlike trucks, barges or airlines, America’s freight railroads operate on infrastructure they own, build and maintain themselves so taxpayers don’t have to. And this year they are investing at a record rate to meet the demands of the recovering economy,” Edward R. Hamberger, AAR President and CEO, said in a press release.
No Harms – Competitiveness – Economic Collapse Doesn’t Cause War


[____] Collapse doesn’t cause war – best statistical and historical analyses prove.

Morris Miller, former Executive Director and Senior Economist at the World Bank, 2000

(Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Vol. 25, Iss. 4, Winter, “Poverty as a cause of wars?” p. Proquest)

The question may be reformulated. Do wars spring from a popular reaction to a sudden economic crisis that exacerbates poverty and growing disparities in wealth and incomes? Perhaps one could argue, as some scholars do, that it is some dramatic event or sequence of such events leading to the exacerbation of poverty that, in turn, leads to this deplorable denouement. This exogenous factor might act as a catalyst for a violent reaction on the part of the people or on the part of the political leadership who would then possibly be tempted to seek a diversion by finding or, if need be, fabricating an enemy and setting in train the process leading to war. According to a study undertaken by Minxin Pei and Ariel Adesnik of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, there would not appear to be any merit in this hypothesis. After studying ninety-three episodes of economic crisis in twenty-two countries in Latin America and Asia in the years since the Second World War they concluded that:19 Much of the conventional wisdom about the political impact of economic crises may be wrong ... The severity of economic crisis - as measured in terms of inflation and negative growth - bore no relationship to the collapse of regimes ... (or, in democratic states, rarely) to an outbreak of violence ... In the cases of dictatorships and semidemocracies, the ruling elites responded to crises by increasing repression (thereby using one form of violence to abort another).

[____] And, every card they read will be based off World War II – that theory is false.

Nial Ferguson, professor of history at Harvard, 2006

(Foreign Affairs, “The Next War of the World”, p. online)
Nor can economic crises explain the bloodshed. What may be the most familiar causal chain in modern historiography links the Great Depression to the rise of fascism and the outbreak of World War II. But that simple story leaves too much out. Nazi Germany started the war in Europe only after its economy had recovered. Not all the countries affected by the Great Depression were taken over by fascist regimes, nor did all such regimes start wars of aggression. In fact, no general relationship between economics and conflict is discernible for the century as a whole. Some wars came after periods of growth, others were the causes rather than the consequences of economic catastrophe, and some severe economic crises were not followed by wars.

No Solvency – States Will Reject


[____] Governors will reject federal money

Business Insider, 2012

(June 5, http://www.businessinsider.com/californias-failing-project-could-spell-the-end-of-high-speed-rail-for-the-whole-country-2012-6 “California’s Failing Project Could Spell the End of High Speed Rail.”

Republican governors across the country have criticized high-speed projects and rejected federal money to fund rail development. Mr Obama, meanwhile, has redistributed the rejected money to states like California that are run by Democrats and are more receptive to high-speed rail. All this makes sense. Mr Obama made high-speed-rail funding a big part of his 2008 stimulus package, and political scientists generally believe that a president weighing in on an issue polarizes people's opinions about it. In California, 76% of Republicans now oppose the high-speed-rail project, compared to just 47% of Democrats.  The other problem, of course, is that powerful local and regional interests are threatened by the high-speed-rail plans. Airlines, freight transporters and not-in-my-backyard activists all have problems with the project. High-speed rail's opponents smell blood and are not going to fall in line, and the train plan is many years from completion. Unless California's leaders are truly committed to pushing high-speed rail forward and spending political capital to do so this plan is probably doomed. And when it comes to high-speed rail, as goes California, so goes the nation.

No Solvency – Climate Change

[____] Building new rail lines expends energy, doesn’t solve climate change
Keet, Steering Committee of the Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates, 2012

(Lee, “Why we don’t need the railroad restored, even if gas goes to $8/gallon”, 2-20, http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/529392/Why-we-don-t-need-the-railroad-restored--even-if-gas-goes-to--8-gallon.html?nav=5041, DOA: 5-15-12, ldg)

And then the final argument: greenhouse gasses. Surely, trains are better. Sorry, not true. To quote Mr. O'Toole's article, "Construction of new rail lines, or reconstruction of existing ones, is very expensive in dollars, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions; yet the most successful lines have attracted only a tiny percentage of motorists out of their automobiles. Even the best rail transit lines provide only small energy and greenhouse benefits relative to the most efficient automobiles. And most rail transit lines in the United States actually consume more energy per passenger mile than the average passenger car.
No Solvency – Climate Change – Too Fast

[____] Climate change is too fast – the small emissions reductions of the affirmative are just a drop in the bucket

Atkinson et al., president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, 2010

(Robert, “Ten Myths of Addressing Global Warming and the Green Economy”, June, http://www.itif.org/files/2010-green-economy-myths.pdf)

Perhaps no social and economic issue is getting so much attention these days as the need to transition to a low-carbon economy. Most scientific evidence suggests that a 50 to 85 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) must occur by 2050 to prevent global temperatures from rising more than two degrees Celsius. Toward that end, numerous advocacy groups, scholars, think tanks and others have proposed a variety of steps to take based on a set of assumptions about the green economy. Yet, while we need to take bold action to address climate change, much of what passes for conventional wisdom in this space is in fact either wrong or significantly exaggerated. There are several key reasons why conventional wisdom is incorrect, or at best significantly overstated. One is that because the magnitude of change needed is much larger than many realize, many conventional solutions simply won’t achieve the global scale needed. The simple equation below demonstrates the scale of the challenge. Growth in global GHG emissions is largely a factor of population change, per capita income change, and our “dirtiness” of every unit of consumption. The last factor describes how much less polluting (in terms of GHG emissions) our business-as-usual economy needs to become as the other two factors vary. Greenhouse Gas Change = Population Change * Per-Capita Income Change * Dirtiness Factor If the goal is to reduce GHG by 50 percent by 2050, it’s not enough for each unit of economic activity to be 50 percent “cleaner.” Global population is expected to grow by 46 percent (not a desirable goal and one we can and should take efforts to slow). Moreover, per-capita income growth is expected to increase by 129 percent (a desirable goal). Put those two factors together, and now the planet’s economic activity must become 84 percent less polluting to achieve the over 50 percent reduction in GHG. That is, we need an 84 percent reduction in our “dirtiness” for every unit of energy we utilize. By any measure, this is a great hurdle given the expectations that neither population nor income growth are going to hold steady over the next four decades. A second factor limiting the discourse is the belief of many that innovation is “manna from heaven” that either just happens or perhaps occurs if we raise the price of carbon by some modest amount. But in fact, innovation in general, and energy innovation in particular, is a quite difficult and complex process that is dependent on much more than modest price signals. Energy innovation requires a coherent energy innovation policy.

No Solvency – Climate Change – China Outweighs


[____] US irrelevant, China key to climate change

MIT News, 2012

(May 24, “China’s Actions are Crucial on Climate Change,” http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/china-focus-addressing-climate-change.html)

The report — titled "The Role of China in Mitigating Climate Change" — published in the journal Energy Economics, compares the impact of a stringent emissions reduction policy with and without China's participation. It finds that China's actions are "essential." "As the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, without China, climate goals — like the 2 degrees Celsius target that most agree is necessary to prevent serious irreversible consequences — are out of reach," says Sergey Paltsev, the lead author of the study and the assistant director for economic research at MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. Specifically, the study finds that with China's help the global community is able to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius, relative to pre-industrial levels. But without China, we miss that mark by about 1 degree Celsius. Not only will it be close to impossible to achieve the 2 degrees mark without China's participation, but emissions reductions will also be more expensive because substantial costs would shift to only some countries. That is why the researchers argue for a global economy-wide greenhouse gas tax that spreads the burden of responsibility.

[____] China is the number one CO2 emitter

MIT News, 2012

(May 24, “China’s Actions are Crucial on Climate Change,” http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2012/china-focus-addressing-climate-change.html)

The importance of China's participation in a global climate treaty increases with each year, as the country's population, economy and energy use continue to grow rapidly. From 2000 to 2010, China's energy use grew 130 percent. That's up from a growth of just 50 percent the previous decade. With a growing, wealthier population, China has become the world's largest energy consumer — and with it, the world's greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions. China's share of global energy-related CO2 emissions has increased in just eight years from 14 percent in 2000 to 22 percent in 2008. Eighty percent of those emissions came from coal, making China the consumer of about half the world's coal.
No Solvency – Climate Change – Other Emissions Outweigh

[____] Transportation sector is only 13% of all emissions

Transportation Consultancy, 2012

(“Climate Change in the Transport Sector,” http://www.trl.co.uk/transport_consultancy/climate_change_in_the_transport_sector.htm)

Climate change is internationally recognized as one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. The transport sector generates around 13% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is also one of the sectors most vulnerable to climate change impacts.

[____] 40% of climate change is due to electricity production

Low Impact Living, 2012

(“The Power Behind Our Lives,” http://www.lowimpactliving.com/pages/your-impacts/electricity1)

The primary environmental impact of electricity consumption is the production of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. In 2004, 40% of the US total emissions of greenhouse gases was from electricity generation2, and 35% of this was from residential use (higher than the electricity-related greenhouse gases from either industrial or commercial use). Doing the math, this means that the electricity that we consume in our houses represents almost 15% of the US total greenhouse gas emissions.

No Solvency – Competitiveness


[____] No economy solvency – high speed rail is not net economic grain

The America Interest, 2012

(May 20, http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/05/20/new-high-speed-rail-fail-in-uk/ “New High Speed Rail Fail in UK?”)

A high profile plan for a high speed rail link between London and England’s rustbelt in the north is running into trouble. The roughly $50 billion line is backed by those who hope it will boost incomes and business in northern English cities like Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. The trouble is that the harder the British stare at the economic impact of the proposed rail line, the less useful it looks — and the more it looks like a huge white elephant of a development project that will never break even. The early calculations of the cost-benefit ratio of the project predicted that every dollar (actually, pound, but the ratios are the same) spent would yield $2.4 in economic benefits. The latest figures cut that ratio in half; there have been four revisions of the rosy figures first proposed, and every new look has reduced the likely benefits.

No Solvency – Competitiveness – China Example


[____] High speed rail has been a failure in China

Huffington Post, 2012

(August 12, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/12/chinas-high-speed-rail-network_n_925260.html)

China's infatuation with high-speed rail soured at bullet train velocity. Six months ago, the rail network was a success symbol and the basis of a planned high-tech export industry. But after a July crash that killed 40 people, Beijing has suspended new construction and is recalling problem-plagued trains, raising questions about the future of such prestige projects. It was an extraordinary reversal for a project that once enjoyed political status on a level with China's manned space program. High-speed rail has been, along with nuclear power, among an array of areas where critics warn that breakneck, government-driven development might be jeopardizing public safety and adding to financial risks.

No Solvency – Competitiveness – Other Issues Outweigh


[____] Many reasons the US is not competitive

Harvard Business Review, 2012

(January, “Capitalism Concerns,” http://harvardmagazine.com/2012/01/harvard-business-school-survey-weaker-u-s-economic-competitiveness)

Although the respondents regarded American universities, the context for entrepreneurship, and the innovation infrastructure very favorably as they evaluated the business environment, a majority held the American K-12 education system, political system, and tax code in very low regard. Majorities felt that regulation, economic policy, transportation infrastructure, the complexity of the tax code, K-12 education, and the effectiveness of the domestic political system were all factors in making the United States fall behind in competitive terms.

[____] Our failing educational system is a much larger reason the US competitiveness is declining

Council on Foreign Relations, 2012

(“U.S. Education Reform and National Security,” http://www.cfr.org/united-states/us-education-reform-national-security/p27618?co=C007301)

The United States' failure to educate its students leaves them unprepared to compete and threatens the country's ability to thrive in a global economy and maintain its leadership role, finds a new Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)–sponsored Independent Task Force report on U.S. Education Reform and National Security. "Educational failure puts the United States' future economic prosperity, global position, and physical safety at risk," warns the Task Force, chaired by Joel I. Klein, former head of New York City public schools, and Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state. The country "will not be able to keep pace—much less lead—globally unless it moves to fix the problems it has allowed to fester for too long," argues the Task Force.

No Solvency – Competitiveness – Other Issues Outweigh


[____] High health care costs undermine competitiveness

Toni Johnson, Council on Foreign Relations, 2012

(March 26, “Healthcare Costs and US Competitiveness,” http://www.cfr.org/health-science-and-technology/healthcare-costs-us-competitiveness/p13325)

The United States spent more than 17 percent of its GDP on health care, higher than any other developed nation. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in 2008 that number would rise to 25 percent by 2025 without changes to federal law. Employer-funded coverage is the structural mainstay of the U.S. health insurance system. A November 2008 Kaiser Foundation report says access to employer-sponsored health insurance has been on the decline among low-income workers, and health premiums for workers have risen114 percent in the last decade. Small businesses are less likely than large employers to be able to provide health insurance as a benefit. At 12 percent, health care is the most expensive benefit paid by U.S. employers, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Some economists say these ballooning dollar figures place a heavy burden on companies doing business in the United States and can put them at a substantial competitive disadvantage in the international marketplace. For large multinational corporations, footing healthcare costs presents an enormous expense..

No Solvency – Urban Sprawl Turn
[____] High-speed rails causes urban sprawl, increasing car dependency
Jason Kambitsis, city planner and contributing editor for Wired.com, 2010

(Wired, “High-Speed Rail as a Conduit of Sprawl”, http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/03/high-speed-rail-and-sprawl/)

The goal for high-speed rail in the United States, as in Europe — which, like Japan, is held as a model for HSR — is linking large cities. But the big difference between the European and American approach is Europeans have made a large investment in rail and the accompanying infrastructure that links it with stations and communities. The United States, on the other hand, has invested heavily in a highway system. The result is our land use patterns are quite different. In addition to making rail a priority, Europe has long supported public transit and multi-modal transportation infrastructure that supports bicycling, walking and other ways of getting around. It has all but taken the car out of the equation and solved the so-called “last mile” problem — addressing how people get from the transit stop to their final destination. Public transit options, along with dense, compact communities built around transit hubs (an approach called transit oriented development, or TOD) has created inherent convenience and in many cases eliminated dependence on cars. In the United States it is a completely different story. We rarely embrace TOD. This could be a problem with  high-speed rail. Without a rapid transformation of our building patterns and a push to make existing communities denser, high-speed rail could be a conduit of sprawl, not a deterrent. If stations include vast parking lots, or they’re built in remote areas away from urban cores instead of being made a part of the community, it will all but guarantee people drive to the stations and create a system that is only accessible by car. Drivers already comfortable with a commute of an hour or more could move further away from urban centers, drive to a station and ride to work and still enjoy a shorter overall commute time. “High-speed rail will simply add another layer of access to the far-flung suburbs/exurbs and Central Valley, resulting in more mass-produced subdivisions,” warns Robert Cervero, director of the University of California Transportation Center and author of Development Around Transit.

No Solvency – Urban Sprawl Turn

[____] Urban sprawl destroys the environment and causes a variety of social ills
Leonardo R. Grabkowski, reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, 2012

(San Francisco Chronicle, “Negative Effects of Urban Sprawl”, http://homeguides.sfgate.com/negative-effects-urban-sprawl-1716.html)

Spreading out development creates water distribution problems and can lead to water overconsumption. A typical low-density or suburban community uses more water than a high-density city community. Landscaping is the primary culprit for this excessive use of water. According to the EPA, 30 percent of the water used daily in the United States is devoted to outdoor use. Loss of Wildlife Habitat The San Francisco Bay Area, with over 400,000 acres of natural landscape, is one of the nation’s six hotspots for biological diversity, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The region has a wide variety of plant and animal species; unfortunately, 90 of them, including the California tiger salamander, are listed as endangered or threatened. Rapid development can negatively affect wildlife by tearing down, clearing, or building over its habitat, potentially threatening survival. This is not only a problem in the San Francisco Bay Area; it’s a problem in all of America. Increased Racial and Economic Disparity When residents relocate outside of a city’s core, they take their tax dollars with them. Often, it’s the city’s poorest residents that are left behind. This creates economic disparity and stratification based upon location. It also creates funding problems for the core, which directly affects the money available for education, crime prevention, and maintenance and upkeep. Urban sprawl can also lead to economic “white flight.” According to “Urban Sprawl: A Reference Guide,” urban sprawl leads to racial segregation as minorities are often left behind in the poorest parts of a region. This problem may not be as widespread as it has been in the past, but it's present nonetheless. Increased Risk of Obesity People living in suburban areas are more likely to be obese than people living in urban areas, according to the Ontario College of Family Physicians and the American Planning Association. Both studies show that people living in suburban areas tend to rely on their vehicles more often--even for short trips--instead of walking or cycling. This lower level of activity increases the risk of obesity, which can lead to other health problems such as heart disease, high-blood pressure and diabetes.

No Solvency – Urban Sprawl Turn – Link Extension

[____] Instead of increasing centralization, high-speed rails increase emigration out of the city
Jason Kambitsis, city planner and contributing editor for Wired.com, 2010

(Wired, “High-Speed Rail as a Conduit of Sprawl”, http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/03/high-speed-rail-and-sprawl/)

It’s fast, it’s efficient and it is the future of transportation, but will high-speed rail cause sprawl? Yes, it could, warn some urban planners. Despite the promise of creating more densely populated urban centers, high-speed rail could do quite the opposite by making it easier for people to live far from urban centers. Let’s use California as an example, since high-speed rail has made the most progress there. The Golden State, long known as a trendsetter for transportation and environmental policy, has received more than $2.3 billion in stimulus funds toward a proposed line linking San Francisco and Los Angeles by way of the Central Valley. The money is earmarked for construction, land acquisition and engineering and it follows the $9.95 billion allocated by a state ballot initiative. If and when the line is completed by 2030, riders will zip between the two cities in 2 hours and 38 minutes and pay less than half what it would cost to fly. But that convenience could increase emigration from California’s urban centers to the exurbs and beyond. In other words, it could lead to more sprawl. An example of this can be seen in cities like Palmdale, which is 58 miles north of Los Angeles. By cutting the commute time between those two cities from 1 hour and 25 minutes, to 27 minutes, outward growth of the Los Angeles area will undoubtedly continue. It’s easy to see why — home prices in Palmdale are more than half of those in L.A., and high-speed rail could make getting downtown as quick and easy as living downtown. Pushing people further into the exurbs runs counter to a major goal of high-speed rail, namely cutting our carbon output while creating denser, more sustainable communities.

No Solvency – Urban Sprawl Turn – Answers to: Urban Sprawl Increasing Now


[____] Urban sprawl is decreasing now due to high transport costs
Kidd, real estate development advisor, 2012

(Judson Kidd “The Re-Urbanization of Atlanta” May 6th 2012 Coldwell Banker NRT Development Advisors.)

The Unites States Census Bureau recently released updated population estimates for the first time since 2010, and the results were quite surprising.  Despite signs of economic recovery and nearly two years after the technical end of the recession, a reverse trend has developed.  The exodus of buyers to the outlying suburbs where homes are larger is over.  In fact, the annual rate of growth in American cities and surrounding urban areas has now surpassed that of the suburbs for the first time in over 20 years. This decrease in population in outlying areas or “Exurbs” is due to various factors.  For one, the substantial loss in home values in these areas has buyers looking for property with increased price stabilization and higher short-term ROI potential.  With foreclosure inventory nearing the bottom within the I-285 corridor, market sales are on the rise and taking prices along for the ride.  Energy costs have a direct impact on this new trend as well.  The high cost of gasoline discourages long commutes, and larger suburban homes generally come with higher heating and cooling costs. Finally, young buyers prefer an urban location, and with the emergence of the “Echo Boomers” as the next wave of new home purchasers, this trend is likely to continue.

Spending/Taxes Link

[____] High speed rail costs hundreds of billions just for a small section of line and isn’t self supporting even in the most heavily trafficked areas

Washington Post 2012

(Amtrak’s $151 billion high-speed rail plan: Are there cheaper options? July 16, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/16/amtraks-151-billion-high-speed-rail-plan-are-there-cheaper-options/)

Last week, we took a look at Amtrak’s $151 billion proposal to convert the heavily trafficked Northeast Corridor into true high-speed rail. Under this vision, the Acela train would no longer average a plodding 70 mph across the system. A trip from New York to Washington, D.C., would take just 94 minutes instead of three hours. Boston to D.C. would take just three hours instead of seven.The catch, as always, is that the $151 billion plan is expensive. When the high-speed line is complete, Amtrak would generate an operating surplus of about $1.65 billion per year. That’s a nice jar of change, but it’s not enough to finance the upgrade of the rail line. Which means Amtrak would need help from Congress. And while $151 billion spread out over 28 years is a pittance compared with, say, what the war in Iraq cost, the Republican-controlled House doesn’t appear to be in the mood to fund vast new rail infrastructure projects right now.

States Counterplan Solvency

[____] States can invest in rail networks

Rich Sampson, Community Transportation Association, 2012

(Rewarding State Investment in Innercity Rail, http://web1.ctaa.org/webmodules/webarticles/articlefiles/RAIL_27_Rewarding_State_Investment.pdf)

Various states have had a growing, but differ­ing approach to their involvement in the nation’s intercity passenger rail network since Amtrak’s inception in 1971. Initially, Amtrak assumed responsibility in both financing and operat­ing the totality of the system, and inaugurated a coast-to-coast network, primarily focusing on the long-distance trains it inherited from the privately-owned railroads. The Northeast Corri­dor remained the most striking exception to this approach, where Amtrak continued the tradition of the Pennsylvania and New Haven railroads in providing frequent service along the nation’s most densely-populated corridor. Amtrak operated other corridor routes in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachu­setts, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia less frequently without the requirement of correspond­ing state investment. Gradually, states began to desire more focused service between their communities than Amtrak was willing or able to provide. Just a few years after Amtrak’s creation, a trio of states stepped forward with their own invest­ment to restore trains previously operated by the private railroads that had not been retained by the national rail service. In 1974, California moved to return trains to the San Joaquin Valley and launched a route with that name connect­ing terminals in Oakland and Sacramento with Bakersfield. At the same time, Michigan sought to bring back its east-west line between Port Huron and Chicago, ultimately to be known as the BlueWater. Likewise, New York longed for its link be­tween its namesake city and Montreal and estab­lished the Adirondack. This set of state-supported trains set a pattern for their peers to emulate.

While the 1980s were largely quiet for expan­sion of state-supported service – aside from North Carolina’s creation of the Carolinian and Michi­gan’s Pere Marquette, both in 1984 – the 1990s and 2000s saw a steady ramp-up of state and regional corridor routes. California – already ac­customed to the state-funded train process with the San Joaquin – added two new routes, the Capitol Corridor and Pacific Surfliner. Today, they are Amtrak’s busiest routes outside the Northeast Corridor (for more information on California’s ex­tensive intercity rail network, see RAIL #11 – ed). Vermont took the lead in New England, debut­ing the Vermonter in 1995 between St. Albans and Washington, D.C – via the Northeast Corridor – and the Ethan Allen Express between Rutland and New York City the following year. Five years later, Maine followed suit, initiating the Downeaster between Portland and Boston. It has since become one of Amtrak’s fastest-growing lines since its 2001 opening (for more information on Amtrak’s Downeaster, see RAIL #8 – ed).

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