The California High-Speed Rail Authority promotes China’s expensive bullet train system as a “model” for California high-speed rail. But China’s incomplete high-speed rail network has so far cost more than $400 billion to build. It is plagued by safety concerns and construction cost overruns, is too expensive for all but business travelers, and requires billions in yearly operating subsidies.
And on Saturday, two Chinese high-speed trains slammed into each other at more than 186 mph, killing 43 people and injuring 200 others as the trains catapulted off high elevated viaducts. Afterward, China’s Rail Ministry boss was fired, investigation was circumvented and complaints of fraud and corruption were again raised.
This Chinese accident is far worse than the Eschede, Germany, high-speed rail disaster where more than 100 Germans were killed, because these Chinese trains were supposedly newer, safer and able to travel at more than 220 to 300 mph.
The University of California Board of Regents on July 14 increased tuition to $12,192 this year from $10,302 last year, an 18 percent increase. Tuition costs for UC students will have doubled since 2005.
At the same Regents meeting, some UC administrators were given a 23 percent salary boost. Far too many UC administrators have salaries in excess of $400,000 per year, with the chief administrator at UC San Francisco being paid more than $900,000.
In addition to excessive pay, a UCLA Faculty Association study reports that the number of administrators in the UC system has doubled in the past 10 years.
Why should Republican state legislators support additional taxes when abuses such as these go unaddressed?
I think the writer of your Sunday letter “Not just bikers break rules” missed the point. Bicyclists do break more rules than car drivers. Yes, you see some car drivers run red lights, but more often, cyclists just ignore traffic lights entirely, ride against traffic (even against other cyclists in designated bike lanes), ride on sidewalks while not wearing their helmets, make illegal lane changes without looking and never use hand signals.
Now, because of the recent fatality of one cyclist, all cyclists are expected to be responsible for whatever happens to them. And as people need to know, bicycle accidents are highly preventable.