Re: your Jan. 21 article, â€śLess reliance on cars being suggestedâ€? and your Jan. 23 Business article, â€śWorldâ€™s first maglev elevator announcedâ€?:
It is all about the future of Ventura County transportation.
Between the rush hour traffic jams on Highway 101, the fact that regular trains cannot make the Conejo Grade in one straight shot, and Ventura Countyâ€™s population expansion, perhaps our county supervisors should get on the magnetic levitation transportation bandwagon.
Since a maglev train can negotiate a 10 percent grade and the Conejo Gradeâ€™s is only seven, this is now more of an engineering project than basic research. And, if a maglev elevator will lift people in relative safety, perhaps something using the same idea will get us up the Conejo Grade each night.
A few precedents are available for proof of concept. A development system in Germany has been providing a fast, comfortable commute for 20 years. Shanghai is expanding its airport maglev train line from downtown to its 2010 Olympic site. The NASA maglev rocket launch system has had some success with experimental load launches.
And, closer to home, perhaps County Supervisors Steve Bennett and Linda Parks and County Transportation Commission Chairman John Procter can get together with the Southern California Association of Governments on maglev transportation for Ventura County. Information on SCAGâ€™s plans for a maglev transportation system for Southern California is available for review at: http://www.scag.ca.gov/maglev/. The only problem is their maps, as they presently exist, show no maglev line extension to Ventura County. One would hope SCAG has not forgotten us.
Compared with the high-priced bond issues the California Legislature is discussing to save our state from a dire fiscal future, a project of this type would be able to pay for itself with cost savings.
Hypothetically, using the dollars for land acquisition of an eight-lane 101 freeway expansion from the Santa Barbara County line to Westlake Village could pay a major part of the maglev costs. And possibly, the pollution abatement struggle concerning automobiles and small package delivery vehicles could be resolved by an integrated, high-speed transportation approach. An implemented maglev transportation system could move people and packages more efficiently with infinitely less pollution.
Implementing a Ventura County maglev transportation system would probably require the donation of one lane either at the edge of the freeway or the building of maglev train support towers right down the middle of the freeway with stations strategically located at overpass bridges.
â€” Ronald L. Lyons, Thousand Oaks