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If you have major economic development around the HSR stations, then - under the current US residential housing system - you will get sprawl.

But that has to do with the fact that you will get economic growth in places that are not New York, not with HSR per se. If, instead, you placed a shipyard in those communities, you'd also get sprawl.

It's hard to see how driving for more than 30 km to an HSR station (that's going to take somewhere on the order of 3/4 of an hour, more the further you go out) and then switching to the HSR line can cause sprawl to develop further than about 250 km outside the major city you're connecting (and that's if your roads are in good condition - if they're not, you can shave a couple of dozen km off that estimate).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 12:11:15 AM EST
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And you have to look at net impact. Being 10km from a town center to catch an HSR to nearby major employment center is not versus not living anywhere. under the premise, its versus living in the immediate outer-suburban belt around that major employment center, since the assumption is that local development rules encourage sprawl.

Assuming that the HSR authority is trying, picking station locations that net promote clustering as opposed to sprawl is reasonably straightforward. And if they aren't trying, then over-riding local planning authority and handing it to them instead does no good anyway.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Jun 2nd, 2011 at 01:00:23 PM EST
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