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New Train to our Beach?

Ed Kravitz During Public Comments on 12/18/13.
Ed Kravitz During Public Comments on 12/18/13.
Last night the council heard from Ed Kravitz whose proposal of a historic rail train to the beach may be gaining traction with city officials.

What do you think about the possibility of a train delivering non-driving, non-parking, foot traffic to IB on a daily basis?
Mark December 21, 2013 at 09:17 AM
We have busses
Ed Kravitz December 21, 2013 at 09:40 PM
Sorry, I don’t have Facebook.Would you post this for me? My comment: Imperial Beach could already have been enjoying the benefits of the Coronado Branch Line if Coronado had not focused on increasing bridge traffic to justify its failed “Tunnel” project. The SD-Coronado Bridge will soon reach the end of its life expectancy. A rail line around the Bay would be not only practical, it would be fun for all. Jerry Toci 901 Balboa Ave Coronado, CA 92118
Tom Summers December 21, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Build it (outta yer own pocket) and I will come! The problem is that a lot of track and right of way may have been lost. It seems like the replacement and / or renewal of the infrastructure would be quite expensive. Now, I will be the first to concede that it should have been done long ago, when the viability of such a project was greater, and certainly this concept has greater potential than many other, shall we say, "less sensible" expenditures we have indulged in. I would use it, but I would also like to keep the bike route because I use that, too. Thanks.
Ed Kravitz December 22, 2013 at 12:21 AM
There was always room for both and still is if they quit building permanent structures over the right of way. The bike trail has a 30 day exit clause in the event the rail project were to move forward. That's part of the rails to trails program that it preserves the right of way if needed for future use. Since the owner is a government agency legislated to provide transit development opportunities, it's unfortunate that this was overlooked. There should have been a plan for both to exist in the right of way from the very beginning. I'm not talking big trains with loud horns. I'm talking about self propelled replica trolleys or MDU's similar to the Sprinter Trains that run from Oceanside to Escondido.If couplers and electronics were compatible with the Siemens Trolleys, I.B's own express line could make the loop downtown and express back to IB in less than half the time it currently takes by trolley and bus. Chances are pretty good that tourists won't be riding the MTS bus to I.B. anytime soon.
Robin Clegg December 22, 2013 at 10:27 AM
I don't know the ends and outs of this but it is something I would ride if I was a tourist and also something I might ride if Idid not want to drive somewhere. Keep up the exploration.
IBsharkbait December 26, 2013 at 09:24 PM
It would be great as long as they don't take any private owner's property to do it. We like it small down here. We don't want high rise hotels mucking up our water views. This is a family town and it would be nice if greed is not allowed to ruin our town.
R Keen December 26, 2013 at 09:29 PM
Good luck! A train is very different, and much more appealing than a bus.
Ed Kravitz December 26, 2013 at 11:11 PM
No Private Property. 95% of easement already exists. A common survey line between Coronado and Imperial Beach from Carnation to aproximately 7th Street and the biketrail /beltline is in the crosshairs. Part of it was part of the refuge, however it appears that one particular pond has been drained and with some mitigation a direct route to the beach is poss ible. The most complicated part would be a NEPA study and the cooperation of the Navy regarding a 10' wide easement at the south edge of Ft. Emory along IB's northern boundary. These are supposed to be small and quiet trains. Not big, fast or noisy. There is actually grant money for projects like these but a very large part of it currently goes to bike trails.
Jake I.B. December 28, 2013 at 12:00 PM
I believe I have seen this before town hall before! www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVqVdQYC44Y
Jake I.B. December 28, 2013 at 12:08 PM
A better bet would be to dig a canal through the strand put a ferry landing / Marina on the bay side making I.B the closest Marina to Mexican waters / fishing that will bring in the tourism you guys want plus a boat load of jobs ( pun intended).
Ed Kravitz December 28, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Thank you for the video link Jake. Your sense of humor is appreciated! It's all good food for public discussion and thought. Nobody ever took a fair and objective look at this project because it was deemed impossible by folks who had "other plans". Thanks for taking the time to consider the concept. We spent a lot of time researching this project back in 95 and again in 1999. There were more obstacles in 1999 than there are now. Some of the information in the 1996 SANDAG Excursion Train Study was not fully factual and intended to discredit repair of the rail line and justify spending millions of dollars of grant money on the biketrail instead. 15 years later the right-of-way is dotted with multiple venues and yet to be built attractions that could have direct connection to downtown San Diego and the Beach (at Imperial Beach). When we re-examined the 1996 SANDAG STUDY in 1999 we decided that if the tourist train concept started at National City ....turned around at the I.B. City Yard and went back to National City....there would be no reason for Imperial Beach to support such a project. Unless the money got off the train on foot and spent an hour or two walking around the shops, pier and beach...there would be no reason for it. Nobody had ever explored whether the rail could go further west than 10th street. Like along a joint survey line between Coronado and Imperial Beach all the way to Seacoast Drive. We looked at options that were never considered before the decisions were made. Maybe new leadership and more open minds would 'EXPLORE' this area of "special research" that has been so dear to my heart for so many years. If legendary historical figure John D. Spreckels were to come back to San Diego....no doubt the first comment would be; "WHAT DID THEY DO TO MY TRAINS?" Imperial Beach has an opportunity to have something special that will be a pipeline for not only real tourist dollars without extra cars, traffic and parking woes. It could also become a real feather in our community's cap if we could commute non-stop to downtown in about 12 minutes! It's all possible. Oh there's some people with their own vested interests who will oppose it and complain about it. The right-of-way should have been shared all along. Maybe someday the railroad will give the bike trail the real direct access to the beach they really need. A bus or trolley down Palm Avenue will only add to the existing congestion. The angle of the line ..cuts the distance significantly for commuters headed downtown. (Geometry/ Triangels?) Thanks for thinking about it and thanks for those of you who can still imagine the future....or the past. HAPPY NEW YEAR IMPERIAL BEACH !
Jake I.B. December 28, 2013 at 03:47 PM
The monorail was ,of course , my attempt at humor but the canal and marina were in earnest. I am told this plan was brought to city council back in the late 70's but pay to play tactics were utilized with the developer who gave IB the finger and walked. So here we sit without a revenue building marina. Open ocean access through a canal at IB Would be a huge revenue stream. Pretty much everyone I know in IB would utilize a canal for ocean access with their boats. Regarding the influx of tax dollars...I would far rather have aquatic recreation sales tax dollars coming to IB than those from another liquor store " " adult book store or electronic cigarette establishment. Not to mention the types of people that would likely hop a train to go to a town with those types of establishments every 25 yds. Bigger picture improvements like a canal / marina would be far more beneficial to our town then our current course in my humble opinion
Mark January 01, 2014 at 11:05 AM
Jake - I am all for the canal. Make the bridge at least 125 feet tall from the high tide to clear the mast of the many sailboats. Also make the channel at least 60 feet wide. Both are real dimensions. Put the marina in pond twenty, reroute the bikes around it. A better choice would be to put the marina using the Tijuana river area. This would become a high value marina and would quickly fill up with boats owned by people from other states generating traffic for our hotels, restaurants, and new trolley line on our cities South side. It could transfer from the Iris Street stop and go straight down Iris Street. Now we have a money maker.
Jake I.B. January 01, 2014 at 11:58 AM
Mark I am all for any plan that cleans up and puts the Tijuana river to some good use. Regarding the 125 and 60' dimensions you brought up. These may be real numbers for the mega yachts you have in mind but are Inconsistent with the canal I have in mind. I didn't suggest creating a canal that would accommodate every boat in the bay and definitely not intended for Military traffic. The use I had in mind was for boats that travel into Mexican waters on a daily basis such as the sports fishing fleet. These boats rarely exceed 30' above water line . The 100'' boats that leave their respective moorings once or twice a year can take the long way around. I do like your Tijuana river idea. More likely city council will blow our money on far better ideas such as round abouts at low traffic intersections or lighting on streets that already have it. But I digress.

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