It was interesting to read some of the comments on a recent high-speed rail article ("That high-speed fiction looks a lot more like fact now," Nov. 18). Some seem to conveniently forget it was the people of California who approved the project back in 2008, two years before then-Gov. Jerry Brown was re-elected to another term. This is not a partisan project as some have tried to make it.

I attended some early meetings, and as I recall the San Joaquin Valley segment was always to be the first segment to be completed for a few reasons. It is, after all, the easiest to complete: no tunnels required, and it is relatively straight and flat. This is where the rolling stock will be tested, which makes sense. It also seems as though the High-Speed Rail Heavy Maintenance Facility will be located in the valley.

I am too young to remember the debate surrounding the beginnings of the Interstate Highway System, originally sold to the public as a project required for national defense, but I am certain it had its detractors. That transportation system began in 1956 and is still being developed and re-developed at an ever increasing expense.

The interstate system, at least in California, seems to have reached its max efficiency as anyone who drives into major population areas can affirm. It seems logical to add a proven ground transportation system as a third component to our over burdened current system of congested highways and increasingly inconvenient air travel. The rest of the developed world seems to get this, and even some not so developed nations are doing so.

Yes, it will be expensive, but will pay economic dividends as California's population continues to grow with much of that taking place in the Valley. Gov. Gavin Newsom put the project on course with the focus on our area, while the vastly more difficult segments into the Bay Area and into Southern California work out their plans. This was the plan from the start. To the naysayers, what is your vision for California's transportation system? More freeways?

Will Cooper, Bakersfield