- Its flat (so you can arbitrarily scale it up with new runways) Of course the current solution to overcrowding at SFO and LAX is to increase runway space at outlying airports like SJC and Ontario -- one of which is already in the central valley, while the other one is along one of the proposed high-speed rail lines (albeit the part of the line least likely to be built soon -- most sensible discussion thinks high speed rail will connect to CalTrain/Metrolink, and CalTrain will take care of the San Jose --> San Francisco leg)
- High speed rail will make a hypothetical Central Valley Airport accessible from the current major metropolitan areas (not useful if you're flying to LA, but what's an extra hour of train ride if you're going to Singapore?)
- One of the parts of the Schwarzenegger agenda I actually sort-of-agree with is the (unstated) intent to push urban/suburban growth into the Central Valley, most likely along the CA-99 corridor. The housing bubble stopped this somewhat, but the infrastructure/empty housing is in place, and a chain of UC campuses stretching from Davis to Riverside could spur job growth.
- Part of me secretly wants to teach at UC Merced. I predict that, as time goes on, UC Merced will rapidly become a top engineering school, (making it even harder for me to do this). High speed rail and a massive airport would make it easier for an urbanite like me to live there.
- Unrelated, but I'd like to curse the Southern California software industry for locating primarily in the public transit deadzone of Santa Monica. Although I'm told that there is a new Expo Line they are building between downtown and Santa Monica. I'd like to remind everyone that the massive Southern California megalopolis is "train scale" and not "car scale."
(edited later to add)
One of the drawbacks to this plan (and plans involving "Central Valley growth" in general) is that the Central Valley is already being used for agriculture (and is fairly unique agricultural land). According to Wikipedia,
"The Central Valley is one of the world's most productive agricultural regions. On less than 1 percent of the total farmland in the United States, the Central Valley produces 8 percent of the nation’s agricultural output by value: 17 billion USD in 2002."
Presumably some of it can be diverted from agricultural use, but it could radically change our food production if it were to entirely convert over to sprawl.