Viewpoint - February 10, 2010

Letter: Alternate route proposed for high-speed rail

I love trains. As a youth, the sight of steam engines crossing the San Francisquito Creek bridge stirred my heart. I made special trips on my bike to the South Palo Alto station to see the Sunshine Daily go by in its orange, red and black splendor, up from L.A. in the summer evening.

I can't envision the same romance for the bullet train. At least not as presently planned. And, unless the California High-Speed Rail Authority is thinking outside the box, I don't expect to get much joy from the forthcoming alternatives analysis, to be released on March 4. "Well, you can't have it underground, guess it'll have to be elevated."

So I started daydreaming. First I ruled out a run up the existing right-of-way. East of 101? No, leave the Bay alone. Then I got it! Run the two tracks for the high-speed rail up the middle of 280! How about running up Highway 85, transition to 280 at Cupertino, then come down 380 and rejoin the Caltrain line at San Bruno?

Imagine riding that route. What a great introduction to the area. Arguments against a freeway center bullet train? Sure, but the trick is to visualize the utilitarian beauty of any plan; choose, and then solve those problems. From the get-go, I see no grace, no enhancement for the public good in the Peninsula plan.

I voted for high-speed rail, but it feels like "bait and switch." We need a more elegant solution.

Don Baraka

Amherst Avenue, Menlo Park


There are no comments yet for this post

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields