http://almanacnews.com/print/story/print/2012/01/11/letter-high-speed-rail-plan-should-stay-on-track


Almanac

Viewpoint - January 11, 2012

Letter: High-speed rail plan should stay on track

Being a 30-year resident of the Peninsula, but having been working outside the area, I was very surprised to pick up the Almanac and read the Dec. 28 Guest Opinion piece by James Janz and Michael Brady. As representatives of the Community Coalition on High-Speed Rail, they criticize high-speed rail as a risk but at the same time include high-speed rail in the two alternatives for electrification of the existing Caltrain corridor (take money from the California High-Speed Rail Authority or go it alone).

The article does not stay focused on this issue, but becomes a diatribe against both high-speed rail and the status quo at Caltrain, with a mixture of "wise up" and NIMBY laced in. To someone not already engrossed in this controversy, it seems reasonable to think of these issues as independent.

Given that high-speed rail has a long-distance purpose, it seems like the Interstate 280 corridor should be considered as an alternative. This routing would allow a stop at the intersection of Highway 92 and 280 as well as a much more scenic ride from San Jose, and void the concerns of the most vocal NIMBY crowd (mid-Peninsula) while potentially crossing over the Peninsula to the Caltrain corridor closer to San Francisco where it is used the most. The cost of high-speed rail may seem prohibitive in today's economy, but this important project is a path toward economic development for the state that should stay on track.

Ed Mocarski, Erica Way, Portola Valley

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