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Scale Down the High Speed Rail Project

Original post made by Brielle Johnck, Menlo Park: The Willows, on Feb 27, 2009

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Comments (8)

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Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Feb 28, 2009 at 9:03 am

Brielle, even if that is a good idea, (and I don’t know enough to judge) it won’t happen. The people designing the corridor development have a budget of $4.2 billion. They intend to spend it, and probably more. They will, no matter what we suggest, electrify and grade separate. Also, and this is important, they will expand to four tracks. Both Caltrain (see their 2025 Strategic Plans) and HSR are relentlessly ambitious and a reduced version of that will be unacceptable.

To make the alignment changes you suggest, you would have to sit down with Quentin Kopp, Rod Diridon and Mike Scanlon and convince them to give up their aspirations. Good luck with that!

What is currently taking place with the scoping hearings is for their contractor team to manage as many venting sessions as possible. (And, indeed, we are all venting like crazy.) They are covering the Peninsula in around-the-clock meetings. They are very good at doing this and at the same time, making it clear to us that they have made no decisions whatsoever. By the time they will be able to say, this is our decision, it will be too late to persuade them to change it.

We all know, that when empires are being designed and built, being reasonable is never part of the equation. What they have sold the voters is a grandiose vision embodied in this supposed panacea for all of California’s ills. Those of us who stand in the way of California’s high-speed destiny must get out of the way.

And now, town after town on the Peninsula is suddenly discovering the brutal reality of what they supported and how it will impact them.

Sorry, folks, too late.

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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 28, 2009 at 11:38 am

The HSR is too expensive. With our huge budget deficit we can't afford it. There should be another State wide initiative that will delay the HSR until the State has balanced budgets with revenues that cover expenditures without bonds or borrowing.

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Posted by observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 28, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Where were you people before Prop 1A was passed. Probably the first opinion that Hank Lawrenece has issued that has much credence.

However, beware, the High Speed Rail budget was approved in full in the new budget -- Kopp and Diridon managed to get all the money they wanted, yet the schools, welfare and almost everything else.

Brielle's comments, have been totally dismissed by the Authority many times. The only way this is going to be stopped is lack of money (a real possibility) or through the courts.

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Posted by Glen
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Someone with common sense..good ideas and gives all most of what they want..

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Posted by Malcolm Cousens
a resident of another community
on Mar 2, 2009 at 8:32 am

No HST in San Carlos. No more tracks!!! As a 32 year resident I remember well the raising of the tracks.

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Posted by Bianca
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Mar 2, 2009 at 10:28 am

Maintaining the status quo is fine if the state weren't growing. But the US Census Bureau has projected that California's population is going to grow by 13 million people by 2030. How are all of us going to get around? Doing nothing is not an option. High Speed Rail seems expensive, but not when you compare it to the cost of building more freeways (and where would we put them?) or more airports (again, where?) We can't just pave the whole state.

There are existing railroad tracks on the Peninsula. We can work together with the High Speed Rail authority so that the results work for everyone. Europe has integrated High Speed Rail into lovely towns that are many hundreds of years older than any towns on the Peninsula, and it has not been disastrous or destructive.

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Posted by get real
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 2, 2009 at 10:41 am

Straight from the CHSRA playbook! HSR will not help us "get around." It does nothing to help facilitate local transit at all. If high speed rail were running alongside 101 or 280 (an option that CHSRA has scoffed at) then their arguments about reducing the need for freeways might make sense, but we are still going to have to depend on freeways to get us almost everywhere.

Name one "love town" in Europe that has high speed rail running through a residential area.

Gotta love the HSR enthusiasts -- they believe in their own propaganda.

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Posted by question growth
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Isn't it high time to question the basic assumptions about the population growth? Other developed countries have slowed theirs significantly. Why can't we have an honest discussion about the horrible impacts on limited natural resources and infrastructure. Seems to me that kingdom builders are behind these things. Change is inevitable, major growth is not.

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