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Palo Alto digs in for train-tunnel battle

Original post made on Apr 1, 2009

Palo Alto is bracing for a tough, angry and uphill fight to keep the tunneling option on the table for a proposed high-speed rail system through the Peninsula -- rather than an elevated structure for four tracks.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, April 1, 2009, 1:45 AM

Comments (16)

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Posted by WW
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2009 at 7:27 am

One has to wonder if all of these "activists" would be as vocal if this proposed rail line was in East Palo Alto?


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Posted by thank you, Palo Alto
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Apr 1, 2009 at 9:02 am

Gotta love the HSR supporters. They aren't satisfied with branding us as NIMBYs -- they have to accuse us of racism/bigotry too!

WW, I am opposed to routing HSR through anyone's backyard, whether the neighborhood is Atherton or East LA. HSR does not belong in residential areas. Period.

Satisfied?


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2009 at 10:13 am

Pay for the tunnels, and you shall have the tunnels. Don't pay for them, and you shall not have them. Simple as that, Palo Alto.

HSR has to go through some residential areas. Unfortunately, nobody has left a long, straight corridor with no houses running from downtown SF to downtown.


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Posted by think again
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 1, 2009 at 10:26 am

Seems to me, Anon, that both 101 and 280 are pretty darn straight paths between SF and SJ. So is 880 on the other side of the bay. Of course, HSR could just end in San Jose and let it be the hub for spokes outward that utilize existing transit corridors and modes, including CalTrain and BART.


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Posted by Spokker
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2009 at 12:33 pm

"WW, I am opposed to routing HSR through anyone's backyard"

Well, me too, but I am more opposed to zoning residential areas right up next to tracks so that they never have the opportunity to expand. At least Southern Pacific had enough foresight to buy enough ROW for four tracks.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Apr 1, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Poor train people. Two hundred years of being put upon by pesky landowners, homeowners, tribes, wildlife...why do these "obstructionists" force the poor train companies to take the land by force or by some deep perverted judge connection and wipe out their legacy when the obvious answer is to just walk away and give it to the railroads?

Spokker, you are a genius.

While we are here, how about those stubborn tigers in Southern Asia, trying to hide in the jungle and keep their bones and jiblets when we can sell those pieces as a cure and make a mint?

A species should know when it is defeated, right Spokker?


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Posted by Spokker
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2009 at 6:58 pm

"While we are here, how about those stubborn tigers in Southern Asia, trying to hide in the jungle and keep their bones and jiblets when we can sell those pieces as a cure and make a mint?"

Your analogy works if:

1) You think HSR is snake oil.

2) You think four acres of eminent domain is significant.

3) You don't understand that Caltrain, or more specifically the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, owns the right of way, which has ample room for four tracks in most locations.


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Posted by thank you, Palo Alto
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Apr 1, 2009 at 9:35 pm

1) HSR promoters are purveyors of snake oil

2) WE own Caltrain

3) Spokker may never graduate at this rate!


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Posted by Spokker
a resident of another community
on Apr 1, 2009 at 11:43 pm

"2) WE own Caltrain"

Well, you aren't doing a very good job taking care of it.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2009 at 8:29 am

If you don't want to have to deal with large infrastructure I would recommend not living in one of the largest metro areas in the country. Just because you draw an arbitrary border around your "quiet neighborhood" doesn't mean you don't live in a big city.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2009 at 11:41 am

101 actually isn't straight enough for a fast railroad, and on top of that, it also runs through residential neighborhoods. (Who knew? Anyone with access to a map.)

And as for the "other side of the bay", well, that misses out on any station on the Peninsula, and requires an immensely expensive second pair of Bay Tube. Please feel free to pay for those.


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2009 at 11:45 am

And as for the truly idiotic suggestion to end in San Jose, I suppose if you don't want to ever have high-speed train service to San Francisco -- the speed difference is over half an hour -- that sounds great.

Also, you're getting four-tracked Caltrain anyway. It will either run at ground level and block all the road crossings, or it will be grade-separated and will carry high-speed trains as well. Which sounds better?....


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Posted by thank you, palo alto
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Apr 2, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Wow, the "other community" trolls are out in force with their manipulated version of the truth. Fortunately, most of the local residents who read these threads have been fully informed of the facts. Time to move the misinformation machine to another town!


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Posted by mike
a resident of Atherton: other
on Apr 2, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Actually, making the hub in San Jose is the correct way to proceed. The 50 mile corridor between SF and San Jose will eat up as much as 20% of the entire cost of the HSR railway, in order to increase the train's speed from 79 to 125 mph. Essentially none of the population growth cited in the pro-HSR material is on the Peninsula or SF, anyway. This train will be a money-pit for all of our lifetimes if it is built.


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Posted by Reality Check
a resident of another community
on Apr 2, 2009 at 8:42 pm


End HSR in SJ? That's rich. HSR the world around works and works well precisely because it goes city center to city center. Imagine telling the Japanese or the French or the Germans or the Spanish or the Italians or the English or the Koreans or the Chinese or the numerous other countries planning HSR that they're doing it all wrong. You run it right up the edge (oh, maybe 50 miles away) from where people want to go and then have them transfer to local buses or trains. Utterly ridiculous on its face. Of COURSE the urbanized parts reaching into the city centers are the most costly. So what else is new. You want to talk about wasting money on systems that will not work (be successful)? Then go ahead and end HSR in San Jose and maybe in Sylmar or Burbank on the south end (they can all just ride Metrolink the rest of the way, right?). Ending HSR in SJ is tantamount to killing it. It must serve SFO and downtown SF. Anything less would be unthinkably stupid if you actually knew anything about HSR -- what works and what doesn't. There is a huge body of accumulated knowledge out there from the all the world's experience with HSR. We are fortunate in that we can (or should be able to) avoid all the obvious and not-so-obvious mistakes made by others in the past.


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Apr 2, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Reality Check is wrong, the French station was just relocated out of the center of town. And that HSR everyone brags about experiencing goes under the chunnel, it does not go 125 MPH through the dense lines.

As for other cities...

The regional commuter rails in Boston do not terminate in the center of town.


And you know what is unthinkable? Having the government subsidize HSR to the tune of 50% or more for every single HSR you claim to have so much knowledge about. Japan's trains are almost bankrupt. China is pure government funded. And the chunnel? Please, it is a loss leader.

So now we have to give our tax money and throw it down Kopp's gullet like they do over there to their own version of Kopp (Mao?)

Please explain your knowledge of Bay Area economies as well. What is the largest travel demographic in the state?

Business.

What city in the Bay Area houses the most jobs relevant to travel (not restaurants and hotels)?

San Jose and Silicon Valley.

So tell me, what is the justification for SF? Giants games? Trolley cars? Sea Lions?





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