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Menlo Park and Atherton join high-speed rail standoff

Original post made on Aug 12, 2008

Menlo Park and Atherton officials don't want high-speed passenger trains zooming through town, but state officials say the local segment of the Caltrain corridor is a key to connecting Northern California and Southern California by train.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, August 13, 2008, 12:00 AM

Comments (5)

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Posted by Kal Trains
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Aug 12, 2008 at 8:01 pm

What does Derry have to say about this?
You know. The car wash, Fosters, pet store and the laundry.
Oh Yah! 530 Oak Grove is to be toast too.
Bring back Jellins. Let us have a real big cicrus!
Mr. Boyle said. "To take a position before the public even sees the pros and cons of the issue — I don't think that's how we should do this."
Where has this Bozo been the past 5 years?


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Posted by confused
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Aug 12, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Why are we starting another thread on this topic? I really hate it when the editors do this as it's hard to carry on a coherent discussion.


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Posted by roxie
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Aug 12, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Hi confused -- I agree, I've never figured out why they do this.

Oh well, here is my post for the new thread

Mayor Cohen had recused himself from voting and councilman Robinson was not present. Since Councilman Boyle voted against this action, only council members Fergusson and Cline have voted to place the city on this ridiculous lawsuit.


The plaintiffs listed in this lawsuit are the City of Menlo Park, Town of Atherton, four nonprofit corporations PLANNING AND CONSERVATION LEAGUE, TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND, CALIFORNIA RAIL FOUNDATION and BAYRAIL ALLIANCE, and other similarly situated entities, Petitioners and Plaintiffs who are anonymous.

Their reason for suing involves the choice of Pacheco Pass to connect the Bay Area to the Central Valley instead of the Altamont Pass route. The suit claims the Altamont Pass route should have been chosen. There were pros and cons for both routes, and all sides had opportunities to make their cases before the decision was made. These groups are just mad that they lost, this lawsuit is not about the cost of High Speed Rail, as so many have claimed, or its overall impacts, it is just an argument over where it will be put. In fact, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit even argue that a route along Highway 280 should have been considered more closely – obviously anywhere but along the railroad tracks where certain people bought their houses.

There are no major environmental groups named in this lawsuit (such as the Sierra Club), the Planning and Conservation League is a lobbying organization, while its mission is to lobby for environmental causes, since there are conflicting opinions between the rail routes, one can debate whether this is an purely objective decision against the Pacheco route or perhaps the lobbyists are being paid by others who oppose the Pacheco route to be against it.

I found a thoughtful and researched article about this lawsuit on the Calitics.com blogsite at Web Link


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Posted by Morris Browm
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 12, 2008 at 11:31 pm

Roxi:

The Planning and Conservation League is a real conservation power house and many would consider them to be much more influential than the Sierra Club in so far as achieving conservation legislation in our state. They have been involved in rail issues before, and in fact they were responsible to get the legislature to vote the funds for CalTrain to buy the Union Pacific corridor some years ago.

The EIR certified by the High Speed Rail Authority, assumed large portions of the route would use Union Pacific corridor. One of the many issues being contested by the lawsuit is that the corridor is not going to be available since the Union Pacific will not allow its use.

There are many other issues with the lawsuit addresses. The High Speed Rail authority has simply ignored complaints from Menlo Park and Atherton. Our council certianly took the correct action by joining in the lawsuit.

Our Chamber of Commerce has been advocating for High Speed Rail inspite of all the damage it will do to our community. Why the Chamber would take the position is really puzzling, since the damage to the business community will be severe.

As for Calitics, they have been major advocates of the project and are hardly a source for un-biased information. I suggest you read the scathing report produced by the State Senate Transportation and Housing commission. That report from a Democratic controlled committee is much more to the point of what is wrong with this project.


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Posted by Glen
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Aug 30, 2008 at 10:00 pm

[Post removed; see terms of use.]


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