High Speed Rail -- Palo Alto Impacts -- Changing their mind?
Original post made by Morris Brown, Menlo Park: Park Forest, on Mar 8, 2009
A few months later opinion in Palo Alto seems to be changing drastically. After a march on City Hall by some residents, followed by a hearing on the project and staff report to the council has resulting in changing opinions in their council and the voters of Palo Alto.
The meeting can be viewed on the City's website at:
(select the view icon at Item E on that page.)
There were many excellent points raised by the public during the public hearing. I found the comments by ex-Mayor Mike Cobb to be quite on target. (his comments are at 1 hr. 52 minutes into the file)
I have transcribed these comments and have copied them below.
All these kinds of impacts will be felt up and down the peninsula, and all the cites will be adversely affected by the above grade, 4 track system that the Authority is attempting to erect.
Make your voices heard. In particular, State Senator Joe Simitian has been chosen as the chairman of a key sub-committee, that will oversee funding for this project. The Senator has been a supporter of this HSR project. Please try to get him to change his position and protect the interests of the voters who elected him to office, by opposing this project as presently proposed.
(comments from Mike Cobb ex-Mayor Palo Alto)
Mike Cobb ex-Mayor Palo Alto 3/02/09 at City Council.
Honorable council members:
There are some questions I would like to ask you with respect to the bullet train with and I would hope they would be questions you would answer clearly and effectively. As this process moves forward. One of which is:
My first question is why was an endorsement given to this bullet train when we really had no concept what its impacts would be and we had done no discussion on that. That really does trouble me a great deal.
And with respect to Mr. Diridon comments, he talked about the 65% vote, do you think that would have been a 65% vote if the people had understood the impacts on this community? I would register that it would not be.
My second question. How many homes will be taken by eminent domain. We haven't heard much talk about that; we heard that word slip in there briefly once. Well how many homes will be lost by eminent domain as the result of needing to expand these tracks.
What about other facilities in town, like the high school , the medical center and a lot of other that you can think of including the tree.
Another question, Get my notes clear here.
You talk, Mr. Espinosa talked about some alternatives, and yet what I am hearing from Mr. Diridon is that these alternatives really aren't open to us. So that's is kind of interesting, I'd like to if these can be pursued or not.
Will you folks join Menlo Park and the other Cities in the legal briefing that has been filed?
And a tough question, one more related question on values, you know if you take out houses along Park Blvd and some of the other streets out there , the houses across the street will also loose value . When are we going to find out this very real impact , on the very real homes, the very real people that live in this town?
Finally some very difficult question I think, questions that I feel need to be asked.. As you evaluate your own performance on this, are you guilty of putting regional interests ahead of those of the people in Palo Alto that you represent?
The bullet brain is going to cut through this town , cut a swath though it that will change it forever and will probably hasten the already almost out of control urbanization of Palo Alto.
So my final question is what will this Council be doing to stand up for the citizens of this community the people and their homes to make sure that this community can maintain some of the qualities of life we have come to cherish over the years