The city of Menlo Park will join Atherton in re-filing a lawsuit against the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
The City Council voted unanimously in closed session to join the suit at its meeting Tuesday, April 20. Stuart Flashman, the attorney who filed the original lawsuit, is seeking to re-open it, alleging that the rail agency withheld crucial information about how it arrived at its ridership estimates.
In the original suit, the plaintiffs contended that the rail agency did not adequately analyze the impacts of the project before it decided to run high-speed trains along the Caltrain corridor. The court ruling de-certified the environmental analysis document, but by and large did not fault the agency's environmental review of the Peninsula segment of the route.
Elizabeth Alexis, co-founder of the Palo Alto advocacy group Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design, discovered the information that Mr. Flashman is basing the suit on.
Rail authority officials first said the changes to the ridership model were too minor to warrant republication, then attributed the discrepancy between the published document and the information Ms. Alexis received to a "typographical error."
"It's our understanding that the model used to generate the high-speed rail ridership forecasts – along with that model's supporting information – has all been publicly available since 2007," Jeff Barker, a deputy director for the rail agency, wrote in an e-mail.