News

North Fair Oaks meets on high-speed rail

 

By Joshua Falk

Special to The Almanac

Representatives from the California High-Speed Rail Authority addressed residents' concerns at a North Fair Oaks Council meeting Thursday, June 17.

"What we're here to talk about tonight is what is important for North Fair Oaks," said Dominic Spaethling, a regional manager for the California High-Speed Rail Authority responsible for the San Francisco to San Jose corridor.

The high-speed rail system is planned to run along the Caltrain right-of-way and will "try to use existing infrastructure to the greatest extent possible," Mr. Spaethling said.

Mr. Spaethling addressed several local issues, including the noise and visual impact of the high-speed rail system, cyclist and pedestrian safety along the route, and the potential economic impact of the rail system on businesses and homes along the San Francisco-San Jose corridor.

Many residents at the meeting expressed concern about the potential impact of the high-speed rail system on North Fair Oaks and the greater Peninsula.

"What's in it for us?" asked Morton Frank, who suggested the High-Speed Rail Authority take a closer took at the eventual impact of the rail system on the local community. "How do you plan to integrate local public transportation?"

Mr. Frank said he thought the wealthy would benefit most from the implementation of a high-speed rail system at the expense of those with more modest incomes.

"The high-speed train seems to be totally oblivious to the needs of ordinary people," Mr. Frank said.

Laura Caplan, a member of the North Fair Oaks Council, responded more positively to the rail authority's proposals.

"I was very pleased that the high-speed rail folks seemed to really have listened to our concerns the last time they were here," Ms. Caplan said. She emphasized it would be important to integrate the high-speed rail system with other public transportation on the Peninsula, however.

Another member of the council, Juan de Leon, expressed concern that residents of North Fair Oaks do not turn out for these kinds of meetings in as great a number as in more wealthy communities. He said he attended a meeting in Atherton where the turnout was three times that of Thursday's North Fair Oaks meeting.

"This is a community that doesn't get out and isn't vocal," Mr. de Leon said.

John Maulbetsch, an Atherton resident at the North Fair Oaks meeting, was firmly opposed to building the high-speed rail line along the Peninsula.

"I think it doesn't belong on the Caltrain corridor," Mr. Maulbetsch said. "The benefits are overstated and the costs are understated."

"I think it's a colossally bad idea for the Peninsula," he said.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Jay Tulock
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm

"I was very pleased that the high-speed rail folks seemed to really have listened to our concerns the last time they were here," Ms. Caplan said. [Portion removed, terms of use.]

But seriously, the reason folks turn out in droves in Atherton is the Authority is trying to squeeze four tracks into a corridor that is not wide enough for four tracks, and that community will thus face massive impacts with construction, operation and eminent domain takings. Not so much north of there, except San Mateo and Burlingame to some extent, but most of the corridor has more business/industrial along the tracks in SM County north (of where the Altamont high speed line will cut in to the Caltrain corridor).

Jay Tulock, Vacaville


Like this comment
Posted by Thetruth
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Untrue and more fearmongering it is WIDE enough..


Like this comment
Posted by Concerned citizen
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jun 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm

[This post and a responding comment removed; stick to the issue and don't attack other posters]


Like this comment
Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm

HSR is inevitable. Why people cannot see it, is just so typical.
And........sacrifices will be made.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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