High-speed-rail planners present proposal for downtown station in Redwood City

This would be the only Midpeninsula stop, planners said

By Bay City News Service

Engineers and program managers from the California High-Speed Rail Authority held a community meeting in Redwood City Thursday night, Oct. 13, to discuss the possibility of building a station for the proposed rail system in the city's downtown district.

Peninsula Rail Program representative Bruce Fujuki presented more than 50 community members with the potential benefits and drawbacks the city could face if its residents and politicians agree to become one of more than 20 stops on the $43 billion high-speed train system's 800-mile route between Sacramento and San Diego.

The proposed station would be built in the general vicinity of Caltrain's Sequoia Station and function in concert with the local commuter system, Fujuki said.

The station would be about 67,000 square feet and include train platforms around 1,410 feet long, compared to Caltrain's 680-foot platforms, Fujuki said.

The tracks and platforms would be elevated and lay alongside Caltrain's.

Planners forecast that by the year 2035, the station and surrounding streets, parking facilities, businesses and ground transportation systems would likely accommodate more than 15,000 passengers arriving and departing from the area on a daily basis.

As the only Midpeninsula stop, Redwood City could enjoy increased recognition, revenues and development in its city center, Fujuki said.

"It's really about bringing activity to downtown centers," Rail Authority Regional Program Manager Dominic Spaethling said. "This has to be balanced with what the community wants to have."

Community members who spoke at the meeting had mixed reactions to the station proposal.

Daniel Marroquin, a student at Canada College, said he and other young people thought a high-speed rail stop could be an opportunity for Redwood City to become a "premier city" on the Peninsula, bringing jobs, development and investment.

Debra Holvick of Atherton used the meeting to disparage the idea of high-speed rail in cash-strapped California rather than address the station proposal, heatedly saying it was like buying a Lear jet for a homeless person.

The meeting was a first of two to address the Redwood City station proposal. The second is scheduled for Nov. 3.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by Amen!
a resident of another community
on Oct 14, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Good for Debra Holvick of Atherton! All of the pretty pictures that the HSR Authority is painting about prosperity for Redwood City and the Peninsula, doesn't change the fact that it is a stupid idea, and an unsustainable money pit, and all of the promises of a bright future and roses and lollipops for the State is just a smoke screen. The only discussions that should be taking place regarding this project is how to stop it from happening in the first place. And if the obvious financial facts about the HSR are not enough for you, then try to visualize the elephant in the community known as "The Station", as described.

Like this comment
Posted by tom h
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 14, 2010 at 3:51 pm

these guys are living in a dream world

Like this comment
Posted by Rokky
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm

20 stops in 800 miles with 3 stops (San Jose, Redwood City, Millbrae (SFO) and San Francisco) does not equate to the physics of high speed. HSR will be a pitiful giant obstacle on the Peninsula bringing none of the glorious jobs and recognition that is "promised".
Show us the all the math!

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of another community
on Oct 14, 2010 at 4:40 pm

The haters are out. They think America can't do rail better than other countries.

It's okay for other countries to build infrastructure and move forward.

Not America.

Like this comment
Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Oct 14, 2010 at 7:49 pm

You are correct, anonymous. America has been bled dry by corrupt politicians, greedy unions, and lawyers. We can no longer afford large scale infrastructure projects.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 14, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Wow -- people who actually get that HSR is a bad idea, won't work and will cost way more to run that it will ever take in. I'm so glad the politicians listen to their constituents -- but wait they don't. So why do we keep re-elected them?

Like this comment
Posted by wants to know
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 15, 2010 at 9:03 am

Anonymous, The haters are out? Do you mean those of us who hate waste and stupidity? And sock puppets?

Like this comment
Posted by railfan
a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Oct 15, 2010 at 7:40 pm

A critical assessment of available real estate suggests that Palo Alto is a far better choice than Redwood City due to the large amount of open space between Caltrain and El Camino(owned by Stanford?)for parking and other passenger infrastructure. But Palo Alto does not seem to want a station.

Like this comment
Posted by PTail
a resident of another community
on Oct 17, 2010 at 9:11 am

China will come in and save the day.
It will make the U.S. even more obligated with their electric cars arriving any minute, and then, they will pay for the highways.
I like China and the Chinese.
I just wish our country had their shed together like they do.

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

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Peek inside the fine-dining Selby's, opening in Redwood City this summer
By Elena Kadvany | 8 comments | 4,303 views

Homestead Faire at Hidden Villa 4/27
By Laura Stec | 8 comments | 1,241 views

If you do nothing else, do These Three Things
By Sherry Listgarten | 9 comments | 1,197 views

Premarital and Couples: "You're Not Listening to Me!" may mean "I don't feel heard."
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,127 views


The Almanac Readers' Choice ballot is here

It's time to decide what local business is worthy of the title "The Almanac Readers' Choice" — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 27th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 17th issue of The Almanac.