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High-speed-rail 'safeguard' bill signed into law

Original post made on Sep 8, 2013

Legislation spearheaded by state Sen. Jerry Hill that makes it next to impossible for the California High-Speed Rail Authority to build a four-track rail system on the Peninsula was signed into law Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, September 8, 2013, 4:04 PM

Comments (7)

Posted by Problem Solver
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 8, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Knocking out the four track option for cities that don't want it is essential, provided the technical definition of "four track" is "four tracks side-by-side", since it is the side-by-side configuration that causes the problems. Any attempt to impose a four-wide rail corridor through an unwilling community will ensure the failure of high-speed rail, so let's drop it with finality. I am pro HSR but strongly against four-wide HSR through my town (and support other towns who feel the same).

The HSR people have shown remarkably little imagination in this area. Elon Musk's HyperLoop deserves consideration, at least as a starting point for some grounded creativity. An alternative that I have not seen mentioned for Peninsula communities is a double-wide double-height elevated four-track solution, with the HSR on the top and Caltrain on the lower elevation, but with both pairs elevated quite high. There are so many advantages to this:
1) No encroachment beyond the existing Caltrain right-of-way, no eminent domain seizing of private property (and the issue of encroachment during construction can be eliminated with some appropriate engineering).
2) All grade-level crossings, with many more crossings than at present, resulting in a new cohesiveness of communities currently divided by Caltrain (where they want it, that is), and better traffic flow.
3) The end of pedestrian deaths by train.
4) The HSR can travel fast through the Peninsula with much lower noise than the current Caltrain. Proper vibration isolation is well-demonstrated for noise transmitted through the wheels, and waist-high skirting walls (very close to the train is shown to all but eliminate undercarriage noise, without the visual impact of high walls used by freeways.
5) A spectacular view from both the HSR and Caltrain, that will enhance ridership.

And for those that deem any HSR to be visually polluting, on the contrary it's an opportunity for an architectural statement of lasting beauty (with a little imagination applied). Human structures can be very attractive - like the Roman aqueducts and the Golden Gate bridge (an unlike many of the "new urban" architecture sullying the Peninsula).


Posted by Loopy Hyper Fraud
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Sep 9, 2013 at 12:31 pm

"Elon Musk's HyperLoop deserves consideration" You mean that dude's blog post (Musk's well disguised "concern troll")? Any real world examples of hyper? Outside of blogs and theme parks, that is.

Oh, yeah, I want California to be the first to build something out of a blogpost. Yeah, that will work out just FINE!

Get real.

"Now why is Elon Musk, who is not stupid, pushing a plan that looks suspiciously like the old debunked “personal rapid transit” crapola that Republicans and unscrupulous Greens keep pushing?

Perhaps because, just as with PRT, the plan was crafted by people who, for various reasons, are against true mass transit (such as, oh, the head of a car company), and who want to use a fake mass transit plan to attack and destroy an actual mass transit plan?"

Musk is a troll. He wants peeps in his cars, not public transit. He thinks he's the next GM, and following GM in destroying mass transit. Just the way GM destroyed LA's mass transit system last century.

"It began in earnest in 1936 with the creation of the National City Lines Company, a corporate front group representing General Motors, Standard Oil, Firestone Tire, and Mack Trucks. For the next 15 years, this powerful company bought out 45 street car and trolley systems throughout the country. By the 1950’s, all 45 transit systems were completely dismantled, opening the way for private car use and increased bus service, a demand that GM was all too happy to supply. This was the sad fate of public transportation in Los Angeles, a system nearly as extensive as New York’s. Eventually, National City Lines was found guilty of criminal antitrust violations, but the verdict was moot, for the great suburban build out was in full throttle."

What's old is new again...........

Posted by peninsula resident
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Sep 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm

> Though it stops short of codifying the blended alignment into law, it
> gives nine Bay Area agencies veto power over revisiting the four-track
> approach. The agencies include the Caltrain board of directors, the
> Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and the Metropolitan
> Transportation Commission.

1) What are the other 6? I believe the 3 you cite would actually vote FOR a 4-track solution. It's not much of a "safeguard" if the agencies that have veto power want a 4-track solution. Is there any TRUE peninsula representation in the list of "agencies"?

I very strongly suspect that if you look at the list of agencies, none of them represent the best interests of the peninsula.

I welcome being corrected on my suspicion (but I suspect none will be forthcoming because I'm very likely right).

2) Do the agencies have equal voting power?

3) While taking 4-tracks off the table is an improvement (assuming that it actually is off the table), HSR is still blatantly violating Prop 1a. The blended system doesn't change that.

Posted by Pokai
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 11, 2013 at 10:19 am

Pathetic.... shame, shame, shame on the sick people of the peninsula who would screw the entire state because they can't give up a few hundred yards here and there for a proper train system.

Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Sep 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm


it's not a "proper train system" and it never has been nor will it ever be. It's political payoff to labor unions by our elected officials. Feeling no shame here.

Posted by peninsula resident
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Sep 11, 2013 at 11:41 pm

> the sick people of the peninsula

Those "sick people" are in many cases

1) the SAME people that SAVED CalTrain. That's a fact; without representatives from Atherton and Burlingame fighting for train service on the peninsula, there is no Caltrain and there is no Caltrain ROW for HSR to try to exploit.

2) the same people that want more caltrain service. You can actually be FOR improved regional transit but against the waste that is HSR.

You should make more effort to educate yourself before posting.

Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda

on Sep 25, 2017 at 6:21 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?

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