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Local towns look to influence high-speed rail design

Original post made on May 12, 2009

As the agency that oversees the high-speed rail project begins to plan how high-speed trains will pass through the Peninsula, local cities and towns are trying to figure out how best to get the agency's ear.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 13, 2009, 12:00 AM

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Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 12, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Here’s what we need to understand. The two promoters of the high speed train are not high speed train, or any other speed train, professionals. They are politicians. This project has been a concept. It has been promoted as a concept. Millions have been spent promoting this concept. The voters supported this concept last year. It has been, and continues to be, smoke and mirrors. Pay no attention to the man behind the screen!!! It is a charade meant to look like a “vision of the future.”

Until they actually design one, there is no high-speed train to build. The slick video is TV infomercial advertising, not an engineering plan.

The public comment sessions have been a charade. The current so-called “outreach,” “listening,“ “work teams,” city MOUs with the rail authority. . . . . . . all a charade. The intent is to make us believe that our interests and concerns are being taken seriously. We want your input, they say. We are paying attention to what your needs are, they say. We appreciate all your comments and suggestions, they say. Sure they do.

Once in a while, like recently, the mask slips and Diridon is seen for the obsessed, tyrannical, egomaniacal politician that he is, shouting down the board of directors, overturning their vote and rejecting the analysis of his engineers. And then, we realize that it’s not at all about doing the train right. It’s about getting the money.

Unless and until we come to understand the wolf beneath the sheep’s clothing; unless and until we understand that we need professional help – legal, technical, public relations -- to have our voices really heard and responded to, we will be dismissed as silly amateur complainers who can, and will be, ignored.

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