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More than 500 attend 'high speed boondoggle' rally

Original post made on Nov 7, 2010

Hundreds of critics of California's proposed high-speed rail project packed into Burlingame's Caltrain station Sunday afternoon to wave protest signs, chant "Boondoggle!" and vent their anger about the increasingly controversial project -- especially the possibility of an elevated railway.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, November 7, 2010, 6:48 PM

Comments (49)

Posted by Same old story, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm

I suppose these people are the ones who bought houses, at a reduced price, along the railroad tracks but now don't want to deal with the consequences of having done so. What else is new?

Posted by Jenny Lau, a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm

It is sad to see how people can say "people bought houses at reduced price..." as if they should be penalized bought at their financial level or therefore should lost their homes. People were buying responsibly, at their financial level. We, the community should value that by doing our part to protect them. By the way, I just happen to know a family who spent their life time saving to do retrofit for their house just a few years ago. Again, I think these are the citizens we respect and we should do everything we can to protect them for doing the right thing.

Posted by Jacko, a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2010 at 10:26 pm

If it's such a boondoggle then you say "we don't want HSR at all" you don't say, "build it right, or not at all". It shows your true colors and it's hyprocracy to the maximum. This tunnel or nothing attitude will most likely double the price tag of the entire project holding the rest of state on the hook to keep your property values high on the peninsula at everyone elses expense creating the true boondoggle you people clamor about. Like I said, hypocracy to the max!

I also see everyone here visits the Ca HSR Blog when you cite that your opposing group is not the minority that is claimed. Something brought up on the Supporting blog. Obviously very few of you actually post their because you would be toast when the facts bring to light what your true objectives are. I'm not afraid to come to your site because all your arguements are weak.

Posted by Jacko, a resident of another community
on Nov 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm

BTW, I love the description of that sign that reads "Their goes $$ for schools". It shows that these people don't understand the situation here.

Haven't you people seen or read what happened to Wisconsin Governor-Elect Chris Walker days ago? He promised to stop his states HSR project, calling it a boondoggle and claiming he would redirect that nearly $800 MILLION towards fixing roads and bridges. Guess what US DOT told him? "Use it on HSR or we take that money back", something like that. How embarrassing is that? This money is going to be spent, now where do you want it to be spent. Improving California's transportation or going to NY or another state?

It's funny, now that money will go elswere. Do you know the implication of the situation?? I don't think you understand. We take federal money we put $10 Billion on our credit card (Chump change when you consider California is A TRILLION dollar economy) and all that money is circulated in our state. The alternative is to sit on our hands and hope everyone magically gets a job and starts buying goods to move the economy. Give me a break, most of you don't have common sense. So I say move to Montana!

Posted by common sense, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 8, 2010 at 1:31 am

If HSR were to stop in SJ and connect to SF via Caltrain, what is the estimated difference in ridership vesus running HSR all the way to SF?

Posted by lzav, a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2010 at 2:58 am

Peninsula does not deserve high speed rail. Too many entitled people with their money need to be punished. Stop it at San Jose and then send it through the East Bay. Let the Peninsula suffer by sitting on 101 and using the very poorly designed Caltrain.

Posted by Do Your Homework, a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2010 at 5:59 am

Jacko, did you know that bonds are loans, not grants? Do you know from which fund bonds are repaid? Would it be the general fund, which also funds education? Do you know that the interest alone on $9.95 Bonds is $650M? Can you make the connection? This is a classic symptom of this project - supporters of HSR are not willing to do their homework but instead, choose to blame the people that will take the brunt of the impacts of this boondoggle. Nothing wrong with HSR in theory, but this project,in reality, is truly a boondoggle. Please read what experts and watchdogs like the State Auditor, Legislative Analysts office, State Treasurer and Berkeley Transportation Institute have to say about the project. Then read about all of the mismanaged spending to date and conflicts of interest on the HSR board. Please do your homework and then get back to us.

Posted by Ginny, a resident of Greater Miranda
on Nov 8, 2010 at 6:52 am

Do you want HSR in your neighborhood?

With computer graphics and Google Street View, it would be possible to show each legislator what a 7-lane elevated train would look like cutting through their neighborhood. The home address of every legislator is available on the Internet.

Each HSR-enhanced street view could then be posted on a website for all to see.

Let's see how each of our legislators like it after better understanding the facts.

The HSR boondoggle, as we now know and understand it, must be stopped.

Posted by Patrick, a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2010 at 7:14 am

Includes San Mateo and San Francisco Counties.

Torn between the City of San Francisco on one hand and the cities of San Mateo County on the other hand. Which are.

1. East Palo Alto
2. Portola Valley
3. Woodside
4. Menlo Park
5. Atherton
6. Redwood City
7. San Carlos
8. Belmont
9. San Mateo
10. Foster City
11. Burlingame
12. Hillsbourgh
13. Millbrae
14. San Bruno
15. South San Francisco
16. Daly City
17. Colma
18. Brisbane
19. Halfmoon Bay
20 Pacifica

Yee's background and history is in the City of San Francisco and that's where his allegiance lies. That's not a bad thing unless we're talk about the High Speed Rail.

I don't read about any news in the papers where Leland Yee is trying to help the Cities of the Peninsula. If he can save a noodle from refrigeration to save it's integrate he can certainly save our towns from scaring to save their beauty.

Perhaps he should try to get a bill passed to separate the 8th District into two separate Districts; each County having their own representative. You know just to be fair and all.

Posted by Kevyn, a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 8, 2010 at 7:21 am

Not a bad for pouring rain! It was especially heartening to see so many local electeds from up and down the peninsula at this event.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 7:46 am

How many attendees went by train?

Caltrain is not very well serviced at weekends.

Posted by Kathy from the North, a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2010 at 8:12 am

It was quite an event, don't know if the weather was good how many would have showed. It shows just the tip of the discontent as the pubic gets educated. Even people who believe in HSR, the smart ones, recognize the absense of federal dollars and private investors. Over 70 Valley esperts from prestigious companies and universities say that the project is financially unviable.

The ridership is still ridiculously high, the rail authority first started over 113 million, down to 41 in the 2009 business plan. Conservative experts say it's at least half the current number and others say its more like 4-10 million. Ridership numbers are a look into the future, but they need to be logical. Mica in Washington DC, who believes in HS trains, says you've got to have density for it to make sense and frankly we don't.

At the Ridership meeting conducted in Sacramento last week, it came out that the Rail Authority was part of the project team developing the numbers. Sort of blew the cover as MTC, the go between agency who paid for the ridership report. MTC's executive director, the same person who sits on Mineta's board, Diridon's agency.

So please don't tell me there aren't solid facts that point in big bold flashing letters: Boondoggle!! And the communities will let Jerry Hill, who was on camera last night, saying it's not a boondoggle to get educated despite his ambitions for the future. We will not support him if he doesn't wake up. This is not a politics as usual project. The cost to all of us is too much and he and all politicans in Sacramento need to take their fudiciary duty to the people of the entire state more seriously. Prop 1A did not say build it at any cost. It must meet very specific tests outlined in AB3034 and the project fails big time.

The peninsula people have uncovered these facts in their investigation and the senate committee on finance appreciates it. Logic says if you don't have the money to build it and you don't have the riders to maintain it, you don't have a viable project. They may not all be rich, but they are smart and those that throw darts by name calling have no legitimate argument and it shows.

Posted by Jacko, a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2010 at 8:55 am


Yeah I know, the bonds are general obligation bonds to be repaid over 30 years. Sounds reasonable to me. If the interest on $10B is another $10B over that period then that's still cheap for a system this big in a state this big. $18 Billion is said to be needed in the form of grant's by the Federal Government (Free Money).

The CHSRA isn't perfect of course, it has a lot of faults. But guess what? That's life, haven't you seen your government lately? Imagine if we tried to get that perfect before putting it in to motion, we would be governed by a dictator while we wait for our government to be assembled perfectly. In reality, not gonna happen.

Ridership, the projected ridership is inflated, all transit ridership is inflated whether on purpose or just high optimism. But the way I see it is if Bart can get 1/3 of a million riders a DAY. Then I don't see HSR getting a decent million a year. Plus HSR will boost local transit even more.

The problem I see with most of you opponents is that you only think about tomorrow when supporters have a bigger picture. We look at this as next Month. This system should pick up momentum after 5 years of operation, then we will see how valueable it is. Of course most of you are older men who don't want their tax money spent on the public while "decreasing" their property values because they're retired and have no need to find work and the women who oppose this are soccer moms who don't really understand what the "H" they're talking about and just repeat the phrase "think about the children".

Correction, to my second post yesterday. The name of Wisconsin Governor-Elect is "Scott Walker". I mix those names up easily.

Posted by Patrick north, a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2010 at 9:17 am

dear Jacko
With that audited how many credit cards do you have maxed out?

Posted by Jacko, a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2010 at 9:44 am

I've paid all of my credit cards and cut them up. I only have one in the safe. If I want to buy something I pay cash. Oh, from what I've learned over time is that the only time to go into debt is for the overall picture, the investment. My house is an investment it lets me live underneath it's roof. My Car is an investment, it lets me get to work so I can keep paying for my car and house and my food. My Television is an unecessary luxury but I buy it anyway with money I have and not the credit card. Toilet paper is a need, Ipod is a want. That's the foundation of how I see money spent.

Three important things vital for our survival are 1. Water (water infrastructure), 2. Transportation (Car, Train, Air), 3. Education. In that order. Right now air and car transportation are under attack from something we call Fossil fuels. Something we go to war for, it's that serious.

Trains are always going to be the best way to move a lot of people fast. Remember what a train means, a long platform that is connected to other platforms that move together. Now if only those platforms move on something other than fossil fuels (electricity). Then if we can get them to go as fast as airplanes maybe we might be on to something.

Posted by Jenny, a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2010 at 11:14 am

If we know what a business plan is, as many successful big business people do, this HSRA's so called business plan is pitiful. Studies that are done outside of the CHSRA, i.e. public institutions not paid by CHSRA, said the so called plan put forward so far has little reliable bases. Other than those who will be (or are already being) benefited monetarily or politically why would anyone want to put in even a penny to do something as unprofessional, if not irrational, as this?? Yes, I agree. Do your homework.

In addition, coming out from an area ruled by a totalitarian regime I experienced what dictatorship is about. It is exactly when a government claims they are doing good for the people that they in fact are destroying the life of their people. They even claim those small number of people do not count since it is the big number that matters. I do not expect to find similar practices in the U.S.A. When 20 towns are affected it is more than legitimate to call on the governing body to either stop or come up with a better solution.

Posted by Frank, a resident of Ventura
on Nov 8, 2010 at 11:24 am

Talk about doing your home work - where does 7 tracks come from. Caltrain is 2 or 4 and HRS will add another 2 sometimes being able to share the 3rd and 4th with Caltrain. So at most 6 but usually 4 - that will fit in the existing right of way in most places.

But "Do I want HSR in my neighborhood?" Yes I do - that doesn't mean I thing the HRS Authority has been flawless in it's execution, far from it. But I do not favor killing the project.

In future we will need HSR and better commuter rail as part of a transit solution (did anyone drive on 101 this morning?). Not only HSR to LA and Sacramento but all over; we need this.

Posted by YIMBY, a resident of University South
on Nov 8, 2010 at 11:37 am

YIMBY is a registered user.

just wondering - do you think any of the protesters from Palo Alto, Atherton, and Menlo Park (assuming they were there); the 3 cities out of:
SF, Brisbane, SoSF, San Bruno, Millbrae, Burl, SM, Belmont, SC, RWC, (Ath, MP, PA), MV, Sv, SCl, SJ - a total of 3 out of 17)
took the train to the rally?

If they did, do you think they understood the relationship between Caltrain's fiscal sustainability and the improvements that come from its relationship with the HSR Authority?

Posted by YIMBY, a resident of University South
on Nov 8, 2010 at 11:39 am

YIMBY is a registered user.

OOPS - I neglected to add the 3 cities out of 17 that are actually suing the HSR Authority....I realize that many of the cities not suing the Authority, such as Burl, Belmont, RWC, have indicated their concerns about the alignment - but nonetheless have chosen not to litigate at this time.

Posted by Natasha, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 8, 2010 at 11:44 am

Caltrain has severe financial problems, is reliant on increasingly unavailable taxpayer subsidy and may be heading for bankruptcy.

Instead of taking this as an object lesson, YIMBY apparently wants us to believe that another unsustainable rail system (HSR) that will rely on scarce taxpayer subsidy will be Caltrain's savior. This probably is unwise.

Posted by Planes-Over-Trains, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm

> Trains are always going to be the best way to move a lot
> of people fast

For short distances, like under New York City .. this may be true. But planes are a much better, cheaper, way to move more people in more different directions, at longer distances, than trains could ever be.

Posted by ROBERT, a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Its nice to see these Prop 13 worshiping baby boomers continue fighting to leave my generation with the infrastructure required for a state half our size.

Posted by ROBERT, a resident of another community
on Nov 8, 2010 at 12:58 pm

A quick question for Planes-Over-Train, how do you expect we expand our airport capacity when air traffic doubles? Its not like there is much room to expand San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles, Burbank, or San Diego airports.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I would really like to know the demographics of the opponents to HSR. I feel sure that they are over 40 if not older.

The young people know that trains are the future. They know that the present infrastructure will not sustain the state over the next 30 years and more. They are not so dependent on cars. They want options and expect the same funding for roads and air travel to be spent on trains.

Posted by Proof, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Nov 8, 2010 at 2:30 pm

This anti-HSR "movement" is proof that the Bay Area is not as liberal or well-educated as they claim to be. Sure, they'll vote for a liberal representative to go to Washington and impose limits on someone else's freedom. But when it comes to anything that might threaten their arrogant and smug existence, principles like protecting the environment are shown to be hollow. This place has more SUVs per capita that just about anywhere in the U.S., the worst traffic, and the most ill-informed drivers. Unbelieveable how many left lane bandits there are here. These Bay Area liberals are also some of the most racist in the country. Anyone recall the many attempts East Palo Alto has made to merge with Palo Alto? Shallow-Altans would not have it.

Posted by Same old story, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm

1) The train tracks won't be elevated everywhere. Only in portions of the line will be elevated.
2) The current tracks already splits our cities in half. It won't be much of a change. It's not as if Alma is a beautiful spot in the first place.
3) The noise compared to the current Caltrain Diesel dinosaurs won't be that noisy, especially since they won't be going at full speed through the Peninsula. Plus, no more horns will be a bonus.
4) How come people who complain about train noise don't complain about airplane noise? At times we get airplane noise every 2 minutes above our heads as well.

If you bought a house near the tracks, deal with it. It is logical to upgrade train service, local, regional and state wide, where the tracks already are.

I suggest you take a field trip to China, Japan, or France and see for yourselves before succumbing to scare tactics and hysteria.

Posted by stanhutchings, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm

California cannot afford the HSR. It will not be self-sustaining, but will require huge infusions of cash that will be extracted from we the taxpayers.
The US Government cannot afford to subsidize a boondoggle like the HSR. Again, that money will come from we the taxpayers.
I'd rather see the money go to schools, so the next generations will have the sense to see, and put a stop to, a boondoggle such as the HSR. Also money go to R&D (done by our educated kids) to develop "smart vehicles" and "smart highways" that are already in the prototype stage.
I've seen and used the fast, convenient rail systems in China, Japan, France, Italy, England and other countries. They, unlike the HSR, interconnect *many* popular destinations and cities. The HSR is so crippled in destinations that I cannot believe it ever got off the drawing board. In contrast, highways and air traffic routes are truly interconnecting our State's cities and destinations. Smart vehicles and highways are the real hope for future transportation.
I've asked Joe Simitian, Anna Eshoo, Senators Boxer & Feinstein to stop support for HSR now. Others opposed should do the same.

Posted by Same old story, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 8, 2010 at 6:44 pm


Obviously you are willing to have the government subsidize roads and cars but not trains. So, your boondoggle argument does not hold water.

As to connecting many destinations and population centers, you have to start somewhere. We are a good 30 to 40 years behind. We have catching up to do. Did those other countries build their HSR networks all at once? Of course not. I remember, the first TGV in France only connected the cities of Paris and Lyon in the early 80s. Then, they went on to gradually add more lines. They did not refuse to do it because it would only be 2 big cities at first.

Posted by Jim, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Nov 8, 2010 at 9:58 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

and for Same old story, here is some news you can use, HSR wants to build the system as cheaply as they can, except for trips overseas to experience fast trains or themselves. For many stretches of track, that means tracks on existing grade. I don't believe that they are interested in creating grade separations because, that adds cost. Find the HSR documents to support your claims. No grade separations means that the crossing gates and bells might as well be down and ringing nearly all day. Also, a 'silent' HSR train cruising at 220MPH sounds like a jet racing by. I guess you have not been to China, France or Japan to experience this for yourself.

This thing is a political pork boondoggle. I am ashamed that Obama recently used it to bolster democratic candidates through carefully timed 'press' releases, I mean pork releases. CA can hardly afford the debt that this wondrous train will drop on the taxpayers of this state. Those blue signs popping up are right... here comes HSR, there goes $$ for schools, or virtually anything else you can think of the state supports. Make no mistake, bond debt is skimmed off the top of the state budget, no matter what, and what's left gets doled out as per the numerous crazy proposition mandated budget guidelines.

Posted by chris, a resident of University South
on Nov 8, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Didn't the opponents of HSR watch Obama on 60 Minutes Sunday night?

Obama said he is going to rebuild the country's infrastructure and rail is a big part of that.

He knows that with millions of unemployed construction workers the only way they can be put back to work is with infrastructure projects.

What do the Palo Alto whiners suggest that the construction workers work on? More palatial estates for themselves?

I have not heard a constructive suggestion from the whiners as to what they should work on. If they are so smart, let's hear them.

Posted by Same old story, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2010 at 12:06 pm


Not only are you wrong about me (I have a lot of experience with overseas high speed trains, having seen and used them myself in Europe), but you spread outright disinformation unless you are woefully uninformed yourself. So, I have to correct 2 blatantly wrong assertions you make.

1) There will NOT be any HSRs with rail road crossings and horns blaring. One of the points of HSR is to eliminate all grade crossings for obvious safety reasons.

2) HSR will NOT be going cruising at 220 MPH on the Peninsula portion of its route. It will go at a much lower speed (although faster than our hapless Caltrain. By the way, if we went for a HSR train station in Palo Alto, it would go even slower in Palo Alto. But of course, let's not even look at the pluses of having an HSR train station in Palo Alto (I am being sarcastic here).

Posted by Jay Tulock, a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Blind supporters, would you still claim a majority support on the peninsula? Where was your counter protest? Could not get the supporters together? Hark, what was that, Robert Cruickshank pushing Rod Diridon in a shopping cart through downtown Burlingame? There is only one solution, a statewide ballot referendum to reverse 1A and defund the High Speed Authority. Then, maybe, we can talk about building high speed rail.

Jay Tulock, Vacaville

Posted by Icanseethefuture, a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Let's look into the crystal ball. Say 2020 when this project is supposed to be completed.

a.) Airports and airplanes will be more efficient with the ability of planes to land closer and closer together with technological improvements in airplane design, instrumentation and air traffic control resulting in increased capacity and no need for expansion of runways.

b.) Automobiles will barely rely on fossil fuels as government requirements will be that the majority of not all auto manufactures offer electric or alternative fuel vehicles, by 2020, the majority of gasoline powered vehicles will be diminishing.

c.) Telecommuting will have increased with better teleconferencing equipment from Silicon valley companies like Cisco and Polycom, so there will be less need for business travel throughout the state.

So, these not so far off in the future developments practically negate the need for a transit system that uses technology that debuted in 1964.

Will HSR cutting edge, showing off US ingenuity? No.
Is HSR serving a new audience? No.
Does HSR provide a "viable, affordable and convenient" alternative to all electric vehicles or telecommuting? Nope.

There ya have it folks. Let the rest of the world have transit systems that are touted as high speed and let's develop technology that is truly innovative and changes the world rather than building yet another antiquated system that does little to bolster our economy in any way.

Posted by Bernard, a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Quick question for Icanseethefuture, since you seem to have the Criswell thing down.

Peek into your murky ball and see if you can fortell this. What will be the population of California in 2020 and where are those people going to live?

What airline/airport/ATC technology will save the day? And if it's going to be ready for primetime, where is it now? It's only 10 years away, and you're going to nned some lead time.

Where are you going to drive all those electric cars? There's almost no room now. Where do you see the new freeways? Again, you'll need long lead times to do so.

Posted by jim, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Nov 9, 2010 at 10:22 pm

hi same old story, oh yes, and HSR is supposed to actually earn $1B in profits each year based on a bogus business plan, cost, what, $40 each way SF to LA, not take a penny in state subsidies, accommodate millions upon millions of make believe riders, and oh yes, raise property values along the tracks. All as per the HSR authority. Naturally, none is believable, and I won't believe HSR will spend the extra $100M+ per grade separation until it actually happens. It has been reported that HSR is actually looking into no grade separations at all Web Link

I must assume your experience with high speed trains is as a passenger, and of course they are quiet and very nice from that perspective. It is a different situation if you are on the outside looking in as a train rockets past.

Posted by common sense, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 9, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Wisconsin elects a governor who campaigned again train project:

Web Link

Ohio cancelling train project:

Web Link

Florida train project in jeopardy (can't show a profit): Web Link

With California HSR having such an unbelievable business plan that a number of groups have shown to be unworkable, the new Governor-elect Brown would be well advised to review this project ASAP - remember Govenor elect Brown promised no new taxes without voter approval; and California HSR won't work without massive new taxes.

Posted by Same old story, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 10, 2010 at 12:48 pm


"I must assume your experience with high speed trains is as a passenger, and of course they are quiet and very nice from that perspective. It is a different situation if you are on the outside looking in as a train rockets past."

Yes, I have seen high speed trains from the outside in Europe, and when not at full speed they are actually pretty quiet.

1) HSR trains won't be rocketing by in Palo Alto or the Peninsula...

2) Here we are again. The only people who might be affected are those who KNOWINGLY bought houses right along the tracks and now don't want to deal with the railroad being upgraded. Deal with your past decisions unless of making us all pay for your perceived mistake.

And again, HSR will NOT be going at full speed along the Peninsula and likely won't be louder than Caltrain's really outdated diesel monsters. Electric trains are quieter than diesel trains.

Posted by Waitasec, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 10, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Calling elevated tracks, 4 across with 30 foot towers an "upgrade" is ridiculous.

Posted by pat, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 10, 2010 at 9:36 pm

>"We take federal money we put $10 Billion on our credit card (Chump change when you consider California is A TRILLION dollar economy) and all that money is circulated in our state."

And where will the additional $33 Billion come from? The chumps who think it's going to make money? Or the chump taxpayers?

> "I would really like to know the demographics of the opponents to HSR. I feel sure that they are over 40 if not older."

If you don't know the demographics, how can you feel sure of anything?

Posted by Kristine, a resident of another community
on Nov 11, 2010 at 10:45 am

I'm gonna let you guy in a little secret. ALL forms of transportation is subsidized. Asking one form to suddenly be profitable is ridiculous and unfair. And Cars are possibility the most subsidized. Gas is subsidized, Parking is subsidized, Highways and roads are subsidized. There is reason cars suddenly got more popular post WWII was a TON of subsidies were put in. Since Car DEMAND alot lower density than most other forms of transportation to work well, in the free market it would not thrive that much.

Posted by jb, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm


A lot of the antis may be over 40 and racist as you claim. But they remember that East Palo Alto WAS part of Palo Alto. Yes, Palo Alto used to include East Palo Alto until Highway 101 became a freeway and cut that part off the city. Big public transit projects can do that to a community.

I'm not sure of the mechanics, but it became unincorporated as a part of Palo Alto, and in the distant past when we moved here, EPA was incorporating as EPA so it could have its own police and school district. So you see, what goes around comes around.

Don't know if you're into outings, but you might have seen the duck pond at the Baylands. That body of water used to be a municipal swimming pool for the old version of Palo Alto. If you look around the edge you cans till see traces of beautiful enamel tile edging.

I voted against HSR because it seemed stupid to spend such money, even with federal loans, on such an expensive, doubtful project. People are becoming more impatient with every new fast pocket appliance they acquire. I can't see anyone who could fly putting up with two or three hours on a fast day to get to the bay area. That 2-hour estimate of travel time can't possible allow for any station stops along the way. It will become the Grayhound of the rails. Have you ridden Greyhound in the hinterlands (the only place they serve) lately?

Posted by jb, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 11, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Waitasec, I beg to differ with you. Whatever-feet elevated train tracks are about as "up" graded as things get without a helicopter!

Posted by jb, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Nov 11, 2010 at 1:32 pm

It's me again.

Something about these and other conversations really sticks in my craw when the scornful types trot out their arguments against people whose property would be impacted. That completely false objection is this:

"You knew when you bought that this would happen."

They did not know. The election at which this passed was 2008. Many bought knowing that they could live with the train tracks that existed at the usage of the time.

I wonder if the HSR was even trotted out at the time because the real estate was in a downturn, and the Authority thought they could hurry and get right-of-way on the cheap.

Posted by Waitasec, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 11, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Well said, jb. In fact property values near the right of way have already dropped relative to surrounding areas since the 2008 decision. If HSR could have been anticipated, there would have been no change in the relative value since its' arrival would have been already "baked in the cake."

Posted by Larry Cohn, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 11, 2010 at 9:28 pm

jb, check your facts. East Palo Alto was never part of the city of Palo Alto. It's in a different county to begin with. It was an unincorporated part of San Mateo county until incorporation in 1983.

Posted by Jim, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Nov 11, 2010 at 11:19 pm

same old story -

"Deal with your past decisions unless of making us all pay for your perceived mistake."

Indeed, it is every single tax payer in this state, and the country in the case of any federal funds, that pays the price of HSR, not just those along the corridor.

A fast train to Disneyland, or funds for beleaguered schools across the state. A train, or funds to retrofit hospitals in seismic zones (recent article at sfgate). A train, or improvements to the states water delivery system approaching its second century of service. A train, or improvements to the power transmission infrastructure all across the state. A train for same old story that saps the finances of this state for decades to come, or infrastructure improvements that are really needed, now, and really benefit everyone? Tough call.

Posted by Arthur Breed, a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2010 at 9:30 am

I favor HSR even it means increasing tuition and fees at UC and CSU by 20% and increasing other taxes. The 2010 state budget allocates only $240 million for HSR design and consulting activities with another $410 million for 2011. We can generate that income by increasing tuition and reducing welfare by 15-20%. At full build out, the state will only have to come up with $670 million per year for bond interest and principal repayment. Surely we will be able to find that tiny amount which represents less than one percent of our total state budget.

Posted by Paul Grantham, a resident of another community
on Nov 13, 2010 at 7:43 am

I am a Burlingame resident who fully supports high speed quickly and inexpensively as possible. I can't understand these officials who complain about "ruining the community" when they already support a 19th Century version of the rail dissecting the communities already.

I have lived in both Japan and Germany in houses near elevated high speed rail lines. These trains are quiet. And since they are elevated, they do not block free flow of traffic and people. I wonder if any of these officials have actually experience what a high speed rail line is like.

I hope people will overcome there fears of change and support transportation options that reduce human impact on the environment. This NIBYism is really disappointing.

Posted by Thiago, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Apr 12, 2013 at 9:00 am

Ah,it felt so good to come back to this after all the air conditioning repair in Las Vegas. The rally was an absolute blast, props to those responsible!

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