http://paloaltoonline.com/square/print/2014/02/10/price-walks-fine-line-in-supporting-high-speed-rail-brief


Town Square

Price walks fine line in supporting high-speed-rail brief

Original post made on Feb 10, 2014

Palo Alto may be one of the staunchest opponents of California's controversial high-speed rail system, but one council member took a small step in favor of the $67 billion project when she voted last week in support of the agency building the project.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, February 10, 2014, 9:59 AM

Comments

Posted by Follow the money, a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 10, 2014 at 10:22 am

This clarifies her position in favor of so many developments. She even thought 27 University was a good idea. Will make it easier to decide in November.


Posted by RogerD, a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 10, 2014 at 10:57 am

Yah! Caltrans, Yah! Palo Alto.
One track fits all. Where are the Caltrains going while the HSR hurtles past.
We have enough suicides at 50 mph, imagine how many at 125.
Come on people, Palo Alto tracks are not compatible with high speed trains.
Oh and no I am not a rocket scientist.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 10, 2014 at 11:24 am

Lets be sure to remember her name when it is time for reelection! Talk about NOT representing your community...


Posted by Robert, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 11:33 am

We will remember that vote of yours Ms. Price, in November. You have just lost my vote in the next City Council election. God forbid that the "modernization"/electrification of CalTrain have to be funded by "the partnering agencies." In fact, that sounds to me like the best option. It would bring about the upgrading of CalTrain WITHOUT running HSR up the gut of the Peninsula, with all the harm to property owners and communities along the ROW. You are willing to accept all these consequences when there is an alternative that would avoid them without ushering in a system that will save only a few minutes between SJ and SF at a financial (as opposed to social) cost of $68 billion at a minimum, more likely over $100 billion additional in debt.

You've shown your priorities, Gail Price, and will pay the price at the ballot box in November.


Posted by Elizabeth, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Feb 10, 2014 at 11:34 am

The High-Speed Rail Authority is an "authority" in name only. This politically appointed outfit has lied repeatedly, and is now strong-arming the VTA Board hoping to survive another day.

$700 million to electrify Caltrain is less than 1% what High-Speed Rail plans to blow on its grandiose and ill-conceived train to nowhere.

I call on Ms. Price to stand up to these bullies and stop this insanity now.


Posted by Crescent Park Dad, a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 10, 2014 at 11:35 am

When is she up for re-election? Will not vote for her. Period.


Posted by Wondering?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 11:42 am

Wonder if Council Member Gail Price is paying attention to the fact that the electorate is changing its mind about the first vote on HSR, and wants a chance for a do-over vote?

Ballot Measure To Stop HSR:
Web Link

52% Regret HSR Vote:
Web Link

Ms. Price has never spoken directly to the Palo Alto electorate about her knowledge, or her views, on mass transportation.

Got to wonder what she really knows about this topic?


Posted by anon, a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 10, 2014 at 11:43 am

I saw this story this morning in the Post, which quotes Price as saying she felt a need to represent not only Palo Alto but also Los Altos and Mountain View on the VTA board. Since when did the city councils in Los Altos or Mountain View give her instructions on how she should vote on High-Speed Rail? For that matter, did the Palo Alto City Council take a position on this "friend of the court" brief? It seems like she was just winging it, deciding on her own to give the rail authority a hand. The three city councils involved in this should call Price on the carpet. She's not representing them.

With people like Price representing us, this high-speed rail monster will be around for many years to come.

Somebody should point out that Price is a fan of "bus rapid transit," the plan to replace two lanes of el Camino with bus-only lanes.


Posted by Long John, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:17 pm

This is a perfect example of what is wrong with politics today.

This whole idea of adding a different subject to a bill that is about one thing only. This is a terrible way to do business, and only people with bad ideas benefit from this sort of bargaining. Of course if one thing is a good idea, and then someone tries to add a bad idea to the same bill this causes unintended consequences that can't really be seen clearly. And usually the people with the bad idea get approval by way of the force, caused from the good idea.

We need to return to the days when we as a people can be focused about a single cause and present a clear and focused idea to the people for a vote.

The main thing this would do would stop the ridiculous wait times that this causes since now the "people" have to stop and study the extra added idea.

Any business that makes decisions this way would probably not be successful.

Making a "New" way to travel down to our friends in L.A. using a totally new route with new technology should not be mixed with the very necessary update to our badly needed modernization of current and existing Caltrain service. The bay area needs to move into the modern era and using clean electric power is very beneficial to our real world.

I wish one leader would stand up and make a command decision to keep ideas separated and move forward on the good, "No brainers" and keep the possibly good ideas to study a little more and decide on them later.

When will we get clear, forward-thinking in Palo Alto....?


Posted by Long Johm, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:22 pm

We should separate the ideas of high speed rail to L.A. and the much-needed modernization to our existing Caltrain service.

Can't we promote the good ideas and study the "possibly" good ideas a little more later. We need to learn how to make decisions without mixing-up the process with added issues.

Why can't Palo Alto make single-minded, focused decisions....?


Posted by Marie, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 10, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Marie is a registered user.

Gail Price has lost my vote. There will be other ways to electrify CalTrain. I favor high speed rail done right (see the CAARD website). CHSRA is high speed rail done wrong. It must be stopped.

We need someone on the Santa Clara Transportation Authority who will support the current zoning of Palo Alto,and the wishes of the majority of Palo Alto voters, not some odd "New Urbanism" that has led the city council to require developers to violate setback requirements and put tall buildings next to narrow sidewalks (for example, the Elks Club and Miki's) with not even a two foot setback, let alone the setback required by current zoning.


Posted by Corey Levens, a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 10, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Absolutely the right vote, Gail. Good luck with the campaign.


Posted by resident3, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Corey Levens,

"Absolutely the right vote, Gail. Good luck with the campaign."

Maybe you can elaborate why it was a good call?


Posted by Midtown , a resident of Midtown
on Feb 10, 2014 at 1:37 pm

No good can come for any support of HSR. The current plan is NOT what was approved by the voters and is illegal. If you want to fix Caltrain fix Caltrain, don't get it confused with HSR.


Posted by Cur Mudgeon, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Interestingly, Quentin Kopp just recently came out against the "blended" HSR system and feels the voters are not getting what they voted for in 2008.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Pro- HSR, pro PCs, pro- giant development, pro- fat pay and benefit hikes for public employees. What a campaign platform.


Posted by resident 1, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:30 pm

My understanding of the situation is that CalTrain is suppose to be part of the giant Transportation Center in San Francisco and needs to be electrified in order to travel in an enclosed area. It cannot go in as a diesel fueled engine due to fire control.
That points up our major problem in that we do not have the BART system on the peninsula to close the loop down to San Jose through Cupertino. If BART could come down the HWT 280 side it could go through Stanford - west side and help with reduction of cars. We are very limited in that we have one transportation system whereas the rest of the bay area has multiple transportation systems. If BART could be the one going through the transportation center and Caltrain stays where it is then we would have the best of all worlds.


Posted by Klaus Brandt, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 10, 2014 at 5:33 pm

I am always dismayed when I drive north on Bayshore Highway and pass under the unused Dumbarton railroad line. This where High Speed Rail should be entering the Peninsula. HSR could either proceed from San Jose up the East Bay to the Dumbarton line or via Altamont Pass.


Posted by Robert, a resident of another community
on Feb 10, 2014 at 5:38 pm

There are a lot of ideas being thrown out, BART, Altamont... however, even if they were pursued it wouldn't eliminate the need to expand and upgrade the current Caltrain line regardless of what happens with HSR.


Posted by morris brown, a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 10, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Ms. Price's vote is surely not acceptable.

The attempt to steal funding for regional transportation projects, such as CalTrain electrification and MetroLink upgrading down south is clearly illegal under the conditions set forth in the Prop 1A bond measure passed in Nov 2008.

Prop 1A provides $950 million in "connectivity funds" which indeed could be used for "regional" transportation projects. The rest of the funding, 9 billion dollars, was to be used for High Speed Rail.

The attempt by CalTrain to invade this 9 billion dollar funding, under the cover that "electrification" was for High Speed Rail is non-sense. Prop 1A has other mandates on how the High Speed Rail funding can be used, and just using it for electrification of the CalTrain line certainly does not meet these mandates.

The State Legislature indeed in July 2012, passed an appropriation which included $600 million for CalTrain and its project, and this funding was to be secured from the dedicated $9 billion for High Speed Rail. That appropriation is clearly illegal; it was passed to essentially "bribe" certain Legislators, to vote yes; they certainly needed that "bribe" since SB-1029 passed by only 1 vote in the State Senate. The "bribe" could not sway State Senator Simitian, who along with 3 other Democrats, voted against party lines and voted NO.

With the recent rulings by Judge Kenny, that the funding plan, under which the SB-1029 appropriation was approved, is illegal, means that all funding under Prop 1A is now held up.

The attempts by the regional transit agencies to secure funds from the $9 billion delegated to High Speed Rail, cannot surely not go forward.

The facts that the VTA, bypassed any public input, but took action as a Brown act body, without public notice is absolutely UN-acceptable. Ms. Price by joining in such an action, displays a position, that the public doesn't need to know.




Posted by Phil H, a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 10, 2014 at 6:07 pm

60 years ago, trains in the UK used to reach 100 MPH with steam locomotives. The same technology would allow one to travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles city centers in about 3.5 hours. This is quite competitive with air travel (which cannot get faster)and a lot more convenient. Existing modern diesel locomotives plus coaches with active suspension could probably increase this speed by 20-30% on existing, properly maintained tracks.

To achieve this would require some additional track along existing rights of way so that passenger trains do not have to share with freight trains.
Absent the cost of a totally new right of way and total immediate electrification, costs would be a fraction of the current budget.

One should think that all diesel locomotives are as noisy and dirty as Caltrain's monsters. Using modern, self powered diesel train sets would make everybody living less than 1/2 mile from the tracks a lot happier. Maybe the Redwood City to Fremont spur could be re-opened without creating an incendiary backlash.

Of course, Caltrain electrification would be even better but there is no need to do everything day 1. Why not retire the big diesels then fix the signalling and track systems, then electrify gradually, starting with San Francisco to San Jose?

If the tracks between SFO and Los Angeles were fixed, electric locomotives could be used between San Francisco and San Jose and diesel for the rest of the way. Over time the length of electrified line can be increased as budget constraints allow. After complete electrification, It may also make sense to electrify the freight lines as well.

The question boils down to whether we want a realistic service in, say, 5 years that carries us between SFO and Los Angeles in 3-4 hours or nothing for 15 years and tens of billions of dollars to save maybe 1.5 hours travel time.


Posted by common sense, a resident of Midtown
on Feb 10, 2014 at 6:29 pm

This should be no surprise, as Council Member Price owes unions & other special interests their support for current term as city council member.

Council Member Price is ignoring that the court found that the HSR did not meet the terms of the ballot issue, supposedly explicit criteria that the HSR management needed to meet in order to get the bond money. The court has determined those criteria were not met.

Instead of representing the residents of Palo Alto on the VTA board, Council Member Price is representing the special interests. In the past Council Member Price has been an advocate for removing term limits so that Council Members can have the longevity in office to get appointed onto these regional boards, to represent Palo Alto.

Instead we see what happens - Council Members want to get on these regional boards to further their own personal interests & the special interests that got them elected into office.


Posted by Taxpayer, a resident of Community Center
on Feb 10, 2014 at 7:15 pm

To read that Price voted in favor or HSR is not a surprise. Price is in office to represent labot and developers, not taxpaying citizens. She plays the game of voting in favor of developers and labor, and in return the unions and developers provide her with campaign contributions. Developers and unions take a piece of the largessse they receive from Price's votes and re-invest it in her campaign. It works well if voters don't pay attention. Any voter who is interested in the future of Palo Alto should vote against Price and Shepherd. They have made it very clear that they favor developers and labor unions over citizens and taxpayers.


Posted by Bristol, a resident of Southgate
on Feb 10, 2014 at 7:25 pm

Ms Price is outta here come November!


Posted by Kirk, a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 10, 2014 at 8:49 pm

It is likely that the monies promised to Caltrain related to the HSR project are in violation of Prop1a, the set of laws the HSR Authority wrote for themselves, and promptly discarded as irrelevant and impeding their steam roller approach to community involvement with respect to HSR planning. I believe that the legal aspects of those funds are in litigation. Considering that Palo Alto, and other communities, have supported litigation holding the HSR project to the terms of Prop1a, the law, this really is a twisted tale of the end ($1B) justifying the means (probably violating the law).

Of course the VTA is salivating over $1B in funds to electrify Caltrain, that the HSR Authority offered it up essentially as a bribe to placate the Peninsula is also, no surprise. The poorly run VTA will take what ever cash is thrown their way, after all, they are still trying to figure out to fund Rod Diridon's light rail panacea that has turned into a tax payer albatross in Santa Clara County Web Link But Rod Diridon, one of the most arrogant and vocal of the HSR supporters, is a rail 'visionary', like Jerry Brown, so that makes it ok, right?


Posted by Kirk, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm

why is commenting not allowed?


Posted by Thinking, a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 10, 2014 at 9:49 pm

HIgh Speed rail was a great idea for California 30 years ago. We missed that train (literally). We need to look to investing in the future now, not giving away the farm to grand schemes whose time has come and gone.

Driverless -- or, let's call them, computer-assisted driver vehicles? (Something that doesn't conjure no one at the wheel) -- computer-assisted driver vehicles are the future. We should be thinking of leapfrogging into the future rather than trying to play catch up, this late in the game.


Posted by Thinking, a resident of Green Acres
on Feb 10, 2014 at 9:51 pm

@Kirk,
You nailed it. Gail's approach to community involvement, to planning, to government: the steam-roller approach.

I can't believe I voted for her. I won't make that mistake again.

Methinks she doth protest too much. Everything with her is a political calculation.


Posted by Sunny, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 10, 2014 at 9:57 pm

ms Pri$$$$e planned Sunnyvale, then advertised her planning experience when she run for council in Palo Alto. See downtown Sunnyvale for what she can do.
Vote her out


Posted by kirk, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 10, 2014 at 10:06 pm

It is likely that the monies promised to Caltrain related to the HSR project are in violation of Prop1a, the set of laws the HSR Authority wrote for themselves, and promptly discarded as irrelevant and impeding their steam roller approach to community involvement with respect to HSR planning. I believe that the legal aspects of those funds are in litigation. Considering that Palo Alto, and other communities, have supported litigation holding the HSR project to the terms of Prop1a, the law, this really is a twisted tale of the end ($1B) justifying the means (probably violating the law).

Of course the VTA is salivating over $1B in funds to electrify Caltrain, that the HSR Authority offered it up essentially as a bribe to placate the Peninsula is also, no surprise. The poorly run VTA will take what ever cash is thrown their way, after all, they are still trying to figure out to fund Rod Diridon's light rail panacea that has turned into a tax payer albatross in Santa Clara County Web Link But Rod Diridon, one of the most arrogant and vocal of the HSR supporters, is a rail 'visionary', like Jerry Brown, so that makes it ok, right?


Posted by Ted Crocker, a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2014 at 9:53 am

Similarly, Burlingame council member Jerry Deal took a similar stance once he also became a member of the JPB. Beforehand, he made it clear he had a strong distrust of the HSR Authority and he did not believe the HSR project was legal. After joining the JPB, I believe he got some behind-the-scenes political pressure to conform to the JPB. His public reasoning is that HSR will never get built, but Caltrain needs the money, so if the HSR is going to run out of money, the JPB might as well do what they can to grab some money for Caltrain. So he supports the JPB's position to that end, even if it means publicly supporting the HSR project. In my opinion, neither Jerry Deal nor Gail Price can serve their communities without conflict of interest so long as the serve on these rail boards.


Posted by SteveU, a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 11, 2014 at 10:34 am

SteveU is a registered user.

I keep asking: Why do all the Transit solutions need to go to Downtown San Jose? Think about it: Caltrain, Trolly, Bus and now BART.
I was thinking that the 'Dunbarton' route seemed like a logical (not a Political) path to the peninsula.
We need a workable HSR system now. Look at the original BART system. I think that was built in the time we have been politicking HSR


Posted by resident 1, a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 11, 2014 at 11:23 am

Palo Alto is part of Santa Clara County. You pay property taxes to the county who then re-distributes it. The overall county administration is in San Jose. Also the BART connection up the east bay, Caltrain; electric rail;
AMTRACK; and ACE. Any major rail line connects in San Jose, it is part of the capitol corridor line.
PA has one rail line only - we are severely limited and we have done this to ourselves. RWC has a freight line - we don't.
Developing a more active line at the Dumbarton Bridge is a super ides as it would help Menlo Park - Facebook move more people.


Posted by P.A. Native, a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 11, 2014 at 11:24 am

Why should the rest of the state concern themselves with the property values of homes purchased next to train tracks that have been there for over 150 years? This has already been decided. The route had already been decided before the ballot measure (look it up). At this point all the loud opposition in Palo Alto is nothing more than obstructionism. Disgraceful really.


Posted by Cal native, a resident of Ventura
on Feb 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Some people misunderstand the objections so many have to HSR, or paint their own picture of the objections as straw men to show how easy these created objections are to discount or ignore.

The objections are:

- current activity violates the spirit and letter of the proposition

- the authority is not trustworthy

- we have crushing debt and deferred expensive problems like education that we must ignore to allow that we can afford HSR

- there is way, way too little local mass transit along the route to support HSR (examples of HSR in other countries, financially acceptable or not, have orders of magnitude more local mass transit before building HSR)

- all spin off of intellectual property, expertise, and economic growth resulting from the design, development, and building of the rail will be in other countries, decreasing our competitive position as a state and country, rather than increasing it.


Yes, improvements already made on property next to the tracks will be worth relatively less because of the inevitable loss of quality of life brought about by noise, more limited car access, increased traffic, crime, and indigents, but the property itself, since it will support much higher density, will increase in value per constant area.

The impact on current residents who bought next to the tracks, especially if properly compensated by the authority as they should be, is not one if the stronger arguments against HSR.


Posted by Robert, a resident of another community
on Feb 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm

@Cal native

Except that you're being completely dishonest. The scrutiny behind those objections is based on the perceived impact of the tracks being near them. You don't have groups in the east bay, Sacramento area, north bay, etc. suing in an attempt to stop the project in the central valley on these grounds. And those exact same objections could be raised against several other projects locally and nationally, and yet Peninsula residents aren't choosing to get involved in those.


Posted by Roy Mize, a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 11, 2014 at 4:30 pm

CalTrain has always been the NORCAL transportation stepchild and grasping at HSR funds may seem like a good idea. However supporting HSR as currently planned does a disservice to us all. HSR hasn't formally committed to the blended approach, and given their disingenuous record to date,may hold CalTrain hostage unless cities and CalTrain agree to the original 6 track plan. I'm a former rabid HSR supporter who now believes that no HSR is better than the current plan that any rational person knows will cost up to 3 or 4 times the the current estimate of $68 billion.


Posted by Roy Mize's Friends, a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm

CalTrain has always been the NORCAL transportation stepchild and grasping at HSR funds may seem like a good idea. However supporting HSR as currently planned does a disservice to us all. HSR hasn't formally committed to the blended approach, and given their disingenuous record to date,may hold CalTrain hostage unless cities and CalTrain agree to the original 6 track plan. I'm a former rabid HSR supporter who now believes that no HSR is better than the current plan that any rational person knows will cost up to 3 or 4 times the the current estimate of $68 billion.


Posted by Cal native, a resident of Ventura
on Feb 11, 2014 at 5:06 pm

My objections are sound and verifiable.

It has been claimed that selfish concern over large and quick changes in quality of life for those who invested in their homes next to the rail are what prompted attention to the run-amok authority to begin with.

This may be true for some, but is not true for me. It was the conditions in the proposition and my experience with frequent broken promises by local, state, and federal government that flagged this activity as worthy of attention.

It has been claimed that my objections apply to all kinds of projects. Some might, but the dismal insufficiency of suitable local mass transit in the Bay Area is a unique hurdle to success of HSR. And few other projects are as likely to cost 300 billion dollars just to fund their capital requirements. Not to mention a requirement to continue to throw good money after bad to sustain operations for 50 years or more.

There are reasons that the tip of the spear that I hope kills this thing is aimed at the first location of construction, and that it is a legal challenge based on personal financial loss in order to ensure legal standing for bringing the suit.

One such reason is that citizens do not customarily have standing to stop government activity simply because the government activity is illegal or corrupt, or does not meet terms of a proposition passed by voters.


Posted by Tool, a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 13, 2014 at 5:44 am

"you cannot make a good deal with bad people" - Warren Buffett

That's true with CAHSR and it's true with Gail Price.
CAHSR has lost all credibility, and will use electrification to coopt our local politicians, but will never deliver. Bait and switch will come.

Gail price is a simpler case: simple union tool. She neither represents or cares for Palo Altans at all. We would be remarkably stupid to reelect someone who shows so much disdain for the voters.


Posted by losaltan, a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Los Altos has not taken a position on HSR, so I don't see how price can claim to represent us.


Posted by losaltan, a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Even Gavin Newsom is now against HSR:
Web Link


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2014 at 1:11 am

[Post removed.]


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 16, 2014 at 8:28 am

Gavin Newsom may, suddenly, "now" be against HSR, how convenient; he was for it before he was against it (Variation on John Kerry...).
THE most arrogant politician in CA. Wants to be governor. Part of the 1% (see heiress 2nd wife).
We need politicians who are not completely opportunists; at least you can't say that of Gail Price.


Posted by Robert, a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2014 at 10:44 am

Its quite interesting how so many posters here (both on PA and Atherton blogs) who are vehemently against high speed rail are also complaining about the airplane noise from SFO. Is there some kind of disbelief that air traffic in the busiest flight corridor in the nation won't increase and need to be accomidated?


Posted by resident 1, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 16, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Robert - look up Flight Tracker on Google - that tells you who at any time is in the air space, altitude, and tracks progress on the flights. The majority of large planes that cross over PA and Atherton are coming from trans-Pacific flights - Hawaii, China, etc. HSR will not help that problem. It would help the smaller planes that are LAX to SFO and back.
Planes from and to the east coast head east and typically are out of the area but a thorn to Fremont and east bay. Those are out of state planes - HSR will not help that situation.
HSR is specific to the LAX to SFO / Sacramento area and is meant to eliminate auto traffic on I-5. If you view HSR within that context that is how to evaluate the expense vs value.


Posted by resident 1, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 16, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I over-simplified - HSR is about the transfer of wealth in California via the use of eminent domain and additional taxes. Eminent domain will be used to confiscate land at tax assessed value - not market value - and you will also be taxed to help pay for this whole thing. And it will never happen - the railroad - just the confiscation of land by the state which is then doled out via leases to favored parties. So a few will control vast amounts of land.

If HSR used the existing right of way of Amtrak and built their rails next to existing lines then this could be done very efficiently within a well defined budget. The problem is that the HSR people do not want to use the existing right of way. The existing right of way is on government land.
There should be a legal challenge regarding why the existing right of way is not being used.