Around Town | July 20, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - July 20, 2012

Around Town

END OF THE ROAD? ... Few things galvanize, frustrate and anger the Palo Alto community like California's high-speed-rail project, a $68 billion effort that the city has been fighting since 2009. The system, which the City Council unanimously opposes, gained traction earlier this month when Sacramento lawmakers approved by a razor-thin margin an appropriation bill that will enable construction of the line to begin in Central Valley. But Palo Alto critics aren't defeated. The city, along with its neighbors Menlo Park and Atherton, remains still involved in litigation against the California High-Speed Rail Authority. And this week, the Palo Alto council plans to take another strong but largely symbolic stance against high-speed rail: endorsement of a citizen initiative that could effectively stop the project in its tracks. The council is scheduled to consider approving the "Revote High Speed Rail" initiative, spearheaded by state Sen. Doug LaMalfa and retired U.S. Rep. George Radanovich. The petition, which has been posted at, would prevent the state from selling any more bonds for the project. Palo Alto officials have consistently maintained that the project, as it currently stands, bears little resemblance to the one voters approved in 2008, when they passed a $9.95 billion bond for construction of what was then a $33 billion rail system.

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