Around Town | May 6, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - May 6, 2011

Around Town

COLLISION COURSE ... A proposal by three Peninsula lawmakers to "blend" California's proposed high-speed rail system with Caltrain's has elicited a wide spectrum of responses, from avid praise from the Palo Alto City Council to rabid condemnation from state Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani, a leading high-speed-rail proponent who last week branded the plan the "Great Train Robbery." On Thursday, the California High-Speed Rail Authority had its first chance to discuss the new proposal from state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and state Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park. In addition to using Caltrain tracks for high-speed rail trains on the Peninsula, the proposal calls for elimination of all possible aerial tracks and a scaling back of the rail authority's environmental analysis, which is still predicated on adding two tracks for high-speed rail. Members of the rail authority reacted to it with a mixture of curiosity, frustration and annoyance. Chairman Curt Pringle and board member Lynn Schenck both suggested that the legislators' proposal could be little more than a ruse for funneling high-speed rail money to the cash-strapped Caltrain system. "Are we just wasting time?" Pringle asked, after hearing a detailed presentation from consultants about the ongoing design work on the San Francisco-to-San Jose segment of the rail line. "Because the senator in this area and the congresswoman and others in the area are just going to say, 'Unless you do it this way, it doesn't work.'" He also said he's not interested in "spending high-speed-rail money for other projects than high-speed rail" and even suggested freezing all funding for Peninsula rail design out of concern that all the work could end up getting "thrown off the table by somebody." The board didn't go that far, but members agreed not to make any decisions about the Peninsula segment for the time being and to continue the discussion at the next meeting.

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Like this comment
Posted by paneighbor
a resident of University South
on May 6, 2011 at 11:00 am


Tru Love and Stuart
abandon our neighborhood,
our wireless deadzone.

Like this comment
Posted by paneighbor
a resident of University South
on May 6, 2011 at 11:09 am

Cut off wireless for
our neighborhood, then
flee the neighborhood?