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Palo Alto Prop 1A backers horrified to learn HSR may run near them!

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  • 2/9 Palo Alto Daily Post
    Published Monday, February 9, 2009, by the Palo Alto Daily Post A train every two minutes High-speed rail plans shock residents By Ian S. Port Dozens of
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 9, 2009
      Published Monday, February 9, 2009, by the Palo Alto Daily Post

      A train every two minutes
      High-speed rail plans shock residents

      By Ian S. Port

      Dozens of residents who crammed into a Palo Alto house yesterday
      gasped and shuddered when they heard that trains would blast through
      their neighborhood once every two minutes -- at speeds up to 170 mph
      -- when the state high-speed rail project is completed.

      The crowd packed a house in the Southgate neighborhood south of
      Churchill Avenue, which is adjacent to the tracks on which high-speed
      rail trans are set to run. Attendees filled the living room and
      overflowed into the kitchen, backyard and even out the front door
      as they flooded City Council member Jon Barton with fears about
      the rail project and the future of Palo Alto.

      Munching on grapes and homemade cookies, the group branded the
      elevated platform on which the trains would run "the Berlin Wall."
      They vowed to take any action to stop it from being built.

      Ironically many in the crowd admitted that they had voted last
      November for state Proposition 1A, which authorized $9.95 billion
      in bonds to start the high-pseed rail project. When they voted,
      they had no idea what the project would do to Palo Alto.

      Underground plan

      After during questions at Barton for over an hour, residents seemed
      to take some comfort in a plan he is floating to run all high-speed,
      freight and passenger train in tunnels 50 feet underground, while
      building homes and a park on the existing grail corridor. "If you
      don't want that wall, you might have to accept something you wouldn't
      want otherwise," Barton told the group.

      Barton came loaded with lots of information and a graphics-rich
      PowerPoint presentation on the $40 billion high-speed rail project,
      but even he may not have been prepared for the worried bunch.

      "This is quite the crowd," Barton muttered as he pushed in to the
      living room, which was filled from wall to wall with residents
      sitting on couches, chairs stools and even the floor, while many
      others stood. "I wasn't expecting this."

      One of Barton's key slides showed a cross section of the high-speed
      track envisioned by the California High-Speed Rail Authority: In place
      of the current Caltrain tracks would be a 15-foot wall on top of which
      the trains would run, with 40-foot towers on top to run power to them.

      The "Berlin Wall" is purposed to be built along the current Caltrain
      alignment -- meaning directly adjacent to the homes of many Southgate

      Shocking information

      Barton explained that when the high-speed rail project is completed,
      neighbors of the tracks can expect 30 trans on it per hour during
      peak times -- or one train every two minutes, not including freight

      As he said this, the group appeared shocked. "A lot of people are
      going to be laying down on the tracks if this thing goes through,"
      one man quipped.

      Homeowners along Mariposa Avenue are especially worried about the
      rail authority using eminent domain to take all or part of their
      properties, which back up to the Caltrain tracks.

      Barton said the rail authority would need to at least need an 80-foot-
      wide right of way to add another rail line on each direction. Mariposa
      resident Dave Rimerman said the existing rail lin eby his house is
      only 50 feet wide.

      Some yesterday talked about trying to kill the whole project, or at
      least the leg between San Jose and San Francisco. But in the end most
      seemed determined to push for the tunnel solution rather than fight
      the entire project.

      [BATN: See also:

      Letter: NIMBY Palo Alto HSR foes spreading misinformation

      Column: Peninsula NIMBYs raise the alarm over HSR

      Palo Alto NIMBYs fear HSR eminent domain

      Palo Alto NIMBYs raise alarm on HSR eminent domain fears

      Comment: Caltrain meets HSR -- what implications for Palo Alto?

      Peninsula residents skeptical about HSR

      Menlo Park starts HSR negotiation campaign, to continue lawsuit

      Questions abound over HSR specifics for Caltrain, Peninsula cities

      Comment: HSR will disrupt Menlo Park; vote no on Prop 1A

      Prop 1A bond would launch plan for HSR along Caltrain corridor

      Cities divided; HSR may help Caltrain electrification

      Comment: Undergrounding Caltrain in Palo Alto an old idea

      Editorial: Undergrounding Caltrain, HSR tracks worth exploring

      Palo Alto leaders propose putting Caltrain, HSR underground
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/39430 ]
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