Burlingame council questions SF HSR station, favors tunneling
- Published Wednesday, February 18, 2009, by the Palo Alto Daily Post
Officials question bullet train plans
Burlingame leans toward tunneling
By Josh Wolf
Daily Post Staff Writer
Burlingame City Council members expressed concerns last night over
the proposed high-speed train, which promises to transport passeners
between San Francisco and Los Angeles in less than three hours, that
voters approved last year.
The train would follow the same route as Caltrian, but because the
trains are expected to travel at up to 125 mph in the Bay Area,
it's anticipated that a second set of trakcs would need to be built.
While there is room for the additional tracks on some segments of the
route, others are likely too narrow to accccommodate the second set,
acknowledged Tim Cobb of HNTB Corp., the company hired to develop a
plan for the Northern California leg of the route.
Concerns for grove
Council member Terry Nagel said that residens are concerned that the
historic grove of trees that runs alongside the tracks in Burlingame
will be lost because of the proposed train. She also asked Cobb, who
presented at last night's meeting, how many trains residents can
expect to see running along the tracks.
Cobb said that the California High-Speed Rail Authority anticipates
running 12 trans in ecah direction per hour, but said he could not
speak to how many trains Caltrain is planning to operate.
Council members said they were puzzled by the proposed stops the
train may make. The train will stop in San Francisco, Millbrae and
San Jose. The agency overseeing the train is also considering adding
a stop in either Redwood City or Palo Alto.
"I find it very curious that it would go all the way to San
Francisco," said council member Cathy Baylock. "How many potential
travelers are going to come from downtown San Francisco?"
It would make more sense for the train to stop in Millbrae as she
anticipated the train will mainly be used to get to the airport,
said Baylock. She said she doesn't see a reason why it should
continue all the way to San Francisco.
"Why would you even consider a potential stop elsewhere than the
airport?" asked council member Rosalie O'Mahoney. "Why were those
two thrown in there as potential stops?"
Several council members joined the refrain echoed by city leaders in
Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton who are calling for the tracks to
be placed underground as most of the problems being raised throughout
the Peninsula would be mitigated if the tracks were to be buried