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Burlingame council questions SF HSR station, favors tunneling

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  • 2/19 Palo Alto Post
    Published Wednesday, February 18, 2009, by the Palo Alto Daily Post Officials question bullet train plans Burlingame leans toward tunneling By Josh Wolf Daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 19, 2009
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      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.

      Puzzling plans

      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
      underground.
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