San Mateo joins Palo Alto in urging HSR be put in a tunnel
- Published Wednesday, March 4, 2009, by the Palo Alto Daily Post
Support grows for train tunnel
By Josh Wolf and Ian S. Port
Daily Post Staff Writers
Two of the largest cities on the Peninsula -- Palo Alto and San Mateo -- are urging the California High Speed Rail Authority to put its San Francisco-to-Los Angeles train line underground on the Peninsula.
During a presentation on the train Monday, three of the five San Mateo council members said they don't want to see a raised train running through downtown.
"The downtown area needs to be depressed -- because otherwise we
put a big barrier right through (it)," said San Mateo Mayor Brandt Grotte. "I would prefer as much of it as possible to be underground."
A Peninsula long tunnel?
But given the fact that the train cannot easily dart in and out of tunnels as it makes its way up the Peninsula it seems likely that
all of the route will have to be buried underground or raised above street level.
Also Monday, Palo Alto City Council urged the rail authority to put the trains in tunnels, after residents complained about the concrete wall that would be build along the current Caltrain right of way to elevate the train.
Council member Yoriko Kishimoto is also working with a newly formed Peninsula Cities Coalition that hopes to negotiate with the rail authority. But authority commissioner Ron [BATN: Rod] Diridon, the former Santa Clara County Supervisor, indicated Monday that rail officials wouldn't give the Peninsula coalition any special treatment.
Here's how other Peninsula cities have responded:
* Burlingame: council members are worred the train coudl wipe out trees along the tracks. They favor a tunnel.
* San Carlos, Belmont: Little discussion since Caltrain is already elevated there.
* Redwood City: is in the running with Palo Alto for a train station. Council hasn't taken a position. Council will discuss high-speed rail at a meeting tonight at 7 at the Veterans Memorial Senior Center, 1455 Madison Ave.
* Atherton, Menlo Park: Both are suing the high-speed rail authority about routing the train through the Peninsula.
* Mountain View: is also considering asking the rail authority to put a station in town, even though rail officials haven't' suggested that idea themselves. The city is working on a letter expressing worries about the impacts of the rail project, but hasn't taken a strong position on tunneling the train yet.
[BATN: See also:
Palo Alto may sue to push HSRA to revisit Alamont Pass route
Comment: Cut HSR speed, frequency to use existing Caltrain tracks
Menlo Park, Atherton want HSR underground if not via Altamont Pass
Palo Alto HSR NIMBYs march for tunnel; official says route is set
Palo Alto staff: tunnel HSR or switch back to Altamont Pass route
Letter: Keep HSR off SF Peninsula -- run it to Oakland instead
Letter: HSRA's Kopp thanks RWC mayor for backing partnership
Mtn. View council divided on whether to seek downtown HSR stop
Editorial: Scary surface-level HSR, Caltrain becoming unthinkable
Palo Alto residents demand HSR be built underground
Palo Alto Caltrain neighbors want HSR to be "quiet and invisible"
HSRA gathers input, concerns to help guide SF-SJ route design
Column: Put HSR in a trench under Caltrain in narrow areas
Letter: HSR compromise impossible -- we must liquidate HSRA
San Carlos makes hay over laughably minor HSR construction issue
Fearful Peninsula HSR critics win comment-period extension
Letter: End HSR in SJ and connect to it via rapid rail
Peninsula cities seek consortium to negotiate HSR design details
HSRA sued by cities, groups supporting Altamont Pass route
HSRA to consider costly tunneling HSR through Peninsula cities
Oblivious Palo Alto NIMBYs suddenly notice decade-old HSR plans
Oblivious Palo Alto NIMBYs now question HSR Caltrain route to SF
Burlingame council questions SF HSR station, favors tunneling
HSR officials extend SF-SJ comment period 1 month until April 6
Atherton wants HSR underground -- prepares 28-page letter
Palo Alto HSR NIMBYs to march on City Hall
Palo Alto Prop 1A backers horrified to learn HSR may run near them!