Published Monday, August 3, 2009, by the Palo Alto Daily Post
Teach-ins for rail project planned
Palo Alto is planning to spend $70,000 for a series of public workshops and consultants who will help the city and its residents get up to speed on plans to build a high-speed railroad along the Peninsula.
The state High Speed Rail Authority has decided to build the bullet train system along the Caltrain route on the Peninsula, but since it will be wider than the existing railroad, the government will have to seize homes and businesses along the tracks.
That prospect triggered outrage by residents, surprising the Palo Alto City Council, which enthusiastically endorsed the state ballot measure for high-speed rail a year ago. Tonight the council is expected to approve a $70,000 expenditure that is designed to help educate residents about the project to help them confront the rail authority.
Plans call for a one-day high-speed rail "informational symposium" or "teach-in" on Sept. 12, which will include panel discussion and facilitated meetings.
On Oct. 3 and 4, the city will hose a design workshop to "develop design plans for best integrating high-speed rail into the Palo Alto community," according to a memo from Deputy City Manager Steve Emslie.
About $50,000 of the $70,000 will pay for consultants to provide technical assistance in analyzing plans released by the rail authority.