Bay Area Towns Reconsider Support for High-Speed Rail


Rendering via The State Worker.

Six months ago, most of the San Francisco Peninsula voted in favor of California's high-speed rail plan. Lately, however, many have begun having second thoughts. "The more we've gotten into it, the more we think the procedures determining the route were flawed," Palo Alto City Council member Larry Klein told the San Francisco Examiner recently. "We think high-speed rail is a great idea, if done properly."

What happened? Residents say they are concerned about the effects the high-speed trains will have on their communities...
Not in My Backyard

What really worries residents of the towns on the San Francisco Peninsula is the train's infrastructure: raised trackways, concrete retaining walls and elevated platforms, all of which could potentially lower property values in the area.

Martin Engel, a resident of Menlo Park whom the Examiner described as "an outspoken critic of plans for high-speed rail" had this to say to the paper:

"Our home values will absolutely plummet with the prospect of 200 trains a day going by outside. While we speculate about what could happen, they're not telling us anything about what their plans are."

While specific details about the new infrastructure will not be available for at least another 9 months, it is clear that tracks will have to be widened and either raised or lowered from street level.

In the meantime, some of the towns on the Peninsula have filed a lawsuit suggesting that the tracks should be moved across the water, to the East Bay. In response, the California High Speed Rail Authority told the Examiner that countless public meetings have already been held on the Peninsula, and that all of the communities' concerns are being carefully weighed.

More high-speed rail:
High-Speed Rail: Richard Florida Weighs In
Is High-Speed Rail Coming to a City Near You? A Guide to Obama's Plans
Survey: Is High-Speed Rail the Answer?
Via: The San Francisco Examiner

Tags: California | Traffic | Trains | Transportation

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