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High-speed-rail official pushes back

Original post made on May 11, 2009

Rod Diridon, a leading proponent of high-speed rail in California, last week urged Peninsula communities to be patient and said no decision has been made to elevate the tracks through Mountain View, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, May 11, 2009, 11:03 AM

Comments (18)

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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 11, 2009 at 1:43 pm

USA is a registered user.

"Inflation just kills you" -- No grossly incompetent and/or dishonest politicians pushing their agenda with questionable stats do.

1) Inflation affects both revenue and expenses. With each passing year, the cost goes up but so do revenues. It's not like we have $40 bil sitting in a mason jar dropping in value.

2) $160 mil per month on $40 bil would be almost 5% inflation. Real inflation is about 2-3% in recent years Web Link


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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 11, 2009 at 1:47 pm

USA is a registered user.

... there is "a general sense of enthusiasm" from hundreds of cities up and down the line, many of which would also have the rail system going through neighborhoods. -- Like Mountain View, they are thinking that there will be a stop in their neighborhood. All but a handful will be disappointed and angry when they find out that the trains will just be blowing through their town.


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Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 11, 2009 at 2:17 pm

"Like Mountain View, they are thinking that there will be a stop in their neighborhood. All but a handful will be disappointed and angry when they find out that the trains will just be blowing through their town"

No, I live in MV, but I have no issue driving to San Jose, SF, or some other location and take the high speed rail to LA. I want the rail, but I do not need it to stop in my town, and I also think the current route makes the most sense. And yes, inflation will kill you. 5% is wishful thinking. Delays can double or triple the cost, and have in almost every other project (see bay bridge for starters).


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Posted by Jamie
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 11, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I am late into this project, but where do we go to protest it?


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Posted by Martin
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 11, 2009 at 2:48 pm

San Jose wanted this High-Speed-Rail so badly. Let it stop there!

It had to come by Pacheco Pass to get to San Jose, not via the more sensible Altamont Pass route. It will destroy Pacheco Pass and south of San Jose. Please don't let it destroy The Peninsula.

I live on the "wrong side of the tracks" now. I will be dead by the time this thing arrives but I hate thinking that Mountain View will be divided by another north-south barrier.

Let San Jose be the "Capital of the Universe" with BART, professional football teams, baseball teams, soccer teams and hockey teams. Leave us alone, let HSR stop at San Jose.


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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 11, 2009 at 2:51 pm

USA is a registered user.

Unrealistic budgets and schedules based more on getting approval than reality are the cause budget "overruns". Do you really think this could be built for $40 bil if they started today? If so, I have a great deal on this bridge in Alaska ...


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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Two questions for Mr Diridon:

- How much will the Peninsula leg of the HSR cost?
- How much time will it shave off a trip from SF to LA?

I'm guessing the answers are: billions and not much.


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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on May 11, 2009 at 3:13 pm

"Diridon...acknowledged he has blamed a relative handful of residents and city officials in rich communities with seeking to block or alter an entire $40 billion system."

Since 'rich' communities and, more importantly, residents are the only ones that seem to have a voice at city hall (obviously, ours included), why does this surprise anyone? Officials at the state and local level seem quite content to, um, railroad low-income powerless families that will suffer the most from this boondoggle (can anyone name a middle class neighborhood where BART isnt underground? A low-income neighborhood where it IS?). The Mtn View council should be ashamed by their own silence on this.


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Posted by The Dad
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 11, 2009 at 3:14 pm

The Peninsula is a "dead end street. There's no need to speed down a dead end street. Anyone thinking with his brain and not wallet would see that the existing Caltrain line makes a great connecting SPUR off the main HSR line. The main line shouldn't run up the Peninsula.
Besides, how much time would be gained on a trip from SJ to SF via HSR
compared to an express CalTrain? 10 mins?
No way. Stupid stupid stupid idea to put it up the Peninsula.


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Posted by Opportunistic Activist
a resident of Jackson Park
on May 11, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Opportunistic Activist is a registered user.

Hey hey, ho ho,
Rod Diridon must go.

That Naval Academy bully just wants the Peninsula to spread its legs for another of his taxpayer-funded hero medals, just like the VTA board is doing for BART engineering while cutting current services.


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Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Putting a stop for this High Speed Rail to nowhere + 1 (That's LA) in Mountain View will blight the city with Parking Parking Parking. If this crazy project must be built put it down 101 highway with the stop in Redwood City so parking can be on the bay side of 101.

The costs for this unneeded project will be with us for ever, ticket sales will never pay for even operating costs so we will be taxed to cover the short fall and that's on top of paying off the bonds for construction and ongoing repairs.

Let's circulate a new proposition to stop this project in it's tracks. California can not afford an more crazy projects.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 11, 2009 at 10:15 pm

Why don't they route this thing along 101 or 280?


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Posted by R
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 12, 2009 at 7:14 am

Suggestions about shifting the alignment to 101 or 280 are just the kind of NIMBYism that has hampered planning for viable public transit and other rail systems in the Bay Area and elsewhere in the US for many years.

The reason to run it on the current Caltrain alignment is to serve the main centers of population, businesses, and connecting public transit so the train will be time-competitive and attract the most riders. It also lessens the need for the huge amounts of parking which would be needed along 101 or 280.

Regarding The Dad's post about the Peninsula alignment, that decision was made more than a year ago. The most productive thing to do at this point if you are concerned about project impacts is to get involved in the project process (not just post on a message board) and call for measures to minimize the project's impacts on cities along the way.


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Posted by GDM
a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 12, 2009 at 11:07 am

I'm guessing that most of you who are negative on this project have never been to Europe where they have a great transit system.


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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 12, 2009 at 11:32 am

USA is a registered user.

GDM -- Yes I have been to Europe and have ridden the trains there. European counties are small and have high density populations centered around major transportation hubs which make trains viable. The intra-city streets are narrow, parking garages are scare, and the cost of ownership is high which makes cars less viable. In the US, particularly in the west, we have long distances with spread out populations and a lower cost of ownership for cars. A high speed train to LA may shave some time, but most people will have to spend more time and money on arrival to rent a car.

BTW, I have been riding Caltrain to SF for many years and have enjoyed it. The parking in Mtn View in recent years has been a hassle, but otherwise it has been smooth, easy, and relatively affordable.


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Posted by Nonimbys
a resident of another community
on May 15, 2009 at 9:03 pm

The FACTS IS that everyone thats whinning about this MOVED next to a railroad...PEROID A 120 year old railroad..And for all the untruths from loud mouth NIMBYS it is not going to be much different than todays loud smokey trains..IN fact better with quite electric trains and no grade crossings. Tracks can remain at grade with the roadways going under.The elevated plan is a option so as not to have a dip in the roads..so people dont want elevated tracks..ok leave it at grade then


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Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on May 16, 2009 at 12:29 am

nonimbys, I assume that means that we can turn your street into an Expressway--You MOVED next to asphalt, after all. We'll also be converting the power lines in your backyard into high-capacity lines with big buzzing transformers. You CHOSE to have power lines near your house.

How do YOU know what the lines will look like? Idiot self-serving politicians like Diridon arent telling! There is no way- NO WAY- that HSR can be done without significant stretches of elevated tracks. Anyone who tells you otherwise is dreaming or lying. Drive El Camino and tell me differently.


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Posted by What A Boondoggle
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2009 at 2:10 am

Eric asks Two questions for Mr Diridon:
- How much will the Peninsula leg of the HSR cost?
- How much time will it shave off a trip from SF to LA?

Answer:
$4-$8 billion.
3.5 minutes.


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