High speed rail 'teach-in' Saturday


The City of Palo Alto will host a six-hour workshop on the California High Speed Rail project on Saturday, Sept. 12, designed to teach Peninsula residents about the design process for the $40 billion project, and about high-speed rail systems in general.

The "teach-in" is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Pavilion at Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

The event had originally been scheduled for Palo Alto City Hall, but advance signups were so numerous that the workshop exceeded capacity in the city's council chambers. More than 200 citizens, elected officials, transit experts, transit agency representatives and rail enthusiasts have already signed up for the event, according to organizers.

The event is sponsored by a consortium of five Peninsula cities, including Atherton and Menlo Park, with the cooperation of Caltrain and the High-Speed Rail Authority.

The event is free, but people are asked to register at the consortium's Web site.

— Staff Reports


Like this comment
Posted by ben
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 19, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Questionnaire for the Peninsula Cities Consortium Teach In
1. What is your zip code? 94043

2. Do you live: Within 1/2 mile of the Caltrain corridor? Yes

3. What was your main concern regarding the High Speed Rail project prior to the Teach In? Please be as specific as possible.
High-Speed Rail supports growth and overpopulation. It promotes commuting to Silicon Valley and San Francisco, and urban sprawl growth in the Central Valley towns where there are stops.

4. Were your concerns addressed at the Teach In? Please be as specific as possible.
No, overpopulation was not even mentioned nor was the increased need of services addressed – water, dumpsites, schools, prisons, etc.

5. What part of the Teach In did you find most interesting or informative? (a particular panel, a speaker, the Open Space Technology)
Local Caltrain problems addressed by speaker that pointed out the complications and problems the he does not totally understand. (The attendees cannot even begin to understand the problems.)

6. What information do you feel was missing from the Teach In discussions?
What was missing was consideration of stopping High-Speed Rail at Gilroy San Jose and connecting it an improved local and express Caltrain system. That would allow more service to local stations and express stations stops. Smaller stations could be bypassed by a system of bypass tracks to allow better express to major Peninsula stops and San Francisco. (Many people in the Open Space Technology Session discussed this approach and would like to see it implemented. This would allow High-Speed Rail to add a line through the Altamont Pass to connect to BART – this saves the cost of tunneling through the Peninsula and local transit services are connected efficiently.)

(Skipped to Question 12.)

12. Do you have any additional comments related to the HSR project you would like to share?
There was no discussion or considerations of the negative aspects of growth or the negative impact on the environment. There also was no discussion of the comparison of air line services that serve various locations (airports)in the L.A. Area and the S.F. Bay Area. The was no discussion of the number of passenger that would be using the high-speed rail service – the totally over inflated number that that each train would carry – 117,000,000 passenger annually, 365 days a year, 86 trains/day = 3,727 rider on each train?

13. Do you have any additional comments about the Teach In you would like to share?

Most people were concerned about their personal interests and not concerned about the impact to California. Also there was no discussion about the creations of jobs that will start the creation of the next unemployment bubble. What officials and most people have not figured out is that there are not too few jobs, there are too many people for the number of essential jobs need to sustain a society!

Like this comment
Posted by Mike Laursen
a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 19, 2009 at 10:39 pm

I used to think that maybe there are more people than are really needed to do everything that needs to be done, but then I realized almost everything we humans do is non-essential. A healthy economy can provide an ever-expanding number of jobs exactly because there are so many non-essential things that people can do for a living: restaurants and everything sold in a grocery store other than a few raw ingredients, entertainments of every conceivable kind from toys to television to crossword puzzles, any clothing other than uniforms, service jobs from financial advisor or lawyer to aerobics instructor, gardener or babysitter.

We've come to think of many of these jobs as not bringing in enough to live on, but if the government weren't sapping so much wealth from us all and wasting it on trying to bomb foreign peoples into loving democracy, or bailing out Wall Street fat cats, or paying unionized contractors to build showy-but-not-so-actually-useful projects like high-speed rail people could make a decent living doing honest work.

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