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December 26, 2015

Comments

dtn

Maybe Nagel will move into Gordon's district and give it a shot since she can't beat Pine. That line up looks pretty weak. She would fit right in.

Christopher Bush

I think that you are probably being a little bit too harsh on Marc Berman. Parsing his words I think that he is saying that HSR has is paying for needed improvements (I.e. Electrification and quad gates) and acting as a forcing function for additional improvements to the regional rail system (I.e grade separation- and Palo Alto is pushing for trenching). Berman seems to be saying that we need to focus on consuming those benefits regionally rather than allowing them to be consumed by running HSR cars through the system. Having better Caltrain service will do a lot to alieviate traffic on the 101. I think that is a very sensible position.

While the money may be explicitly allocated for HSR, it might be politically feasible to pass a new prop to reallocate the bond raising authority for improving regions rail accessibility infrastructure. Since the public has already committed itself to the bond raise it will not be an incremental new commitment. This could also flip the allegences of some of the contractors and engineering firms who can refocus on a new infrastructure project. This could also provide a political face saving project for Jerry Brown.

Better than saying no to HSR, we should be propsing more viable alternatives for reducing carbon emissions and creating jobs. It seems like regional rail infrastructure improvements(trenching the train and increasing service ) would be much more cost effective at achieving the objectives of the HSR.

(full disclosure, he and I used to work at the same law firm and I met up with him to talk about his Palo Alto City Council run)

Christopher Bush

Tangentially, Palo Alto seems to be doing a lot more to directly engage HSR and ensure that their concerns are addressed and the process is not ramrodded.

http://www.mv-voice.com/news/2015/12/27/palo-alto-calls-for-collaboration-in-high-speed-rail-design

Joe

I'm willing to believe that a short Daily Post quote might not capture his full position, but the idea of another Proposition to replace the existing one seems out of reach to me. It's a nice thought and one I would support, but there isn't enough leadership to deliver it without a new governor and some sizeable financial interests behind it. I've been on the lookout for said for 5+ years and have not found them.

CHSRA will "talk" to anyone, but listening is a different matter (ref: recent Town Hall meeting in B'game). They have the Peninsula nicely divided and hence conquered.

Joe

Here is some further good news on the back of Willie Brown's commentary in the Comicle about Brown backing off HSR:

•State Politicians Have Started To Bail - Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, running hard for Governor, and a good bet to replace Governor Brown, has been a high-profile critic of the state's current project. Furthermore, Democratic Party members of the Legislature are also starting to break ranks. Assembly Member Patty Lopez, for instance, has made a big deal out of her recently-announced opposition. In a recent LA Times article she said, "the matter should go back to the voters, who approved $9 billion in funding for the project in 2008. Lopez said the state has higher priorities, including water, jobs, homelessness, that outweigh the high-speed rail system."

•Initiative Measures Are Taking Aim At HSR - Three different initiative measures, heading for the statewide ballot in November, would either terminate or very significantly truncate the state's current High-Speed Rail effort. You can read up on the initiatives by clicking this link!

U.S. Government Reports Point Out The Problems - The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has done a project review, presented to Congress, showing that the Authority is far behind its schedule in acquiring properties and has extremely limited funds.

Peter Garrison

Please, please, please...

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