by Chris Jones
The California High Speed Rail Authority released a scoping report [.pdf] yesterday for the San Jose to San Francisco section of the proposed state high speed rail system that will eventually whisk people from downtown San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles in just over two hours. Won't that be fun? Well, not if the folks down on the Peninsula have their way. The report includes over 950 letters from assorted cranky Peninsula NIMBYs, hippies, and Howard Jarvis looking Ayn Rand worshippers demanding that the high speed rail project be squashed underfoot like a pesky insect. That, or the rail authority should put the train in a tunnel all the way down the Peninsula from San Francisco to San Jose, because, you know, that would be like cost effective and practical and everything.
If the thought of having our own version of a TGV running down the Peninsula wasn't bad enough, a piece of legislation that would give the Rail Authority the power to acquire property for purposes of creating a right of way - either through purchase or eminent domain - flew through the Assembly last week and is now being tossed about the State Senate. This has downtrodden Atherton and Menlo Park NIMBY hippies hopping mad and the political future of various South Bay politicians is already in question. Before you know it, both towns will be seized in their entirety and turned into vast rail yards for the high speed rail! Yay! Uh, we mean, oh no!