High-Speed Rail Endangered Like California Condors

While the Governator applies for federal funds, locals bicker and argue over details like terminals and rights of way

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Sep 29, 2010  |  Updated 5:41 PM PDT
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High-Speed Rail Endangered Like California Condors

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Need anyone really be reminded by the fact our asses are getting kicked by the Chinese, Japanese and French?

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The good news is that even Hummer-loving Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is supporting California's high-speed rail project with a billion-plus request for federal stimulus funds.

The bad news is that the local Transbay authority has been reduced to whinging memos demanding a stop near Market Street, and NIMBYs along the Peninsula are working to derail federal grants.

Love it or hate it, the bullet train approved by voters will connect California's two mega-regions into an unstoppable economic force.

But state agencies are competing with proposals that are "shovel ready" in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions.

So while the Governator demands satisfaction in asking for $1 billion-plus, and the state hopes for $8 billion toward the $40 billion projected cost, the plan could be entirely derailed by Atherton residents and their noblesse oblige to protect commoners from "noise" and "traffic."

Not to mention the Transbay Joint Powers Authority's hope that the train will make a stop a little closer to actual people near Market and not at the current Caltrain terminal at Fourth and King near the ballpark.

Point is, the time for disputes is over if anyone wants to get some sweet federal cash return on California's generous subsidy of the rest of American tax revenue.

Jackson West is willing to give up on the Transbay Terminal if it means the bullet train bothers to stop in San Francisco at all.

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