High-Speed Rail? Not in Their Back Yard (Literally)

Affluent suburbs renew their interest in killing the bullet train project.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Having made their millions innovating technology and disrupting other markets, it seems Silicon Valley millionaires are against seeing innovation running through where they live, disrupting their property values.

    The Wall Street Journal has this choice quote from Atwater Mayor Jim Dobbie: "We have many houses close to the railroad in the multiple millions in value. We just hope the project dies."

    Atherton, Menlo Park and Palo Alto have filed new briefs in their ongoing lawsuit to challenge, if not halt, the bullet train's route that would connect San Francisco and Los Angeles.

    The elevated structure is a potential eyesore, according to the municipalities and their Congressional representative, Anna Eshoo (D). She issued a statement asking to the structure to be eliminated.

    Another approach would be to put the train underground, but the cost would likely bury the entire project.

    Construction is set to begin next year in the Central Valley on the California-voter-approved project. That approval entailed a $10 billion bond sale to fund construction, with the federal government kicking in more money.

    The entire thing is estimated at $43 billion.