High-Speed NIMBYs Slow Down Bullet Train

Judge orders more studies on portions of high-speed rail environmental report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Allan Chen
    The future is cloudy for California High Speed Rail Authority in fights over terminals and rights of way.

    Should the bullet train from LA to San Francisco go over Pacheco Pass or Altamont Pass? And over whose land? And will "vibrations" piss off the residents of tony Atherton and Menlo Park?

    These are the questions still facing the California High Speed Rail Authority as a judge handed it back the environmental impact report asking for further study on key topics.

    It's a minor victory for opponents to both the Pacheco Pass route and proponents of a Peninsula tunnel for service between San Francisco and San Jose.

    The CHSRA has promised to submit an amended EIR by February, though opponents of the proposal think a year should be spent.

    There's still some question as to whether Union Pacific will eventually grant rights of way on sections planned along its land, though the CHSRA promises it has alternate routes planned and is in continued negotiations.

    Any delays in the process may endanger applications for billions in federal support only available to projects scheduled to break ground by 2012.

    But what are a few billion dollars to the residents of Atherton?

    Photo by Allan Chen.

    Jackson West wishes the bullet-train plans were on the fast track.