That’s how much time Palo Alto, Menlo Park and a few other Peninsula cities want to assess the upcoming Alternatives Analysis:
Peninsula cities will ask California’s bullet train planners for more time to submit comments on the likely track alignment between San Francisco and San Jose.
Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Burlingame and Belmont want 75 days, instead of the legally mandated 45 days, to submit reaction to the High-Speed Rail Authority’s analysis of the route, which is expected to be released April 8.
I guess they didn’t want to go with my 60 day proposal. If these cities can assure Californians that a 75-day period would not place the project in jeopardy of losing stimulus funds, then it might be worth considering.
These cities aren’t just asking for more time. They’re building war chests to take on the HSR project if they don’t get the alternatives they want:
For example, Palo Alto has set aside a $130,000 war chest to challenge the state’s report and to lobby for its interests among Sacramento lawmakers.
And this from Menlo Park:
The city of Menlo Park has hired a lobbyist to make the city’s case to Sacramento when it comes to the California high-speed-rail project, and has devoted $200,000 for the upcoming fiscal year to rail issues.
Burlingame too, from earlier this month:
It was the second night in a row Nagel spent discussing high-speed rail, as the Burlingame City Council approved spending $185,000 Monday night to spend on consultants to try and pressure the California High-Speed Rail Authority to bury the tracks in their city.
These cities argue they need to counterbalance the CHSRA, which has a multi-million dollar budget. But the CHSRA isn’t their enemy. Instead these cities, by their desire to block the HSR project if they don’t get their way, are putting the jobs and the economic future of the state at risk by their emerging “tunnel or nothing” view.
In contrast, we Californians who support the project don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars at our disposal to make our voice heard. We don’t have lobbyists on retainer. We don’t have tax dollars we can redirect.
Instead we rely on grassroots activism. And on whatever you can offer to the cause. Californians For High Speed Rail could use your help – click to donate. We’re going to fight for HSR, and ensure that we do not lose this opportunity to secure California’s future by building the infrastructure that will provide for prosperity in the 21st century.