Peninsula NIMBY Group “doing everything it can to derail the current high-speed train project”

Feb 27th, 2012 | Posted by

The “Community Coalition on High Speed Rail,” a project of the notoriously anti-rail Planning and Conservation League and the outspokenly anti-rail PCL legal adviser Gary Patton, was originally founded to fight high speed rail on the Peninsula. And in a recent newsletter, CC-HSR explains that even though they’ve been fighting HSR in the Central Valley too, they are going to be “bringing it all back home” for one last all-out effort to “derail” the project on the Peninsula:

The “Partially Revised” Draft EIR reveals that the High-Speed Rail Authority continues to want to build a 4-track train system along the Caltrain alignment on the Peninsula, with no provision for underground facilities. This is their “program” approach. CC-HSR and the cities of Atherton, Menlo Park, and Palo Alto have all been battling this idea. The message from the EIR process is that we haven’t won the battle yet!…

In the meantime, CC-HSR is also paying close attention to efforts by Caltrain to promote a project that could very well be a precursor project for high-speed rail on the Peninsula. Everyone is aware that once the “nose” of the camel gets into the tent, the animal itself will surely be inside soon. Efforts to promote a so-called “blended” system on the Caltrain alignment could be truly counterproductive, unless the use of the Caltrain right-of-way is very tightly controlled, through an effective legal mechanism that will prohibit the High-Speed Rail Authority from pushing its entire “camel” of a high-speed train project through an opening made by a well-intentioned effort to improve Caltrain service.

These are the radical extremists whom Senator Joe Simitian worked hard to appease with his “blended” plan – the same plan that CC-HSR denounces because it could actually keep the project alive. CC-HSR is making it clear they have no interest whatsoever in being constructive or in working with all stakeholders to come up with solutions that meet everyone’s needs. Instead they are clear: they want HSR dead.

In fact, right after that section excerpted above, they include a call for donations to help them “derail” the project:

Invest For Success
We are sure you have heard that “invest for success” motto. That is good advice in business. It is good advice generally. CC-HSR is doing everything it can to derail the current high-speed train project, which would be a fiscal and environmental mistake. The Governor and his spokesmen keep talking about making the project “better,” but let’s be clear: the current project would be both financially disastrous and environmentally damaging, and we need to stop it. Your support for the work of CC-HSR is deeply appreciated, and is vitally important. We need you to “invest for success!”

Interesting choice of words here, since they’re actually asking people to invest in California’s failure. As gas prices skyrocket across the state – around $4.30 a gallon in Palo Alto – it is again becoming clear to everyone that California desperately needs alternatives to oil-based transportation. High speed rail will help provide one piece of that, offering an alternative to flying and driving between regions in the state. The blended plan also helps Caltrain improve its service on the Peninsula in the very near future, providing relief from gas prices to residents there too.

But CC-HSR’s leaders appear uninterested in these savings. Perhaps they make enough money to where they don’t have to worry about gas prices. A nice luxury, isn’t it? Whatever the reason, they are explicit in the above excerpt that they really want the high speed rail project to be killed. And they haven’t explained what kind of HSR project they would want. Presumably none, since Gary Patton is an avowed opponent of passenger rail.

Back in October I explained how NIMBYs and the Tea Party share common roots:

Both are animated by a belief that 20th century America was ideal and that any change from its forms and practices is not only bad, but will undermine remaining economic prosperity. Both believe, firmly, that anything done to help provide economic opportunities to others, especially younger people, comes at their expense and therefore must be opposed. Both oppose passenger rail and anything that moves America away from dependence on the automobile.

Even their behavior is similar. If you remember the summer of 2009, the Tea Party movement first asserted itself by shouting down members of Congress at town halls. NIMBYs take a very similar attitude at public meetings, shouting down government officials and project supporters.

So what makes them different? The Tea Party is more focused on social conservatism and white supremacy, whereas NIMBYs are more focused on design conservatism and supremacy of their physical space.

CC-HSR is clearly filling that niche on the Peninsula. And it’s no surprise that legislators willing to listen to CC-HSR – like Senator Simitian and Senator Alan Lowenthal – are now seriously considering casting their lot with Tea Party Republicans to kill a project strongly backed by President Barack Obama and Governor Jerry Brown.

All the more reason to show up on March 13 to the all-important State Senate hearing on HSR in Mountain View. CC-HSR will be there. HSR supporters need to show up too. Don’t let CC-HSR speak for the Peninsula, for California, or for our future.

  1. Drunk Engineer
    Feb 27th, 2012 at 18:54

    If the CSHRA is Ok with a blended plan, then why no mention of it in the “revised” EIR? At best, this is bad public relations, at worst it is outright lying.

    joe Reply:

    The Blended Plan construction fits within the current EIR.

    Brian Reply:

    Because this is the 2008 program EIR? Recycled for the third time.

    If you don’t like CEQA requiring worst-case scenario planning for 2035, yell for CEQA changes.

    The same CC-HSR people would sue the Authority if the EIR was blended only for “segmenting” and win.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    I agree that this may be a political goof by Dan Richards and the CHSRA. Of course it’s nice to have the 4 track option approved in an EIR, but we could come back and do a new EIR in 5-10 years when we have consensus to build out 4 tracks the whole way. With a sensible mix of 2 and 4 tracks (per Clem’s research), I would hope that we could get sufficient capacity to accommodate the ridership projections.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    Its well know that the silly Envrio laws require they complete a study for 30 years stop the “nimby” type fear crying

    Nadia Reply:

    The Authority claims they are not cutting the 4 track alternative from the revised Bay Area to CV EIR because they have not gotten a ruling from the AG’s office on whether or not the “blended system” per Simitian, Eshoo, Gordon is legal. That information was requested in April of 2011.

    If HSR is so important to the Governor – why aren’t we getting an answer to that question from the AG?

    The Authority has put out a business plan discussing the “blended system” and has told Peninsula leaders to trust them because it is in the BP. As we all know, business plans change.

    Peninsula leaders are saying – if you are serious about not building 4 tracks- take it out of the EIR b/c board members and business plans come and go but EIRs remain forever.

    Our understanding is that a reduction in scope would NOT require re-circulation of the EIR (like when Caltrain decided not to electrify south of SJ b/c of financial reasons – no recirculation necessary).

    Jonathan Reply:

    Peninsula NIMBYs who pretend to be “for HSR done right” are now without clothes.

    The CSHRA is doing the proper CEQA thing in filing an EIR for a worst-case in 2035.
    If your only argument is that you don’t the prospect of quad-tracking the Caltrain corridor in 13-to-23 years, then you are indeed without clothes.

    These are not the NIMBYs you’re looking for. Move along, move along.

    joe Reply:

    Peninsula leaders are saying – if you are serious about not building 4 tracks- take it out of the EIR b/c board members and business plans come and go but EIRs remain forever.

    Peninsula NIMBYs demand CA forgo any possible expansion of HSR – which if done right should allow for expansion if demand requires the added service.

    Tom McNamara Reply:

    Because the four tracked option isn’t off the table, duh.

    The blended option is merely the way to allow HSR service to San Francisco and LA before the tracks at the end of the system are fully electrified.

    However, because it’s going to take now 20 years to get to TransBay instead of 10…that’s why it’s a “blended system”.

    Make no mistake, it’s quad tracks with CalTrain and HSR or it’s Ring the Bay.

    Peter Reply:

    If HSR is so important to the Governor – why aren’t we getting an answer to that question from the AG?

    Because the AG doesn’t work for the Governor. It really is that simple.

    Schwarzenegger learned that the AG doesn’t take orders from him real quick.

    Peter Reply:

    Oh, for eff’s sake. An EIR is nothing but a “what-if” study to determine what the environmental consequences would be of doing something in a particular manner. ESPECIALLY when dealing with a Program EIR. No one is planning on actually building the Program EIR’s “plan” (if you can even call it that, it’s prepared at what, 5% level of engineering?).

    BMF from San Diego Reply:

    Joe has the right of this…. A blended system would fit within the CEQA process occurring now.

    Drunk Engineer Reply:

    A blended system would fit within the CEQA process occurring now.

    And so does a quad-track-everywhere design. How about a 10-track alternative — because you never know what the ultimate demand might be, right?

    Tom McNamara Reply:

    The quad track though, makes sense because of the need to run expresses and locals. That’s all it is. As I understand it, the juice needed to make every train run at 220mph is prohibitively expensive, thus there will be some variance in just how fast each one goes. Without quad-tracking though, you get bottle-necked pretty darn fast.

    It’s true that side-tracking already exists on the Peninsula. But until Morris, Clem, Nadia, Elizabeth, and all our dear friends in 650 become diehard supporters of Ring the Bay, this is the disconnect the project faces.

    Nadia Reply:

    From the Revised EIR:

    2.3 Environmental Consequences (addition to Section 3.4.3 of 2008 Final Program EIR)

    The following text is an addition to Section 3.4.3 of the 2008 Final Program EIR.

    The HST alternative in the San Francisco to San Jose Corridor is intended to be a four-track, shared- use alignment that would integrate with existing Caltrain passenger service as well as UPRR freight service. The conceptual operating plan anticipates the local Caltrain and freight trains travel predominantly on the outside two tracks and the high-speed trains and express Caltrain trains to travel predominantly on the two inside tracks. However, depending on additional operational study related to integration of the HST with existing passenger and freight services, any of these train services could potentially run on the tracks placed on the outer portion of the newly expanded right- of-way. This would result in trains, including freight, running closer to existing homes, schools, and other noise-sensitive land uses.

    Tom McNamara Reply:


    There’s already Baby Bullet Service that requires “trains, including freight, running closer to existing homes, schools, and other noise-sensitive land uses” as you say. However, my understanding is that most of the token freight is run at night anyway and doesn’t compete with Cal Train.

    Peter Reply:

    Seriously, what the hell is your people’s issue? It’s the Program EIR. Essentially nothing from this EIR is going to be implemented other than the general alignment decision (Pacheco or Altamont). Do you seriously expect HSR to be traveling between San Jose and Gilroy next to Monterey all the way? No, that was simply the preferred alignment from the Program EIR.

    Anything more detailed than the Program EIR will be discussed in the Project EIR. Which includes the “blended system”.

    At this point, the Program EIR DOES NOT MATTER.

    Eric M Reply:

    Just the typical stall/kill tactics. As has been said before, CARRD is against the project, flying under the premise of “done right”. Anyone that comes out right away and say “I am for …, but..” is lying, like what Elizabeth did at the Senate hearing.

    Tony d. Reply:

    These folks epitomize what’s currently wrong with our country: utter selfishness! Its all about me, myself and I…fuck the rest of yah! I wish just for once folks like CARRD would look in the eyes of those younger than them, especially children, and consider their Bay Area future. Thankfully, if their antics seriously jeopardize any progress on the peninsula (be it HSR or revamped Caltrain), the sleeping giant will be awakened…the vast majority of folks who support improved transportation. In the end they will lose.

    synonymouse Reply:


    Ring the Bay does not need “Morris, Clem, Nadia, Elizabeth” when it has Quentin, Rod, Steve, Willie, Jerry and Dan already in its corner fixing the path.

  2. joe
    Feb 27th, 2012 at 18:58

    I used the Internet and for the few CC-HSR members (who appear on reports) I looked up, they live really close to the tracks. Surprise.

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Shocking, isn’t it? Yet they claim they’re not NIMBYs. Uh-huh.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    They are the worst with the FUD spreading in the media..Burlingame is also the “teabaager” capital of this side of SF bay…Notice who was There??

    synonymouse Reply:

    And the Tejon Ranch are not NIMBY’s? cheerleader hypocrisy and favoritism.

    Jonathan Reply:

    “not in my back 100,000 acres”?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yes, they are NIMBYs. I don’t think Robert ever claimed otherwise – he just thinks that the HSRA no longer feels like fighting more and more people, and also that there are separate reasons to go via Palmdale.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The cheerleaders will feel better if they just get it off their collective chests. The CHRSA is a Democratic Party welfare program designed to help friends of the party. One thing that is strictly verboten is to anger certain extremely wealthy friends of the Party whose help will be needed to further the career of one particular rising star, namely the mayor of LA. And so begat the DeTour.

    Some lesser, fringe figures are expendable, such as the so-called nimbys of PAMPA. Who needs a relative handful of old liberals when you are at the cusp of the 2/3 lock? Hugo shows the way.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Don’t forget the Tri Lateral Commission black helicopters hidden in Area 51.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I thought TARP Trumped the Tri Lateral Commission.

    Area 51 is what the PB tunnelers looking for the Lost Dutchman in the Tehachapis wander into dazed and confused.

  3. morris brown
    Feb 27th, 2012 at 19:35

    Robert, I just wonder how many of your readers here are going to swallow statements like PCL being “anti rail”.

    Of real note is that the Merced County Farm Bureau has just changed it stance on HSR to full opposition:

    As more and more Cities, agencies and groups in the CV take official positions against this HSR project it brings to my mind the statement some time ago by David Crane at a board meeting, endorsing the plan to build there first because, we should start where they love us”.

    jimsf Reply:

    Farmers, as much as they fancy themselves to be the end all be all, are not even close to being the majority of people out here in the valley, nor do their views remotely represent the valley population. In fact, farmers, and generally always at odds with what the rest of the population is doing in the valley. They are entirely self serving and everybody knows it. Nobody out here gives a damn what they think as they continue to block economic progress for the rest of the population in order to maintain their power and keep labor cheap and plentiful.

    In a state of 40 million people, you can be sure that no one gives a rats ass what the merced farm bureau thinks. What a laugh.

    YesonHSR Reply:

    They dont blink and eye about “gods” land when Warrmington Homes coughes up bucks for the land

    synonymouse Reply:

    The local politicians are certainly aware of the Farm Bureau and its position, just as they would be for the local chamber of commerce. They are a pillars of the community.

    #1 is the American Way. The TWU and Amalgamated are “entirely self serving and everybody knows it”. What else is new.

    Nathanael Reply:

    The local chamber of commerce is, in many places, an operation which sponsors Republicans blindly — but especially when the Republicans promise to hurt small businesses. This is because they’re often either evil or stupid; sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference….

    synonymouse Reply:

    D’oh – that’s because the GOP is the business party, period. Do you expect the chamber of commerce to support raising the minimum wage or endorse the prison guards’ 8 weeks of annual leave?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    What’s wrong with raising the minimum wage or giving American workers the same amount of leave time that workers in other OECD countries get?

    Jonathan Reply:

    Start with the universal health-care coverage that everyone in every other OECD country gets.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Universal single-payer health care would actually HELP small businesses. This is an example of a case where many local chambers of commerce supported the candidates who wanted to HURT small businesses.

    Emma Reply:

    Well that bill died a few days ago in the California State Senate.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    What are the prospects for an increase in the Democratic majority in November, giving the legislature the same partisan breakdown that passed the bill in 2006 and 2008?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It would help large businesses too.

    synonymouse Reply:

    There are always consequences. Drive up the wage and you drive up inflation. Stuff costs more and you are back at square one. Drive up the wage and profits go down and they just close down the operation as “poorly performing”. Or they automate or bring illegals at below minimum wage cash.

    5 weeks of annual after 20 years is about right. But if you want to change society radically you will have to address the issue of those with huge standing fortunes. You are going to have to shoot them or throw them in jail to part them from their money. I have no answers or solutions.

    Believe it, a ritchie like Pelosi is not going to do anything of any substance to negatively affect the other ritchies except as a perfectly harmless poseur. If she or any of the other phonies did try to mess with big money they would be in for a world of hurt, I assure you.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Drive up the wage and drive up inflation like the awful inflation we experienced in the 90s?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Do you go to the store? Wages are a major factor in inflation but by no means the only one.

    But for the small business owner – especially where rents are bloated(again partly influenced by wages) – jacking up the wage will have a direct effect, and not positive on the bottom line.

    Same goes for regulations and paper work – the chains have the resources to better cope with them. Only the Walmarts and Targets will survive.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yes I go to the store and every time the Chamber of Commerce types tell us that raising the minimum wage will cause the destruction of a gazillion jobs, cause businesses to close left and right, arouse plagues of locusts .. nothing happens.

    Matthew B Reply:

    If you multiply everyone’s wage in the world by 2, everything will cost twice as much and nothing will change. If you give the most vulnerable members of society a basic standard of living (or at least universal health coverage), that will change things in a very big way.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Or maybe 4-5 weeks annual without any seniority requirement, like they do in some veritable basket cases like Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Germany, France, and Sweden.

    Nathanael Reply:

    READ WHAT I WROTE, SYN. You didn’t read it right

    The local chamber of commerce often supports Republicans blindly “when the Republicans promise to *hurt* small businesses”. On any issue where there is a clear “small business position”, but it disagrees with the “multinational conglomerate” position, the Republican Party will *promise to hurt small businesses*.

    Pathetic excuse for a “party of business”. Party of rich CEOs is what it is.

    And yet local chambers of commerce often continue to blindly back them.

    jimsf Reply:

    Syn, the twu is a transit union not a railroad union. First, you don’t even know yet who is going to operate high speed rail. And second, you don’t know if they will hire union labor or not and third, if they do, you have no idea which union it would be. But it probably wont be TWU.

    We still don’t even know if there will be ticket machines or ticket clerks, conductors or none. DRivers only maybe. Will there be any on board staff or will it operate like bart. None of that is anywhere near decided yet. Quit making stuff up.

    synonymouse Reply:

    With the Pelosi patronage machine calling the shots – and it totally is – you can take it to the bank that either the TWU or Amalgamated will run the CHSRA. Just like BART, which is what their version of hsr amounts to on a larger scale. This the public service management model. Can you imagine BART privatized or without operators and just a generally bloated payroll?

    The only other conceivable option is Amtrak and its unions. Where is Amtrak going to get the money to buy out the CHSRA or maintain this turkey with its extra 50 miles of mountain detour?

    What’s making stuff up is 2 hours and 42 minutes without Tejon.

    Paulus Magnus Reply:

    Why exactly would TWU be more likely to represent? Whoever runs CAHSR is going to be drawing people from TCU, BLET, and UTU, not TWU.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Those are not the favored unions of the patronage machine, which has no intention of seeing this franchised out. It will be a state-run stand alone closed off transit system, like BART. Little or no intermingling with other rr’s. I foresee the CHSRA bottled up at San Jose and not interacting with Caltrain.

    The other model is Amtrak-run. And then you have your BLET, UTU, etc. But, afaik, their kickbacks, er political contributions, do not match up with those of TWU or Amalgamated.

    Think of it this way – can you imagine BART franchised/bid out to Amtrak?

    Paulus Magnus Reply:

    Patronage machine doesn’t have any input on union selection. That’s up to the workers and I rather suspect that BLET, UTU, and TCU have more national muscle than BART.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Au contraire, the patronage machine selects management which then hires workers.

    The big question is how much interaction and interchange with real railroads will the CHSRA scheme entail. The more the likelier the Amtrak model. But why would Amtrak want to take on the headache of the detour and with no freight income to help with the costs. And if the state is going to subvent all the maintenance and operating costs why not just run it itself?

    But I’ll go with an hsr with so little interchange it might as well be broad gauge or maglev. A closed system.

    Mike Reply:

    Yeah, I agree with Morris that it’s inaccurate and unfair to call PCL “anti rail.” It’s entirely accurate and fair, however, to call PCL whores. PCL probably does have some genuine environmental commitment at its organizational core, but it’s much more interested in selling its influence to any group with money. (Recall that PCL invented the now-illegal ‘pay-to-play’ ballot initiative strategy.) And here in PAMPA chief whore Gary Patton has found a group with money and a grudge! Ka-ching!!

    joe Reply:

    A distinction without a difference.

    Think of Gary Patton as a brand formed and managed to attract business. That brand is anti-rail and the clients are anti-rail.

    Responsible_Thought Reply:

    Sprawl is a huge problem in the Central Valley and there is some legitimacy to the argument that high speed rail could induce more of it. This is not a frivolous concern. Just the same, the NIMBYists and the people making money off of them surely won’t be there to save the landscape from the sprawl, even if they do manage to kill HSR.

    Nathanael Reply:

    In a place which already has roads, rail is pretty good at reining in sprawl — because everyone wants to be next to a *station*, rather than sprawling out along roads.

    jimsf Reply:

    Rail does not cause sprawl. Local zoning, determined by decisions made by local officials, city and county, elected by local citizens, causes sprawl. As long as people want to buy those nice homes with yards and two car garages, cities will zone for them, and builders will them.

    If we want to preserve farmland its simple. Just from here forth, ban any development bewtween the 99 and the 5. Keep all future growth east of the 99 and west of the 5 and live the valley space in between for farming only.

    But that wont work because…. the dry will be that…. my god you can’t tell the farmers that they can’t sell off their land at a huge profit to developers!!!

    jimsf Reply:

    just do this

    jimsf Reply:


    Tom McNamara Reply:

    The problem with your strategy is that water rights are appropriative in California. The guy holding the best water rights is the oldest claim, and his land is going to be just as valuable for agriculture than for homes. What the farmers want is to have to face the Hobson’s choice of selling their land for huge profit because of their water rights or selling their crops at a huge profit because of cheap water.

    It’s that paradox that keeps speculation so far from reality only Richard can see it with his special divining rod after the obligatory 15 minute period of meditation under the Bodhi Tree. I mean, forget “Chinatown”, this stuff is straight out of “The Maltese Falcon” or “Citizen Kane” as to the Shibboleth factor….

    Nathanael Reply:

    However, the farmers of the southern CV are now trying to use the federal government to throw away the entire California water rights system… and make it even WORSE.


    Responsible_Thought Reply:

    It’s evident the Merced Farm Bureau, which is promoted by the ag industry, is going to to side with the farmers instead of the labor unions and all the poor people who will never get the jobs if the project doesn’t go through.

  4. Ben
    Feb 27th, 2012 at 19:44

    Again, none of the sanctimonious concern from the teabaggers about eminent domain being used to take private land when it comes to producing oil.

    Of course, it would be too much to expect these people to be logical or consistent.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    But taking land for oil and gas pisses off the dirty farking hippies so it has rewards other than oil or gas. Positive externalities if you will.

    joe Reply:

    Without a Permit for the pipeline, the Canadian Company has NO eminent domain.

    missiondweller Reply:

    I would say the same of these liberal democrats NIMBY’s on the peninsula, wouldn’t you?

  5. Tony d.
    Feb 27th, 2012 at 21:44

    These NIMBYS will all be pushing up daisies when HSR is four-tracked through PAMPA (2035 or beyond). Why do they even care!?

    synonymouse Reply:

    “It’s for the future, Mr. Geddes.”

    Tom McNamara Reply:

    … most people never have to face the fact that at the right time and the right place, they’re capable of ANYTHING …

    Your comment wins the award for the best mixed metaphor of the year, by far. And by the way, the name is Gittes, not Geddes….

    synonymouse Reply:

    I like Geddes since it is an old Hollywood name.

  6. joe
    Feb 27th, 2012 at 22:22

    Probably fear a 4 track EIR and accommodations for the blended system to evolve to 4 track will negatively impact their home prices today.

    Some CC-ORG members live very close – within a city block – of the ROW.

  7. Tim
    Feb 27th, 2012 at 23:00

    The “CC-HSR” seems to be under the impression that the “blended system” = two track caltrain row forever with most trains terminating at San Jose… forever. This is completely unacceptable. Maybe instead of criticizing the project at every turn they could have been productively involved in the planning from the beginning… years ago. Just skimmed the comments but did anyone bring up the Caltrain/accelerated electrification plan announcement from a couple of weeks ago that mentioned Caltrain was now opposed to the full 4 track build out or was that more PAMBA bs. Don’t remember where I saw that.

  8. Jeff Carter
    Feb 28th, 2012 at 04:31

    No doubt these sub human scumbags will be out in force canvassing neighborhoods prior to the March 13, hearing in Mountain View, spreading their fear mongering lies and misinformation. They will make claims such as: thousands of homes and businesses will be destroyed, thousands upon thousands of trees will be cut down, school funding will be drastically cut, the *prestigious* UC Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies has debunked the overblown ridership estimates, the State Auditor and Legislative Analyst, has highly criticized the HSR project, nobody rides trains, HSR will produce constant noise/dust/vibration, an 8-lane freeway-like structure will tower 100 feet through the middle of town, and so on…

    Paulus Magnus Reply:

    Sub-human scumbags? Get a grip dude.

    VBobier Reply:

    Troglodytes or Knuckle Draggers then…

  9. Jesse D.
    Feb 28th, 2012 at 10:23

    I say we put it to a vote, simply: “Do you want an HSR stop in your city?” Give pros and cons, etc etc, x number of million dollars set aside for construction/renovation of the stop, new track, etc.

    Then everybody gets what they want, the Peninsula dries up quicker than an exposed earthworm in the desert, and everyone sees what the TP NIMBYs are truly about — their own gain.

    It’s certainly a lot better than all this hemming and hawing we’ve been doing since ’10. I understand the gears of government are slow, but there is a new generation growing up and seeing what the old men have left for them, and to be quite honest, if we the people don’t act quickly, the tides of government will shift fully to the TP and we’ll all be in the clutches of a governmet whose main representative put ZERO jobs bills through just because he didn’t like our Commander In Chief.

    I’m a Democrat. I survived Bush.

  10. jimsf
    Feb 28th, 2012 at 13:07

    off topic but much is said of transit oriented development possibilities. In spite of some people’s criticism of sf new 3rd st/central subway plan. As ive said before the city has slowly been implementing a growth strategy in the last remaining developable part of the city. You can see what has been done so far here as a partial example. and thats just the beginning.
    While others just talk. San Francisco has actually been in the process, of building, first, the transit infrastructure, then from the ground up, real transit oriented development.
    They didn’t build the housing first and then try to figure out what to do with the congestion. They built the transit line first in anticipation of future, and meticulously planned out, with community input, growth.

    Tim Reply:

    Dismissing the typical Tea Party/Baby Boomer/ Public transit is ridden by thugs/ whoever is to blame at the moment… borrowing a term from Alon; the central subway in general has been plagued by a public relations battle between the technicals (teamed up in an unnatural alliance with the aforementioned folks) and city backed crony developer/contractors over the cost, time and design issues. As a daily rider of transit in the city who is less concerned with the finer details, I would rather this stuff get done NOW instead of bitching about it for the next couple of decades. Though I will have to admit the current 2 car max design is a little stupid given population trends.

    If I were the benevolent dictator in charge of the local transit advocacy groups in regards to this project… I would begin an immediate campaign towards Phase III of the project; subway towards north beach with a geary spur off the MSS over the new subway (Hey it was bored deep so why not use it). This will alleviate some of the problems with the deep stations and get service to the corridor the needs it most. And most of all, get moving… the city is getting denser and BRT is a stopgap measure at best.

    synonymouse Reply:

    @ Tim

    Had Rose Pak been tied up and gagged and the decades old plan to use 3rd & Kearny been followed you could easily proceed up Broadway via Columbus and dig out one side of the tunnels. You would already be at Van Ness.

    Jon Reply:

    Completely agree. There comes a point where the technicals are just frustrating progress rather than providing constructive criticism. For both the Central Subway and CAHSR, that point has been reached.

    The possibility of a future non-revenue spur from the Central Subway to a Geary St line has been considered in the planning, you can see it on page 17 of this document. It’s not completely clear from this diagram but
    I would assume the Geary St line would pass above the Central Subway. The spur from the eastbound Geary line would split off and move into the center of the Geary subway, pass under (over?) the central island platform, turn south and merge into the southbound Central Subway track. Something similar would happen on the other side of Stockton as well. Very interesting.

    synonymouse Reply:

    They have pretty much screwed Geary up. Cut and cover on Post maybe but what do you do at Market? The Geary corridor is the one that should have utilized the deep mining. One hell of a tight curve if you try to cross at the mezzanine level at Geary and 3rd St.

    At one time I believe there was a proposal to loop out of the Market St. subway to the north but that is ruled out now.

    It’s ****ed. That’s what Jerry Cauthen was talking about. Just go ahead and convert the #38 to trolley bus and vastly enlarge Presidio bus barn to handle articulated t.c.’s.

    synonymouse Reply:


    You are talking about the inbound Geary track crossing the outbound Market track at grade?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Or are you talking about a grade separated branching similar to Duboce and Market at the 90 degree intersection of Geary and Stockton?

    Tim Reply:

    I dont know if this is completely possible given the constraints of station size/track layout and whatnot, but what about a similar branching like when the N leaves the MSS and heads down its own tunnel. Not being able to completely visualize the underground tunnel layout between the Montgomery St station and the future Powell/Union Sq “transfer” station, would it not be possible for the resurrected B to branch after (or before ?) Montgomery head west down Post or Geary over the future central subway to a combined Union Sq station (or another Union Sq station) and then further west in its own tunnel in a similar fashion as the couple years old Rescue Muni Geary plan. A future flying junction connection to the central subway seems like a waste and doesn’t get the people to downtown core. By having the B enter the MSS, it could serve a function like the rerouted T and give people in the Mission access to downtown and BART without the 4 min walk transfer BS (alterntively you could build a B turn around in mission bay with access the muni’s east LRV yard).

    synonymouse Reply:

    I am certainly not an engineer but I cannot conceive this. This is an extremely dense area, with building foundations all around. Breaching tunnel walls sounds extremely challenging, expensive and disruptive. Remember the mezzanine is above and BART below.

    The challenge is to get the Geary line across Market and on to the general area of the TBT or the ballpark. Or you could try to turn northeast towards the general area of the Embarcadero Centers or Jackson Square. That would still involve either a 90 degree curve and some extremely deep mining and there are big buildings in that direction, such as the BofA.

    Deep tunneling under Market now would involve going under the Stockton St. deep tunnel. Doesn’t seem realistic. The mezzanine level s available at 3rd & Kearny but you would be squealing around the curve altho more obtuse than 90 degrees. The question is then how do you proceed towards the TBT area. There is a big sewer on one of those streets – I think Howard. Folson might be the one to take especially if you could figure out a way to cut the corner. That just might work or something similar. Crossing Market early, say at 6th St., would miss the major destination of Union Square. Similarly cutting down Van Ness.

    I guess one could dead end at Geary & Market, which I believe is exactly what the B did at the beginning. But my residual suggestion is to go ahead with the trolley coach conversion straight away and store the coaches onroute at Presidio. That would produce some real deadhead savings.

    synonymouse Reply:

    I wonder if you could buy out the basement of the flatiron building at the corner of Market, Geary, Kearny and 3rd and cut the corner?!

    Tim Reply:

    my suggestion would be to, as you say, breach the walls of the MSS (muni metro portion) in order to to maximize connectivity by creating a Y. Is this possible… Im sure Betchel and Co would be happy to find an expensive solution to an extremely complex problem. The only major problem I see (glossing over the hugely complicated engineering involved) would how would one maintain the separation of the two bores. When one enters at the Duboce portal, one side, east bound, dips bellow to maintain separation. I wonder if there is room to go above on Market (in non station areas) like many of the cut and cover advocate/technicals (SaveMuni and co) wanted for the central subway. That or is it possible to stay on that level and maintain a branch line that crosses a busy portion of the main system through complex switches (if we ever get that ATCS thing to work) and what not. I feel the goal should be to isolate the central subway from a geary line operationally because of its inherit problems with connectivity. By adding a MSS geary branch, you help to mitigate some of the problems of the central subway by increasing connectivity and serving more travel markets.

    synonymouse Reply:

    A branch onto the Geary corridor off the existing Market Street Muni Metro would pose huge engineering and operational problems. Capacity would certainly become an issue.

    Crossing at the mezzanine level at 3rd, Market, Kearny & Geary is probably feasible and keeps the crossing of the Stockton Street tunnel on top. You need to lay out a functional station at Union Square, widen the curve at Market as much as possible and then secure a route to the TBT area without 90 degree curves in subway.

    Or you could give up on SOMA completely and shoot for the northeast quadrant. Still have those curvature issues.

    synonymouse Reply:

    One upside is that with a station on Geary between Powell and Stockton and then one on 3rd between Market and Mission operating speeds would be slow and the squeal not so bad.

  11. Reality Check
    Feb 28th, 2012 at 17:18

    Council Chooses Downtown Location for Gilroy’s High Speed Rail Station
    The council recommended a downtown station to the California High Speed Rail Authority during a special HSR study session on Monday night.

    Council members voted 5-2 for a rail station in downtown Gilroy and opposed any kind of aerial track during a special study session on Monday. The study session was designed to get the council’s take on where Gilroy’s future High Speed Rail station should be built: either downtown or on the east side Highway 101, north of Leavesly Road.

    Councilman Perry Woodward expressed concern about noise, and suggested a downtown station with a partially-enclosed trench to regulate any sound, while councilmen Dion Bracco and Bob Dillon were the dissenters on the issue, saying they strongly oppose a station in the city, period.


    As for an aerial track, Councilman Peter Arellano said the High Speed Rail Authority won’t force one on towns that the train directly travels through because of the anticipated community backlash.

    “The state wants this project to proceed and succeed,” he said. “They don’t want to fight with every community that they come into.”

    The council’s vote for a downtown station comes after a year of community workshops and study sessions held by city staff and project consultant David Early.

    Although the rail authority will ultimately decide Gilroy’s station location, City Engineer Don Dey said local input is important because it allows the rail authority to see that the city’s involved in the process, and has preferences.

    Jerry Reply:

    @R C. Thanks for the good news about Gilroy.

  12. Mario Tanev
    Feb 28th, 2012 at 17:20

    This is disgusting. At this point CARRD is the only “do it right” group that retains some legitimacy. CC-HSR is an open enemy to HSR.

    Peter Reply:

    CC-HSR was an open enemy from the get-go.

Comments are closed.