December 20th, 2007

High Speed Train

California High Speed Rail Setback

It's a dark day for supporters of high speed rail in California. As reported here and elsewhere, the California High Speed Rail Authority has, by default (allowing the staff recommendation to stand) selected the Pacheco Pass ("Highway 152") alignment from the Central Valley to the Bay Area over the Altamont Pass ("Highway 580") alignment. (If you need a map of the alternatives, have a look at this PDF.) Basically, the CHSRA buckled under to political pressure from South Bay politicians who couldn't bear the thought of such a system being built without all trains being required to stop in San Jose.

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If the CHSR rail bond actually makes it to the ballot, I'll still vote for it, but I'm very unhappy with the decision. It's the wrong route, for lots of reasons, and people will curse this decision for many years to come if the system ever does get built.