#Roads & Transport
California High Speed Rail Authority
United States of America

On November 4, 2008, California voters passed Proposition 1A, approving the construction of a High Speed Rail system linking Southern California, the Sacramento San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Three scoping meetings were held by the High Speed Rail Authority in late January 2009 to solicit public feedback for the San Francisco to San Jose segment of the rail system, which is currently envisioned along the existing CalTrain right of way.

The new High Speed Rail (HSR) requires the expansion of the right-of-way to accommodate two additional tracks, and grade separation at all the current grade level crossings. Many homes abut the current CalTrain corridor, which in some areas is not currently wide enough to accommodate the addition of two tracks. Many of the current grade level crossings occur in residential neighborhoods. The Authority has not articulated how decisions, such as how to achieve grade separation, will be made and what, if any, influence the communities immediately impacted by the construction and operation the High Speed Trains will have on the decision making process.

In addition to this lack of detail, the High Speed Rail Authority has truncated all public comments with a deadline of March 6, 2009, less than six weeks after the initial public scoping meetings.

We, the undersigned, state the following:

i. We are unequivocally opposed to the elevation of the tracks in residential neighborhoods. We believe that the bifurcating effect of a high wall and overhead trains cutting through our city, as well as the negative visual and audio impacts, are detrimental to our quality of life.

ii. We urge the HSR Authority to more actively engage and listen to the concerns of the affected communities and residents. To this end, we believe it is imperative that the citizens of Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties ratify by popular vote any proposal for the San Francisco to San Jose segment prior to its acceptance, including the option to vote “no build”.

iii. We request that the extremely short March 6 deadline be extended for at least an additional 90 days to ensure that sufficient time is provided to inform the citizenry of the effects of the High Speed Rail system and that processes are put in place to ensure that residents, businesses and schools most immediately affected by the HSR are able to provide detailed comments to the Authority.

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The Not so fast! High Speed Rail from San Francisco to San Jose petition to California High Speed Rail Authority was written by Sara Armstrong and is in the category Roads & Transport at GoPetition.