Rail Policy Change -- Deleting protections for South Palo Alto
Original post made by Timothy Gray on Jun 24, 2013
After repeated observations of the City selling out the protections for South Palo Alto, I am alarmed by the following being DELETED from the Palo Alto Rail Policy:
From the consent agenda:
"Deleted: <#>All neighborhoods in Palo Alto affected by HSR/Caltrain should be treated with equal consideration with respect to vertical alignment impacts.¶"
True, there is substitute language that sounds like protection, but the end result is that the Rail Committee, which has no South Palo Alto representation, seems to abandon the "One City, one Policy -- One for all, all for One," policy, and substitutes language that would allow the weighing of other mitigating factors in weighing the above ground and below ground High Speed Rail options.
More directly stated: the policy is being changed to allow a political justification for going underground in the north and implementing the highly divisive and neighborhood wrecking above-ground option in the South.
This is Trojan horse language that will allow the North to be protected with an underground solution and the South to be sacrificed in the case where budgetary constraints will allow a solution for only half of the City.
This is deceptively placed on the consent calendar for the Monday June 24 City Council so that it can pass without any public discussion.
One for all and all for one is the only acceptable policy, and we must demand an "all or nothing" underground route for any future rail configurations.
Timothy Gray 650 493-3000
on Jun 24, 2013 at 2:16 pm
The following is a link to the revised Rail Policy that removes the requirement that any High Speed Rail configuration be underground vs. elevated.
Instead, the wording states: "When examining the potential impacts of vertical rail alignments equal attention shall be given to all Palo Alto neighborhoods. Adopted mitigation measures should be proportionate to the impacts identified in the studies."
While it may sound similar and equitable on the surface, the wording would allow a political argument that the mitigation costs for the Northern portion of the tunnel are proportionate to the impacts identified in the studies, but the tunneling for the south was not proportionate to the impacts identified in the studies.
It opens the door to depart from the commitment that all of Palo Alto deserves the same treatment, and clearly moves away from the notion of One Unified solution for Palo Alto.
I'm sure there is no connection, but the entire Rail Advisory Committee is made up of North Palo Alto residents. Unless the residents speak up, it is clear that a path is being set for a two class rail solution for the HSR route. Residents need to speak up and stop this manipulation.
on Jun 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm
For grade separations at the Charleston and Meadow rail crossings, the ONLY acceptable configuration is train-in-trench or tunnel. The other options, Charleston and Meadow on overpasses or underpasses, while slightly more costly, are unacceptable on the basis of property takings, closure of side streets, and particularly, regarding safety of school children making the crossing on foot or bicycle. Consider the hazards for children going to the top of an overpass or bottom of an underpass, crossing Alma St., and then returning to grade.
4114 Park Blvd.
on Jun 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm
In my previous comment, I meant to write that overpasses or underpasses at Charleston and Meadow rail crossings are slightly LESS costly than train-in-trench or tunnel.