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Rail foes seek to bar further spending on project

Original post made on Sep 18, 2013

After scoring a victory in a Sacramento court last month, opponents of California's proposed high-speed rail system are now asking the judge to bar the agency responsible for the line from spending any money on the $68 billion project until a new business plan is in place.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 9:57 AM

Comments (20)

Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

Finally. Now the CA HSR folks have to own up to the glaring funding and expenditure issues.

Posted by Old Steve
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Sep 18, 2013 at 11:57 am

Perhaps these proposed rememdies also enjoin the project already underway to electrify and modernize Caltrain along the Peninsula. And if HSR goes away completely, Caltrain will be unable to modernize for the forseeable future. Since Caltrain funding for its current operational model is already unsustainable, failure to modernize may mean the end of Caltrain as well. For someone living in Crescent Park, that might mean a lot of local traffic trying to get to jammed Rte 101 on ramps in the morning, as most Caltrain riders would drive, at least in the short run. As long as your opinion in Crescent Park includes all of this "collateral damage" I certainly respect your opinion.

Posted by MadamPresident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 18, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Oh my, now we litigate to defy progress

Posted by Listen to the Oracle
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Sep 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

This project is far too expensive for this state to afford, and the estimates go up every time we turn around!

Best to cut the losses and stop this whole thing now rather than dig us into a hole that California will never get out of.

Posted by senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm

To the weekly, In the interest of public disclosure, who is providing the funding for all these law suits?

Posted by Spending
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm

@senior blogger: The fourth paragraph of the story listed the plantiffs. RTFM

Posted by Money and power
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm

More to the point: who is funding all this illegal activity to the tune of billions?

Answer: We are.

It is not what we voted for.

Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm

This project was approved by the voters with the expectation that not only would it be funded through private investment (at least some of it) but that is would also be self-sustaining aka paying for its own operating expenses. Neither is going to happen.

Posted by hyped loop
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 18, 2013 at 4:36 pm

What?!? Half a dozen posts and no one is yet suggesting the link to the blog post on fantasy hyperloop?

Build HSR. Do not let our infrastructure crumble more than it is already.

Posted by joe
a resident of another community
on Sep 18, 2013 at 9:06 pm

600 million of HSR Prop 1A money is funding Caltrain electrification.

Jerry Hill's Bill assured the funds were locked to Caltrain improvement.

"The bill clarifies that $600 million in high-speed-rail funds will be used to electrify Caltrain by 2019, with local agencies providing the balance of the $1.1 billion project."

600 Million. Get ready to fill that hole with 600 million of local agency money.

Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 18, 2013 at 10:00 pm

I thought I read that they *cannot* siphon off HSR funds for CalTrain. The reason (court ruling) is that the HSR prpoposition was voted as an HSR only project. The proposition did not have any mention of CalTrain...therefore state taxpayers cannot/will not pay for CalTrain electrification as a separate project.

Posted by Bill Hough
a resident of Los Altos
on Sep 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm

It's time to cancel the California high speed rail project and disband CHSRA. This is due to the ballooning project costs and continuing dishonesty on the part of the California High Speed Rail Authority. The latest revelation is that claims that high speed rail would create a million jobs have been proven false. The San Jose Mercury explains "The 1-million figure came from the project's technical studies. It actually was the number of "job years," a statistical term that counts years of work rather than actual jobs. One person working for five years adds up to five job years in this parlance." The high speed rail project now being pushed by the Governor and the High Speed Rail Authority is not the same project that the voters approved in 2008. The Authority is guilty of pulling a "bait and switch" on taxpayers, who live in a state in deep denial of its financial problems.

It sounds nice, but I'm afraid that the whole state's corrupt and nothing can stop Governor Moonbeam and CHSRA from forcing this project forward. We need to kill high speed rail project, which numerous impartial observers like the state auditor, the LAO and UC Berkeley's ITS have faulted. At the very least it needs to go back to voters because CHSRA is pulling a blatant "bait and switch.' The California High Speed Rail Authority is mismanaged and in bed with the consultants and unions.

Money wasted on high speed rail could be better spent on deficit reduction. We should be given another chance to vote on high speed rail because the project now under discussion is not the project voters approved in 2008. Even with Judge Kenny's recent ruling that CHSRA did not follow the rules set out in the 2008 ballot proposition, Governor Moonbeam insists it is full speed ahead on high speed rail. What good is this ruling unless the judge orders the project stopped until it conforms to the promises to the voters.

Posted by Martin Engel
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 20, 2013 at 4:06 pm


Those of us that have opposed this project, some for a decade, are, like Don Quixote, fighting windmills.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair

Posted by Stan Hutchings
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 21, 2013 at 11:14 am

OK, here's what I sent to our State representatives and the Governor:

Please stop all further funding of the CA High Speed Rail Project and disband the CHSR Authority with prejudice. Following is yet another reason the Authority has cheated and deceived the citizens of California (full quote at Web Link

If necessary, propose a Proposition to put before the electorate at the next election so the will of the electorate can be determined and followed.

'...the bill authorizing Proposition 1A "added a series of taxpayer protections to the bill" and that these protections should be respected. The legislature "did this in recognition of the need to assure the voters that the money they were being asked to authorize would be used wisely."

"As the Court has already ruled, Respondent violated those provisions by issuing a funding plan that did not comply with Proposition 1A's requirements for adequate funding and prior environmental clearance for the usable segment to be constructed with bond funds," Flashman wrote. "The question of remedy is therefore key to assuring that the promises made to the voters remain meaningful.",


Posted by James Cox
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Well, Even though most of the people in the state could really use the high-speed rail, those of us can not afford to fly everywhere! Their is still a small minority, who can afford high priced lawyers, want to fight the rail project and tie it up in court, just so it will cost more for the taxpayers of California! They fought it before because they didn't like the pass it would come through! Now they say it is to expensive and we cant afford it. A large portion would be paid for buy the Federal Rail Project, who have set aside money for this and other high-speed rails. But it must be used in a timely manner. Who ever these people are who would choose tie this up in court are just using Washington style stalling tactics to make it cost more than California can afford to fight them, the court should just throw it out as imminent domain and for the good of the people!!

Posted by third world
a resident of another community
on Sep 22, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Don't build no dang infrastructure. Let our kids build it. They're gonna be the ones to use it anyway.

So what if the rest of the industrialized world builds infrastructure! We ain't educatin' kids anymore anyway!

Give our kids a third world country! What did they ever do for us?

Listen to the Ain'ts!!! Don't never build America, no way no how!

Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 23, 2013 at 6:35 am

$60B+ is state money ant way you look at it. Who knows how much Fed money will be provided. You cannot say that the majority of funds will be Fed. Even if it was 100% Fed, it is still *our* tax dollars and it would still be a colossal waste of tax dollars. I can't believe some one would say, "since its Fed money it's OK to spend it." Really?

Nothing wrong with investing in infrastructure. Everything wrong about spending billions on a project that will never come close to breaking even, will always suck operating funds out of the annual state budget (forever) and to date has not come close to meeting its obligations in raising private investment (as in not one red cent). This project will make the CalTrain annual operating loss (before contributions by county tax dollars) look like a sweet little bargain. The "Big Dig" would come off as a well managed and financially sound investment compared to CA HSR.

Stop the madness and kill this project.

Posted by Robert
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Terminate this nonsensical project. It will cost us 100+ billion; Jerry Brown is pushing it only because it promised the unions he'd support it in return for their for supporting him against Meg Whitman, and to have a legacy project like his Dad's. If we go forward with it It will be an albatross around the necks of future generations for decades. There's no good mass transit at either end, SF or LA, so people will want to have their cars. It will never run in the black. It's time to tell Rod Diridon and Quentin Kopp that they lied to us for years to try and get their way and that has not been forgotten. It's time for them to retire and watch their project get put out of its misery.

Posted by Stop Now
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 17, 2013 at 9:40 am

At a time when Europe and Japan have found out belatedly that high speed rail is simply uneconomic, wasteful and inefficient, (you will still get to your destination faster by plane) Gerry Brown is bowing to the Unions and going ahead with his silly dream of HSR!!!

What makes HSR high speed is not stopping. This cental valley route has a stop at every small town in the valley, because Jerry Brown wants their votes. The whole thing is a big political mess. I'll still fly to Disneyland!!!

Posted by planes trains and cannons
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Oct 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm

"I'll still fly to Disneyland!!!" As will I, in my jet.

That doesn't mean that we shouldn't have public transit infrastructure, just because I or you choose not to use it.

Build the damn thing. Quit bickering, you're only delaying the inevitable and costing more money.

Lastly: please substantiate that Japan and Europe have "found out belatedly that high speed rail is simply uneconomic, wasteful and inefficient". Your rationaization that planes are faster is nonsensical. So is getting shot out of a cannon, that doesn't make it the correct choice for most of the common public.

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