Is this What High Speed Rail is Going to Mean?

HANCSM Board Member Ben Toy forwarded these renderings. Our neighborhood will be changed by High Speed Rail, and the time to act is now!

Here are some links:
Peninsula Cities Consortium a group “educating, connecting, and involving the public in high speed rail decisions”
Caltrain HSR Compatibility Blog a blog “to discuss how the California High Speed Rail project will be integrated with Caltrain on the peninsula corridor between San Francisco and San Jose”
California High Speed Rail Authority the state’s official site and dedicated to getting the high speed rail project completed

7 thoughts on “Is this What High Speed Rail is Going to Mean?

  1. I don’t think it’s even worthwhile to discuss Caltrain electrification and grade separation outside of the context of HSR. Caltrain doesn’t have the resources without HSR, the scale of that project is also entirely different than HSR. HSR is “coming down the track” Caltrain is simply along for the ride.

  2. As you rightly point out, a berm is only one of the options. At this point, nothing is carved in stone, and I think it would be a lot more productive for the communities on the peninsula to starting thinking in constructive terms about ways to make grade separation better. Instead of coming up with photoshopped imagery designed to elicit a negative response, how about using some of that energy to think about how grade separations could be improved?

    It’s in Caltrain’s long-term plans to grade-separate and electrify the entire route between San Francisco and San Jose. What is your position on that? I see grade separations as a good thing- it is safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and it allows car traffic to run more smoothly. Best of all, a grade-separated Caltrain would mean the end of those infernal horns!

  3. These are posters circulating in Burlingame, forwarded by a HANCSM board member. Aside from the verbiage, and color animations, they are pretty close to images presented by HSRA, both in scale and actual appearance. My point was to post information about this coming huge change in our neighborhood, so our neighbors can form their own opinions.

    Our neighborhood is actually one where plans are very much still being formed due to technical considerations such as available right of way, number of street crossings, the San Mateo Creek, and more organized opposition to raised & grade level HSR in Burlingame.

    If we are informed and active we may get to have a say in the outcome, rather than having a solution imposed on us.

    Karen Jensen, webmaster for HANCSM

    1. they are pretty close to images presented by HSRA, both in scale and actual appearance

      “Pretty close” is awfully vague. Those images are designed to frighten people and to spread Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt about High Speed Rail.

      Instead of photoshopped renderings designed to scare people, how about looking at some actual photos of things that exist today, in areas that have high property values, where people care about aesthetics, just like here on the peninsula:

      http://www.cahsrblog.com/2010/01/hsr-doesnt-have-to-be-strange-and-unfamiliar/

      1. In response to Bianca, I would like to point out that:
        1) none of the photos on this website she refers to show the raised tracks on solid berm, one of the options for our part of town. Of course that wouldn’t be true at bridges, just behind our houses.
        2) none show the type of contruction of elevated tracks that CSHRA is showing at its info meetings
        3) none show the breadth of the tracks that we would have here
        4) none show the area under elevated tracks, which would be very dark and uninviting unless budgeted to be otherwise. And CSHRA doesn’t seem to be addressing that type of issue at all yet.
        5) none of the photos show the scale of the raised tracks next to one and two story houses that we have here.

        Here’s the link to the CHSRA’s video of the options for Palo Alto, which are similar to the ones we have in our neighborhood.
        http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/gallery.asp?s=alma-street
        This is what the “Burlingame Wall” posters are referring to.

        One big difference is that in North Central the train doesn’t run next to streets as in Palo Alto, it runs next to houses, which are not shown in the video.

  4. Is the point you are trying to make that you are against high speed rail, full stop? If so, I would have to say that is short-sighted in terms of long-term transportation planning. As population increases and resources need to be used more wisely, we need to become more efficient.

    Let’s look at the property value argument. Generally speaking, of course, areas surrounding train tracks are not exactly prime real estate to begin with. I do not think they are in grave danger of losing value, and my home is 4 blocks from Caltrain, so a potential loss in land values could effect me.

    In France, I lived across the street from the train tracks, which had TGV and ICE high-speed trains, as well as the local commuter trains, come through, and I did not hear the trains come and go. I do hear them from my home here, which is farther from the rail line, particularly at night. Perhaps there’s a difference in the design of the trains themselves?

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