CA HSRA plan violates Prop 1A Phase I corridor


As HSRA Chairman Curt Pringle and his HSRA Board vote to pursue Florida’s rejected high-speed rail funding I must remind readers that Prop 1A, as detailed in the Supplemental November 4, 2008 General Election Ballot, contains some very clear and definitive requirements.
“Phase I of the train project is the corridor between San Francisco Transbay Terminal and Los Angeles Union Station and Anaheim. If  the authority finds that there would be no negative impact on the construction of Phase I of the project, bond funds may be used on any of the following corridors:
Sacramento to Stockton to Fresno
San Francisco Transbay Terminal to San Jose
Fresno to Bakersfield to Palmdale to Los Angeles Union Station
Los Angeles Station to Riverside to San Diego
Los Angeles Union Station  to Anaheim to Irvine
Merced to Stockton to Oakland and San Francisco via the Altamont Corridor”
What the HSRA is currently proposing for the Phase I corridor, if they can get their hands on the $2.43 billion HSR funds rejected by Florida, might enable the system to link Merced to Bakersfield, a corridor which is not compliant to any of the above specific voter approved options.
Note: “The final track alignment through the Central Valley depends on the environmental review process, and therefore the ultimate number of track miles possible from re-allocated funds from Florida to California depends on that environmental determination.
 The draft environmental review for the Central Valley segments is scheduled to be completed in June or July and is scheduled to go before the Authority’s Board of Directors in late 2011 or early 2012 for a decision on the final alignment.” Source. Central Valley Business Times.
While many were disappointed to learn that the initial corridor will not connect SF to LA or Anaheim, what negative impacts on construction exists between San Francisco Transbay Terminal and Los Angels Union Station to cause them to shift gears and not have this segment as the first leg of the 800 mile system?
Are there negative impacts to be mitigated?
Or is it the truth that we don’t have the funds or fear backlash as this leg would entail the use of eminent  domain to displace businesses and homes in the path of future track?
At times, when covering this topic, I feel like the man standing in front of a tank at Tiananmen Square in 1989.
It’s easy for Curt and his associates to spend OPM when they have nothing in the pot while our Nation is on life support getting transfussions from China.


About Larry Gilbert