Bullet Train Plans Derailed by Wealthy Tech-Exec Haven

A judge's ruling in a lawsuit filed in part by Atherton and Menlo Park could delay high-speed rail and cost the project billions

By Jackson West
|  Friday, Aug 28, 2009  |  Updated 8:03 AM CDT
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Bullet Train Plans Derailed by Wealthy Tech-Exec Haven

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You can blame Atherton and Menlo Park for striking a blow to California's transit future -- a future the Chinese are already living in.

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A state judge has ruled that the California High-speed Rail Authority's environmental impact report on the route to run up the peninsula was inadequate.

The lawsuit was filed by "environmentalists" and the cities of Menlo Park and Atherton, wealthy enclaves where people can afford to fly to Los Angeles don't want a less expensive, more efficient train.

The EIR didn't account for the Union Pacific's decision not to grant right of way, leading the judge to determine that it was incomplete.

The ruling could further delay the project, and in so doing, cost $3 billion in federal funding that's earmarked for "shovel-ready" projects.

California voters approved $9 billion in bonds to fund the project last fall, with the entire project to cost an estimated $40 billion.

The plan would connect Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego, with trains topping speeds of 200mph and getting people from one end of the state to the other in less than three hours.

Jackson West has to question how anyone who doesn't support this project could call themselves an environmentalist.

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