Major Setback for CA High Speed Rail

At its Dec. 3 meeting, the CA HSR Authority board members unanimously voted to 'decertify' the program EIR to comply with a judge's order in a suit brought by Peninsula cities and rail and environmental nonprofits over the corridor to the Bay Area.

With the Nov. 3 ruling of Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny on the litigation and the Dec. 3 decision of the HSRA made to comply with it now made, there is still uncertainty as to how to how these decisions will affect progress on the project. Altamont Pass (through the East Bay) proponents believe that they now have an opportunity to press their alternative, while HSRA still feel they can go ahead with Pacheco Pass (through the South Bay).

"By a 7-0 vote, the board of the California High Speed Rail Authority on Thursday decertified the massive environmental study that the agency completed last year approving the route. The board directed its staff to draw up new information to add to the study, in particular, various options showing how the trains might go from Gilroy to San Jose if the agency cannot get permission from Union Pacific Railroad to allow high-speed trains to operate in the right of way of existing tracks between the two cities.

Jeff Barker, deputy director of the High Speed Rail Authority, stressed that Thursday's decision does not mean that the agency is abandoning the Pacheco Pass route in favor of a northern route over Altamont Pass, as some groups have urged."

"By no means are we starting from scratch on this," Barker said. "Pacheco Pass is our preferred route."

From SF Chronicle:
"The groups involved in the lawsuit objected to the authority's selection of Pacheco Pass over Altamont Pass as the gateway to the Bay Area, and still consider it a superior choice, said Gary Patton, special counsel for the Planning and Conservation League, which joined in filing the suit.

Peremptory Writ of Mandate (PDF)

Thanks to MTC-ABAG Library

Full Story: California high-speed rail route through Pacheco Pass could be adjusted



Irvin Dawid's picture

another good article describing the decision made by CHSRA

Bay City News Service, via Palo Alto Online, 12/3, reports: "High-speed rail slow down: Report rejected: California High-Speed Rail Authority board rescinds environmental-impact study that had endorsed Pacheco Pass route".

"The California Rail Foundation, one of the groups that oppose the project, issued a press release Wednesday stating that the rail authority board was expected to rescind its selection of the Pacheco Pass alignment for the project in addition to rescinding its approval of the EIR." (though disputed by the HSRA itself).

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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