Creating 100,000 jobs in one of the state's poorest regions doesn't guarantee a free ride for the CA High Speed Rail Authority.
"...with rail officials looking to turn dirt here within two years on the first $5.5 billion of track, they are encountering the same sort of clashing demands that have made selecting routes through Los Angeles and the Bay Area potential quagmires.
Some Central Valley communities are lobbying to steer the route around their towns, citing noise, vibration, aesthetics and loss of existing businesses. "We are rural Americana," says Ron Hoggard, city manager of Corcoran, which has pumped millions into revitalizing its business district. "What we don't want is an elevated graffiti mural running through town." [See The Railist: Resistance From California's Central Valley]
However, the various farmers groups, including the 1,100-member Nisei Farmers League, are making their demands clear as well - to not disrupt their fields. Turns out the track has to go through someone's backyard, farm, or downtown - and property owners are not happy about it!
The solution was stated nicely be the spokesman for one of "the state's earliest and strongest high-speed rail advocates", Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno).
"Every step of the way, they are going to have to be working with local communities. We want to make sure the authority gets this right."
Thanks to Carolyn Chase