HSR Opponents Vow To Continue Litigation

Contention over how California's high speed rail train from Los Angeles should access the Bay Area appears to be the dispute that won't go away. Having just lost their case in court only 2 weeks ago, approval of the Pacheco Pass may continue.
September 7, 2010, 9am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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On Sept. 2, the High Speed Rail Authority Board voted once again to confirm the routing to the Bay Area using Pacheco Pass. The vote comes after a Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny rejected opponents claims on August 23. Opponents are a mix of peninsula cities (Menlo Park, Atherton), environmentalists (Planning and Conservation League), and transportation groups (CA Rail Foundation) who oppose the High Spreed Rail Authority's plan to use the southern Pacheco Pass entrance from Merced as opposed to the northern Altamont Pass gateway from Stockton.

"If you approve this, you are going to be heading back to court again and, I would predict, to another adverse decision," said Stuart Flashman, an attorney representing Menlo Park and Atherton in a suit that forced the authority to revisit the environmental study and alignment choice."

"Now that the authority has approved the revised report and reaffirmed its choice of the Pacheco Pass, it has to return to court to show it has satisfied the judge's order. Flashman said his clients will argue that the authority has failed to do so."

From Palo Alto Weekly, August 24: "Judge won't reopen high-speed-rail challenge
Court rejects Peninsula coalition's bid to reopen the case to force rail authority to revise ridership number
: "Kenny wrote in his ruling that the coalition failed to demonstrate that the new evidence would have led to a different ruling a year ago. He faulted the plaintiffs for not discovering the flaws in the ridership model before last year's ruling and also wrote that the coalition had not exhausted all of its legal avenues."

Thanks to David Simon

Full Story:
Published on Friday, September 3, 2010 in San Francisco Chronicle
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