We recently relayed that a study out of UC Irvine concluded that high-speed rail would boost the economy in Southern California by providing over 100,000 permanent jobs and would continue to expand the state’s green economy. As for up north, one city isn’t too keen on the transportation plans that have been released for the rail project thus far and is making its opposition known. The high-speed rail committee for Palo Alto’s City Council recently voted to declare “No Confidence” in the plan and its governing body. As a result, the resolution will be voted on by the entire City Council on September 13th. The committee’s vote of “No Confidence” was unanimous. Opposition stems from views that the current rail plan is not viable, is not responsive to local communities, funding issues, and is based on a problematic business plan. Councilman Larry Klein, chair of the High-Speed Rail Committee, wrote the resolution and said the following:
“It's time for us to recognize what the facts of life are and to act accordingly. We need to be proactive in defense of our community and our region, or else this will be just rammed down our throat and all the studies and alternative designs won't make a bit of difference.”
Klein also expressed concerns that the project’s true costs would be imposed on local communities and was the only forceful voice in suggesting the possibility that the project should be stopped all together. Based on how the council votes later in September, Palo Alto could join both Atherton and Orange in formally opposing the project. The committee’s resolution calls for the California High-Speed Rail Authority to be replaced and for pressuring lawmakers and the governor to pull funding. Mercury News reports that Mayor Pat Burt stated, “It's a difficult decision because we've been attempting, as many cities up and down the state have been attempting, to work in a collaborative manner.” Read more here and here.