A brief news-byte caught my attention to the California High-Speed Rail project. It was about the resignation of High Speed Rail Director Roelof Van Ark, and stepping down of Board Chair Tom Umberg, calling it a “key turning point giving Governor Jerry Brown the opportunity to put his resources behind the success of the program.”
I was aware walking my neighborhoods of the unfriendly sign saying "There goes the neighborhood" — targeting the high-speed rail development, and the background noise from excessive politicizing the slow move through approvals and implementation of this "HIGH-SPEED" project. Also on a recent trip I benefited and fully enjoyed riding the high-speed rails of Europe, so I always wandered why it is taking such time, effort and energy to implement this massive improvement to our California infrastructure. Residents who still display this sign loaded with racial and political connotations believe that progress brings their property value down, similar to the end of the housing discrimination and racial de-segregation which started in the 1950s. However, it is a civic responsibility of all citizens to educate themselves before making informed decisions — so I encourage everybody to a thorough investigation of facts and reviews, from environmental to economical, community and social aspects.
The section that will mostly impact my work and my life is San Francisco to Jan Jose. This section of the 800-mile system is 50 miles long. Starting in downtown San Francisco, the train will travel south through the San Mateo Peninsula and into Silicon Valley, where it connects with the San Jose to Merced section at San Jose's Diridon Train Station. Stations are planned for San Francisco, Millbrae and San Jose. There is also potential for a midline station in Redwood City, Palo Alto or Mountain View.Once operating, projections estimate 24,000 boardings daily in San Francisco and about 7,600 in San Jose.
Travel time from San Francisco to San Jose estimated at about 35 minutes and San Francisco to Los Angeles estimated in under 2 hours and 40 minutes — something I look forward to!