Thursday, September 23, 2004

A victory for San Jose on high speed rail

Today's Mercury News had a good article with a bad headline in the print version: "High Speed Rail Setback for San Jose" (the online headline is better). The bullet train environmental planning process will now consider a route over Altamont Pass that may, we emphasize may, be more environmentally beneficial. Only doing the study will let us know - that's what good planning is all about. And doing good planning that minimizes environmental impacts to Santa Clara County is a victory for the people of San Jose.

You'll be hearing more about this development. This particular case is a good example of environmental group coordination. Sometimes CGF has taken the lead with support of other groups, such as curtailing abuse of a zoning process called lot line adjustments. Sometimes we have shared leadership, such as on Coyote Valley and on the illegal golf course in Morgan Hill. Sometimes we've supported other groups taking the lead. Sierra Club took the lead on the high speed rail - we wrote a comment letter, appeared at two hearings, and arranged a meeting with a congressional staffer, but Sierra Club did by far the majority of work. We'll happily accept some of the credit for this interim victory, and happily credit Sierra Club for its leadership on the issue.

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