California's High-Speed Rail Project Could Take Out Peninsula Homes Along Tracks

Tim Ryan
July 13, 2020 - 10:08 am

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    A new draft environmental impact report on high-speed rail on the Peninsula has some residents crying foul as several hundred homes and businesses could meet the wrecking ball in the name of speedy train service.

    Fourteen homes and 48 businesses would be raised along the proposed route from San Jose to San Francisco under the California High-Speed Rail Authority's preferred option. If six miles of passing tracks are added to allow fast trains to pass slower ones in a second proposed plan, those numbers rise to as high as 265 structures lost.

    CHRSA Regional Director Boris Lipkin said it’ll be another year or so before a final plan is approved.

    "The overall time savings between San Francisco and San Jose we would see is about two or two-and-a-half minutes for the high-speed train with the passing tracks," Lipkin said.

    Many of the properties impacted are located in San Mateo, Belmont and San Jose. The San Francisco Chronicle reports the agency has opted to share existing railway tracks with Caltrain

    Lalo Segovia lives near the train tracks in San Carlos.

    "Even if they’re paid fair market value, it is impossible to find other properties available within this city," Segovia told KCBS Radio.

    Interactive maps went live online Monday and a series of "virtual open houses" are scheduled to begin in a week.

    Total costs for the project - which stretches up and down the California coast - have skyrocketed to $80 billion. Completion is now set for 2033. Once done, commuters will be able to travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just under three hours.