Dan Richard, Chair of the CA High-Speed Rail Authority, talking about his feelings on the Pacheco Jerry-mandering:
Before taking the helm of California’s High-Speed Rail Authority, Dan Richard told Gov. Jerry Brown that the plan was “really screwed up and going to end up biting you in the ankles.”
Richard didn’t like the idea of sending it up the Peninsula to San Francisco as opposed to traversing Altamont Pass. He also was in league with those who thought laying the rail along a stretch of the Central Valley was a bad beginning to the ambitious $69 billion project.
But that was then. Thursday, Richard told about 60 people gathered at San Jose State for a high-speed rail forum that he no longer has “the luxury of being a guy throwing stones.”
“Now,” he joked, “I’m a guy making $500 a month to make decisions” and has since had a sea change.
As Upton Sinclair would say, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
But even given all that, it is disappointing he is repeating all the same stupid falsehoods about the Altamont alternative:
Richard said he changed his mind about the path the train should take because the route must have a terminus in San Francisco, and swinging across from the Altamont would take longer, require a costly bridge crossing and trigger legal challenges.
Excuse me? Has Richard even read the EIR? The Altamont alternative — besides being faster and getting LA-SF service up and running decades sooner — would indeed terminate in San Francisco. And even with that “costly” bridge, Altamont and Pacheco were shown in the EIR to have similar costs.
As for these phantom legal vigilantes…please tell us who they are. If they were such a threat, then why no lawsuits against Caltrain’s Dumbarton Bridge project?