Scott Knies, executive director of the San Jose Downtown Association, has quite a few initiatives—none bigger than his quest to stop Diridonification.
A recent column in the Mercury News listed the best and worst local decisions in the last 50 years. Here’s a few more to add to the pile.
The public officials arguing against High Speed Rail was disappointing. They utilized the false premises of opponents, yet they knew the real consequences of not approving the first phase of the project. Their pandering to curry political favor with the NIMBY crowd was unseemly. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and the project is moving forward.
The media loves big numbers. Headlines reading “California High Speed Rail to Cost $98.5 Billion” are intended to startle the uniformed and easily misled. A look into the numbers and the plan reveals a well-thought out strategy to provide 21st-century transportation to our state.
Longtime local pol-turned-mass-transit-fanboy Rod Diridon suddenly has a fight on his hands. His pet project, the California High Speed Rail Authority, has come under attack from U.S. Rep. Jerry Lewis, soon-to-be head of the House Appropriations Committee. It’s not that Lewis doesn’t like trains—this is purely political gamesmanship.
The following is the text of a letter that was hand delivered to California High Speed Rail Authority CEO Roelof van Ark following his Sept. 29, 2010 speech to the San Jose Rotary Club by San Jose Downtown Association Executive Director Scott Knies. In an unprecedented show of unity, the letter was signed by leaders of 10 central San Jose neighborhood associations and the heads of the city’s two leading business associations.
Neighborhood and business groups in central San Jose urge the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) to include an underground option for San Jose in the project’s Environment Impact Report.
For the most part, I do not think people want things to change. However, could you see living without highway 280, 85, 87 or 237? When building large transportation projects there always seems to be opposition of some sort. Government at all levels—local, state and federal—deems that certain projects have a higher value in the long term.
At a meeting of the High-Speed Rail Authority in San Jose last night, Burlingame mayor Cathy Baylock described the proposed above-ground route as a “monster” that “will destroy the city of Burlingame” by dissecting it into two. Burlingame already has problems with the ground-level Caltrain lines running through the city, she said. While a meeting to discuss the state’s high-speed rail plan was winding down, a local man was killed by a night train running through the city.
High-speed rail may be coming to California faster than expected. The federal government’s stimulus program approved $2.2 billion for environmental planning and the design and construction of four corridors, including the San Francisco-to-San Jose segment of the route.