Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mountain View Asks to be Considered for High-speed Rail Station

Source: exerpted from the Daily News Group

Mountain View will ask state high-speed rail officials to consider building a station in Mountain View instead of Palo Alto or Redwood City, the city council decided at a meeting Tuesday.

Like other cities, Mountain View is submitting comments to the California High Speed Rail Authority outlining the city's concerns and suggestions regarding high-speed rail designs before the engineering process begins. Council members said they weren't sure Tuesday if they wanted a high-speed rail station in Mountain View, but this was the only chance to at least have the possibility studied.

"I think we owe it to future generations to at least study the concept," Council Member Mike Kasperzak said. "We're not asking for a station, we're asking to be studied."

In its comments, the city also urges the rail authority to pay particular attention to Mountain View's two at-grade rail crossings at Castro Street, right at the edge of downtown, and Rengstorff Avenue, near the community center, senior center and other major public facilities. The city is asking the authority to study all possible alternatives at these intersections, ranging from putting the tracks underground to elevating them to, in the case of Castro Street, closing off the street.

The Caltrain corridor also already bisects the city, and the city's comments ask the authority to ensure that high-speed rail doesn't "further divide the community with barriers such as berms, elevated structures, catenaries, fences and walls."

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