New Location for High Speed Rail Teach-In
Response to the High Speed Rail Teach-In on Saturday, September 12, has been so strong that organizers are moving it to a larger location. Instead of being held at Palo Alto City Hall, the event will take place in the Pavilion at Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto.
More than 300 citizens, elected officials, transit experts, transit agency representatives and rail enthusiasts have already signed up for the event, which is sponsored by the Peninsula Cities Consortium (PCC) and will take place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free, but space is limited. Advance reservations are required on this Web site.
"We're excited about the tremendous response to our Teach-In," said Yoriko Kishimoto, of the Palo Alto City Council, who chairs the PCC. "This is a unique forum organized by the cities and communities for our residents and businesses, designed to allow everyone to become educated and informed participants. You will learn from and ask questions of experts on rail, tunneling, community participation proess, law and urban design. Come join us!"
Participants will learn about the latest developments in high speed rail, question experts and discover how the public can influence the design of the project during presentations and interactive sessions. The event is hosted by the City of Palo Alto, in cooperation with Caltrain and the California High Speed Rail Authority.
“It is our belief that the final design should minimize the impacts upon local communities and incorporate best practices of urban design ideas from rail communities around the world,” added Kishimoto.
Program Details Announced
Following a welcome by Kishimoto, there will be keynote talks by Gary Patton of the Planning and Conservation League and Bob Doty, director of the Peninsula Rail Program, a partnership between high speed rail and Caltrain. One panel of rail experts will discuss the technical and operational considerations of mixed-used rail lines and another panel that includes land use, legislative and community experts will focus on the decision process and how the community can influence the final outcome of the project. Break-out sessions will address hot-button issues, encouraging discussion and networking. A light lunch will be served midday.
Patton will share stories of how communities have become educated and informed partners with state and federal agencies to create win-win success stories. Doty, who is in charge of integrating Caltrain, high speed rail and Union Pacific (freight) on the Peninsula, will discuss the challenge of integrating community desires, technical constructability and financial feasibility. He will use high speed rail examples from around the world to give the public an understanding of the challenges, strategies and trade-offs facing planners.
In addition to Patton and Doty, confirmed speakers during the day include Greg Greenway, director of the Peninsula Freight Rail Users Group; Rich Tolmach, president of the Train Riders Association of California; Bradley Matteoni, a land use attorney with expertise in eminent domain; Ryan Ojakian from Senator Joe Simitian's Sacramento office; Bill Cutler, community advocate for Context Sensitive Solutions; Tony Carrasco, architect and organizer of the October 3-4 Design Workshop sponsored by the Peninsula Cities Consortium; and Seamus Murphy, government affairs manager for Caltrain.
Questions to Be Answered
Among the topics to be discussed will be:
- What are the myths and realities about the Peninsula project?
- What are best practices from around the world?
- What have other cities experienced during construction of a major railroad in an urban setting?
- Why can’t it be tunneled all the way?
- What impact will eminent domain have on backyards and grade crossings?
There will be limited table space available to groups interested in displaying literature or graphic messages. Because of space limitations, tables will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to reserve your space, please email Steve Emslie at email@example.com.
About the Peninsula Cities Consortium
The Peninsula Cities Consortium is composed of cities that have joined together to play an active role in the high speed rail project on the San Francisco Peninsula. The cities of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Burlingame and Belmont are members. They invite other cities on the Caltrain corridor to join with them.
The Peninsula Cities Consortium is also supporting a weekend workshop on October 3-4 at which technical experts will discuss the constraints and possibilities of high speed rail on the Peninsula, then will work with design professionals and members of the public to sketch various alignments for the portions in Menlo Park and Palo Alto. Those two cities are funding the two-day charrette, which is designed to encourage out-of-the-box thinking about possibilities for high speed rail. Attendance will be limited to 100 people. Preregistration will be required; details will be announced soon.
Directions to Cubberley Community Center: Traveling north or south on Highway 101, exit at San Antonio Road. Turn right on Middlefield and Cubberley will be on your left between San Antonio and Charleston. From the San Antonio Caltrain station, VTA bus #37 travels directly to Cubberley Community Center. (For public transit directions from the San Antonio Caltrain station, go to http://www.vta.org/schedules/SC_35.html)
For a map showing where the Pavilion is located at Cubberley Community Center, go to:
http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=8865. The Pavilion is near the Montrose Avenue entrance to Cubberley.
For more information about the Teach-In or the Peninsula Cities Consortium, visit www.peninsularail.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (650) 323-5590.
When & Where
Peninsula Cities Consortium
The Peninsula Cities Consortium is composed of cities that have joined together to play an active role in the high-speed rail project on the San Francisco Peninsula. The cities of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Burlingame and Belmont are members. They invite other cities on the Caltrain corridor to join with them.
Yoriko Kishimoto of the Palo Alto City Council chairs the Peninsula Cities Consortium.
Stay informed about high speed rail! Join the free mailing list at www.peninsularail.com.
For more information, visit www.peninsularail.com or call 650-323-5590.