Tuesday, September 28, 2010

RWC Council Meeting

The council had delegated several members as a subcommittee to investigate whether to join Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Atherton in suing the CAHSRA. The subcommittee recommended not doing this, and taking a more cooperative approach.

When I got my turn to speak, I made an impromptu change to the effect of "I came to urge Redwood City to take a collaborative rather than a confrontational approach to resolving its issues with the High Speed Rail Authority, but now I'll have to change that and say I commend the City for taking a collaborative approach..." which elicited a friendly chuckle.

My overall takeaway is that the RWC council is adamantly opposed to elevated tracks (I am not, but I didn't make that point), but is very much in favor of high speed rail (for reasons of economic development and safety--and some of them mentioned that they were quite keen on using it). They are openly skeptical about whether cities to the south would actually support HSR under any conditions, and are more interested in collaborating with San Mateo and Burlingame (in fact, a Burlingame councilmember was visiting and spoke a bit on the subject).

I proposed that the city should have a design competition to let local people propose ways that HSR could be fit into the community. If this ever comes about it would be a way for those of us who are in favor of non-tunnelled/affordable alignments to try to make the case that elevated tracks are not necessary the dystopian nightmare that they have been portrayed as.

A reporter from the Daily Post took my name. The Post is notoriously anti-HSR, but it will be interesting to see how all this is written up (and if they mention me).

In other news:

  • The city is fighting to put an expanded county jail somewhere other than downtown RWC.
  • There was a report about the recent plane crash and sewage spill in Redwood Shores.
  • A delegation of library employees came to complain about layoffs and the use of long term contractors instead of hiring regular staff.
  • The Port of RWC is holding an open house, aka PortFest this Saturday. The Marine Science institute will be open, and a Ferry will be on display.
  • CaƱada College is hosting an Arts and Olive Festival.

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