Will the BART/Millbrae deal force California high-speed rail underground?

We already have a $100 billion boondoggle, the high speed rail, based on lies about costs, routes, time to build and ridership.  They said it would cost under $20 billion for a high speed rail from L.A. to San Frn to Sacramento and would be finished by 2022—next year.  Instead it will cost close to $100 billion—juts for Merced to Bakersfield—a route designed NOT to have any riders.  Oh, and would be finished by 2030—maybe.

Now they want to spend tens of billions more for an underground high speed rail for a short distance in the earthquake prone Bay Area.

The city of Millbrae, Calif., announced an agreement with the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) to return several downtown parcels of land that both give the city new opportunities to develop significant mixed-use housing and commercial units and to further leverage its demands that California high-speed rail tracks be under-grounded.

“This is terrific news and an important milestone for both the city and BART. New housing and a premier development on the transit corridor is one step closer to becoming a reality,” said Mayor Ann Schneider.

“Thanks to the collaborations with BART Director Bevan Dufty we are pleased to finally see these important properties transferred back to the city,” said council member Gina Papan. “With control of this land, Millbrae will continue working with our congressional and state representatives to obtain an estimated $165 million in funding designated for developing significant regional projects, which includes under-grounding the high-speed rail station.”

They know the $165 million is a fraud.  I is meant to get the project started, then say we need the extra BILLIONS to finish the project and not “waste” the $165 million.  Wait till the environmental reports on earthquakes is done.  Wait till the CEQA report is finished—those will cost close to $100 million.  This is as big a scam as any devised by Bernie Madoof in New York.

Will the BART/Millbrae deal force California high-speed rail underground?

Photo courtesy of skew-t, flickr

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief, RT&S, 4/8/21 

An agreement between a California city and BART could spell trouble for California high-speed rail.

CHSRA

The city of Millbrae, Calif., announced an agreement with the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) to return several downtown parcels of land that both give the city new opportunities to develop significant mixed-use housing and commercial units and to further leverage its demands that California high-speed rail tracks be under-grounded.

“This is terrific news and an important milestone for both the city and BART. New housing and a premier development on the transit corridor is one step closer to becoming a reality,” said Mayor Ann Schneider.

“Thanks to the collaborations with BART Director Bevan Dufty we are pleased to finally see these important properties transferred back to the city,” said council member Gina Papan. “With control of this land, Millbrae will continue working with our congressional and state representatives to obtain an estimated $165 million in funding designated for developing significant regional projects, which includes under-grounding the high-speed rail station.”

The pact between Millbrae and BART was signed April 5.

The deal returns land to Millbrae that BART had been holding as part of its extension into SFO airport. This agreement will turn currently underutilized land into a vibrant new development helping provide a catalyst for build out of the city’s prime downtown land.

The re-conveyance of property interests in four parcels located on the west side of the existing Millbrae transit station allows Millbrae to re-align California Drive to serve the already approved Serra Station project which includes 488 units of housing with 15% affordable units and 320,000 sq ft of office and commercial space. It also gives Millbrae the opportunity to develop a new adjacent transit-oriented project.

Millbrae will now consolidate several city-owned parcels and will soon seek proposals from developers to build the additional transit-oriented project immediately adjacent to Millbrae Serra Station. 

The approximately 0.85 acres of land transferred back to the city will be used for California Drive and transit-serving uses. Upon completion of all land transfers the city will have about 1.2 acres of land for development on the west side of the station. 

The city plans to issue an RFP for development of the parcels in the coming weeks.

The land agreement gives Millbrae new leverage in its challenges to California high-speed rail and its EIR and other approval processes, city leaders said. Millbrae is pushing high-speed rail to under-ground its tracks because its current plans would pave prime real estate in downtown Millbrae and turn it into a parking lot.

The city of Millbrae has filed a strenuous objection to the environmental impact report filed by the California High Speed Rail Authority, noting that the document violates the requirements of California’s CEQA law.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Really??? says

    The fall back position for failure!

    We cannot waste what we have spent.

    OK, How about firing those responsible for terrible planning and wasting taxpayer money?

    I know, far too rational for Democrats to understand.

  2. Richard Cathcart says

    As planned by Sacramento’s Democrats, CA’s “High-Speed Railway” was NEVER a BOONDOGGLE.
    Green northern Californians always planned to use Southern California’s taxes to benefit only themselves.
    The super-costly through a mountain range might someday be half-done, with slow-speed services only.
    But, the real benefit is to Northern California where municipal rail systems in the SF Bay Area will connect to the new suburbs that will be built by pouncing realtors and unionized construction industry. These vast tracts of multi-description “homes” and “apartments” and “condos” will become possible financially because Sacramento’s Democrats stopped the flow of irrigation water to the southern part of the Central Valley.

  3. Bogiewheel says

    In all this, one must remember the part Willie Brown played. To paraphrase…..Start a project and cost as low as possible so people will think they are getting a deal and then bleed the coffers.

  4. In reality it would have been far cheaper and much more efficient to add one lane to Route 5 and provide every Californian an UBER driver for all their long distant travels.
    Like the big dig in Boston this BOONDOGGLE will break all records in high cost political malfeasance.
    Getting rid of our pretty boy, empty suit, nepotism governor is a good start back to sanity.
    We do not have worry about President Biden, he is braking records snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

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