Sep 2014

New Papers from MTC Lawsuits

TRANSDEF received the fruits of a Public Records Act request from MTC today. Legal papers from Bay Area Citizens v. MTC, including the Index to the nearly 57,000 page Administrative Record, and the settlement agreements in two other cases are posted at the bottom of this page.

TRAC Ideas Exposed in the Bee

The Train Riders Association of California, TRAC, got the opportunity to put its ideas out in the State Capital’s leading newspaper, the Sacramento Bee. Hopefully, it will strike a chord with political leaders. Here’s the link to the Viewpoint article.

CHSRA Blocked by Mountains

The Bakersfield Californian broke a striking story today about previously undisclosed problems getting over the Tehachapis. The serious problems in finding an acceptable route could result in a dramatic increase in cost. They could also force a slowing down of the train, which could result in the statewide project becoming infeasible because of not meeting the required 2 hour 40 trip time from SF to LA. Read More...

MTC Opposes Regionalism, Yet Again

In 2013, MTC adopted a regional plan called Plan Bay Area, in response to state requirements under SB 375 to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs). Continuing its long history of putting politics before its mandate of improving the Bay Area, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission voted today to adopt an eviscerated set of Guidelines for Bay Area counties. Draft Guidelines had been developed that called for counties, when developing their Countywide Transportation Plans, to look to the goals of Plan Bay Area. Click on Read More for TRANSDEF’s comments.

CHSRA Tries to Ditch CEQA

After losing part of an appellate decision, the California High-Speed Rail Authority filed a request with the California Supreme Court today, asking it to depublish the 7/31/14 ruling. That would mean no other court could consider the ruling to be precedent, thereby making it easier to argue that CEQA doesn’t apply to railroad projects that are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Surface Transportation Board. All the papers are posted at the bottom of this page.

Wall Street Journal Editorial on HSR Case

In a stunning editorial entitled California's Democratic Derailment, the Wall Street Journal calls upon the California Supreme Court to save democracy by overturning the appellate decision that declared the CHSRA’s violation of Proposition 1A unenforceable: Read More...

TRAC Opposes Palmdale Focus

The TRAC Board of Directors adopted a Resolution opposing the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s new-found interest in the Palmdale to Burbank route. Instead, the Resolution proposes that the funding available for HSR be used to create benefits for passengers in the near-term. Read More...

HSR Opponents Seek Supreme Court Review

Attorneys challenging the California High-Speed Rail Authority's bond funding presented a press conference today to explain the petition they filed or will be filing with the California Supreme Court. The petitions ask the Supreme Court to review the Third District Court of Appeal decision overturning two trial rulings that had hamstrung Californiaʼs High-Speed Rail project. The Appellate Court had ruled that "The Legislature appropriated the bond proceeds based on the preliminary funding plan, however deficient, and there is no present duty to redo the plan."

The Court also held that no evidence was needed to show that it was “necessary or desirable” to issue bonds, reversing the trial court ruling that had prevented the sale of bonds and effectively erasing that provision from the ballot measure.

Michael Brady, representing John Tos, Aaron Fukuda and Kings County, said "The Authority is now on life support; it has been granted a stay of execution by the Court of Appeal. Today's filing seeks to lift that stay." Stuart Flashman, co-counsel added, "The Court of Appeal ruling overturns long-standing precedents in the interpretation of bond measures. If these decisions stand, voters will lose trust in future bond measures."

The documents and related case materials are all available at the bottom of this
page.