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Some Environmentalists Undecided on High Speed Rail Prop

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Rendering of high speed trains in the Pacheco Pass | Photo by NC3D for the California High Speed Rail Authority

When state planners completed the last bit of the proposed High Speed Rail route between LA and San Francisco last month, some environmentalists like the Sierra Club and Planning and Conservation League were and and still not sure with that portion, citing that a train from the Central Valley to Northern California through the more undeveloped Pacheco Pass could beget sprawl. The Fresno Bee reports that they rather see it go through the more urban Altamont Pass, which also could bring in more riders and less congestion, they say.

But project planners say communities affected by the Altamont Pass route were not thrilled at the prospect of HSR in their neighborhood and a bridge would have to be built across San Francisco Bay.

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A Field Poll survey (.pdf) in July said Prop 1, which would fund the project with $9.9 billion and needs a majority vote to pass on the November ballot, was leading with 56% in favor, 30% opposed and 14% undecided. Yes on Prop 1 groups have raised around $80,000 while opponents have raised none at all.