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Will High Speed Rail Ruin Communities?

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Proposition 1, which seeks high speed rail funding (you know, LA to SF in less than three hours?) on the November ballot, is one of the many proposals that won't go without a fight this political season.

One of the latest is from an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle that says the interstate highway system from 50 years ago "smashed through the heart of urban areas, cutting neighborhoods apart, and inflicting noise and air pollution on the citizens... They're back, now, only they're building a railroad to smash through the heart of the Central Valley's urban areas. By the time the citizens of Merced realize what harm has been done, it will be too late."

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But HSR advocate Robert Cruishank blogs that the rails came first in the Central Valley towns. "They were built around and in some cases because of the railroads. Their original street grids were laid out to match the alignment of the trains..."