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Letter: Former high-speed rail chair not true supporter
March 26, 2013, 05:00 AM Letter

Former High-Speed Rail Authority Chair Quentin Kopp recently became a high-speed rail opponent by joining those who want to derail the project by suggesting the blended plan on the Peninsula to be inconsistent with Proposition 1A ("Rail authority sued again" in the March 19 edition of the Daily Journal).

He joined the opposition because he somehow thinks the blended plan is not "true high-speed rail." But if the blended plan is not on the table, there likely won't be any high-speed rail.

He has a record of flip-flopping and poor transportation planning. Back in 1987, he considered the Caltrain extension to Transbay Terminal a top priority, but when he was the chairperson of HSRA more than two decades later, he voted against the Transbay project, which is a planned terminal for high-speed rail. In the mid-1990s, he backed a more expensive alternative to extend BART to the San Francisco International Airport and Millbrae. The extension almost bankrupted SamTrans and the connection to SFO from Caltrain (and future high-speed rail) became much more cumbersome.

The blended plan should've been an option for high-speed rail from the beginning. The original four-track proposal caused so much grief on the Peninsula, and it ultimately became an obstacle in the pursuit of high-speed rail. I was never sure about Mr. Kopp's intention when he was the chair, but now I believe that he's no longer a real high-speed rail supporter that he proclaims to be.

Andy Chow

Redwood City

The letter writer is president of BayRail Alliance.

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