Mystery Budget Clause Could Derail Bullet Train

Rich Peninsula residents manage to sneak costly study into budget bill

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Matt Montagne
    Keeping Atherton quaint could cost Californians their high-speed rail dreams.

    Residents of tony Palo Alto and Atherton seem to have figured out how to keep a bullet train from zipping through their Silicon Valley backyards -- by playing dirty.

    Somehow, a condition requiring further study of the Peninsula leg of the proposed route managed to slip into the proposed budget, and no one is fessing up to having done it.

    What the study would do is delay the project long enough that the state might lose $1.3 billion in federal stimulus money earmarked for the project.

    It might not matter, since Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has promised to veto the budget anyway.

    The bullet train proved popular enough to win a nearly $10 billion bond measure put to voters last year.

    However, wealthy homeowners are doing everything they can to keep the San Francisco to San Jose leg from ever becoming a reality.

    Photo by Matt Montagne.

    Jackson West didn't need another reason to resent Atherton, but there you go.