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June 14, 2021

Bullet train visioning report released

A 128-page analysis that details the first six months of the City of Gilroy’s High-Speed Train Visioning Project is now available (link to the left).

The evaluation report outlines “Phase I” of the project, which chronicles several public outreach meetings where residents offered predictions for what Gilroy will look like if California’s controversial bullet train rolls into town sometime in the next 25 years.

The visioning project, conducted by Berkeley based Design, Community & Environment, focuses on two potential station locations in Gilroy identified by the California High-Speed Rail Authority: downtown and east of U.S. Highway 101.

Phase I was funded by $150,000 in Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority grant funds and $50,000 from the City of Gilroy. The project has two additional scheduled phases, and the end goal is to assists city officials in designating a preferred station location.

In the end, the Rail Authority, however, will decide where to place the tracks, officials said.

The recent report includes artists renderings and conceptual drawings of what the areas immediately surrounding the station sites could resemble less than three decades from now.

Also outlined are 12 “Community Values” residents pointed to during outreach meetings, including preservation of community character and preservation of agricultural land.

The report also predicts which site will likely create more jobs or allow for more development.

A full analysis will be released in February, according to Design, Community & Environment.

The state’s high-speed rail project has been the subject of much criticism lately, as recent estimates project total costs at nearly $100 billion.

The Rail Authority says the project, which would take passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in about two-and-a-half hours, won’t be finished until 2033.

Initial construction in the central San Joaquin Valley will begin next year.

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