We all know that many of the HSR deniers are property owners who live in Menlo Park and Atherton, two of the wealthiest communities in our state. They worry that HSR is going to lower their home values - although exactly how is not clear. As Matthew James Melzer pointed out to me today, HSR would most likely increase their property values - providing for electrified trains (no more diesel fumes) and a fully grade-separated track that would dramatically lower the number of accidents along the route. Their property values seem to be holding up just fine even with frequent Caltrain service - so what are they worried about?
As Trains 4 America pointed out today the benefits would extend beyond the Peninsula. Spain's AVE system has produced significant property values gains.
They didn't provide Here's a link to the actual article, but and here's the portion that Trains 4 America quoted:
To prove this theory Kyero has launched a new Spanish house price index, which shows property prices in towns and cities served by AVE stations outperform their provincial averages. For example, house prices in Málaga, which is served by the AVE line, are currently 24.7 per cent more expensive than in Andalucia and 23.7 per cent higher than the national average across Spain. Prices in Seville and Córdoba also show a similar trend, where properties are within easy reach of AVE stations.
Currently California cities such as Stockton, Modesto, and Fresno lead the nation in home foreclosure rates. As energy prices soared beginning in 2006 it became difficult to pay the cost of driving and the mortgage, causing the housing bubble to finally burst. HSR will help these cities provide economic growth and jobs that will be desperately needed. And because of the ongoing high prices and HSR's propensity to produce transit-oriented development that growth is likely to come within the city centers themselves, instead of in the form of exurban sprawl.
California's homeowners ought to be looking to projects like HSR to help them meet their 21st century needs, instead of continuing a foolish 20th century "rail merely hurts us" attitude.