Neighbors for Smart Rail (NFSR) opposition Nov 6, 2009 9:23:52 GMT -8
Post by metrocenter on Nov 6, 2009 9:23:52 GMT -8
To say that rail obstructionists have "zero-percent" chance of any impact on Phase II is overly optimistic. I would say the risk is moderate but significant. Definitely significant enough to get our attention: otherwise nobody here would be even discussing these people.
The key player here is the Expo Authority/Metro. It is crucial that they listen sincerely to residents and, where reasonable, mitigate issues that will affect those people. I don't say this because I agree with the obstructionists: I say this because it will deflate their legal and political claim that Expo/Metro is wantonly trampling the rights of the people and violating environmental law.
So Expo needs to be diplomatic, even when the NIMBYs are not. (A war against protestors is a political loser, and is also bad public policy.) Of course, whatever Expo offers will not be enough for the most hardcore obstructionists, so they will fight as far as their money will take them. They have a wealthy base of support, but that base will shrink if people see that Expo is being reasonable. I expect to see lawsuits and a CPUC challenge. More than likely, these will be dismissed.
The biggest risk, then, is delays to the project. We see what has happened with Phase I. Like Gokhan said, NIMBYs should see the pointlessness of this: who gains from a slightly-delayed rail line?