View SEHSR alternatives in a larger map
While residents north of Wake County worry that the proposed Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor will split their small towns in half (see today's story, "Small towns fret rail plans," with reader comments), the Raleigh City Council is receiving a task force recommendation today on which of two paths for the fast trains will cause less harm to the city's downtown.
The advisory group voted 8-1 in favor of the Norfolk Southern corridor (brick red on the map you see here) along the west side of Capital Boulevard, instead of the CSX route (blue) on the east side.
The City Council may decide today to schedule its own public hearing on this, before council members stick their necks out and actually state their preference to NCDOT. [8/4/10 update: Hearing scheduled Aug. 31. See today's story.]
Norfolk Southern and a couple of its freight customers testified against this option at an NCDOT public hearing July 26 (see story, "Raleigh landowners learn more about rail project"), but there has been little public comment from neighborhood residents and local businesses. This week a number of Five Points residents have started letter-writing campaigns in opposition to the Norfolk Southern option.
Attached below are a 3-page recommendation from the Passenger Rail Task Force, a 19-page letter elaborating on this recommendation and including dissenting views, and a 4-page document from city planners pointing out that the city's 2030 comprehensive plan frowns on anything that would close busy downtown streets. (This document has some sections highlighted in yellow by the guy who provided my copy, Steven Waters.)