Central California residents who attended a California High-Speed Rail Authority meeting earlier this week told the authority of their preference to preserve the sanctity of farmland when deciding where to construct a train station, according to a published report.
"No matter where it goes, it's going to impact farmland," Jennifer Williams, executive director of the Santa Clara County Farm Bureau, said. "The east station design is the worst."
Rather than have the station built east of Gilroy, attendees said Tuesday evening that they strongly favored a city train station out of consideration for the integrity of tillable land. The meeting was held at the student center at Gilroy High School.
Plans for high-speed rail are gathering and got a boost, incidentally, the same night as the meeting when President Obama extolled the transportation service during the State of the Union address.
A rail engineer underscored the value of public sessions so that officials can glean information on the best way of moving forward with the project.
"This is preliminary," rail engineer Peter Chu said. "It'll be completely different tomorrow. People have been living here a long time. Feedback we get from citizens can be used to tweak our designs so there are fewer impacts."