Not even 24 hours later, Palo Alto HSR opponents are turning this tragedy into another tunnel-or-nothing rant. On the Palo Alto Online forums, one of the leaders of the Palo Alto anti-HSR group expounds:
Lets not let these two poor kids have died in vain (plus the ones last year, year before, year before that, and on and on..) I think it would be a very powerful message to Obama administration, FRA, and California legislators if the kids banded together to write letters or something asking for laws to require the trains to be undergrounded, kept out of neighborhoods. (...)This is wrong on so many levels.
If they can't get the trains out of here all together (which they probably can't, or won't), they need to put them underground, sealed off and away from access to cars, pedestrians, bikes. Fences along the tracks are going to be useless to prevent people, especially kids, who have the intention of using trains for this purpose.
- Using this tragedy so soon to advance a long-held tunnel-or-nothing agenda is opportunistic in the extreme, and betrays a profound lack of respect for the victim and those she left behind
- Implying that trains routinely kill children and using kids in letter-writing campaigns deliberately sidesteps the root cause of these tragic events
- Downplaying the fact that the California High Speed Rail Authority has plans to grade-separate this crossing--a measure nearly as effective as tunnels for safely separating trains from pedestrians--and demanding tunnels as the only secure solution is intellectually dishonest
- On a cost-benefit basis, demanding tunnels that cost hundreds of millions more than the proposed grade separation, in an attempt to save the lives of suicidal pedestrians, is an enormous waste of money that could save many more lives if spent more wisely.