Chapter 7

THE SAN FRANCISCO TERMINAL RAILROAD AND FERRY COMPANY

Page 9

Reed & Nusbaumer represented the new railroad in the presentation of their franchise application to the City Council.

When the proposed franchise of the San Francisco Terminal Railroad and Ferry System came up for consideration on October 27, 1902 at the City Council, Councilman Cadman stated that the Committee of the Whole had made its report, several questions had arisen which made it advisable to refer the matter back to committee.

Upon Cadrnan's motion this prevailed.

W. J. Bartnett, John Treadwell and Attorneys Reed and Nushaumer were present on behalf of the new railroad.

Attorney A. A. Moore and Division Superintendent W. S. Palmer were present on behalf of the Southern Pacific, but did not make any objections to the proceedings.

The two questions which occupied the attention of the committee were putting in switches and side tracks between Fallon and Union streets and the question of the new railroad standing their fuel portion of the expense in event of the council finding it necessary to narrow the sidewalks along which the railroad is proposed to be run.

The opinion of the council seemed to be unanimous upon the point that the new railroad should not be allowed to indiscriminately put in switches and sidetracks between Fallon and Union streets, but that the tracks should run straight through.

Bartnett thought this latter clause would be too strict a limitation and would place the new company at an unfair disadvantage.

Councilman Wallace then suggested that the clause that the new company could, with permission of the council, put in sidings and switches where necessary be incorporated. This seemed agreeable to the Council as well as to the representatives of the new railroad corporation, and will probably be recommended as an amendment to the proposed ordinance granting the franchise.

President Schaffer also called the attention of the council to the fact that if it was found necessary to narrow the width of the sidewalks, that the small property owners might be put to a great expense. He wished to know how much of the cost the railroad company would pay if given the franchise. Bartnett said that it would probably invalidate the proposed franchise to incorporate a clause compelling the company to bear the cost of narrowing the sidewalks. The property owners, he said, would have recourse in the courts for redress in the way of damages.

Councilman Cadman was selected as the chairman of the committee. He said: "I believe we should carefully reconsider the franchise before we pass the ordinance to print."

Fitzgerald — "I believe under the present franchise they will be able to lay side tracks wherever they wish—that is wherever they own a piece of land."

Attorney Nusbaumer — "The amendments under consideration now are the same as agreed upon by the Committee of the Whole at its last meeting. We have complied with the suggestions made by the Southern Pacific Company, as to the railroad crossings at Market, Broadway and Webster streets."

Fitzgerald — "Under the present ordinance would you not be able to sidetrack where you pleased?"

Kusbaumer — "Only where we own a whole block: and only then when the council deems that we are not unnecessarily blockading the streets."

Wallace — "I would like to ask the City Attorney if we have a right to limit the railroad company, after we have granted the franchise?"

Attorney Johnson — "I have doubts whether the council could limit the railroad after it had once granted the franchise."

Schaffer — "I will never vote for the ordinance as it now stands. I promised the property owners that I would protect them as far as I am able, and I mean to do so. If the sidewalks have to be narrowed to accommodate the railroad, I don't wish to see the property owners stand the expense.”

Bartnett — “This franchise has been gotten up in the customary way. It is the same form of franchise as was granted to the Southern Pacific. It is not our intention to use the whole of Third Street. We ask for two tracks and the necessary sidetracks. We have also inserted the restriction clause of your charter, which prevents us from laying three or four tracks, or any sidings which are not necessary. The council will have power to regulate where we shall lay the tracks.”

Fitzgerald — "Then why put in the clause granting you the privilege of letting you lay sidetracks where you own the frontage?”

Bartnett — "We have brought a great deal of property and it would be unreasonable to limit us entirely. We only ask for the same privileges as the Southern Pacific enjoyed.”

Attorney Moore — “It is my duty to see that the Southern Pacific is not misrepresented. The preambles of the two franchises are the same, but ours is accompanied with specifications. We enumerated what we wanted."

Bartnett — “We could also enumerate what we want if we knew where our switches where going to be.”

Wixson — "You may see unjust limitations in the amendments we wish to offer, Mr. Bartnett, but if you do your perception is better than mine.”

Bartnett — "Can you suggest reasonable limitations?"

Wixson — "Certainly, just lay two tracks from Fallon Street to Union Street.”

Bartnett — "That would be hardly reasonable."

Courtney — “If the people who are damaged by the road coming through, what then?”

Bartnett — "They can secure redress by appealing to the courts."

Courtney — “Not after they have signed the petition for the railroad. It seems to me that the people or many of them signed the petition under a misapprehension”

Wallace — "I suggest that if we insert into the franchise that sidetracks may be laid with the consent of the council, we will have arrived at a safe conclusion.”

Bartnett — "I believe that Mr. Wallace’s suggestion is a good one. We will be satisfied with it."

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