Meeting Announcement: Bike Plan and 710 meetings on Monday, Nov. 19. *Updated

The City of Alhambra has two meetings (that are of particular interest to me and perhaps to you) scheduled for next Monday, November 19.

5:30 p.m.: City staff will present a draft Bicycle Master Plan to the City Council during a study session meeting.  According to Chris Paulson, assistant to the city manager, the draft Bicycle Master Plan will be available on a bike plan specific web site — http://www.alhambrabikeplan.com/  — by the close of business tomorrow (Nov. 14). I’ll update this post at that time. Click to view the official meeting announcement (PDF).

Update: The draft Bicycle Master Plan is now available from: http://www.alhambrabikeplan.com/alhambra-bmp/documents/

7:00 p.m.: The City Council invites the community to attend an informational meeting to “find out more on the status of the 710 Gap Closure and to show [our] support for the completion of the 710 Freeway.” Click the image to the right to read the invitation.Text invitation to a meeting regarding the710 freeway

Both meetings happen in the Ruth Reese Hall at the Alhambra Civic Center Library.

101 South 1st Street
Alhambra, CA 91801

Tell everyone you know in Alhambra about the meetings including your friends, family, colleagues, and your child’s teacher and school principal. Encourage them to attend both, even if they don’t intend to speak up. Meeting attendance, particularly for the bike plan, will tell the City Council whether that topic is a priority for Alhambra residents. If you cannot attend, contact Chris Paulson (626-570-5067 | cpaulson@cityofalhambra.org)  and give him your feedback regarding the bike plan and/or whether you think the bike plan should be a priority for the city. Low turnout at the meeting, or otherwise little interest expressed by the community will indicate to the City Council that it should spend the city’s scarce resources on other things.

P.S. I’m back in Alhambra so I expect to post more often regarding the bike plan, the 710, and other quality of life issues relative to Alhambra.

Affiliations and more

Greetings from Saipan, where America’s day begins. My family and I are doing well.

I want to personally take this opportunity to note that I am not affiliated with, nor do I support a petition drive that intends to place an initiative on the ballot to revoke the high speed rail bond (proposition 1A).

I have been highly critical of the Rail Authority, its planning, and its premature focus on the LA to San Diego route that would go through Alhambra. That said, I do think a high speed rail system will eventually be needed and built to serve California and our regional neighbors as a complement to our highway and expanding local rail networks. I more thoroughly expressed my viewpoint about the high speed rail project and the I-10 freeway corridor in an earlier post: Transitions – Part 1: California High Speed Rail Project. Also, while I voted against the original ballot measure, I . . . → Continue reading: Affiliations and more

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Transitions – Part 2: Welcome Gisela / Dan is Leaving

First, I would like to extend a warm welcome to Gisela Adams. Gisela will be taking over the Alhambra123.org blog/web site. She has promised to stir the pot well. Here is Gisela in her own words:

First, I want to wish Dan and his family all the best and a safe journey. I also wish Dan much success in his new job.  However, I will miss him a lot.  It will be tough to follow in his footsteps, but I will do my very best to keep up the good work Dan has started.

I will not let the HSR matter die just because there is no funding at this time for the LA – San Diego section.  The issue will come back with a vengence down the road and we need to keep up with the latest and be prepared to fight.

Secondly, I want to share a little of . . . → Continue reading: Transitions – Part 2: Welcome Gisela / Dan is Leaving

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Making a Request Under the California Public Records Act *updated

* Updated July 29, 2011: The City of Alhambra responded to the second part of my CPRA request.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant. — Louis Brandeis

The California Public Records Act (CPRA) is a powerful tool intended to hold our state and local governments accountable. At its most basic level, the CPRA presumes a record created by an agency or its employees is a public record unless exempted by the Legislature, and gives everybody a right to access public records in California.

In adopting the CPRA, the Legislature declared that “access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state.” California Government Code § 6250. In addition, that concept is enshrined in the state Constitution: “The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, and therefore, . . . . → Continue reading: Making a Request Under the California Public Records Act *updated

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Transitions – Part 1: California High Speed Rail Project

The California High Speed Rail Authority is putting its ambitious project from L.A. Union Station to San Diego into hibernation. The Rail Authority budget for the current fiscal year, beginning July 1, has no funding for any design, outreach, or other efforts to build the L.A. to San Diego line, which would potentially go through Alhambra and other cities in the San Gabriel Valley.

Instead, the Rail Authority has decided to focus completely on the first phase of the high speed rail project from San Francisco to Anaheim (Phase I). All funding that originally had been requested for the L.A. to San Diego line has been redirected to Phase I. The Rail Authority expects to break ground next year on a segment in the Central Valley between Fresno and Bakersfield. Phase I service is scheduled to begin between San Francisco and Anaheim in 2020.

What this means for Alhambra and . . . → Continue reading: Transitions – Part 1: California High Speed Rail Project

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Upcoming Meeting: Alhambra Bike Plan

Plan to attend next Wednesday’s Alhambra Transportation Commission meeting in City Hall. The West San Gabriel Valley and L.A. County Bike Coalitions will present to the Transportation Commission about how to make Alhambra bicycle friendly.

From the West San Gabriel Valley Bicycle Coalition:

Alhambra Transportation Commission Presentation – July 13, 7pm

LACBC/WSGVBC will be making a presentation to Alhambra’s Transportation Commission next Wednesday July 13th (7pm). The presentation will cover: Introduction of who we are/what we do * Why being bike friendly matters, inc. benefits to public safety/health, community livability * Vision – imagine a more walk & bike-able Alhambra * Funding sources for making a more walk & bike-able Alhambra * For anyone interested in attending, especially local residents, the meeting will be held in Council Chambers at Alhambra City Hall. Supporters will meet at 6:45pm in the atrium.

Calling volunteers! Help inform El Monte.

Calling volunteers! Help inform El Monte residents that the Rail Authority plans to cut through residential neighborhoods of their city and take a large swath of homes in the process. Residents were notified about meetings but not told why it is important to attend the meetings. The goal is to make sure people can speak up now to voice their concerns while there is time.

Join a small group passing out flyers in the affected neighborhoods this coming Saturday morning. If you want to get involved, call Bruce & Sylvia: (626) 280-7225. If you can’t make it on Saturday, tell folks you know in El Monte and give them the following flyer. It is two sided. One side has information intended to get people to the meetings the second side has a map. (Google Docs)(PDF) 

The map in the flyer is a reproduction of the map provided by . . . → Continue reading: Calling volunteers! Help inform El Monte.

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Meeting Announcements: Several upcoming meetings in Alhambra, San Gabriel, and elsewhere

The California High Speed Rail Authority scheduled 16 community meetings about its high speed rail project over the next 6 weeks throughout the local area. More meetings are scheduled for the Inland Empire and San Diego area.

The Alhambra meeting is scheduled for June 23 but you do not need to wait that long to find out more information about the project. Feel free to attend any of the meetings and ask questions. Meetings will be held in El Monte on May 25, San Gabriel on May 31, in and Downtown LA on June 1.

Note: We will find out on Monday whether the governor’s revised budget provides any funds for the L.A. to San Diego segment of the high speed rail project. If not, we need to expect that these will be the last meetings for a few years. The original state budget contained no money for . . . → Continue reading: Meeting Announcements: Several upcoming meetings in Alhambra, San Gabriel, and elsewhere

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High Speed Rail Preliminary Alternatives Report for L.A. to San Diego — now available (part 2)

The Rail Authority published the Preliminary Alternatives Report for its proposed L.A. to San Diego line. Previously, it had announced that the report was ready but did not actually post it. I have not read it yet but intend to read it tomorrow and post an analysis on Wednesday. The Rail Authority Board will meet on Thursday in downtown L.A. to discuss and approve the report.

UPDATE: The report says exactly what we already expected. The routes along the I-10 freeway and SR-60 will continue to be studied, while the routes that use and run adjacent to the Union Pacific railroad are withdrawn and will not be studied. See: Routes to be dropped, 75 foot high viaducts, and budget woes

Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report:

Use the controls to zoom or go to Google Docs to view. The most relevant section to Alhambra and its neighboring cities starts on . . . → Continue reading: High Speed Rail Preliminary Alternatives Report for L.A. to San Diego — now available (part 2)

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Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report

The California High Speed Rail Authority sent out an email tonight announcing to its mailing list that the Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report is ready. It provided links to the cover letter for the report and executive summary, both embedded below. I will add the report once I get it. The Rail Authority web site currently does not link any of the three documents.

Cover Letter:



Executive Summary:

Use the controls to zoom or go to Google Docs to view. 

Announcement Email

——– Forwarded Message ——– From: CA High-Speed Rail: Southern California LA-SD <los.angeles_san.diego@hsr.ca.gov> Reply-to: “CA High-Speed Rail: Southern California LA-SD” <los.angeles_san.diego@hsr.ca.gov> Subject: CA High-Speed Rail: Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report Available Now! Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 21:00:50 -0600

Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report for the

Los Angeles to San Diego via the Inland Empire Section

Now Available

The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has released . . . → Continue reading: Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report

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