State keeps Alhambra residents in the dark about plan to raze homes, reroute train through residential neighborhoods

One of the primary routes being considered by the California High-Speed Rail Authority would take a 150 mph train straight through the tree-lined residential streets of Alhambra bordering the I-10 freeway.

But you’d never know that from looking at the state agency’s website.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s website shows outdated – and misleading – information about the train’s proposed route.

According to the state website, the route is supposed to follow the 60 Freeway, when in fact the proposed route following the I-10 freeway apparently is more likely to be selected when the state agency’s Board of Directors meets in October to finalize the high speed train route.

Nowhere on the website is the latest proposed I-10 route, which would slice through residential neighborhoods and demolish a wide swath of homes in Alhambra and nearby cities bordering the freeway west of the 605 freeway.

Residents during Monday’s Alhambra City Council meeting said they were angry about the secrecy surrounding the new proposed train path that threatens to demolish their homes and neighborhoods.

The state’s High-Speed Rail Authority has kept everyone, including Alhambra city officials, in the dark about their intention to build a 150 mph train through the family neighborhoods bordering the freeway in Alhambra and other cities, city officials and residents said. Even now, they added, details remain hard to come by.

Until Monday’s meeting, the California High-Speed Rail Authority had not made a single attempt to solicit feedback from Alhambra residents living where the new proposed train path is supposed to cut through.

Monday’s Alhambra City Council meeting, where a single state agency staff member addressed council members, was the High-Speed Rail Authority’s first attempt to answer questions from local city officials — and that staff member, a civil engineer, only appeared because Alhambra city officials asked him to.

Officials from the various cities of the San Gabriel Valley had known since February of a possible plan to route the train down the center of the I-10 Freeway – away from homes and residential neighborhoods.

But it was only in late July that Alhambra officials discovered the state agency was now considering a different route that would slice through and demolish a huge swath of family neighborhoods bordering the freeway along the entire width of Alhambra and other cities along the I-10.

City officials and residents have been scrambling to find out more information ever since.

When asked during the meeting why information about the proposed train route through Alhambra’s neighborhoods was not posted on their website, a California High-Speed Railway Authority staff member only said they will update the website with the latest route information after the state agency’s October board meeting.

The problem with that plan?

By then, state officials will have already finalized the train’s route, all without ever soliciting community input on a significant scale or providing residents with accurate route information on their website — information that would show the state is going to tear down people’s homes and tear apart their neighborhood.

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