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.

Upcoming Meetings: in Rosemead on October 27 and in Alhambra on October 28 *updated

The Rail Authority will host scoping meetings in Rosemead on October 27 and in Alhambra on October 28. Attend either or both meetings. In addition, the Rail Authority will present at the regularly scheduled Alhambra City Council meeting on November 7. The Rail Authority had a slide at the El Monte meeting displaying this information. (Google Docs)

The scoping meetings are similar to the open house held in El Monte on October 6. It will be structured as an open house, with map boards showing the possible routes, engineers and transit planners standing around answering questions, and a small presentation. Pictures below of the downtown L.A. open house community meeting. Feel free to attend either meeting in Alhambra or Rosemead meeting depending on what works better for you.

October 27 – in Rosemead

  • When: 6pm to 9pm
    • Presentation at 7:30pm
  • Where: Rosemead Community Recreation Center
    3936 North Muscatel Avenue
    Rosemead, CA


View Larger Map


    October 28 – in Alhambra

    • When: 4pm to 8pm
      • Presentation at 5:30pm
    • Where: Alhambra City Hall Lobby, 111 South First Street, Alhambra


    View Larger Map


    November 8 – in Alhambra

    The public is also invited to attend the City Council’s regular meeting on Monday, November 8, 2010 for a follow-up presentation by CHSRA representatives. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.



    * I am updating this post to provide pictures of a similar scoping meeting. These pictures were taken at the recent downtown L.A. scoping meeting. You can see the map boards with engineers and transit planners standing at each set. Click each for larger photos (Actions > View all sizes).

    Downtown L.A. Open House

    Downtown L.A. Open House

    Downtown L.A. Open House

    IMG_1327

    Meeting Announcement: Board to vote on the Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report — March, 3 2011 — save the date!

    The Rail Authority Board will meet during its regularly scheduled board meeting on March 3, 2011 to make an initial decision as to whether it will complete environmental impact assessments for a route through Alhambra along the I-10 corridor.

    During the meeting, the contractors responsible for for the LA to San Diego segment of the high speed rail network will present the Rail Authority Board with a report about the possible routes considered — Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report. The Board will then presumably ask questions, provide comments, and vote on whether to ratify the report along with identifying any sections that continue to the next phase. For example, I expect the route using the Union Pacific right of way will be discarded because Union Pacific has stated in no uncertain terms will it cooperate and believes the state has no eminent domain authority to seize the land where it operates its railway.

    After the meeting, assuming the board approves the route, the contractors will then go back and study the remaining alternative routes in a little bit closer detail and actually consider more how each remaining route might work beyond conceptually asking “how can we get express trains from LA to San Diego in an hour and twenty minutes?.”

    A location is not set yet. Meetings normally occur in Sacramento but they have met at the MTA headquarters in the past. Along with other community members, I have requested the board meet in L.A. We will not know the location until a few weeks before the board meeting.

    I got the following email a short while ago:

    HST Logo

    LOS ANGELES TO SAN DIEGO VIA THE INLAND EMPIRE SECTION

    CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED TRAIN PROJECT

    I am pleased to inform you that the High Speed Rail Authority has scheduled the Board presentation of the Los Angeles to San Diego via the Inland Empire Section’s (LA-SD) Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report for March 2011.

    LA-SD has been working hard to take the section from the scoping phase to developing some very preliminary alternatives drawn on a map that are currently being discussed with stakeholders and city staff.  This change in schedule allows us to further refine our plans, and complete local community meetings that are incorporated into the Preliminary AA Report.  As we prepare for March, we do not want to lose any momentum and as the project progresses, your involvement will become more important as we work to begin our environmental and engineering work.

    Thank you for your ongoing support in helping to create a high-speed rail system that is fast, affordable and convenient for us and future generations.

    Regards,

    Jose Martinez
    LA-SD Regional Manager

    Email from the Rail Authority: Decision delayed until 2011 and upcoming meetings

    I am subscribed to receive updates from the Rail Authority with regard to its LA to San Diego segment. You too can subscribe by sending email to los.angeles_san.diego@hsr.ca.gov.

    The Rail Authority sent its subscribers an email today, posted below. Two highlights:

    (1) The email says that the Rail Authority board has officially postponed its discussion of the Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report. That report would make a decision on whether the I-10 corridor will be studied in its full environmental review. A decision is now expected in 2011. This is an expected and positive step. The City of Alhambra and San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments had asked for the decision to be delayed at least until February 2011.

    The Rail Authority will decide to send its trains through Alhambra during one of its upcoming board meetings during 2011. We will not know which meeting or where the meeting will be held until a few weeks before it is scheduled to make a decision. Agendas and locations are not set until a few weeks before the board meeting. The Rail Authority PR contact told me there is an outstanding request for the board to meet in LA at the Metro headquarters when it discusses and decides on the alternatives reports for LA to San Diego. But a meeting in LA is not guaranteed and, like the agenda, will not be announced until a few weeks before the meeting. The supplemental alternatives report, further paring down the list of routes to be studied, will follow about 4 months after the preliminary alternatives analysis report.

    (2) The email also highlights two meetings. One meeting is today (Tuesday, Sept. 21) to discuss the portions of the high speed rail that will go through downtown LA. The second meeting is a community open house in El Monte on Oct. 6. I previously posted about the Oct 6 open house in El Monte; it is essentially a scoping meeting in format. I confirmed with the Rail Authority that the format will be an open house rather than formal meeting or presentation. There will be a series of information stations with map boards and people from the Rail Authority to answer questions. The format will be similar to its initial scoping meetings held at the end of 2009 in Monterey Park and other cities along the 60 freeway and Union Pacific right of way routes.

    Without further ado…

    HST Logo
    Los Angeles to San Diego via the Inland Empire Section
    HST image
    What’s New!
    Preliminary Alternatives Analysis
    Downtown LA Open House
    San Gabriel Valley Community Open House

    Quick Links…

    Update on LA – SD Section

    Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report

    Re-scheduled to 2011


    The LA – SD Team has been actively working on the evaluation, analysis and communication outreach and public education necessary to complete the Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report.

    As part of this process, the LA – SD technical team has conducted a number of follow-up meetings with cities in all four counties in order to refine the initial plans and profiles associated with each of the proposed alternatives.  Since our last round of Technical Working Group meetings in May of this year, more than 69 meetings have been completed and further meetings are being scheduled.

    At the same time, the Authority has received increased interest from cities and the public seeking information on the status of our section.  As a result, the Authority will be conducting increased outreach throughout our segment prior to Authority Board review of our Preliminary Alternatives Analysis Report.

    Please stay informed by checking the CHSRA website at www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov and/or contacting your LA – SD Team at los.angeles_san.diego@hsr.ca.gov.

    Downtown Los Angeles Community Open House

    Event Information
    What: Informational Open House on high-speed rail project sections in downtown Los Angeles
    When: Tuesday, September 21, 2010
    Presentations will take place at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
    Attend the open house anytime between 4:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

    Where: LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)
    1 Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012
    Adjacent to LA Union Station and Patsaouras Plaza (MAP)

    Online: You are encouraged to take transit to the meeting. Free parking is available in the Metro lot accessible via Vignes Street.
    Online: Can’t attend in person? Watch the presentations live online and participate in the discussion through USTREAM. Visit http://bit.ly/CAHighSpeedRail.


    Please join John A. Pérez, Speaker of the Assembly, for an informational open house on high-speed rail in downtown Los Angeles.

    The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) is hosting an informational open house in downtown Los Angeles to provide the community with project updates, information about proposed alternative alignments and station locations, design options and details of the environmental review process. This is a joint meeting with project teams for the three Southern California high-speed rail sections – Palmdale to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Anaheim and Los Angeles to San Diego via the Inland Empire – that intersect in downtown Los Angeles.
    This informational open house is an opportunity for residents and stakeholders to speak directly with members of the project team, ask questions and provide feedback.
    The CHSRA is planning high-speed train service for travel between major metropolitan areas of California. Downtown Los Angeles’ Union Station will serve as Southern California’s high-speed rail hub, connecting Anaheim and San Diego to the south with points north including San Francisco and San Jose.

    Para información en Español, por favor llame a Jesús Cuellar al (877) 724-5422

    请拨 (877) 724-5422 索 取更多的中文信息

    日本語で詳しい事をお知りになりたい方 は(877) 724-5422にお電話下さい

    한국어로된더자세한정보를원하시면 (877) 724-5422 로전화해주십시오.
    To request accommodations for the hearing impaired, please email ben.gutierrez@consensusinc.com by Friday, September 17.

    San Gabriel Valley Community Open House


    Event Information

    What: San Gabriel Valley Community Open House
    Los Angeles to San Diego via Inland Empire Section
    When: Wednesday, October 6, 2010
    Attend the open house anytime between 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm
    Where: Grace T. Black Auditorium
    3130 Tyler Avenue, El Monte, CA 91731 (MAP)


    Please join us to learn more about the High-Speed Train System and the I-10 Alternative.  The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) is hosting a San Gabriel Valley Community Open house in El Monte to provide the communities along the I-10 Freeway an opportunity to learn more about the High-Speed Train program, and specifically, the potential alternative planned along the I-10 Freeway corridor as part of the Los Angeles to San Diego via the Inland Empire Section.

    Project topics will include updates on the project, proposed alternative alignments, station locations, design options and a review of the environmental process.
    The San Gabriel Valley Community Open House is an opportunity for residents and stakeholders to speak directly with members of the project team, ask questions and provide feedback.
    Please plan on joining us on October 6, 2010.

    Para información en Español, por favor llame al (877) 411-7230

    请拨 (877) 411-7230 索取更多的中文信息

    日本語で詳しい事をお知りになりたい方は(877) 411-7230にお電話下さい

    한국어로된더자세한정보를원하시면 (877) 411-7230 로전화해주십시오.

    To request accommodations for the hearing impaired, please email cahighspeedtrain@arellanoassociates.com by Friday October 1.


    Please stay tuned for updated information.  You can visit the California High-Speed Train website for more information at http://cahighspeedrail.ca.gov.

    Thank you for your continued interest in the California High-Speed Train Project.

    California High-Speed Rail Authority | 925 L Street, Suite 1425 | Sacramento | CA | 95814

    Upcoming Meetings: October 6 and October 19

    1) Community Open House

    The Rail Authority will hold what it is calling a community open house for the I-10 corridor, including Alhambra, on Wednesday, October 6 from 4pm – 8pm. Because it is an open house format you do not need to be there at 4pm and can come when convenient for you during that time frame.

    It is essentially a scoping meeting in format. I confirmed with the Rail Authority that there will be a series of information stations and people to talk to. The format will be similar to its initial scoping meetings held at the end of 2009 in Monterey Park and other cities along the 60 freeway and Union Pacific right of way routes.

    I cannot vouch for what occurred at the Monterey Park scoping meeting (I did not attend); however, I have attended open house format scoping meetings in the past. For example, a scoping meeting to discuss reconfiguration of entrances/exits for the 101 highway in the bay area had map boards showing satellite photos and design mock-ups of possible routes. Each set of map boards had engineers and transit planners standing around answering questions.

    The goals of scoping meetings, and I believe this meeting, is to (1) inform the community about the plans and (2) seek public input about (a) what issues and concerns an agency’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)1 need to address and (b) what other reasonable alternatives exist to its proposed project and that the agency needs to consider.

    UPDATE: The Rail Authority is now distributing a flyer to the community with some information. View and print. (Google Docs) (PDF)

    Location: Grace T. Black Auditorium, 3130 N. Tyler Avenue, El Monte, CA 91731.



    View Larger Map

    Source: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/calendar.htm

    2) Presentation to the San Gabriel City Council

    On Tuesday, October 19, the Rail Authority will  California High Speed Rail Authority will give a presentation during the regularly scheduled San Gabriel City Council meeting. The meeting is scheduled from 7:30pm – 9:00pm.

    The high speed trains that go through Alhambra would also go through Rosemead and San Gabriel. It is probably safe to assume it will be similar to the presentation given the Alhambra City Council meeting on Monday, August 9. The presentation is open to the public.

    Location: San Gabriel City Hall 425 South Mission Drive San Gabriel, CA 91776



    View Larger Map

    Source: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/calendar.htm

    Footnotes:

    1. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required by the federal National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). The EIR and EIS will be in one joint document.

    Public Meeting: Agenda posted for Alhambra Unified School Board Meeting on September 14, 2010

    Previously, I noted that the Rail Authority will present its plans to Alhambra Unified’s School Board next Tuesday, September 14. The School Board posted its agenda today.

    Two take-aways:

    1. From the agenda, it appears community comments are taken BEFORE the presentation. So get there early if you do intend to comment. I think that requiring comments be made before the presentation makes sense if they want fewer people to comment.
    2. Depending on how many comments are made, the presentation will likely happen fairly early during the board meeting, It appears to follow a number of quick procedural agenda items such as roll call and pledge of allegiance.

    Agenda: Regular meeting of the Alhambra Unified School District Board of Education, September 14, 2010

    Here is the relevant part:

    RECONVENE TO PUBLIC SESSION-6:00 PM Board Room ….

    1. CALL TO ORDER & PLEDGE TO FLAG
    2. ROLL CALL OF BOARD MEMBERS
    3. REPORT ON ACTION TAKEN IN CLOSED SESSION ….
    4. STUDENT REPRESENTATIVES
    5. LABOR ORGANIZATIONS
    6. CITIZENS REQUESTS TO ADDRESS BOARD ON ITEMS NOT LISTED ON AGENDA
    7. CITIZENS REQUESTS TO ADDRESS BOARD ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA
    8. COMMUNICATIONS
      1. High Speed Rail Authority Presentation
        • Mr. Jose Martinez, Regional Program Manager, California High Speed Rail Authority, will conduct a presentation on the area’s proposed high speed railway.

    Bottom line: The public portion of the board meeting starts at 6pm. Get there early enough to get a seat and see the presentation.

    Public Meeting: Alhambra Unified School Board Meeting on September 14, 2010

    The California High Speed Rail Authority will give a presentation to the Alhambra Unified School District during the September 14, 2010 board meeting. Three schools are within one block of the freeway and will be directly affected: Mark Keppel High, Fremont Elementary, and Margarita Elementary.

    At yesterday’s meeting at Fremont Elementary, the Authority’s PR contractor told the crowd that the Authority only has one presentation and it would not modify the presentation despite requests by the City Council to include information such as a noise map. So, it is probably safe to assume this will be the same presentation given the Alhambra City Council meeting on August 9 and at the community meeting at Fremont Elementary on August 12.

    The presentation is open to the public and public comments occur at the end of the meeting. It is part of the regularly scheduled school board meeting. The agenda for the board meeting will be online the Friday before the meeting.

    School starts on August 31. We will organize a campaign to inform students, parents, and teachers in the coming weeks about the presentation and the affects upon the schools and their students.

    September 14, 2010:

    • Time: 6 PM
    • Location: Alhambra Unified School District Building – Board of Education 1515 W. Mission Road, Alhambra, CA 91803
      [googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=1515+W.+Mission+Road+Alhambra,+CA+91803&oe=utf-8&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=1515+W+Mission+Rd,+Alhambra,+Los+Angeles,+California+91803&gl=us&ei=9vZkTIz5GIOWsgPdt63ADQ&ved=0CBcQ8gEwAA&ll=34.082612,-118.140667&spn=0.004612,0.011362&t=h&z=14&output=embed&w=425&h=350]
    • High Speed Rail Authority Contact: Genoveva Arellano 909-627-2974 garellano@arellanoassociates.com
    • Alhambra Unified School District Contact: 626-943-3000
    • Source: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/calendar.htm

    I confirmed this information with the district today, August 13, 2010.

    Note: We now have a link above identifying all public meetings in the local area. Currently, the school board meeting is the only one we are aware. Let us know if you find out about another meeting.