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 the San Gabriel Valley:

Alhambra and the San Gabriel Valley have a respite from the high speed rail project. I expect the project to remain in stasis for 5 to 7 years and perhaps longer.

Work on the L.A. to San Diego line will not be restarted until after Phase I is near completion or the state gets a lot of guaranteed money to complete Phase I and begin the L.A. to San Diego line concurrently.[1]

Waiting until 2020 to restart environmental studies for the the L.A. to San Diego line is in the best interests of the Rail Authority. Those environmental studies are necessary to complete the environmental impact report and environmental impact statement (EIR/EIS) required by state and federal environmental laws. The EIR/EIS process is expected to take 2 years to complete based on earlier statements by Rail Authority staff and contractors.

Even though it expects to begin service between San Francisco and Anaheim in 2020, Rail Authority spokespersons told our community that it does not expect to not break ground for the L.A. to San Diego line until about 2025. That means, an EIR/EIS completed in 2017 or even 2020 will be stale and very likely vulnerable to court challenges when the Rail Authority breaks ground in 2025.

Sadly, there is a good chance that Alhambra and the San Gabriel Valley get saddled with the high speed rail project like we are with the 710 extension between Alhambra and Pasadena. Delays in the project, cost overruns, and failure to meet ridership estimates may push back additional segments of the high speed rail network into the future. Moreover, if the Rail Authority repeats Caltrans’ mistake with the 710 and tries to use a stale EIR/EIS a court likely will halt all work and require an updated EIR/EIS before work can begin. In which case, our children may be grappling with how to fill a gap in the high speed passenger rail network.

Plan now for the future!

Alhambra and other cities along the I-10 corridor must plan the future of the I-10 corridor now.

The Rail Authority will be back one day. In the meantime, we need to take advantage of the time granted by the budget crunch and have a regional dialogue about what we want the I-10 corridor to look like in 25, 50, and 100 years. That way we can give direction to the Rail Authority when it does restart work on the L.A. to San Diego line instead of the other way around.

I recommend that all practical options for the I-10 corridor be evaluated and debated, even those that sound almost sacrilegious to our car-centric lifestyle. Here are four options that deserve some consideration.

1) No change. The I-10 would continue as it will look in 2013 when Caltrans completes its current construction project. We will be left with a whole host of questions, among them: What volume of traffic can it handle? What is the volume today? What will the volume of traffic be in 25, 50, and 100 years based on current population models? What can be done to handle congestion?

2) Congestion pricing. Multiple lanes would require drivers pay a toll when traffic density increases. Caltrans is planning to test congestion pricing as part of its current construction. During the test period, a single high occcupancy toll (HOT) lane each way would require single-occupant cars to pay a toll to use that  lane. Buses and carpools could use the lane for free but cars with only one passenger (the driver) would pay a toll.

3) Ground level rail expansion. The I-10 corridor would host a ground level double-tracked Metrolink line. Currently, part of the I-10 through Alhambra and its neighboring cities has a single track in a 20 foot right of way. This plan would require about 50 feet for a railway right of way. Meaning, it would take away about 30 feet from the freeway, or the width of 2.5 lanes.[2]

4)  Elevated road or railways. This option is in line with what the Rail Authority has already proposed running through the I-10 corridor. It will look a bit like the 110 freeway does south of Downtown L.A.

Someone will suggest adding a fifth option to expand the footprint of the freeway beyond its current boundaries today.  That should be a non-starter. Small adjustments should be expected for safety or other reasons strongly in the public interest, but no large scale expansions should be made to accommodate additional traffic lanes. If allowed to expand infinitely, when would Caltrans stop expanding the freeway? When it is a mile wide?

An Argument for Ground Level Rail Expansion

It may sound radical today but I personally support the third option, to expand ground level rail.

Under this plan, the Metrolink right of way would be expanded at ground level, a second set of tracks would be laid, and the system electrified and grade separated. Through Alhambra, the plan would take the two HOT lanes that currently do not exist today.

At its most basic, it would be a sister project to Alameda Corridor East (ACE), similar in scope and size. ACE is grade separating the Union Pacific freight railway as it goes through the San Gabriel Valley so as to separate auto and pedestrian traffic from trains. Part of the ACE project will continue the Alhambra trench along Mission Road past the San Gabriel Mission. Unfortunately, like the ACE project, it will be necessary to take some homes and businesses that are along the Metrolink route in other communities depending on the route, otherwise there may not be enough space to double track Metrolink.

The fundamental goal of our transportation system is to get as many people from where they are to where they want to go. With that in mind, the goal of the I-10 freeway corridor is to transport as many people as possible along that corridor. If trains can serve that goal better in the future as our population increases then we need to re-adjust some of our uses of the corridor back to rail. After all, Pacific Electric Railway tracks were torn out to put in the freeway. Of four tracks, the only one remaining is owned by Metro and used by Metrolink.

Expanding ground level rail along the I-10 will provide a number of benefits to the San Gabriel Valley.

First, Metrolink will be safer. Each set of tracks would carry trains in a single direction. Currently, Metrolink tracks are two way, meaning trains traveling both ways use the same tracks. Most of the gnarly Metrolink accidents have been head-on collisions due in part to track sharing by trains going in opposite directions.

Second, Metrolink’s capacity to carry passengers will increase. Today, its capacity is limited to the number of trains it can run along a particular route. Double tracking will allow Metrolink to safely increase the number of trains it can run.

Third, improving both safety and capacity can make Metrolink more convenient for travelers along the route. That in turn would mean fewer cars on the freeway.

One thing to keep in mind is that population will only increase. Few who live along the I-10 corridor want all those people trying to drive, further clogging the freeway and city streets. Our roads are already congested so we need to find other ways to utilize the corridor to get people around.

Fourth, emissions along the I-10 could be decreased. First, Metrolink will be electrified so its emissions will decrease to a negligible amount. Although diesel engines are cleaning up due to EPA regulations they still will have emissions. Second, removing two lanes of traffic will decrease particulate matter pollution. Apparently, a large part of the localized pollution along the freeway is dust from tires. If you live along freeway, you know tire dust as the black soot you can never seem to keep out of your house. It is also the reason areas adjacent to freeways have higher incidences of asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Tire dust contains more than just rubber.

Fifth,the Rail Authority would not have any reason to build an elevated structure through the San Gabriel Valley. Metrolink and the Rail Authority could enter into a joint use plan that allows high speed trains to use Metrolink tracks. Moreover, Metrolink could generally serve the local L.A. to San Diego passenger rail market if it is double-tracked, electrified, and grade separated all the way to San Diego.

High speed rail will not travel at high speeds through our area. According to the Rail Authority, its trains will travel between 125 and 150 miles per hour through densely populated areas such as the San Gabriel Valley. If sharing tracks, its trains will be limited to the top speed Metrolink trains travel, which would be about 110 to 125 if grade separated, double tracked, and electrified.

Of course, there are several significant hurdles to such a plan.

1. Despite the fact that no law forbids Caltrans to take away freeway lanes it is not politically practical (not today at least). Freeway users and the business community will be outraged should anyone even mention taking away a freeway lane, let alone for rail.

HOT lanes should be considered operating lanes for sake of discussion because they are already under construction and will open in 2013. The HOT lane experiment will not be converted back to unused median. Caltrans will either continue its congestion pricing model or convert it to a HOV lane. That’s at least what Metro and Caltrans have said.

A Caltrans right of way rep who I spoke to last year told me that Caltrans would consider requests by the local county transit agency (Metro, OCTA, etc) if it directed Caltrans to utilize freeway lanes for rail transit. Caltrans does have a history of permitting joint use of certain freeway rights of way. Examples include Metro’s Gold Line in the center of the 210 freeway and Green Line in the center of the 105 freeway in South L.A. County.

2. Like any major infrastructure project, this project would cost a lot. How much? I’m not sure, but ACE is expected to cost a few billion dollars, the Expo light rail line cost Metro about $108 million per mile, and Caltrans is spending $1.34 billion to widen and install a carpool lane on the 405 in West L.A. from the 105 to the 101 freeways. Costs will depend on a number of factors including route chosen, whether property needs to be acquired, terrain, and costs to mitigate negative affects. This project, like other transit projects have a number of funding resources available to them including gas taxes, sales and other use taxes, and federal and state grants.

Bottom Line

Alhambra and other communities along the I-10 corridor need to take advantage of additional time given by the Rail Authority’s change in priorities. The Rail Authority will be back in the next decade, intent on building a high speed rail line between L.A. Union Station and San Diego. The most likely route will lead the high speed trains along the I-10 corridor.

The San Gabriel Valley needs to proactively consider and plan what we want and need of our future transportation infrastructure and freeway corridors.Doing so will give us a stronger leg to stand on and dictate to the Rail Authority how it may traverse our communities. Failure to do so means the Rail Authority will build 50 to 75 foot elevated platforms on which its trains will travel 125-150 miles per hour,  every 7 to 15 minutes, from 5 a.m. to midnight, 365 days a year.

Alhambra123 will continue to follow the high speed rail project and post from time to time when information specifically relevant to Alhambra and the San Gabriel Valley becomes available.

That said, we will also continue to post points of interest relevant to Alhambra. The goal of this web site has always been to discuss and help improve the quality of life of Alhambra residents. Now that the high speed rail project is no longer an imminent threat, we will continue to broaden the web site’s focus to more generally include other related aspects of quality of life.

Footnotes:

1. Needless to say, there is very little chance the state will suddenly become flush with cash and able to afford working on Phase I as well as the L.A. to San Diego line at the same time. The state only has a small amount of overall funding for Phase I of the high speed rail project. Phase I is estimated by the Rail Authority at $43 billion. Other estimates peg the costs at closer to $76 billion. Currently, the Rail Authority has about $13 billion.

2. “[T]ravel lanes depending upon the type of highway can vary from 10 [feet] to 15 [feet].” A 50 foot right of way will take 5 ten foot lanes, while it will take 3 and a 1/3 fifteen foot lanes.  Caltrans: How wide are freeway lanes.

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.

Recap: Alhambra City Council to send letter opposing high speed rail project through the city

The Alhambra City Council discussed the high speed rail project during last night’s regular council meeting. It decided to send a letter opposing the California High Speed Rail Authority’s plans to send its high speed trains through the city. City staff will draft the letter and present it to the Council next week.

As reported earlier, Jessica Keating, Assistant to the City Manager, told us that she, other city staff, and Councilman Placido recently learned that the Rail Authority will continue to study routes along the I-10 and SR-60 freeways. She further added that Rail Authority staff will recommend that it drop the two routes that use and are adjacent to the Union Pacific right of way. Jessica also informed us that the high speed trains will fly by on elevated structures that average 75 feet or more in the air and at times are over 100 feet above the ground.  As expected, representatives from the Rail Authority were not in attendance (they were not invited).

The city has been asked to send a letter of formal support or opposition to present the Rail Authority board at the March 3 meeting. The City Council asked staff to draft a letter telling the Rail Authority that it will not accept an elevated platform through the city. All the council members were in agreement that current plans by the Rail Authority are not acceptable to the city or its residents. Staff will present a letter supporting a trench/tunnel option and the council will consider it during next Monday’s “study session” in the Alhambra Public Library. The study session is a public meeting and members of the public may comment. The meeting begins at 5:30pm.

The Rail Authority board will meet on March 3 in the Metro Headquarters next to Union Station in downtown L.A. (9am, I think) — more firm details to follow when they are available. During that meeting, the Rail Authority staff will present its recommendations regarding the L.A. to San Diego train line. Public comments occur at the beginning of the meeting.

Here is a copy of the letter the Council sent in August:

My Comments

I spoke to the City Council when it invited public comments regarding the high speed rail project. I asked the City Council to proactively address the high speed rail project during the next year or two while the L.A. to San Diego line is put on hold due to budget problems. It is important that the city take a leadership role in leading the San Gabriel Valley and L.A. County in discussions about the future of the I-10 corridor and the best uses of that corridor in the future.

  1. It appears that design, engineering, and study of the L.A. to San Diego line will be put on hold for a year or two.
    • I was told on Friday by Genoveva Arellano, outreach coordinator for the L.A. to San Diego line, that the Rail Authority and state budgets do not include funding for further work on Phase 2 of the high speed rail project, including the line that would possibly go through Alhambra.
  2. The City needs to spend that time wisely
  3. We need to re-frame the debate and make the Rail Authority’s plans fit our needs and address our quality of life concerns
    • One of our biggest issue with the high speed rail project has been how the Rail Authority communicates with the community, or should I say, fails to communicate
      • The communication stream is one way instead of the two way dialog that is necessary. It seems to not use our input (or uses is sparingly).
      • When the Rail Authority does give information, it is often limited or misleading
        • For example, Rail Authority presentations have only referred to noise generated by trains at ground level, which has never been an option through this area.
      • And it fails to build from available information
        • For example, although we started asking for information about noise in August, the Rail Authority did not include any info about noise in the presentations until October. General information about noise was available well before August and was provided in early scoping documents for this section of the rail project as well as in environmental documents prepared for the San Francisco to Central Valley segment of the rail project.
    • The city should expect that when the Rail Authority does get funding for the L.A. to San Diego line, we will get more of the same communication style. We need to be proactive so that when that does happen we can tell the Rail Authority, as a region, what will be the  acceptable methods of crossing our cities.
  4. The City, cities in the I-10 corridor, and, more broadly, the San Gabriel Valley and other stakeholders such as Metro and Caltrans need to talk about all the uses for the I-10 corridor now and in the future
    • We need to all talk realistically about the corridor we want and need in 2050.
    • Our population will only increase. Do we expect everyone to drive? Do we want that congestion?
    • What quality of life do we want for those that follow?
    • The I-10 corridor needs to get the maximum number of people moved
    • We need to relieve congestion
    • We need to decrease pollution. Auto exhaust is not the only problem. Apparently a lot of asthma near a freeway is tied to the particulate matter that comes from tires.
  5. Most community comments regarding the high speed rail project actually are about the I-10 freeway.
    • The burdens are already so great. the trains are just one more heavy burden.
    • So it only makes sense that this debate be broadened to address the I-10 freeway as well.

Press Coverage

The Alhambra Source and Pasadena Star News both covered the City Council meeting.

Alhambra Source: Alhambra Council members, residents object to plans for elevated high-speed railway by Tim Loc

Pasadena Star News: City weighs in on rail authority’s proposal for elevated line by Adolfo Flores

Some of the statements made by the Rail Authority in the Star News article require a response.

“In urban areas like Alhambra, high-speed trains will travel at speeds of 125 or less, rail officials have said. The trains would produce an hourly equivalent sound level of about 77 decibels from a distance of 50 feet.”

  • We were told on a number of occasions by Rail Authority representatives and engineers that trains will travel up to 150 MPH and that speed will be determined by a number of factors such as the distance from a station, straightness of the track, incline/decline, and other topographic features. In addition, speed is dependent upon whether the trains need to make up for time lost at other portions of the line. The Rail Authority is mandated to have trains capable of traveling between L.A. Union Station and San Diego in one hour and twenty minutes.

“The sound from a high-speed train operating on an aerial structure could be one or two decibels higher than at ground level, officials said.”

  • None of the current information I’ve seen says that there is a one or two decibel difference between trains that are at ground level and those that are elevated. Of course, I have not read everything. 🙂 This is where the lack of communication hurts us all. What we do know is that: 1) “For trains on elevated structure, HST noise is increased, partially due to the loss of sound absorption by the ground and partially due to extra sound radiation from the bridge structure.” 2) “Speed is a factor in the amount of noise created by high speed rail. The faster the train, the more noise it will create. So, one way to mitigate noise issues is to slow the trains down.” And 3) “[T]he sound from trains on elevated structures spreads about twice as far as it does from at-grade operations of the same train because of clearer paths for sound transmission.” San Francisco Bay Area to Central Valley High Speed Train Program Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement [EIR/EIS], 3.4-10, May 2008. In addition, Caltrans produced a noise survey for its EIR related to the current I-10 construction project between 710 and 605 freeways. It found that decibel levels in Alhambra range from 65-69 decibels. In places where there are no sound walls, noise measured up to 73 decibels. Caltrans expects noise to measure between 65 and 72 decibels after completing its construction and opening the high occupancy toll lanes.
  • p.s. This was a regular City Council meeting so other business was conducted. The best quote of the meeting belongs to City Manager Julio Fuentes who said: “The City is in good financial shape…” We are in a good position “as long as we continue to do what we do best, and that is develop.” This was said in regard to Gov. Brown’s budget plans to dissolve local redevelopment agencies.

    Meeting Announcement (MONDAY): Alhambra City Council meeting

    This is short notice, but an update regarding the high speed rail will be given at the regular Alhambra City Council meeting — on MONDAY.

    According to the city web site, the Rail Authority staff will only recommend one route to its board — the I-10 freeway. We already knew it would drop the routes using and adjacent to the Union Pacific right of way, but now it appears the SR-60 route will not receive further consideration either. In addition, the trains will run on an elevated platform that averages 74 feet above street level through Alhambra (I’m not sure about the other cities). I called and emailed the Rail Authority’s outreach contacts as well as the City Manager’s office for clarification.

    So attend the meeting to hear an update and give comments. And tell your neighbors, family, friends, and anyone else you think will be interested.

    Monday, January 24, 2010

    Regular City Council Meeting

    7 p.m., City Council Chambers

    “The train will utilize a tunnel from Union Station in Los Angeles to a portal in East Los Angeles around Eastern Avenue in Los Angeles. The train will climb to approximately 475 feet above sea level. The I-10/710 interchange will be easily cleared, in that it stands about 415 feet above sea level at its highest point. The train will maintain a level course of travel through the City of Alhambra at approximately 474 feet above sea level, which is about 74 feet above grade.”

    The top part of the diagram shows a cross section showing elevations, while the bottom part shows a bird eye view of the route. You might need to scroll to see either portion of the diagram.

    Stay tuned for more info, and I will see you on Monday.

    Alhambra Scoping Meeting: Recap with pictures

    I attended tonight’s Alhambra scoping meeting, also advertised as an open house, for the high speed train project proposed for Alhambra by the California High Speed Rail Authority.

    The Rail Authority gave a presentation as part of the scoping meeting. It was the same one given last night at the Rosemead scoping meeting. The presentation is now available to view online (PDF) (Google Docs).

    Here are some highlights from the presentation and Q&A:

    • Representatives from the Rail Authority confirmed the trains will run 5 a.m. to midnight. We were told the trains would run every 5 to 7 minutes during commute hours. This confirms what I calculated and wrote back in August: Trains to Run 5 A.M. to Midnight, except that trains will run more often than I figured.
    • Representatives from the Rail Authority said that there have been no fatalities in high speed train crashes.
      • That statement is FALSE: Crashes do not occur often, but when they do occur at high speeds the chances of fatalities appears high.
      • A German IntercityExpress (ICE) train crashed in 1998 killing 101 people. It was caused by a wheel that fell off due to metal fatigue. Wikipedia: Eschede Train Disaster.
      • Another, more experimental type of high speed train called Maglev has also had at least one fatal accident. In that accident, a speeding train ran into a stationary maintenance vehicle. Wikipedia: Lanthen Maglev accident
      • Except for a couple quick searches online, I have not looked deeply into the subject of crashes. More likely have occurred.
    • The Rail Authority representatives agreed to post a letter from its CEO, Van Ark, to its web site. The letter from Mr. Van Ark to the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments states that the Rail Authority agrees not to leave the boundaries of the I-10 freeway (i.e. it will not tear down a single home) except in a few spots such as through El Monte if a station is built there and over the north side of the new 605 overpass.
      • Margaret Clark, Rosemead City Council member, pressed the Rail Authority representatives about whether the letter was binding. It is not.
      • The issue is that the letter is not binding on the Rail Authority’s board. It does address immediate concerns and agrees that the Rail Authority will not currently study any proposal to go outside the freeway. But the Board can easily override that letter in March and tell its staff and contractors to consider routes outside the I-10 freeway footprint.
    • Julio Fuentes, Alhambra City Manager, took the microphone twice.
      • The first time, he told us the City Council has not changed its position. It is still officially opposed to all options through Alhambra, whether the train runs on either side or the center of the freeway.
      • The second time, Mr. Fuentes told the audience that the community has been effective in our opposition. The fact that the Rail Authority has pared down its options from either side of the freeway and cutting through neighborhoods to only traveling down the center of the freeway speaks volumes to what we have accomplished together so far.
        • Mr. Fuentes told residents to “keep it up” and continue to fight.
        • That said, he told residents to be constructive in our comments. If we do not like the I-10 route, we need to say why. Also, find other alternatives and present them to the Rail Authority.
    • Nobody from the community spoke favorably about the project. One gentleman did get up and chide the crowd for being so negative. He wishes to hear and learn more before making up his mind. He was promptly jeered. [On a personal note: I think jeering was disrespectful. We all are entitled to our opinions. In addition, we are all stronger when we listen to, acknowledge, and address valid, constructive critiques of what we say or do.]

    I also spoke. After a few of these meetings, I’ve noticed that many of the issues and questions are the same and often cannot be answered. So I attempted to address what I consider the most troubling (why not Union Pacific)  and also get folks to act.

    1. The Rail Authority representatives cannot tell us everything.
      • The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) only authorizes the Rail Authority Board to make certain decisions such as what route the trains will take. The outreach representatives, engineers, and contractors at the meeting cannot make that decision. Furthermore, the Board cannot make those decisions without its staff and contractors collecting data to inform its decision.
        • For example, the representatives continue to tell us the Union Pacific is a feasible alternative they are currently considering. But we all know the Union Pacific route has a snowball’s chance in hell. Until the Board makes its decision, its representatives must say it is an option.
      • Some decisions have not been made yet. Some answers need to wait until decisions are made.
      • But we can
        • Analyze data available
        • Take educated guesses — based on other segments further along in the process
        • Inform each other (that’s the primary goal of this web site)
    2. Some things are left up to us
      • The Rail Authority gave us four alternative routes. Let’s identify more feasible alternatives that meet its criteria (they were listed on a slide).
      • Contact your local representatives. Let them know how you feel.
      • Get lawn signs to display your dismay (more on this in the next week or two).
      • Go to the meetings.  There will be more as this project continues.
      • Tell your neighbors, friends, and family. Let them know even if they do not live in the San Gabriel Valley.  Flyers in English and Chinese are on the web site.
    3. About the Routes … Do you think we’re being railroaded?
      • Union Pacific right of way — California lacks the power of eminent domain over the Union Pacific. See: Why the I-10 corridor is a possible route
        • Using the right of way requires either (1) Union Pacific to cooperate — it won’t; or (2) Congress to act
        • We must act
          • Contact Congressperson Adam Schiff, who represents Alhambra (I assume he will win on Tuesday). Folks in Monterey Park are represented by Judy Chu.
          • Ask that Congress allow states to use eminent domain for underutilized freight rights of way for truly high speed passenger trains.
          • I do not know if the Union Pacific route is underutilized but we need Congress to act before we can find out.
      • 60 Freeway — Metro wants the 60 freeway route for its Gold Line extension from East L.A. See: Why the I-10 corridor is a possible route
        • Metro is already in the EIR process. It will release a draft EIR in August 2011 and a final one is likely by this time next year.
        • We must act
          • Contact your elected city, county, and state representatives
          • Tell them to work with Metro and the San Gabriel Council of Governments
          • Demand they tell the Rail Authority to delay its alternatives analysis until after the Gold Line EIR is complete.
          • A delay will not prejudice the Rail Authority because it will still finish the EIR/EIS for the high speed rail project in 2017 and does not intend to begin construction until 2020, the earliest.
      • Union Pacific adjacent route See: Why the I-10 corridor is a possible route
        • Nobody in their right mind will want the Rail Authority to tear through commercial and industrial businesses during a recession. We can expect many of those businesses would relocate the jobs to other states or countries.
      • That leaves just the I-10 freeway route if Metro picks the 60 freeway for the Gold Line.
        • That is why we need to act now.

    Pictures:

    More photos are on Flickr. Click the photos for a larger version. Then choose Actions > All Sizes. All photos are distributed with Creative Commons licensing.
    Alhambra Scoping Meeting - Presentation

    Residents listen/watch a presentation by the California High Speed Rail Authority regarding its plans to route a high speed rail through Alhambra.


    Alhambra Scoping Meeting - Presentation Q&A

    Representatives from the California High Speed Rail Authority answer questions about the high speed rail project during the scoping meeting and presentation.


    Alhambra Scoping Meeting - City Manager Fuentes

    Alhambra city manager Fuentes addresses residents during the Q&A portion of the scoping meeting.


    Alhambra Scoping Meeting - Council member Placido

    Alhambra city council member Placido addresses residents during the Q&A portion of the scoping meeting.


    Alhambra Scoping Meeting - Council member Placido

    Alhambra city council member Placido addresses residents during the Q&A portion of the scoping meeting.