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 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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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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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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Meeting Announcement: Rail Authority Board meeting in downtown L.A. on March 3 @ 9:00 a.m.

The California High Speed Rail Authority Board will hold its regular monthly meeting for March in downtown Los Angeles at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Headquarters. Metro Headquarters is at the backside of Union Station.

The L.A. to San Diego line is on the agenda (posted below). The contractors responsible for that line will present their preliminary alternatives analysis report. That report is expected to recommend that the Rail Authority board consider only the I-10 freeway and SR-60 freeway routes for the high speed rail project between Union Station and the 605 freeway. It will also recommend the board withdraw routes that use and run adjacent to the Union Pacific right of way. The report is expected to be released a few days before the board meeting.

Public Comments

Public comments are taken at the very beginning of the meeting, at 9 a.m. If you would like . . . → Continue reading: Meeting Announcement: Rail Authority Board meeting in downtown L.A. on March 3 @ 9:00 a.m.

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City of Alhambra’s February 1 letter to the Rail Authority

This post is a follow-up to my posts a few weeks ago:

Recap: Alhambra City Council to send letter opposing high speed rail project through the city More detail: Routes to be dropped, 75 foot high viaducts, and budget woes Letter to the Rail Authority

The City of Alhambra web site provides the City’s latest letter to the Rail Authority. It reminds the Rail Authority that the city opposes an elevated platform (aerial structure) and any project plan that would impact the quality of life of its residents. It also asks the Rail Authority to explore putting the trains in a trench like the Union Pacific trains that traverse the city along Mission or a tunnel like Metro and Caltrans are considering with regard to the 710 extension between Alhambra and Pasadena.

Draft Letters

That letter was chosen from among three letters drafted by city staff. The . . . → Continue reading: City of Alhambra’s February 1 letter to the Rail Authority

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Confirmed: No Funding for L.A. to San Diego High Speed Rail Project in State Budget

Governor Jerry Brown’s budget does not include funding during the 2011-2012 fiscal year for the L.A. to San Diego segment of the high speed rail project. See page 4 of the Entire High-Speed Rail Authority Budget (PDF)(Google Docs)(also embedded below).There is no money allocated under the 2011-12 column in the Summary of Projects table.

SUMMARY OF PROJECTS

State Building Program Expenditures 2009-10 20010-11 2011-12 20 CAPITAL OUTLAY Major Projects …. 20.60 Los Angeles to Anaheim $- $11,085 $8,350 …. 20.70.010 Los Angeles to San Diego $- $3,700 $-

This means that the Rail Authority will not have any money to allocate toward design, engineering, or outreach for the L.A. to San Diego segment of its project during the fiscal year 2011-2012. The new fiscal year begins July 1. In all likelihood, little will be done after the March 3 Rail Authority board meeting in which the staff/contractors will present the . . . → Continue reading: Confirmed: No Funding for L.A. to San Diego High Speed Rail Project in State Budget

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Proposal to Allow States Limited Power of Eminent Domain over Railroads

I recently asked our Congressional representatives, Adam Schiff and Judy Chu, to modify eminent domain rules over freight railroads. Without reforming eminent domain rules, the Union Pacific route will be eliminated. According to the Rail Authority engineers I spoke with, there are a number of reasons why the Union Pacific route is ideal compared with building high speeed trains along the 10 or the 60 freeways. For example, the trains will need to go slow to make a sharp curve south of Union Station to reach the I-10 freeway route. In contrast, it would make a more gentle curve at high speeds to reach the Union Pacific route. The Union Pacific route is also more straight, which will allow the trains to maintain speeds more than a route that uses the more curvy I-10 freeway route.

Goals Such legislation to modify eminent domain rules over freight railroads has several goals:

. . . → Continue reading: Proposal to Allow States Limited Power of Eminent Domain over Railroads

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More detail: Routes to be dropped, 75 foot high viaducts, and budget woes

This follows-up my last post. Alhambra city staff will present an update to the Alhambra City Council and residents during the next city council meeting on Monday at 7pm. Staff will tell us that it recently learned that the Rail Authority will continue to study routes along the I-10 and SR-60 freeways. Rail Authority staff will also recommend that it drop the two routes that use and are adjacent to the Union Pacific right of way. City staff will also inform 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. Representatives from the Rail Authority will not be in attendance. 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.

In addition, . . . → Continue reading: More detail: Routes to be dropped, 75 foot high viaducts, and budget woes

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