Alhambra City Hall Lobby
The California High Speed Rail Authority will hold a community meeting about its high speed rail project in the lobby of Alhambra City Hall next Thursday, June 23.
You should attend to learn more about the project, ask questions of the Rail Authority staff and contractors, and give feedback.
Even if you cannot make Thursday's meeting, feel free to attend any of the similar community meetings to be held in Boyle Heights on June 20, Lincoln Heights on June 27, El Sereno on June 28, and Rosemeade on June 29.
What is Going On?
The California High Speed Rail Authority is in the process of planning and building a high speed rail network to link major population and job centers in California. It has divided the project into phases and segments. The first phase will build a high speed rail line between San Francisco to Anaheim. That line will include stops in San Jose, Merced, Fresno, Bakersfield, and at Los Angeles Union Station. A second phase includes a line between L.A. and San Diego. Trains going through the San Gabriel Valley would be part of the second phase between L.A. and San Diego.
The Rail Authority is planning to route its trains in the center of the I-10 freeway using the Metrolink right of way. Most likely, the trains would travel on an elevated platform 50 to 75 feet above street level through the portion of the route between the 710 freeway and El Monte because the Metrolink right of way is only 20 feet wide and too narrow for high speed trains. Tunneling would be too expensive and trenching logistically difficult because most streets cross under the freeway.
It is unclear how the Rail Authority will accommodate Metrolink, whether it will share tracks, build a third or fourth track on its elevated platform, or build its trains above Metrolink. The Metrolink train that uses the tracks down the center of the I-10 is its most popular line, handling about 12,000 passengers each day.
The community meetings are a last chance opportunity to provide feedback before the project goes into hibernation for a few years. The Rail Authority expected to begin its environmental review during 2011. However, Governor Brown’s 2011-2012 budget does not contain any funding for the L.A. to San Diego high speed rail line. Until funding is restored, the Rail Authority will remain in a holding pattern and not complete any further work toward planning or building the high speed trains through the San Gabriel Valley. Presumably, the Rail Authority will have scoping meetings and complete its full environmental review once money is budgeted for those purposes.