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New steps in opposition to High-Speed Rail

The first regional meeting explaining the prospects for a High-Speed Rail that would pass through Alhambra near or on the 10 Freeway will be held October 6 from 4pm to 8pm in the city of El Monte, officials announced Monday night. The City Manager, Julio Fuentes, who has voiced his opposition to the project, said, that is not enough. "Alhambra needs its own particular meeting," he said, encouraging residents to tell the authorities they oppose the project. "We strongly recommend that in addition to the El Monte meeting they have one here in Alhambra." Since two meetings last month, officials said, information about resistance locally has traveled over the state and communities in Northern California, such as Mendel Park and Palo Alto have contacted the city.

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3 thoughts on “New steps in opposition to High-Speed Rail”

  1. Thanks for commenting YankeeFlasher. I would like to clear up some misconceptions

    1) “These are mostly consultants and lower level staff who can be excused by higher ups as ignorant/misunderstood of the process or designs.”

    The Rail Authority cannot completely ignore or excuse the work or statements of the consultants. There is a clear set of processes set out in the law and that must be followed. For example, the Rail Authority may only make its decisions on the routes studied by the consultants, along with draft reports issued. If the board does not like the options presented, they must tell the consultants to go back and study an additional route or design.

    That said, we must be skeptical about what we’re told by the Rail Authority (and its consultants) and research and analyze the options for ourselves. A lot can be learned by the segments of the high speed rail system that have already been put through the environmental study phase.

    2) The Rail Authority is addressing Union Station as part of the LA to San Diego route. I attended an Open House and presentation last Tuesday (post coming soon) about the sections through downtown, including Union Station. There is enough distance between Union Station and Alhambra for the trains to change elevation so I doubt that will inform how or whether the trains will pass through Alhambra. To get to the route through Alhambra, the Rail Authority will either need to force its passengers from other routes to change trains (the trains will back out of Union Station) or the Rail Authority will need to bore a long tunnel under Boyle Heights. I have a post at http://alhambra123.org that argues the only viable option through Alhambra is on an elevated platform. My argument is based only on the size of the right of way (20 feet) versus what the Rail Authority needs, along with the costs of each option (I provide a basic chart comparing costs).

    3) The long bore tunnel option from Union Station to near the 2 highway is only one option being considered during the environmental reviews for the LA to Palmdale segment. We’ll see if it wins out once costs are considered. Cost is the primary reason there will be a tunnel under San Francisco to the transbay station. S.F. has some of the most expensive real estate in the nation and world. In addition, it is densely populated. To buy the land and relocate people would be cost prohibitive, even compared to a tunnel. That’s the same reason why Metro is building a subway to Santa Monica down Wilshire instead of running its trains on a platform or on the street.

    Asking for or demanding a tunnel is not practical right now. We need to demand the high speed trains do not go through Alhambra. If the I-1O through Alhambra is chosen for environmental review, that’s when we demand a tunnel. 😉 Ultimately, costs will sink any chance we have for a tunnel. Even the wealthy Bay Area enclaves of Atherton and Menlo Park have not succeeded in getting a tunnel; rather they will will get an elevated platform.

    BTW: Metro is considering two options for the Gold Line eastside extension: 1) On the 60 and 2) along Washington Blvd. http://www.metro.net/projects/eastside_phase2/

  2. 1. Don’t believe anything CHSRA talks about much less writes down anywhere

    These are mostly consultants and lower level staff who can be excused by higher ups as ignorant/misunderstood of the process or designs.

    2. METRO is already going with the SR60 route for the Gold Line Extension therefore the only space available = I-10 and its cheaper to go thruough the less costly areas…

    3. All alternatives do not show that the Union Station, which is NOT part of the LA-SB segment and its EIR but determines that the route in our area, has to be above ground (MAYBE)

    4. HSR now is considering underground from Union Station up to Glendale Freeway – WHY??? People and politians have finally made HSR to go under OPPOSITION.

    5. Forget about an ElMonte Station…Remember Item 1 above…it is too close to Union Station and would convert HSR to another Metrolink BUT if fixed there would change the entire curvature of turns = 50mph rather than 100mph curves.

    6. Consider an Environmentally Superior Alternative – Tunnels – dead straight from ElMonte to the Mission Road Yard, eastside of LA River or to an underground station on the north side of surface Union Station…plenty of room, SFMuni is building a new station in downtown ChinaTown, SF… NO major disruption – Commonly done in urban Europe and New York City

    7. In October go for underground tunnels to an underground station at Union Station…as CHSRA is doing with the north side of Union Station – southern leg of Palmdale-LA segment.


  3. I confirmed with the Rail Authority that the meeting in El Monte will have an open house format.

    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.

    The community open house will be at Grace T. Black Auditorium, 3130 N. Tyler Avenue, El Monte, CA 91731.

    For those who missed the presentation to the city council, you can also catch it on Oct 19 when the Rail Authority presents to the San Gabriel City Council.

    I am tracking these meetings and have more info at: