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Should the high-speed train run down the 10 Freeway?

Alhambra residents, what do you think? Are there any advantages to having the high-speed train? If so, should it pass through the center of the 10 Freeway? What are your concerns? What would make you feel better about the project? Write your thoughts below.

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2 thoughts on “Should the high-speed train run down the 10 Freeway?”

  1. The high speed trains should be routed along the Union Pacific right of way through Commerce and Industry. Very few people live along that route. The I-10 corridor west of the 605 is relatively dense with many sensitive uses such as schools and hospitals. In Alhambra alone, there are four schools within a block of the freeway.

    Even if the trains pass through the center of the I-10 freeway, residences will be torn down and life in the city disrupted. The high speed rail authority has said the minimum right of way required is 50 feet if the trains are either at street level or on an elevated platform. Its 50 foot right of way will take the Metrolink right of way and both carpool lanes. Taking freeway lanes will likely prompt Caltrans to expand the freeway and condemn homes and evict those residents. The high speed railway is not intended to replace local trips like the Metrolink commuter train or Metro/MTA light rail.

    In addition, the Authority will need to accommodate Metrolink trains. Because Metrolink is slower, it will need its own tracks separate from this high speed train system. If elevated, the diesel trains Metrolink runs will be much louder than its current place at ground level. A similar arrangement was made between the Authority and Caltrain commuter rail system in the SF Bay Area. The Authority will build on the Caltrain right of way with a four track configuration. Most of the route between San Jose and San Francisco will be on an elevated platform. The high speed rail will be electric, while Caltrain will continue to operate diesel locomotives.

    Ultimately, I doubt the community will have much say or sway in the decision making process. Once the Authority’s contractors decide on the route they deem best, costs will control most other details. Mitigation will mimic the steps the Authority takes in the SF to Anaheim line with those costs assumed. Moreover, many of the things that might be offered to appease the community, like sound walls for noise mitigation, are standard rather than optional. In addition, the environmental review process is mostly a formality; as long as the Authority dots its i’s and crosses its t’s the environmental reports are unlikely to alter the plan.

    I am providing critical analysis of the Authority’s choice to possibly route the trains through Alhambra. I also have recreated maps of the routes shown to the community at the meetings and added zones showing the right of way and approximate noise contours.

    – Dan Bednarski

  2. This is a complicated issue and we should make sure that Alhambra residents are part of the decision-making process.

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