Mapping the proposed high-speed rail routes through Alhambra

The California High-Speed Rail Authority announced this week that it has delayed decisions on a route through the Alhambra area until 2011. Dan Bednarski, who maintains the blog, http://www.alhambra123.org/, recreated approximate renderings of the proposed paths through Alhambra using Google Earth. Of the three routes, Option C is the only one that would not likely require homes to be destroyed.

Option A:

Option A is a 100 MPH curve near Fremont Ave. The curve would slice through the neighborhood between the I-10 freeway and Granada Park. The train would then resume down the center of the freeway along the Metrolink right of way.

Option B:

Option B is a 75 MPH curve near Fremont Ave. The curve could have a northern approach, which would then lead the train along the southern edge of I-10 freeway. It could also have a southern approach which would then lead the train along the northern edge of the I-10.

Option C:

Option C would be a 50MPH curve near Fremont Ave. The curve would directly follow the Metrolink right of way and remain in the center of the freeway.

Dan requests that if you are in San Gabriel, Rosemead, or any other area city and get maps or other information that would allow us to recreate the map through your neighborhoods, let him know.

The next meeting hosted by the High-Speed Rail Authority will be in El Monte on October 6.

2 thoughts on “Mapping the proposed high-speed rail routes through Alhambra”

  1. Option B’s Northern approach is very close to Fremont Elementary School.

  2. I’d like to note that the actual affects of Option C, routing the high speed trains only along the Metrolink right of way down the center of the I-10 freeway, will not be known until the environmental impact studies are begun. The Rail Authority will not do much or enough design work, or even talk in-depth with Metrolink or Caltrans, until that point. For now, everything is based on conceptual designs for how it might look and operate. That said and despite the information vacuum, we can take estimated guesses as to the expected effects upon Alhambra based on available information and the design in other segments of the high speed rail system.

    For example, the Metrolink right of way is 20 feet wide. Currently, Rail Authority documents state it will need 50 feet, at a minimum. If the Rail Authority design requires more than 20 feet, it will need to acquire property along the I-10 with which it can trade with Caltrans for the additional space it needs (i.e. it will condemn homes and seize property by eminent domain). On the other hand, it can create a design that would run freeway traffic under an elevated structure. Then again, running auto traffic under an elevated structure may interfere with any contract or property rights freight and other train operators have to the Metrolink right of way. Ending those contracts or seizing such property rights would need approval of federal regulators and likely courts.

    In the end, we just won’t know until environmental review studies begin and design work begins in earnest whether Option C will encroach into our neighborhoods or impact our schools. My goal is to prevent us from ever getting to that point.

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