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Los Angeles Times 11-29-18:  State legislator calls for resignation of bullet train chairman

Silicon Valley Business Journal 11-29-18:  Assembly transportation chair wants resignation of high-speed rail chief after scathing audit report

Los Angeles Times 11-15-18:  State audit blames bullet train mismanagement for delays and price hikes

Fox Business 10-25-18: California’s $77 billion bullet train will be one of the state’s great embarrassments: Larry Ellison

Watch CHSRA Board Meeting held in Burbank on November 15, 2018

(note: you may have to rewind)

 


 

Latest Support From Our Elected Officials

Senator Robert Hertzberg Letter dated October 9, 2018

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“…After careful deliberation and listening to the concerns raised by my constituents in the San Fernando Valley, I write to express my opposition to the construction of any at- or above-ground route regarding the Palmdale to Burbank project section of High-Speed Rail…”

Click on image to read.  Click here to download pdf.


LA City Council Resolution dated October 9, 2018 Authored by Councilmember Nury Martinez (CD 6)

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Click on image to read.  Click here to download pdf.


STATEMENT FROM SAFE COALITION RE: PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE

SEPTEMBER 19, 2018

With the announcement by the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) of SR14 as the Preferred

Alternative, reducing the threat posed to people along the E1 and E2 routes, some people in the NE San

Fernando Valley and north LA County are exuberant that the threat has lessened, some remain

devastated and face a worsening threat, and some are relieved to have information while still feeling

threatened either for themselves, their friends, their neighbors, their animals and wildlife, or their

environment and open space.

This imperfect announcement matches its imperfect timing, its imperfect result, its imperfect intent, and

its imperfect agency. Rather than clearing the decks by abandoning all three flawed alternatives and

heading back to the drawing board as we’ve strongly recommended, CHSRA believes they’ve chosen the

alternative that is the “best candidate” or “strikes the best balance.” That’s their cold, detached

perspective or, as they say, “the science” behind their decision. Their statement could have gone much

further to state that they actually heard our voices, understood our fears, considered our losses, and took

action to work with us or to protect us. Fact is, we’ve not heard from them since early 2016, and their

silence speaks volumes.

Our perspective is that CHSRA settled, in some respects, on the lesser of several poorly planned evils, and

that it should be a crime that anyone remains threatened by a project so poorly conceived, poorly

managed, over-budget and politicized that it likely will never materialize.

We have always and will continue to fight the good fight; we could never sell out or compromise as we

are the long-time, invested stakeholders and must fight to protect our communities. We extend our

concern, love and ongoing support to all who remain most directly in the cross hairs of this project along

SR14, within the Burbank to Palmdale Project Section, and beyond, wherever they reside and work.

The most important outcome of this announcement is this: our communities are working together and

realize we must remain strong at the grassroots level. Effective leadership from most of our elected

officials never materialized over four brutal years. We thank those elected officials that did communicate

with us and those that did help us. But, this process served as a window into the souls of many of our

elected officials…at least those that have one.

The City of Los Angeles, in particular, from the mayor’s office, to the City Council leadership, to the council

representatives in the most impacted communities were given every chance to support us, to fight for us

and to represent us. They failed us and, by their delay, petty politics and lack of communication, fought

against us. A draft Motion (File16-1068) calling for the City’s opposition to all of the routes has languished

in the Council for so long, since October 2016, that it actually expires on Friday of this week. While we’ve

tried exhaustively to have that Motion resurrected and amended to reflect the will of the City’s residents,

it remains in limbo and, unless action is taken in the next 48 hours, will serve as a memorial to the failed

City leadership.

We, the northeast San Fernando Valley and north LA County, are stronger for this process. Stronger for

fighting. Stronger for pursuing the truth and the facts. Stronger for working together. Stronger for our

patience and our fairness in dealing honorably with CHSRA and our elected officials. As stated earlier, we

fought and will continue to fight the good fight.

SAFE Coalition


ANNOUNCEMENT 9-17-2018

SUBJECT: INTERNET WEBCAST OF HIGH SPEED TRAIN ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT PREFERRED ROUTE ALTERNATIVE
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
Well, the California High Speed Train Authority is doing what it does best – ignoring and disrespecting our residents, businesses, community leaders and elected officials. They are proceeding to prematurely announce their “Preferred Alternative” among the SR14, E1 and E2 routes. This after promising us and our elected officials that they would hold a board meeting in the NE San Fernando Valley before this big step. They were afraid to face us and they were afraid we would make such a compelling statement at such a meeting that there would be a mandate to remove each of the existing routes. That would add time and money to their plans, thus, they reneged on their promises and they are forcing this matter forward with zero public input since March 2016. They did not tell the truth and they did not honor their clearly stated commitment at a downtown LA Board meeting held in April of this year. This is a highly flawed communications decision.
The reasons for this move by CHSRA are many. One is for them to move as far along as possible before Governor Brown leaves office. Another is they really don’t want to know what we think and never did, so it’s the quickest way for them to move along. Another is some of our elected officials did not push hard enough and support our communities strongly enough in demanding removal of all the existing route proposals. Another is time is money and they need to cut corners to save money. Another important reason is they did not heed our requests to develop a suitable alternative, one we could all embrace, thus, they are going to force a decision on the lesser of two evils. There are other reasons, none of which relate to good outreach and communications standards.
So, before anyone celebrates one way or the other based on which Preferred Alternative is announced, remember these important points:
  • They have major financial and management issues, so the threat will remain whatever decision they make. While it appears they will fill overall, it will take a lot more time and stress on our Valley before that occurs.
  • They failed to present a suitable alternative to our communities in over four years despite thousands and thousands of community voices speaking out.
  • Their choice could change for financial, environmental or technical reasons at any time in the next few decades.The non-Preferred Alternative is NOT removed or eliminated; it remains under study and remains a threat.
  • The project will devastate whichever communities are closest to the preferred alternative. That means neighbors are going to be hurt one way or the other.
  • The NE San Fernando Valley, overall, will a major net loser during both construction and operations phases – we will experience little to no benefits economically, transportation-wise or environmentally. We will have more noise, dirtier air, visual blight, security risks, traffic congestion, risk to wildlife, risk to equestrian and trail pursuits, eminent domain of hundreds of homes and businesses, and much more
  • Any choice they make leaves our Angeles National Forest exposed to tunneling and other major construction and operational impacts. The only routes left damage the Forest greatly. There is no fully tunneled alternative and there is no non-Forest alternative.
  • The choices they have left are very, very expensive,  environmentally risky and damaging, and will take decades to implement, so the threat does not go away.
  • Your tax dollars will continue to be spent at a rate of nearly $3 million per day in support of this boondoggle.
There are public meetings starting next Monday at 5:30pm at Angeles National Golf Course to present more information about this Preferred Alternative selection. Prior to that, at SAFE Coalition’s urging, there will be a publicly broadcast internet event explaining the Preferred Alternative. It will be held this Wednesday (also Yom Kippur) , September 19 at noon. That way the highly controversial decision will be known by all in the Burbank to Palmdale Project Section at the same time and enable thought prior to the public meetings next week.
To watch and/or listen to the event please follow the instructions on the flyer.
Remember, the threat from this project remains and if you care about the NE San Fernando Valley and your neighbors, if you are concerned about your tax dollars and rampant waste, you will not stop fighting. This is a step forward in time, but it’s not well thought out, it’s not responsive to our communities and it only serves the interests of the high speed TRAIN Authority.
Dave DePinto
NOTE: YOU MAY HAVE TO COPY & PASTE LINK FROM FLYER INTO YOUR BROWSER
click to enlarge

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ANNOUNCEMENT:

CHSRA Open House Announcements

CLICK to Download a PDF of the announcement.


LATEST NEWS:

8/26/18 – LA Times, “Inflation and delays could add billions more to bullet train project costs” by Ralph Vartebedian


Palmdale to Burbank Project Section

September 2018 CHSRA Maps (preferred alternative is SR14)

See entire map here:  http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/programs/statewide_rail/proj_sections/palmdale_burbank/P-B_Alignment_Map_Sept_2018.pdf

 

Click on image

Click on image to enlarge

Sun Valley Area – Maps from CHSRA 2016-2017

Detail tunnel construction showing routes that are fully bored, cut-and-cover, & above ground/at surface.

The first two images were prepared from maps dated February 23, 2017 obtained from CHSRA through a public records request and annotated by SAFE for clarity. The third and fourth images help give context and dimensions regarding the cut-and-cover process: Third image shows both E2’s path and depth profile; Fourth image illustrates the different footprints for various construction methods. Click images to enlarge. See links below to see more route “profile” information. The fifth & sixth images provide detail information of where the 3 routes are most specifically to the Valley.

The last two images represent documents that are testament to how infeasible tunneling through the Angeles National Forest truly is.

Stonehurst-Area-E2-cut-cover-2
SR14E1cutcover
Profile-Map-E2
HSR-Train-footprint
Click here for CHSRA's map that delineates between cut and over and deep bored tunnels.

Click image above for CHSRA’s larger map that delineates between cut and over and deep bored tunnels.

Click image above to see enlarged map with street names of locations of the 3 alternative routes.

Click image above to see enlarged map with street names of locations of the 3 alternative routes.

Bill Eick's Letter regarding the CHSRA's Geotechnical Tunnel Feasibility Study - click image to READ.

Bill Eick’s Letter regarding the CHSRA’s Geotechnical Tunnel Feasibility Study – click image to READ.

Click image to READ the CHSRA's Geotechnical Tunnel Feasibility Evaluation. This study had to be obtained through a public records request.

Click image to READ the CHSRA’s Geotechnical Tunnel Feasibility Evaluation. This study had to be obtained through a public records request.


Profile and Depth Maps Issued from CHSRA, August, 2016
Fly-over Videos Issued September 16, 2016

These are the Profile and Depth Maps and also the Fly-over videos for the three proposed routes of the California High Speed Train. Click to see all of the current and past information on CHSRA website for Palmdale to Burbank.

Palmdale to Burbank Project Section Fact Sheet – Summer 2016
Palmdale to Burbank Project Section CWG Presentation – Summer 2016
Click on the video to start, to enlarge, you can then click on the YouTube Logo or the four-corner square to go full screen

 

18-01-12---CARDENAS-Letter-on-High-Speed-Rail-Position-[Transportation;-HSR;-California]

Read Congressman

Tony Cardenas’ Letter

to CHSRA Chairman Dan

Richard dated 1-12-18

 

 

 

click on image to enlarge


LA Councilmember Rodriguez letter to CHSRA

Click image to enlarge

Letter from CD7 Councilmember Monica Rodriguez to CHSRA

On November 11, 2017, Councilmember Monica Rodriguez sent this letter to Dan Richards, Chairman of the CHSRA requesting an alternative alignment for the Palmdale to Burbank route. The financial resource savings would go to improving the Metrolink (Antelope Valley Line), avoiding the high cost problems of tunneling through the San Gabriel National Monument, thereby preserving the open spaces, homes and ranches of the San Fernando Valley.

Letter from LA County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger to CHSRA

As Supervisor Kathryn Barger states in her letter to Mr. Richards submitted November 14, 2017, “I join with my colleague Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez in my concern regarding the current proposed routes.” Both of these elected officials are encouraging CHSRA to include an alternate alignment from Palmdale to Burbank that precludes the need to go through the Angeles National Forest, because “These communities and the Angeles National Forest are vital resources within Los Angeles County and must be protected.”

LA County 5th District Supervisor's letter to CHSRA

Click image to enlarge


Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

Support Letter from Legislators Bocanegra, Portantino and Hertzberg for elimination of E2

California Assemblymember Bocanegra and Senators Portantino and Hertzberg recommend that CHSRA’s proposed E2 route be eliminated from consideration as…”The impact of this above and below ground route on our respective communities is not acceptable to any of us.”

Also, please read about the Bill introduced by Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra which just passed in the CA Assembly regarding the revitalization of the Pacoima and Tujunga Washes. (Click to Read the Bill)

06/01/17 – Los Angeles Daily News, “Bill to help revitalize Pacoima, Tujunga washes passes Assembly” By City News Service


More problems for HSR in So. Calif: LA supervisors blast state’s high-speed rail Palmdale to Burbank

Read the article about the June 28th Board of Supervisors Meeting

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to oppose a version of the Palmdale-to-Burbank high-speed rail segment proposed to run through the Big Tujunga Wash in the Angeles National Forest.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich recommended that the board send a letter opposing the plan — one of three alternatives set for environmental review — to county lobbyists and the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board.

The letter will also state that the board opposes any segment that would cross the Big Tujunga Wash at or above grade, and that the remaining two alternatives also pose threats to homes and wildlife areas, and press for an update on long-awaited hydrological and technical studies.
READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE


LA City Council Motion in Support of Removal of E-2 Route
Proposed by CD2 Councilmember Paul Kerkorian and Seconded by LA City Council President Herb Wesson (CD10 and temporary manager for CD7), and Mitch O’Farrell (CD13).

city-of-los-angeles-hrs-motion-9-2016-1

Read/Download the City Council Motion Supporting the Elimination of E2 – Above Grade Route

“I FURTHER MOVE that the Council express opposition to the Refined E-2 Alignment for the California High Speed Rail Authority’s Palmdale-to-Burbank project segment and any other alignments that would cross any natural segments of the Los Angeles River and its tributaries, including the Big Tujunga Wash, at or above grade within the City of Los Angeles.”


Revised Supplemental Alternatives Analysis (SAA) Reports Released April, 2016

The following Supplemental Alternative Analysis Reports have been released by CHSRA that affect our area:

Please read Ralph Vartabedian’s article from April 8, 2016 LA Times “State releases new details on possible bullet train routes” which will help you understand the magnitude of the impact to the greater Los Angeles area.


Major High Speed Rail Route Changes in Palmdale to Burbank Project Section

CHSRA-email-3-2016-thumb Click for explanatory email sent to the public by CHSRA

04/10/16 – NBC LA “News Conference” Conan Nolan interviews CHSRA Chairman Dan Richard about the revised routes of High Speed Rail.

03/17/16 – Los Angeles Times, “State revises proposed bullet train routes, but San Fernando Valley communities remain skeptical” By Ralph Vartabedian

03/17/16 – NBC Los Angeles, “SoCal High Speed Rail Route Change Has Neighbors Upset” Reported by Conan Nolan and Dennis Lahti

03/17/16 – Los Angeles Daily News, “Valley residents give proposed new bullet train routes mixed reviews” By Dana Bartholomew

03-16-16 – LA Daily News, “Bullet train to potentially change course into Southern California” By Dana Bartholomew

Taking the newly released CHSRA refined route map (March 2016) and overlaying it onto a Street Map (CLICK TO VIEW), you will better be able to see streets in more detail, not perfectly accurate, but you can magnify it more. However, please be aware that just because a route shows pink/purple and says underground, that does NOT mean it is necessarily a fully bored tunnel (this was confirmed with a CHSRA representative.) It could also mean it is cut-and-cover, eventually that part will be all underground, but they need to come in from above and that means eminent domain to those affected properties. Note the part along San Fernando Rd: that “underground section” will no doubt will be cut-and-cover.

“I am deeply disappointed in the HSR Authority’s decision to move forward with these routes through the Angeles National Forest. California needs high-speed rail — but it needs to be done in the right way, with proper thought given to how a particular route will affect communities, open space and environmental justice concerns. If a route through our communities cannot adequately address all of these important considerations, the HSR Authority may need to go back to the drawing board.”
Congressman Adam Schiff

DETAILED CHSRA ROUTE MAP USING STREET MAP

We have taken the official CHSRA map and overlaid it onto a street map so you can see a bit better where the routes go. It is not perfectly accurate due to offsets between the two maps, but close enough to see within a block where the proposed routes go.

CHSRA Route Map overplayed onto Street Map – March 2016

We Still Need Everyone’s Help!

We are still taking donations for our educational-instructional fund and our legal fund. If you don’t have the time to volunteer, please consider making a monetary donation to this important fight. (Click Here to Donate!)

Thank you!
S.A.F.E. (Save Angeles Forest for Everyone)
Sunland-Tujunga NC
Lake View Terrace NC
Kagel Canyon Civic Association
Shadow Hills Property Owners Association


The High Speed Tunnel Portal Facilities that are required through the San Gabriel National Monument and the Angeles National Forest!

For an eye opening understanding of the infrastructure necessary to support the tunnel through the forest, please read: TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM – High-Speed Train Tunnel Portal Facilities TM 2.4.6.
Keep in mind, one acre is approximately the size of a football field without the end zones! There is above ground impact to the forest other than just the tunneling!

Must See! – “Build It Bigger: Mega Tunnel”

See what the Tunnel Boring Machine is all about.
45 minute video of just what will be happening if those tunnels are approved in our neighborhoods.
boring-machine-video


Links to SAFE and/or Community Important Events

“DON’T RAILROAD US” LAWN SIGNS!

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You need a lawn sign and you can get one simply by making a $10 donation. To order, just click on the PayPal button below! After we receive your order, we will contact you to arrange delivery. These lawn signs are an important backdrop to help people be aware and engaged.

Order Your Lawn Sign NOW!




 

PARA ESPAÑOL. Hay un traductor automático en esta aplicación en la esquina izquierda al final de cada página. Haga ‘click’ en “Select Language” y seleccione ‘Spanish’. La traducción es lo que se llama ‘traducción de maquina’, esto le dará una idea del contenido. Para preguntas; por favor mande un mensaje a safe@dontrailroad.us ¡Gracias!

 

S.A.F.E. – Save Angeles Forest for Everyone

S.A.F.E. was organized to stop the California High Speed Rail Authority from building train routes within the Palmdale to Burbank project section that damaged our local communities, the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and the Angeles National Forest. The so-called “East Corridor” includes routes that would travel approximately 35 miles over, under and through our communities and open space. Locally impacted communities include: Kagel Canyon, Lake View Terrace, Sunland-Tujunga, Shadow Hills, La Tuna Canyon and Sun Valley. Potential impacts, from both operational and construction phases, include damage to our community character, water resources, visual and aesthetics, noise and vibration, truck traffic and air quality, human and animal health, equestrian culture and industry and economy. We are working in unity with neighboring communities similarly impacted by high speed rail proposals including Pacoima, San Fernando, Santa Clarita, Acton and Agua Dulce.

Don’t Railroad Our Communities! Read all the facts and history of this project and get involved!


OUR POSITION ON PALMDALE TO BURBANK PROJECT SECTION EAST CORRIDOR ALTERNATIVES


It is very apparent that HSR has the “cart ahead of the horse” at this juncture in this region…pun intended…from both an engineering/design and communications standpoint, and is struggling to develop the right strategy to build and communicate within densely populated communities. It was shocking to us that HSR, with its vast array of financial, engineering, technical and political/communications resources, could propose the flawed Corridors E1 and E2.

For starters, each of the East Corridor alternatives violates the premise and spirit of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and Angeles National Forest, and we challenge whether the routes legally adhere to the definition of “existing transportation and utility corridors” as required by the enabling legislation and Proposition 1A, as approved narrowly by California voters. The East Corridor alternatives tunnel directly under the heart of the residential, equestrian communities of Shadow Hills, La Tuna Canyon, Lake View Terrace, Kagel Canyon, Sun Valley and Burbank. These alternatives create damage of varying degrees to nearby Sunland/Tujunga, Pacoima and San Fernando, affecting equestrians and recreation enthusiasts from throughout LA County who use the Northeast San Fernando Valley for their equestrian and varied recreation pursuits.

The overall reputation, quality of life and historic equestrian culture of our Foothill communities would be decimated by the construction of multiple, gaping tunnel openings and an elevated rail line over our flood plain, equestrian trail network and recreation/open space areas. In addition, the local equestrian-related economy (which exceeds $100 million in value annually, not including equestrian real estate nor indirect economic benefits) consisting of horse sales, boarding, feeding, shoeing/trim, trucks, trailers, veterinarians and insurance would be devastated.

CONGRESSMAN SCHIFF REAFFIRMS AND DETAILS HIS OPPOSITION TO HIGH SPEED RAIL THROUGH ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST

Schiff decries proposal for high-speed rail tunnel below Angeles National Forest
Congressman calls route underneath Angeles National Forest ‘implausible.’

From the Glendale News-Press By Arin Mikailian January 15, 2015 | 6:26 p.m.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) is speaking out against the proposed idea of having high-speed rail tracks run through underground tunnels beneath the Angeles National Forest to connect Palmdale and Burbank and calls the alternative a costly dead-end.

California’s High-Speed Rail Authority plans to study having a section of the rail pass through the southwestern part of the forest…READ ENTIRE STORY

This economic loss does not include the permanent property value and other non-equestrian-related sales tax loss that the State and local government agencies would lose due to HSR’s use of eminent domain and devaluation of “survivor” properties.

We have projected the severe damage created by HSR’s East Corridor proposal, however preliminary or conceptual HSR intended, in its construction and operational phases. This comprehensive analysis, similar to but far less costly than an EIR/EIS, should lead you to eliminate the East Corridor alternatives immediately from further consideration.

We also believe HSR has a fiduciary responsibility to the State and its taxpayers to operate efficiently per the legislation. Already, the introduction and study of far-fetched and flawed alternatives such as E1 and E2 represents a waste of time and taxpayer monies. Including these infeasible alternatives in the EIR/EIS will compound the wastefulness as well as raise serious legal issues related to NEPA and CEQA.

We have organized our analysis so that the most heavily impacted communities/open space areas are discussed:
· Shadow Hills/La Tuna Canyon/Sun Valley
· Lake View Terrace
· Kagel Canyon
· Big Tujunga Wash/Hansen Dam Recreation Area
· San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and Angeles National Forest

CALIFORNIA HIGH-SPEED RAIL PROPOSALS WILL DESTROY OUR FOOTHILL COMMUNITIES!

• Bullet Train Tunnels and Lines Dug/Located Under, Over and Through Our Communities

• Eminent Domain – Your House Could be Taken from You at a Financial Loss

• Property Values and Your Home’s Equity (Your Life’s Savings!) Devastated

• 60+ Foot Wide Tunnel Openings, Speeding Train and Elevated Bridge Visible/Audible for Miles

• Horses, Wildlife and Public Safety Seriously Endangered

• Serious Health Issues Due to Dust, Truck Emissions, Noise and Vibration

• Equestrian and Recreation Trails Closed and Destroyed; Equestrian Industry and Lifestyle Decimated

• Constant Noise and Visual Blight for Hundreds of Thousands of Residents and Motorists Daily

• Water Pollution Created; Water Supply Threatened

• 1 Million Plus Truck Trips to Remove Tunnel Dirt Damages Roads, Pollutes Air, Closes Roads, Jams Traffic

• National Monument, National Forest, Rim of the Valley and Wildlife Corridors Violated

• False, Misleading Claims by HSR re: Costs, Jobs, Economic Benefits & Ridership Projections

“Legislation requires high speed rail to be built in existing transportation and utility corridors.”

“Our elected officials should move away from the presumption that high speed rail will happen at any cost and move more toward demanding it be done right and cost-effectively…or not done at all.”


We invite you to join us in stopping the HSR.
Please explore our website, download our papers, and let your voice be heard!