Revised Supplemental Alternatives Analysis (SAA) Reports Released April, 2016
The following Supplemental Alternative Analysis Reports have been released by CHSRA that affect our area:
Major High Speed Rail Route Changes in Palmdale to Burbank Project Section
Late evening of March 15, 2016, S.A.F.E. learned about the deletion of the proposed route E3 and the changes to routes SR14, E1, and E2. In a letter from Chair, Dan Richard of CHSRA:
Specifically, we have refined the alignment alternatives in order to, among other reasons:
- Reduce and largely avoid environmental justice impacts in the highly-populated communities of Santa Clarita, Sylmar, San Femando and Pacoima.
- Reduce impacts in the Santa Clarita area.
- Improve future high-speed rail operations on all the alignments under study by making them less circuitous, thus allowing for more efficient, quicker service.
- Improve the constructability of a1l the alignments
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.
Community Advisory for High Speed Rail Letters
The community was advised late last week that California High Speed Rail was about to send out a new round of letters to the community asking for permission from land owners to enter their property to conduct tests for the proposed new CAHSR alternative routes. This letter could be headed in your direction depending on where you live.
The previous proposed routes have been changed so it is imperative that you pay attention. If you previously thought this was going to avoid your property, you need to look at the new map (Click to view (or download) full PDF map). These new proposed routes should be further detailed by the middle of next week.
The Permission to Enter (PTE) letters seek your permission to enter your property. Your are NOT required to grant that permission or you can limit the terms of that entry. This is all up to you individually. Please note that SAFE and other organizations are actively monitoring the actions of CAHSR. We have very serious concerns about and will oppose any above ground routes including any routes over the Big Tujunga Wash.
As part of keeping track of what is going on, would each of you who receive a PTE letter please send us a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will help us confirm the routes. Also, please let us know if you have granted permission.
Come Meet the Candidates for the 25th Senate District & the 5th Supervisorial District
Come meet the candidates for the 25th Senate District and the 5th Supervisorial District. Will be a mixer format and then formal Q&A (including questions from the audience) section to follow. Refreshments will be served.
Wednesday, June 1 at 6 PM – 9 PM
Tierra del Sol Foundation
9919 Sunland Blvd, Sun Valley, California 91040
39th District Assembly Candidate Forum
Sponsored by Shadow Hills Property Owners Association
California Water4All Petition & Petition Locations
To sign the petition to get it on the November 2016 ballot, the following locations are hosting petition drives:
- Mobile Gas Station: 8360 Sunland Blvd, Sun Valley, CA 91352
- Gibson Ranch: 9655 Wentworth St, Sunland-Tujunga, CA 91040
- East Valley Feed & Tack: 11084 Sheldon St, Sun Valley, CA 91352
- Mustang Cleaners: 11355 Foothill Blvd, Sylmar, CA 91342
- Valencia Saddlery: 11355-C Foothill Blvd, Sylmar, CA 91342
- Rise ‘n Shine: 9685 Sunland Blvd, Sunland-Tujunga, CA 91040
- Bell Cottage: 3816 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505 (2-3 blks e/o Porto’s on Magnolia s/s of street)
Do you have petitions that are completed? EMAIL US BY USING THE FORM ON THIS PAGE (SUBJECT:PETITIONS) and we will arrange to get them from you and send them in! Of course, you can always send them in yourself. Send to (must arrive by April 20):
California Water Alliance
PO Box 1267
Hanford, CA 93232
Make certain you, as a petition circulator, sign the bottom of each form. The petitions can be folded to put into the envelope. Please make sure you have the correct postage.
A Walk through E2 During a Downpour!
David DePinto narrates a walk by Haines Canyon Creek during a rainstorm on Jan. 6, 2016. This is where California High Speed Rail Authority has proposed one of the routes (E2) to be located.
SAFE & Mineta’s Equine Issues Report
The following is a letter sent to Mineta Transportation Institute regarding the recently released report they issued to CHSRA on “High-Speed Rail and Equine Issues.” S.A.F.E. has many problems with their findings. Please read both their report and S.A.F.E.’s letter in response that has also been sent to our elected officials. The following is the cover letter to the Executive Director of Mineta Transportation Institute:
Dear Ms. Philbrick:
Attached is a letter to you in your capacity of Executive Director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) from the S.A.F.E. Coalition. The letter relates to MTI’s work on the high speed train studies for the California High Speed Rail Authority. We represent the impacted and damaged communities throughout CHSRA’s “Burbank to Palmdale Project Section.”
The document outlines our Coalition’s issues with CHSRA in its selection of MTI for the aforementioned work, calls for MTI to withdraw immediately the Equine Study, calls for MTI to withdraw immediately from further work on a tunneling study, calls for MTI to recommend to CHSRA the need for independent, third-party field studies of the impact of high speed trains on equines/equestrian areas, and provides extensive comments on the inadequacies of the Equine Study.
Further, this letter is to inform you that we have filed a complaint with the State Auditor, under the California Whistleblower Protection Act, asking for their review of the implications of the California High Speed Rail Authority having engaged MTI in these studies.
President, Shadow Hills Property Owners Assn.
Member, S.A.F.E Coalition
Read the Los Angeles Times article by Ralph Vartabedian “Horse owners in the San Fernando Valley feel trod on by bullet train” This article also mentions the Mineta Report
S.A.F.E. is focusing on the short-term objective of getting E2, with its horrendous above ground features, removed from further consideration. Make no mistake, we remain very concerned and vigilant about ALL ROUTES through the Forest but E2 is the worst for people, open space, businesses and sensitive environmental areas – it is BOTH in the Forest AND above ground across our treasured Big Tujunga Wash!
NEW! – 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.
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!
Click to Download the Palmdale to Burbank SAA Report – Supplemental Alternatives Analysis Report released for the 6/9/15 CHSRA Board Meeting
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!)
S.A.F.E. (Save Angeles Forest for Everyone)
Lake View Terrace NC
Kagel Canyon Civic Association
Shadow Hills Property Owners Association
The Latest about CA High Speed Rail
Check out our UPDATE PAGE on the latest from S.A.F.E. and the CA High Speed Rail Authority.
- 05/23/16 – Los Angeles Times, “Horse owners in the San Fernando Valley feel trod on by bullet train” By Ralph Vartabedian
- 05/22/16 – The Wall Street Journal, “Opinion: California’s Bullet Train to Whenever – Maybe the choo-choo will be built someday, heading somewhere” By WSJ Editorial Staff
- 05/18/16 – Politico, “High-speed rail gets a four-year delay, The first segment of the California bullet train won’t run till 2022 at the earliest”
- 05/15/16 – Orange County Register, “Opinion: California’s train of fraught” By Baruch Feigenbaum
- 05/04/16 – LA Times, “Editorial Californians deserve more transparency on bullet train finances” By The Times Editorial Board
- 04/22/16 – The Los Angeles Daily News, “Fiscal scrutiny long overdue for bullet train ” By The Editorial Board, LA Daily News
- 04/21/16 – Los Angeles Times, “Rail authority revises bullet train plan to link Merced to initial operating segment” By Ralph Vartabedian
- 04/21/16 – The Los Angeles Daily News, “California high-speed rail officials tinker with $64B plan” By Juliet Williams, The Associated Press
- 04/20/16 – Los Angeles Times, “Bullet train agency is expected to go forward with business plan despite widespread criticism” By Ralph Vartabedian
- 04/18/16 – Los Angeles Times, “Lawmakers seek to tighten bullet train oversight, suggesting growing concern about the project” By Ralph Vartabedian
- 04/13/16 – Independent Institute, “California’s High-Speed Rail Authority Wins Dishonor of the California Golden Fleece Award” By Lawrence J. McQuillan
- 04/12/16 – Los Angeles Times, “San Fernando Valley residents sound off on proposed bullet train routes” By Ralph Vartabedian
- 04/11/16 – Orange County Register, “Opinion: Bullet train still on track to go almost nowhere” By Orange County Register Editorial
- 04/08/16 – Los Angeles Times, “State releases new details on possible bullet train routes” By Ralph Vartabedian
- 3/31/16 – Fox11 Los Angeles, “Point of View: High speed rail changing course” By Vice-President & General Manager Bob Cook
- 03/28/16 – Los Angeles Times, “What’s ahead for bullet train funding? Hearing outlines the many risks” By Ralph Vartabedian
- 03/28/16 – Los Angeles Daily News, “Opinion – Light rail doing fine; not so for bullet train” By Thomas D. Elias
- 03/28/16 – Los Angeles Times, “Changes could add hundreds of millions of dollars to first 29 miles of bullet train” By Ralph Vartabedian
- 03/28/16 – Los Angeles Times, “Doubts about bullet train rising in Southern California” By Ralph Vartabedian
- 03/27/16 – The Economist, “Taxpayers could pay dearly for California’s high-speed-train dreams”
- 03/21/16 – CalWatchdog.com, “Bullet-train route change doesn’t win over many” By Chris Reed
- 03/18/16 – Los Angeles Times, “State has funds to build first segment of bullet train, legislative analyst finds” By Ralph Vartabedian
- 03/18/16 – Forbes, “California’s High Speed Rail System Just Isn’t Economic: Kill It, Kill It Now” By Tim Worstall
- 03/07/16 – The Hamilton Report, “Review of CHSRA 2016 Business Plan- Part 2” By Kathy Hamilton
- 03/07/16 – The Hamilton Report, “Review of CHSRA 2016 Business Plan- Part 1” By Kathy Hamilton
- 03/04/16 – Los Angeles Times, “New bullet train plan delays opening of the first leg by three years” By Ralph Vartabedian
- 02/23/16 – Wired Magazine, “Naysayers Force California’s Bullet Train to Change Tack” By Nick Stockton
- 02/19/16 – Orange County Register, “OPINION: Bullet train an ever-shifting mirage” By Orange County Register Editorial
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, E2 and E3.
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, E2 and E3 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.”