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!

The 2020 Business Plan is the main focus of this meeting.  Comments can also be submitted by going to:  www.hsr.ca.gov and clicking on the “submit comments” button.

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

Read latest articles/press releases/letters

HOT OFF THE PRESS!  SAFE wrote a letter dated 8/1/19 to state elected officials urging them to compel restoration of thousands of pages removed from the www.hsr.ca.gov website.  Click here to read

10-09-19:  Los Angeles Times:  Metrolink proposes new trains from Burbank to Anaheim, using billions from bullet train

09-18-19: Biz Journal:  San Jose high-speed rail changes need money; Sen. Beall has ideas where to get it

09-17-19:  Fresno Bee: Bullet train board approves SJ valley to San Jose amid backlash

09-16-19:  Los Angeles Times: California bullet train land snafus add to delays, costs

07-30-19:  Los Angeles Times: In a blow to the bullet train, California might shift billions to L.A. and Bay Area projects

07-26-19:  Los Angeles Times:California bullet train authority gets U.S. permission to handle its environmental reviews

07-26-19: Los Angeles Times:  High-speed rail management shake up

07-25-19:  Fresno Bee:  State wins federal OK for HSR environmental review

07-24-19:  California Globe: HSR removes THOUSANDS of documents from website

07-22-19:  High Speed Rail Website Removes Thousands of Pages of Documents Assemblyman Patterson Demands Their Return

06-14-19 SAFE letter to Attorney General William Barr

06-14-19:  Los Angeles Times Editorial Board:  California lawmakers are turning cap-and-trade into the slush fund critics long feared

6-10-19:  Los Angeles Times:  High-speed rail route took land from farmers. The money they’’re owed hasn’t arrived

6-04-19:  Los Angeles Times:  California’s top bullet train consultant is suspended amid a state ethics probe

06-01-19:  On California’s high-speed rail project, combatant Kings County is ready to settle

05-21-19:  Los Angeles Times:  California high-speed rail agency sues Trump administration for canceling grant

05-16-19: FRA Letter to CHSRA Brian Kelly De-Obligating $929 million grant

05-16-19:  Los Angeles Times:  Trump administration cancels $929-million grant for California bullet train

05-03-19:  SF Chronicle’s Editorial Board:  California’s struggling high-speed rail plan can’t afford more failures

05-01-19: Mercury News:  Construction must accelerate or the state risks losing billions in federal dollars

05-01-19: Los Angeles Times:  On high speed rail project, Newsom to scale back consultants

For older articles, please go to “News & Letters” tab


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 ourconcern, 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


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

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


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“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

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 Improvement Association
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.

Links to SAFE and/or Community Important Events



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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.

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[/two_third]


• 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.”