At tonight’s Sylmar Neighorhood Council meeting, four different motions were overwhelmingly passed affirming Sylmar’s opposition to high speed trains throughout the region and their desire to work closely with the SAFE Coalition. In addition to opposing routes E1, E2 and SR14 as part of a formal comment submission on the currently pending 2018 Business Plan, the Council voted to request a CHSRA board meeting in the NE San Fernando Valley, to designate several representatives to participate in ongoing SAFE Coalition meetings, and to submit a Community Impact Statement (CIS) calling for City Council action and amended wording on a long-stalled City Council motion. That last action formally brings the Sylmar NC into the “United Front” of community organizations with Foothill Trails District Neighborhood Council, Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council, Kagel Canyon Civic Assn., Lake View Terrace Improvement Assn., and Shadow Hills Property Owners Assn. Several Sylmar NC board members have been networked with SAFE Coalition for several years and championed this process of greater Sylmar participation. SAFE Coalition continues to encourage and assist the Pacoima and Sun Valley Area Neighborhood Councils to follow in Sylmar’s footsteps. The full language for the Motions are attached.
Thank you to all the members of the Council and, in particular, the members of the Land Use Committee that worked exhaustively with SAFE Coalition to study the history and status of the “$78 Billion Mistake.” and to take action to protect Sylmar and our entire NE San Fernando Valley.
Additional Notes: The SAFE Coalition was able to thank LAUSD School Board Member Kelly Gonez who was in attendance at the meeting for her recent excellent staff work and strong position paper opposing the high speed train project.
Unfortunately, Councilmember Rodriguez was not in attendance at the meeting and continues to reject all of SAFE Coalition’s overtures to meet and work together, despite receiving and ignoring more than 400 emails, letters, phone calls and written meeting requests. The result is an isolated and poorly informed Councilmember, whose stated position of promoting an old, previously rejected and delay-inducing route alternative, without DEMANDING removal of damaging existing routes first, is completely out of touch with her constituents. Stay tuned for news related to this issue and visit the SAFE website for further information at www.dontrailroad.us.
Member, SAFE Coalition
President, Shadow Hills Property Owners Assn.
March 14, 2018
Dear Councilmember Rodriguez and Staff:
Now that you’ve recently received more than 300 additional written requests from informed residents that you meet with the SAFE Coalition to work together on high speed train strategy and action, we are following up to request you propose several meeting dates and times without further delay that would be convenient for you, and then we’ll work to ensure members of the SAFE Coalition leadership group be available as well. We will also let all the people who submitted those letters know of your response.
With the 2018 Business Plan public review period underway, and with CHSRA announcing several months ago another 2 year delay in their environmental studies, we believe the timing is more critical than ever for you to join with us in demanding removal of the E1 and E2 routes as the first order of business in our community’s ongoing dealings with the Authority. That action could be taken as official comment during this Business Plan review period and would be most in keeping with the Pledge and campaign promise you made during your campaign.
As we’ve communicated to you, we too have sought consideration of the Metrolink Alternative, as well as other alternatives, and been denied by the Authority. The Mayor also raised this Alternative more than a year ago and there must not be any action by CHSRA if you needed to re-surface the Alternative nearly ten months later. Thus, we view any study of the Metrolink Alternative as a long-term, long-shot that would require another 3-5 years of environmental study if it is even proven to be in compliance with Prop 1A. Your District must not remain hostage as these long-term solutions are explored. We are calling for this action on existing routes to precede any further efforts on long-term alternatives and would constitute a very substantive City Council motion, which we have asked you to pursue many times in the past, as well.
You know it is untrue to state that you’ve met with the SAFE Coalition, which you have not done since taking office in July 2017, and we hope to see you embrace partnering on developing a solution here. We will continue to communicate with you in our capacity as the “true” Advisory Council to CD7 on the high speed train issue, and we will keep our community and community leaders updated on your response. We hope to hear from you soon on this, or we will reach out to your office once again.
President Shadow Hills Property Owners Assn.
Member, SAFE Coalition
Three new articles:
Los Angeles Times: March 9, 2018 Cost for California bullet train system rises to $77.3 billion
Daily News: March 9, 2018 Bullet train opponents call on LA leader to take stronger stance against project routes
Daily News: March 9, 2018 Cost of California bullet train surges $13 billion, more delays expected
Nine months into Councilmember Rodriguez’ first term, and less than two weeks after she and her staff snubbed all communities threatened by the high-speed train meeting by NOT attending the Unity Meeting held at All Nations Church, members of the SAFE Coalition delivered more than 225 signed letters and a petition signed by an additional 70+ residents from every community in the northeast San Fernando Valley to CD7 field offices in Pacoima, Sylmar and Sunland-Tujunga. The residents’ letters and petition call for the Councilmember to work with the SAFE Coalition in a transparent manner, to stop delaying action that would remove routes E1 and E2, and to represent their will and not her own agenda on high-speed trains.
Specifically, the residents call for Councilmember Rodriguez to lead the City Council to pass a Motion demanding immediate REMOVAL of proposed routes E1 and E2 from further consideration BEFORE focusing her attention on alternative routes that may or may not be feasible, but which will certainly require many more years of study, keeping our communities hostage indefinitely, to the benefit of the high-speed train Authority and its supporters such as unions and construction contractors.
Bottom line, due to the lack of action by Councilmember Rodriguez, our communities are no better off today with the City of LA on this issue than they were over a year ago when the Councilmember signed a Pledge and made a major campaign promise. Don’t railroad us Councilmember Rodriguez, work with us!
Tony Cardenas’ Letter
to CHSRA Chairman Dan
Richard dated 1-12-18
click on image to enlarge
Read the LA Times article dated 1/16/18 by Ralph Vartebedian: California bullet train cost surges by $2.8 billion: ‘Worst-case scenario has happened’
Watch an interview of California Representative Jim Patterson on CBS-Sacramento about the recent $2.8 billion (35%) cost overrun for the Central Valley (1/16/18):
Latest CHSRA Newsletter for the Palmdale to Burbank Project Section – sent 9/25/17
Sun Valley Area – Maps from CAHSRA –
Detail tunnel construction showing routes that are fully bored, cut-and-cover, & above ground/at surface.
Click to view the entire Palmdale to Burbank route map
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 last two 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.
Click here for CHSRA’s map that delineates between cut and over and deep bored tunnels.
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 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
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.”
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)
More problems for HSR in So. Calif: LA supervisors blast state’s high-speed rail Palmdale to Burbank
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).
“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.”
LA Times & LA Daily News Coverage of This Motion
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
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.
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.
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
- 12/15/17 – San Diego Union-Tribune, “Editorial: California’s bullet train: No CEO, no funds, no future” By The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board
- 11/17/17 – LA Daily News, “California bullet train project is burning through cash ” By The Editorial Board – LA Daily News
- 11/15/17 – LA Times, “High-speed rail authority says environmental reviews won’t be completed until 2020” by Ralph Vartabedian
- 11/02/17 – Bakersfield Now – Home of KBAK & KBFX, “Californian’s high-speed rail: Over budget and behind schedule” By Kristen Powers, Eyewitness News
- 10/29/17 – > LA Times, “Some tough choices — and pushback — along the proposed bullet train route” by Ralph Vartabedian
- 10/21/17 – LA Times, “A 13.5-mile tunnel will make or break California’s bullet train” by Ralph Vartabedian
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!
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.”