CARRD HSR Overview CARRD

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					California High Speed Rail Project


                Palo Alto Chamber of
                Commerce
                May 27, 2010
CARRD

   Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design
   Founders
     – Nadia Naik, Sara Armstrong, Elizabeth Alexis, Rita
        Wespi
    –   Palo Alto base, State wide focus
   We are not transportation experts, we are not lawyers
   Contact info
    –   website: www.calhsr.com
    –   email: info@carrdnet.org
CARRD Approach

   Process focus
    –   Collaborative, open, constructive approach
    –   We do NOT advocate for a particular implementation or
        route
   Engage community and encourage participation
    –   Wisdom of crowds, creative solutions
    –   Tools for self-advocacy
   Watchdogs for
    –   Transparency – push to get more information public
    –   Accountability – demand professionalism, accuracy
    –   Oversight – encourage State Senate, Peer Review
California High Speed Rail Project

   1980’s – California begins researching HSR
   1993 – California Inter-City High Speed Rail
    Commission
   1994 – Federal “High Speed Rail Development Act”
    creates five national HSR corridors
   2002 – First bond measure proposed but delayed
   2004 – Statewide system studied
   2005 – Ridership surveys and studies
   2008 – Bay Area to Central Valley EIR
   November 2008 - Prop 1A authorized State Bond
    Funds
    –   plan, construct and operate a High Speed Train system
        from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim
HSR System

   800 mile network
   Electric powered trains
    via overhead contact
    wires
   Maximum speed of 220
    miles per hour
   Fully grade-separated,
    dedicated track
    alignment
   Automated safety
    systems (Positive train
    control)
California HSR Governance

   High Speed Rail Authority
     – 9 appointed Board members
     – less than dozen state employees
     – 4 tiered web of consultants / contractors do the bulk of the
       work
   Legislature – controls State bond funds
     – Senate Transportation & Housing - Lowenthal
     – Senate Budget Subcommittee 2 – Simitian
     – Legislative Analysts Office
   Peer Review Committee
     – 8 appointed members (5 of 8 so far)
     – No staff, no meetings (yet). Update: budget allocated
   Federal Agencies – FRA, FTA
Funding Plan

   Backbone System Cost: $42.6 billion
    –   Federal Grants $17 - $19 billion
    –   State Bond Funds $9 billion (Prop 1A)
    –   Local Contributions $4 - $5 billion
    –   Private Investors $10 - $12 billion
   Awarded $2.25 billion stimulus funds (we
    only get it if we make the deadlines)
   Plan calls for $3 Billion in Federal funding
    every year for 6 yrs
Environmental Review Process

   Mandated by California Environmental Quality
    Act (CEQA)
   Administrative, linear process
   Applicant studies impacts, mitigations,
    alternatives
   Lead Agency certifies the studies
   Responsible for enforcing CEQA: you!
   You must participate in the process to have
    any recourse if you don’t like the final
    decision
                                     San Francisco
                                      - San Jose

                                      San Jose -
                                       Merced

                                       Merced -
                                       Fresno


                                       Fresno -
                                      Bakersfield
                                                     2005




                                     Bakersfield -
                                      Palmdale

Ridership Study / Analysis / Model    Palmdale –
                                     Los Angeles
                                                            Statewide EIR
                                                                            Tiered Approach to CEQA




                                     Los Angeles -
                                       Anaheim
    Bay Area to Central Valley

   Program Level analyzed
    two routes
     –   East Bay via Altamont
     –   Peninsula via Pacheco
   Pacheco Route / Caltrain
    Corridor Selected
     –   Litigation challenged the
         decision.
     –   EIR decertified and re-
         circulated.
   Altamont corridor will be
    an “overlay” to main HSR
    line
San Francisco to San Jose

   Caltrain Corridor
   Caltrain + HSRA =
    Peninsula Rail Program
   Caltrain and Freight will
    continue operations
    during construction
Structural & Operational changes

             Current                              Proposed
Commuter + Freight                  Commuter + Freight + HSR

Diesel engines, manual control      Electric trains w/ PTC
                                    (freight trains remain diesel)

2 tracks; passing tracks; freight   4 track system, freight spurs
spurs
47 grade level crossings            Fully grade separated
12 trains/hr peak                   20 HS trains/hr peak +
                                    20 Caltrains/hr peak
79 mph max speed                    125 mph max speed
SF – SJ via Baby Bullet: 57 min     SF – SJ via HSR: 30 min
SF – SJ Build Costs &Timeline

   Project Costs
    –   $6.14 B in Year of Expenditure $
    –   ARRA award set up $400M for Transbay
        Terminal
   Timeline
    –   Dec 2010 - Draft EIR
    –   Jul 2011 – Final EIR
    –   Sep 2011 – Record of Decision
    –   Winter 2012 – Begin construction
    –   Summer 2019 – Revenue Service
Palo Alto

   Track Configuration
    –   2 additional tracks needed
    –   Constrained right of way widths near
        Paly/Southgate
   Grade Separations
    –   Alma, Churchill, Meadow, Charleston
   Potential HSR Station
    –   Station design options
    –   Local requirements & contributions
    –   Selection Process
Palo Alto Right of Way*




                                                               96 ft
                                                               85 ft
                                                               79 ft




*Approximate – not perfectly to scale. Not official diagram.
                                     Width
   Type            Design           approx      Cost
                                  80-105     3X base
Above Grade     Aerial Viaduct

                   At Grade       95-105     Highly
 At Grade      (Road over/under              variable
                    pass)
                 Open Trench      100        3.5X base

              Cut & cover (trench) 100-140   5X base
Below Grade

                 Bored tunnel     70-115     7X base
Aerial Viaduct
               At Grade
(Cars can NOT go over like they do today)




   Highly Variable based road
   and property configuration
Trench
Cut and Cover
Deep Bored Tunnel – High Speed Rail ONLY
Palo Alto Alternatives Carried Forward
Palo Alto Alternatives Eliminated

   Berm/Retained fill eliminated
    –   Where: throughout Palo Alto
    –   Why: community objection
   Open Trench, Closed Trench, Viaduct
    –   Where: Alma
    –   Why: El Palo Alto & San Fransisquito Creek,
        Historic Train Station
   Underground Station & deep tunnel Caltrain
    –   Where: corridor wide
    –   Why: cost constraints
Mid Peninsula Station

   One or none of
    –   Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View
   Palo Alto has second highest Caltrain
    ridership (followed by Mountain View)
   Station designs currently being studied
   Local requirements
    –   Parking, transit facilities
    –   Funding support
   City of Palo Alto has not taken a formal
    position
Getting Involved

   With HSRA
    –   Officially via comments to the Environmental Review
        process
    –   As a CSS Stakeholder
   With your community
    –   PAN and other grassroots groups
    –   City of Palo Alto
            Palo Alto HSR Subcommittee meetings (1st & 3rd Thurs 8:30
             am)
    –   Peninsula Cities Consortium
            www.peninsularail.com
    –   County, State and National Legislators
    –   Talk to your friends
Tips on writing a good comment

   Be Objective and Specific
    –   Whenever possible, present facts or expert
        opinions.
    –   If not, provide personal experience or your
        personal observations. Don't just complain
   Separate your concerns into clearly
    identifiable paragraphs or headings. Don't
    mix topics.
Areas of Study

   Air Quality                   Visual Quality & Aesthetics
   Noise / Vibration             Parks & Recreational
   Traffic and Circulation        Facilities
   Land Use, Development,        Historic / Archeological
    Planning, & Growth             Resources
   Biological Resources          Hazards and Hazardous
   Wetlands / Waters of the       Materials
    U.S.                          Community Impacts /
   Flood Hazards,                 Environmental Justice
    Floodplains, and Water        Construction Impacts
    Quality                       Cumulative Impacts
Catalog community assets

   Identify “sensitive” areas
    –   Historic Resources
    –   Natural Resources
            Open space, trees, wildlife, wetlands/creeks
    –   Sensitive areas
            Schools, hospitals, places of worship, funeral homes
            Parklands
    –   Business Interests
   Describe community values
Identify Impacts & Mitigations

   Identify the specific impact in question
   Explain the significance of effect
   Consider ways to avoid or reduce severity
    –   Describe additional mitigation measure(s)
        needed
    –   Recommend changes in proposed mitigations
   Support your recommendations
   Quantify your concerns whenever possible
Suggest Alternatives

   Offer specific alternatives
   Describe how they meet the requirements of
    the project
   Can be on specific alignments, operations,
    financing, etc
   Suggest different analysis methodologies
Help provide accurate record

   Point out any inconsistencies in the
    document or the data
   Point out outdated information or
   Errors in logic
   Focus on the sufficiency of the information in
    identifying and analyzing the possible
    impacts of the project on the environment
Remember

   Don’t be overwhelmed
   You know your community – just write about it
   The burden of proof is on the Authority – not you!
   If you don’t offer ideas, we miss a chance for
    “Best Practices”

          Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Thank You!


    For more information:
    www.calhsr.com
    info@carrdnet.org
Context Sensitive Solutions

   Collaborative approach
    –   Involves all
        stakeholders
    –   Works by consensus
    –   Balance transportation
        needs and community
        values
   Proven Process
   Adopted by Peninsula
    Rail Program for SF-SJ
    –   First time it is being
        used on a Rail Project
    –   “Toolkit” to collect
        community information
Climate

   Incredibly ambitious & complex project
    –   Technical, funding, political, environmental, procedural
        challenges
    –   Recognized benefits
    –   Tremendous costs
   Bunker mentality
   Community Skepticism
    –   Extent of impacts
    –   Lack of specificity
    –   Change is often painful
   Economic meltdown, budget crisis
Grassroots Landscape

   Groups throughout the State – each with their
    own focus
   Common theme: Serve to educate elected
    officials & public on the issues
   Act as watchdogs for process – request
    information and access to data used for
    decisions
   Speak publicly at Senate, Assembly, City
    meetings, etc.
Context Sensitive Solutions Steps
Context Sensitive Solutions

   Collaborative approach
    –   Involves all stakeholders
    –   Works by consensus
    –   Balance transportation needs and community
        values
   Proven Process
   Adopted by Peninsula Rail Program for SF-
    SJ
    –   First time it is being used on a Rail Project
    –   “Toolkit” to collect community information
CSS Toolkit

   Available at Caltrain/Peninsula Rail Program
    Website
   Seeks community feedback on all alignment
    options
   Serves as a framework
    –   Do not feel confined by the template – you can
        elaborate
    –   You can write your comments too!
   Early participation is the best way to ensure
    your ideas and concerns are incorporated
Altamont Corridor Project
Bay Area to Central Valley Issues

   Cumulative Impacts
    –   Altamont + Pacheco
   Ridership Claims
    –   May 6, 2010: legal action seeks to reopen Court’s
        decision
   New Altamont route proposal
   Union Pacific Position
    –   “no part of the high-speed rail corridor may be located on
        (or above, except for overpasses) UP’s rights of way at
        any location. To the extent the Authority ignores this
        position, its revised EIR is deficient.”
Example – Noise Pollution

   Provide inventory of sensitive areas
    –   assume most impactful alternative
            900 feet on either side of tracks
            1/4 mile radius from Stations
   Be Specific
    –   document location, population, hours, layout
    –   reference standards (City, Federal, WHO, etc)
    –   request specific analyses and mitigations
    –   Identify any omissions, inaccuracies and errors in
        the document
Menlo Park

 Alternatives
Menlo Park

   Track Configuration
    –   2 additional tracks needed
    –   Right of Way width < 100 ft thru most of City
            Wakins ~ 85 ft
            Encinal ~ 75 ft
            Glenwood – Oak Grove ~ 60 ft
            South of Station ~ 80-100 ft
   Grade Separations
    –   (Watkins), Encinal, Glenwood, Oak Grove,
        Ravenswood, (Alma)
   Caltrain Station reconfiguration
Alternatives for Menlo Park
Menlo Park Alternatives Eliminated

   Berm/Retained Fill
    –   Where: throughout city
    –   Why: widespread community opposition
   Open Trench
    –   Where: border w/ Palo Alto
    –   Why: San Francisquito Creek & El Palo Alto
   Deep Tunnel for Caltrain
    –   Where: corridor wide
    –   Why: excessive cost
Mountain View

  Alternatives
Mountain View

   Additional 2 tracks
    –   Minimum 79 feet of ROW
   Grade Separations
    –   Rengstorff, Castro
   Potential HSR Station
    –   Station design options
    –   Local requirements & contributions
    –   Selection Process
Mountain View Alternatives

				
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