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									California High Speed Rail Project



                Menlo Park Rotary Club
                May 26, 2010
CARRD Approach

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

l   November 2008 - Prop 1A authorized State Bond 
    Funds
    –   plan, construct and operate a High Speed Train 
        system from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim
l   Governance
    –   High Speed Rail Authority
         l   9 appointed Board members
         l   less than dozen state employees
         l   4 tiered web of consultants / contractors do the bulk of 
             the work
    –   Legislature – controls State bond funds
    –   Peer Review Committee
         l   8 appointed members (5 of 8 so far)
         l   No staff, no meetings Update: budget allocated
HSR System

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

l   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
l   Awarded $2.25 billion stimulus funds (we 
    only get it if we make the deadlines)
l   Plan calls for $3 Billion in Federal funding 
    every year for 6 yrs
Environmental Review Process

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

                                      San Jose -


                                                         2008
                                       Merced         Bay Area -
                                                     CentralValley
                                       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

l   Program Level 
    analyzed two routes
    –   East Bay via Altamont
    –   Peninsula via Pacheco
l   Pacheco Route along 
    Caltrain Corridor 
    Selected
    –   Litigation challenged 
        the decision. 
    –   EIR decertified and re
        -circulated. 
Bay Area to Central Valley Issues

l   Cumulative Impacts
    –   Altamont + Pacheco
l   Ridership Claims
    –   May 6, 2010: legal action seeks to reopen Court’s 
        decision
l   New Altamont route proposal
l   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.”
San Francisco to San Jose

l   Caltrain Corridor
l   Caltrain + HSRA = 
    Peninsula Rail Program
l   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
Menlo Park

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

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



   How we got here & how 
   you can help
Getting Involved

l   With HSRA
    –   Officially  via comments to the Environmental 
        Review process
    –   As a CSS Stakeholder
l   With your community
    –   Grassroots groups
    –   City of Menlo Park
    –   County, State and National Legislators
    –   Talk to your friends
Upcoming Menlo Park Meetings

l   June 1st – Alternatives Analysis Meeting
    –   6pm in this room
l   June 22nd – Menlo Park City Council Meeting 
    on HSR discussing city’s response to 
    Preliminary AA
Context Sensitive Solutions

l   Collaborative approach
    –   Involves all stakeholders 
    –   Works by consensus 
    –   Balance transportation needs and community 
        values
l   Proven Process
l   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

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

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

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

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

l   Point out any inconsistencies in the 
    document or the data
l   Point out outdated information or 
l   Errors in logic
l   Focus on the sufficiency of the information in 
    identifying and analyzing the possible 
    impacts of the project on the environment
Example – Noise Pollution

l   Provide inventory of sensitive areas
    –   assume most impactful alternative 
         l   900 feet on either side of tracks
         l   1/4 mile radius from Stations
l   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
Remember

l   Don’t be overwhelmed 
l   You know your community – just write about it
l   The burden of proof is on the Authority – not you!
l   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 Steps
Altamont Corridor Project
CARRD

l   Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design
     –   Grassroots volunteer organization
     –   Process focus 
     –   Engage community and encourage participation
     –   Watchdog for transparency
     –   Do NOT advocate for a particular implementation or route

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

								
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