By Winston Chua
ALHAMBRA – Alhambra Councilman Steven T. Placido will lead Alhambra in putting the brakes on the California High Speed Rail Authority’s wish to complete Phase 2 of their project if the Authority’s current plans, to go through Alhambra, do not change.
“I am not in support of the high-speed rail,” said Placido, referring specifically to how the project stands in its current form (Phase 2 covers the area of the project that runs from Los Angeles and ends in San Diego). That plan would involve eradicating properties of homeowners and the might include the threat persistent noise disturbances on either side of the 10 Freeways.
He did say, however, that he is open to having the rail run parallel to the existing tracks now in use by Metro, if done in a conscientious way that does not affect Alhambra residents. The problem isn’t necessarily the project or the idea of the project, but what he feels is the suspicious manner in which the CHSRA is operating.
“With the ACE (Alameda Corridor East) project, all the cities got on board and are on the same team,” Placido said. “Here, no stakeholders or elected officials [who represent the cities] are on board. The CHSRA should be more responsive to our needs.”
Unlike the apparent cloudiness with which he feels the Authority Board is operating under, the Alhambra City Council has written several letters to the Authority Board outlining the exact concerns of the community. The council has taken it upon itself to represent the interests of its city and is working to ensure that Alhambra and other West San Gabriel Valley cities stand united for their communities. They are also in close contact with Northern Californian cities to see what efforts can be taken to mitigate concerns.
Placido doubts whether the CHSRA has exhausted all of its viable options for the alternative routes and in alleviating concerns of nearby residents; he wondered if it ever seriously considered coordinating schedules between Metrolink schedules with CHSRA schedules and using existing tracks to get from Anaheim to San Diego.
Placido said that the Authority Board has made it more than difficult to disclose information from its project research, involving their noise studies and financial statements, ways the CHSRA has exhibited what Placido calls a lack of compassion from people “who just don’t get it.”
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