Today's post is the official notice of the upcoming meeting for High Speed Rail, scheduled to carve up Anaheim like Sherman's March to the sea. No, I am not kidding. If the plan remains to build the system At Grade, as described in the Alternatives Analysis, there will be right of way takings under eminent domain. I spent the other day photographing the properties that will be lost, and will post those with the pertinent portions of the AA, as my time allows. For now, I would enourage you to open and save the notice here, and please share it with anyone you know who needs to hear about these plans. I am especially concerned about the lack of notice to those businesses and homes that are directly in the path of the project. The State's consultant team has done what can only be described as an information-light job of public outreach to date. Oh yeah, they have done meetings, we have all seen the slick, glossy sales pitch of bullet trains zipping across the screen. My gripe here is that I cannot recall that presentation saying anything about private property takes, or night time construction in residential areas. Nor can anyone I know recall that message being conveyed to us. Heck, checking over the City's listing of workshops and presentations to City Council, I cannot find evidence that the Council has even been told of the Alternative Analysis, and its impact on properties in the City. The last HSRA workshop to the Council was here http://anaheim.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=357 and it was essentially the same presentation we saw. At least Parsons Brinckerhoff did bother to share one sentence with Council, that if they could not get shared track they may have to widen the right of way with takes. I cannot find any evidence that they notified anyone that this is indeed the case, nor that they have already selected the properties they wish to take.
Part of the communication breakdown has been the decision to break the largest transportation project in California history into many mini-projects, each with their own project teams. The purpose was to make a large and unweildy project more manageable, much like eating an elephant one bite at a time. The result has been a complete obsufucation of information, as the State's right hand does not tell the State's left hand what it is doing. To avoid any slight of hand in that handshake, some volunteers have been transcribing the public meetings into written form, which comes in handy, should you need to remind an elected official that they did indeed promise you the sun, moon, and stars. I understand that anyone with the ability to use a keyboard can do this, and there is a tremendous need for more helping hands to transcribe the meetings. If you can spare some time, and you are one of those sick individuals like myself who actually LIKES sitting through these meetings, watching the political chess game unfold, your people need you. Contact me directly and I will put you in touch with folks who know what they are doing (don't look at me, I can barely text message).