The big item on my calendar today is the High Speed Rail Authority's presentation on the Alternatives Analysis. The meeting is at City Council Chambers 200 S. Anaheim Blvd. That is the building on the east side of the street where you go for Building Permits, not the one on the west side where you pay the utility bill you forgot. Park in the covered parking structure behind City Hall, take the covered walkway bridge to the 2nd floor, and down the elevator or stairs to Council Chambers, you never get wet, so not showing up for the rain is no excuse. They will have the information for us Open House style from 5 to 7 pm, with a presentation at 5:30.
The issues I see with this plan are that first and foremost we need to be included in the process as citizens. The State has known for a year that they could not use the shared track they originally pitched to us, and they would have to build either an expensive tunnel or take homes, businesses, and public space to make it work. Why wait so long to share that with us, and then only because I threatened to go to the press?
The other issue is the route chosen. I have spoken to people in many areas of the City, even those not immediately affected, and nobody (other than Spokker the ghost blogger) wants this thing running At Grade through the middle of our town. Curt's tunnel may be doable, and if it is the only answer then I can live with it, although I am reluctant to pay for it.
Why not somewhere else? Why does it have to remain along a rail line that was designed and laid out 100 years ago, for the needs of those residents in the Victorian era? If we must remain At Grade for the sake of cost, why not run it where there is already open space? The 5 Freeway would allow it to run from San Diego to the top of California, conceivably even into Oregon, Washington, and Canada if need be. Curt Pringle could have a truly international rail system, with only Cal Trans to battle instead of every Mayor up and down the rail line who are already pissed off.
I do not think we are being unreasonable to say that High Speed Rail is a good idea in theory, but the concept of building it at all costs, no matter the expense or the disruption to communities, is not what we want. Now let's take a step back, breathe, and work together to do a great project. If we miss the deadline we miss the deadline. Shoving through a bad idea just to beat a dot on the calendar is how Obamacare is being ramrodded, and folks do not like that either.
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