Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Opposition to high-speed rail in Southern California

by Luke Money
April 28, 2015

Hundreds of residents from communities in and around the Santa Clarita Valley came together Monday to address the California High-Speed Rail Authority with one voice.

Their message rang loud and clear: Get the bullet train out of our communities and put it underground.

More than 1,300 vocal residents of communities along the Palmdale-to-Burbank section of the high-speed rail project recited a litany of issues and concerns with the controversial project on Monday, including vibration, noise, the possibility of depressed home values and potential risks to water supplies or increased seismic activity.

Some said the money earmarked for the train should instead be used to help address the ongoing drought. Others said they thought Gov. Jerry Brown should be removed from office because of his staunch support of the train.

“You are making your voices heard,” said Santa Clarita City Councilman TimBen Boydston as the crowd at Canyon High School broke into a round of applause. “You are the thing that can stop this train from destroying our communities.”

In the mind of Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean, the high-speed train should go underground in Burbank and stay that way until it reaches Palmdale.

“We are saying we want a seat at the table, but they must listen to us,” McLean said. “We are speaking with one voice.”

Adding their voices to Santa Clarita’s Monday were representatives from Acton, Agua Dulce and the city of San Fernando, which recently joined with the city to create the North L.A. County Communities Protection Coalition — with the goal of presenting a unified regional front to urge the High-Speed Rail Authority to put the train underground wherever it runs.

A number of those in the audience Monday carried signs reading, “Keep HSR out of Acton.” 

San Fernando Mayor Joel Fajardo said the train could split the city in half and would decimate its downtown area, wreaking havoc on its budget.

“It is wrong to even entertain the notion of bankrupting a city and damaging a town,” he said.

Of particular concern for residents in and around the Santa Clarita Valley is the proposed “SR 14 Corridor,” which largely follows the Highway 14 freeway through the valley, the Sand Canyon area and Agua Dulce and Acton after making its way north from San Fernando.

“The best thing we can do is to push this train away from our schools, away from our homes, away from our livelihoods,” said Chris Croisdale, president of the Acton Town Council. “Because it will affect every one of our lives if we don’t.”

Santa Clarita Valley residents and officials have regularly raised concerns over negative effects if the rail runs through town, especially if it is above ground.

City officials have said the train could devastate homes and businesses in the Sand Canyon area, as well as a church and two schools...

Thanks to Streetsblog SF.

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