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California High Speed Rail Project


California High Speed Rail Project Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce May 27, 2010 CARRD Approach Process focus Collaborative, open, constructive approach We do NOT ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: California High Speed Rail Project

California High Speed Rail Project
  • Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce
  • May 27, 2010

  • Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design
  • Founders
  • Nadia Naik, Sara Armstrong, Elizabeth Alexis,
    Rita Wespi
  • Palo Alto base, State wide focus
  • We are not transportation experts, we are not
  • Contact info 
  • website
  • email

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

California High Speed Rail Project
  • 1980s California begins researching HSR
  • 1993 California Inter-City High Speed Rail
  • 1994 Federal High Speed Rail Development Act
    creates five national HSR corridors
  • 2002 First bond measure proposed but delayed
  • 2004 Statewide system studied
  • 2005 Ridership surveys and studies
  • 2008 Bay Area to Central Valley EIR
  • November 2008 - Prop 1A authorized State Bond
  • plan, construct and operate a High Speed Train
    system from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim

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

California HSR Governance
  • High Speed Rail Authority
  • 9 appointed Board members
  • less than dozen state employees
  • 4 tiered web of consultants / contractors do the
    bulk of the work
  • Legislature controls State bond funds
  • Senate Transportation Housing - Lowenthal
  • Senate Budget Subcommittee 2 Simitian
  • Legislative Analysts Office
  • Peer Review Committee
  • 8 appointed members (5 of 8 so far)
  • No staff, no meetings (yet). Update budget
  • Federal Agencies FRA, FTA

Funding Plan
  • 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
  • Awarded 2.25 billion stimulus funds (we only get
    it if we make the deadlines)
  • Plan calls for 3 Billion in Federal funding
    every year for 6 yrs

Environmental Review Process
  • Mandated by California Environmental Quality Act
  • Administrative, linear process
  • Applicant studies impacts, mitigations,
  • Lead Agency certifies the studies
  • Responsible for enforcing CEQA you!
  • You must participate in the process to have any
    recourse if you dont like the final decision

Tiered Approach to CEQA
Ridership Study / Analysis / Model
Bay Area to Central Valley
  • Program Level analyzed two routes
  • East Bay via Altamont
  • Peninsula via Pacheco
  • Pacheco Route / Caltrain Corridor Selected
  • Litigation challenged the decision.
  • EIR decertified and re-circulated.
  • Altamont corridor will be an overlay to main
    HSR line

San Francisco to San Jose
  • Caltrain Corridor
  • Caltrain HSRA Peninsula Rail Program
  • 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 spurs 4 track system, freight 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
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SF SJ Build Costs Timeline
  • Project Costs
  • 6.14 B in Year of Expenditure
  • ARRA award set up 400M for Transbay Terminal
  • Timeline
  • Dec 2010 - Draft EIR
  • Jul 2011 Final EIR
  • Sep 2011 Record of Decision
  • Winter 2012 Begin construction
  • Summer 2019 Revenue Service

Palo Alto
  • Track Configuration
  • 2 additional tracks needed
  • Constrained right of way widths near
  • Grade Separations
  • Alma, Churchill, Meadow, Charleston
  • Potential HSR Station
  • Station design options
  • Local requirements contributions
  • Selection Process

Palo Alto Right of Way
Approximate not perfectly to scale. Not
official diagram.
Type Design Width approx Cost
Above Grade Aerial Viaduct 80-105 3X base
At Grade At Grade (Road over/under pass) 95-105 Highly variable
Below Grade Open Trench 100 3.5X base
Below Grade Cut cover (trench) 100-140 5X base
Below Grade Bored tunnel 70-115 7X base
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Aerial Viaduct
At Grade (Cars can NOT go over like they do
Highly Variable based road and property
Cut and Cover
Deep Bored Tunnel High Speed Rail ONLY
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Palo Alto Alternatives Carried Forward
Palo Alto Alternatives Eliminated
  • Berm/Retained fill eliminated
  • Where throughout Palo Alto
  • Why community objection
  • Open Trench, Closed Trench, Viaduct
  • Where Alma
  • Why El Palo Alto San Fransisquito Creek,
    Historic Train Station
  • Underground Station deep tunnel Caltrain
  • Where corridor wide
  • Why cost constraints

Mid Peninsula Station
  • One or none of
  • Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View
  • Palo Alto has second highest Caltrain ridership
    (followed by Mountain View)
  • Station designs currently being studied
  • Local requirements
  • Parking, transit facilities
  • Funding support
  • City of Palo Alto has not taken a formal position

Getting Involved
  • With HSRA
  • Officially  via comments to the Environmental
    Review process
  • As a CSS Stakeholder
  • With your community
  • PAN and other grassroots groups
  • City of Palo Alto  
  • Palo Alto HSR Subcommittee meetings (1st 3rd
    Thurs 830 am)
  • Peninsula Cities Consortium 
  • County, State and National Legislators
  • Talk to your friends

Tips on writing a good comment
  • Be Objective and Specific
  • Whenever possible, present facts or expert
  • If not, provide personal experience or your
    personal observations. Don't just complain
  • Separate your concerns into clearly identifiable
    paragraphs or headings. Don't mix topics.

Areas of Study
  • Air Quality
  • Noise / Vibration
  • Traffic and Circulation
  • Land Use, Development, Planning, Growth
  • Biological Resources
  • Wetlands / Waters of the U.S.
  • Flood Hazards, Floodplains, and Water Quality
  • Visual Quality Aesthetics
  • Parks Recreational Facilities
  • Historic / Archeological Resources
  • Hazards and Hazardous Materials
  • Community Impacts / Environmental Justice
  • Construction Impacts
  • Cumulative Impacts

Catalog community assets
  • Identify sensitive areas
  • Historic Resources
  • Natural Resources
  • Open space, trees, wildlife, wetlands/creeks
  • Sensitive areas
  • Schools, hospitals, places of worship, funeral
  • Parklands
  • Business Interests
  • Describe community values

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

Suggest Alternatives
  • Offer specific alternatives
  • Describe how they meet the requirements of the
  • Can be on specific alignments, operations,
    financing, etc
  • Suggest different analysis methodologies

Help provide accurate record
  • Point out any inconsistencies in the document or
    the data
  • Point out outdated information or
  • Errors in logic
  • Focus on the sufficiency of the information in
    identifying and analyzing the possible impacts of
    the project on the environment

  • Dont be overwhelmed
  • You know your community just write about it
  • The burden of proof is on the Authority not
  • If you dont offer ideas, we miss a chance for
    Best Practices
  • Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Thank You!
  • For more

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Context Sensitive Solutions
  • Collaborative approach
  • Involves all stakeholders
  • Works by consensus
  • Balance transportation needs and community values
  • Proven Process
  • Adopted by Peninsula Rail Program for SF-SJ
  • First time it is being used on a Rail Project
  • Toolkit to collect community information

  • Incredibly ambitious complex project
  • Technical, funding, political, environmental,
    procedural challenges
  • Recognized benefits
  • Tremendous costs
  • Bunker mentality
  • Community Skepticism
  • Extent of impacts
  • Lack of specificity
  • Change is often painful
  • Economic meltdown, budget crisis

Grassroots Landscape
  • Groups throughout the State each with their own
  • Common theme Serve to educate elected officials
    public on the issues
  • Act as watchdogs for process request
    information and access to data used for decisions
  • Speak publicly at Senate, Assembly, City
    meetings, etc.

Context Sensitive Solutions Steps
Context Sensitive Solutions
  • Collaborative approach
  • Involves all stakeholders
  • Works by consensus
  • Balance transportation needs and community values
  • Proven Process
  • 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
  • Available at Caltrain/Peninsula Rail Program
  • Seeks community feedback on all alignment options
  • Serves as a framework
  • Do not feel confined by the template you can
  • You can write your comments too!
  • Early participation is the best way to ensure
    your ideas and concerns are incorporated

Altamont Corridor Project
Bay Area to Central Valley Issues
  • Cumulative Impacts
  • Altamont Pacheco
  • Ridership Claims
  • May 6, 2010 legal action seeks to reopen Courts
  • New Altamont route proposal
  • Union Pacific Position
  • no part of the high-speed rail corridor may be
    located on (or above, except for overpasses) UPs
    rights of way at any location. To the extent the
    Authority ignores this position, its revised EIR
    is deficient.

Example Noise Pollution
  • Provide inventory of sensitive areas
  • assume most impactful alternative
  • 900 feet on either side of tracks
  • 1/4 mile radius from Stations
  • 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

Menlo Park
  • Alternatives

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

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Alternatives for Menlo Park
Menlo Park Alternatives Eliminated
  • Berm/Retained Fill
  • Where throughout city
  • Why widespread community opposition
  • Open Trench
  • Where border w/ Palo Alto
  • Why San Francisquito Creek El Palo Alto
  • Deep Tunnel for Caltrain
  • Where corridor wide
  • Why excessive cost

Mountain View
  • Alternatives

Mountain View
  • Additional 2 tracks
  • Minimum 79 feet of ROW
  • Grade Separations
  • Rengstorff, Castro
  • Potential HSR Station
  • Station design options
  • Local requirements contributions
  • Selection Process

Mountain View Alternatives