Last week, I introduced a motion to ensure that our LA River revitalization efforts stay on track and to prevent our city from getting pushed into a bad high-speed rail route that would adversely impact San Fernando Valley communities.
In the 1996, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) was created to advance our transportation infrastructure and construct a high speed train from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The HSRA has been examining routes through the San Fernando Valley for the Palmdale to Burbank section, including reviewing several alternatives, refining some and eliminating others.
The route known as Alternative E-2 is one of three proposals for the Palmdale to Burbank connection currently under environmental review by the HSRA for its $64 billion bullet train.
Although the HSRA refined the Alternative E-2 option, it neither addressed the direct impacts to the communities in the Palmdale to Burbank route section, nor did it tackle the dangers to the environment, the residents and the equestrian lifestyle that is unique to the region. This proposed route traverses some of the most environmentally sensitive areas, like the Big Tujunga Wash, above ground. The Big Tujunga Wash is one of the main tributaries to the Los Angeles River, and unlike most of the Los Angeles River and its tributaries, this area is in its undisturbed natural form.
My goal is to make sure the city continues our LA River revitalization efforts and doesn't end up with a high-speed rail route that would harm them. I strongly believe that the Refined E-2 Alignment is regressive, and would hurt the environment and residential communities in the San Fernando Valley.
My motion also seeks funding from the HSRA to pay for station planning. It has given money to Burbank, but not Los Angeles, to plan for a station that would almost exclusively be in Sun Valley. The HSRA should foot the bill for this, not taxpayers.
As we make progress by increasing regional transportation connectivity, we need to preserve our urban habitat, protect endangered species that live in the River and the Big Tujunga Wash, and maintain the area for residents who use it for equestrian recreation.
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