Will California’s High-Speed Rail Dig a Financial Hole We Can’t Escape?
Seven meetings in seven cities could bury a proposed sub-San Gabriel Mountains Tunnel
DATELINE – California’s ever-burgeoning High-Speed Rail project (CHSR) may take an unexpected and expensive detour: a 15-mile long tunnel between Burbank down in the San Fernando Valley, and Palmdale, high in Antelope Valley. But San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles Libertarians have significant opportunities this week and next to speak out against the project as others have done in the southern Central Valley, by attending one of the scheduled seven meetings (details below).
The bottom line is a “guesstimated” $4.8 billion increase in taxpayer-funded costs for the project, with $18.3 billion for the tunnel alone. The current plan, 40 miles of surface rail running alongside I-5 from Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport and Highway 14 into Palmdale, is estimated to cost an already pricey $13.5 billion.
But the project – tunnel and rail segment both – aren’t inevitable. Vocal opposition to the project at seven scheduled meetings can dissuade officials from adding the expensive tunnel to the beleaguered HSR. Three meetings have already been held in Newhall, Burbank, and Palmdale. Successful opposition is a nail in CHSR’s coffin.
If you live or work near any of the following cities and want to add to the opposition’s presence, please attend one or more of the following meetings (each meeting is scheduled from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.)
- Monday, August 11, Acton-Agua Dulce Library, 33792 Crown Valley Road, Acton (Antelope Valley)
- Tuesday, August 12, Sylmar Public Library, 14561 Polk Street, Sylmar (San Fernando Valley)
- Thursday, August 14, Lake View Terrace Recreation Center, 11075 Foothill Boulevard, Lake View Terrace (San Fernando Valley)
- Tuesday, August 19, Los Angeles Union Station, Fred Harvey Room, 800 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles (downtown L.A.)
California’s High Speed Rail isn’t a done deal, despite what some law-makers want us to believe. Communities in California’s southern Central Valley have already successfully opposed HSR development through their cities and towns, and the same could happen for this segment of the ill-conceived project, too. Fresno, Madera, Kings, Tulare and Kern Counties have all switched tracks to oppose California’s badly-mutated High-Speed Rail project. Fresno County Supervisor Debbie Poochogian stated at a county supervisors’ meeting two weeks ago, “We have an entire list of promises that have not been kept. … The current project doesn’t resemble Prop. 1A.”
If you do attend the remaining meetings, don’t go without adequate arguments against HSR in general and California’s HSR in particular. Read Legal Services of Northern California’s Race Equity Project’s damning report High Speed Rail and Social Equity first, and take notes.
For details about the proposed tunnel and the remaining meetings, read this Cal Watchdog article.