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L.A. City Council wants bullet train officials to weigh two options for Union Station

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously urged officials at the California High Speed Rail Authority today to consider two proposed alternatives for the bullet train stop at Union Station downtown.

Councilman Ed Reyes said the alternatives were crucial to protecting the residents in East Los Angeles as planners determine the route for the 800-mile bullet train between Northern California and San Diego. Proponents say the train would carry passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 2½ hours.

The two alternatives are:
  • An aerial stop at Union Station where the bullet train would be stacked above Metrolink tracks, or
  • A stop on the east side of Patsaouras Transit Plaza, along Vignes Street.
A city planner said the second option could minimize intrusions into communities north and south.

Voters approved a $10-billion bond measure for the bullet train in 2008 and the state is seeking additional federal money in the hope of beginning construction on a first phase between Anaheim and L.A. as early as 2011.  Reyes is concerned that the likely route north from Union Station along the Los Angeles River would destroy the city’s plans to rehabilitate the river as well as disrupt the lives of residents in communities including Lincoln Heights, Cypress Park and Elysian Valley.
Reyes cited Chicago’s Millennium Park, which was built above railroad tracks and parking, as an example of the opportunities that lie ahead for Los Angeles as the project advances.
“We should be opening our eyes to what could be,” Reyes said. “…In your hands lies a unique opportunity to create a facility that should last the next 100 years. But let’s do it with the understanding that we can create relief and improvements.”
He said the project “can create a grand Union Station for the state of California without having the communities [have] to bear the burdens on their backs.”

Reyes demanded a public commitment that rail authority officials would consider both options, which he said could determine the path of the train as it heads north from the station.

Valerie Martinez, Southern California communications director for the High Speed Rail Authority, assured Reyes that the draft environmental impact report would include a second alternative. “There will be two options that your community will be able to look at and determine how each of those impacts the communities,” she said.

-- Maeve Reston at L.A. City Hall
Comments () | Archives (15)

I think they should build the CA High Speed Rail tracks run through City Hall.

Can we skip downtown??

Like its gonna happen, pshaw!

good job Ed, im sure ull screw this up just like u did with the Gold Line. At least hes favorable towards medical marijuana.

I'm amazed it's even going to stop in L.A. We always get screwed.

Why are separate tracks needed around the station? The trains won't be moving at high speed near Union Station. Use the existing tracks until the high-speed trains reach a point where moving at high speed is feasible, safe, and warranted. If that means the trains aren't going 150 mph through LA, so be it.

If the trip from LA to SF or Sacramento takes 3.5 hours instead of 2.5, it's still more than 2x as fast as driving. Now if the cost were between the price for gas, and an airplane ticket, we might be talking about something economically viable.

The sight of a Bullet train would be a vast improvement over some sections of the city...vs. endless dilipadated buildings covered with trashy graffiti and streets strewed with garbage and gangbangers.

JASE SAYS: "vs. endless dilipadated buildings covered with trashy graffiti and streets strewed with garbage and gangbangers."

You really should go to Taylor Yard, the new State Park that is right along the tracks in Glassell Park. Anything but what you THINK is there.

FIGGINS SAYS: "Why are separate tracks needed around the station?"
High speed rail cars operate differently than do regular rail and freight. There are two issues at play that would prevent that possibility - curve of track and through route. The curve of the track for HSR - to my knowledge - has to be less than that allowable by regular rail. The second part of the equation is something that I have not yet looked into much, and that is that HSR will be a through track from Union Station, as opposed to the one way in and out that currently exists for Amtrak / Metrolink.

As for the two options, having recently WALKED the proposed routes between Union Station and the Glendale border, I can personally say that the idea of moving the HSR tracks to the east opens up better options for the northern-bound tracks from Union Station while minimizing impacts to all the communities listed. I assure everyone that Reyes has this one right in that regard.

Imagine that third rate city council deciding anything. This sounds like more disastrous ruinous transport organized by the public sector. What a waste of money. Why would anyone be rushing to San Francisco? No jobs, no money, nor reason, etc. A one hour flight works. nThis state and local government is an absolute joke!

As for the LA River. Are they kidding? This is nothing but a glorified wash.

Much like the Gold line foothill extension, is HSR really necessary? Look, I'd love to be able to take a 2-3hr train ride up to SF as much as the next person ---I just returned from up there last month, in fact. SF is a city that "gets it" in regards to rail mass transit, by the way, unlike L.A. The number of LA County neighbourhoods and districts that aren't even served by rail is embarassing compared to SF.

Personally, I say until this region unveils a coherent rail mass transit system that benefits the local ridership travelling within the county, statewide travel should be on the back burner. It would be a shame if funding for HSR surpassed funding for local projects that are actually needed by the people of this region moreso than a select number who'll have cause to go to and from SF on occasion. It won't kill anyone to take Amtrak from L.A. up to San Jose, then transfer to the CalTrain to SF. And, for those who complain that trip takes too long? NOW you have an idea why I avoid having to take a bus to anyplace in this region not currently served by rail.

Am I the only one who is totally unmoved by the prospect of a reduced travel time to SF when I can't even get a train to Westwood, Mid City, West Hollywood, Leimert Park or Venice, to name but a few?

Why a high speed train to San Francisco instead of Las Vegas? A Vegas route is a more viable destination than San Francisco. It's closer so the train could compete with the airlines on speed, it will be cheaper to build the rail and to ride it, but most of all, the high speed rail will be more economic beneficial for both Las Vegas and Los Angeles than San Francisco would have.

This article doesn't mention that Richard Alarcon also piped up strongly about his area of Pacoima in the NE valley, insisting that "any plan that isn't fair to my area of Pacoima is one I won't consider,' going on about how the east San Fernando Valley and San Gabriel Valleys have some of the most congested areas in the region, bla-bla. Another Latino grandstand ploy against the "rich anglo" areas, even though it's those areas which have the drive-to traffic and problems.

Like another poster said, it's East L A which just got the Gold Line at a huge cost instead of another area, but Gloria Molina trashes it every chance she gets because all the intersections weren't expenses overpasses instead of at-grade. (It does seem that at-grade/street-level is a bigger problem in that area, where macho IDIOTs from Latino cultures won't stop when they should for the train, and barely know how to drive anyway, many of them illegals who are driving without having qualified for a license.)

HSR , is important for regional growth, it also attracts more tourists to ur state, It might not seem appealing to go SF or Sac , but it can speed up growth and business. Cali should have had HSR by now, i don't understand why you ppl are opposed to it, maybe you won't use it, but who says Millions of others won't. Look i'm form New Jersey , we have 1 HSL running through the State & Commuter lines , we have very great Transport in the Northeast. HSL , that is getting upgraded to handle 160-80 form DC to Boston. Trust me HSL works , just give a Chance. The Price Tag can be paided back in revenue in 2 to 4 yrs. There are alot of Gains to this project , reducing congestion on Freeways , which i know is bad in Cali and Connecting communities and Cultures. A HSL to Vegas would be nice , but Vegas is mostly a Adult themed city , not for Families. Those of you opposed to this plan, have any other ideas to shove Traffic Congestion, by 2020 it will very bad if you don't build HSR. I know i'm an Eastern ,but i think Cali HSR has a great Chance of setting a foundation for the rest of the Country.


No HSR until we have a subway ALL of the way out to the bluffs in Santa Monica!


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