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California High Speed Rail presentation for ENVD 4023 - Environmental Impact Assessment

Mike Laxer

on 5 May 2010

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Transcript of CA HSR

Marco Arguelles
Deidre Fereday
Mike Laxer
Aly Piscatelli California High Speed Rail Introduction Purpose of the Project High Speed Rail system to run along a 700 mile route from San Francisco to San Diego, with stops in Sacremento, Fresno, Bakersfield, and Los Angeles.
The project is going to be built in stages, with an estimated cost of $42.6 to $45 billion.

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2012, with completion in about eight to eleven years.
Travel Times (door-to-door)

By High Speed Train: 3:24 hours

By plane:
3:38 hours

By personal vehicle:
6:28 hours Go By Train Impacts CAHSR is a massive project, and is expected to have wide ranging impacts, affecting social, urban, environmental, and travel sectors. social noise
visual impacts
electromagnetic frequency urban stations
energy bay area and central valley cities will receive either renovated or brand new stations public utilities will be relatively unaffected due to flexible design travel traffic issues

decreased traffic between major metro areas, but increased levels near stations number of trips between major urban areas

(2030) (present)
auto: 800,535,647 581,985,626
air: 19,645,504 20,094,345
amtrak: 11,603,491 7,136,298
HST: 65,510,959 -
total: 897,295,601 609,216,270

travel time is a key factor in determining attractiveness...

...slower than air travel, faster than personal vehicle rail may be:


more enjoyable
environmental impacts air quality geology Farmland strategies have been developed to address and mitigate the numerous environmental and human impacts the HSR project will have mitigation hydrological urban biological traffic/parking
offsite parking with shuttles
provide overflow parking
parking permits for neighborhoods
widen roads
new traffic signals
one way streets
increased public transportation to HST stations
HOV lanes development/land use
use community planning process to develop streets, bike environments, parks/open space
work with local governments to enhance multi-modal connections and to limit disruption to communities
install visual buffers (trees , architectural design, artwork) to maintain quality overall alternatives concerning CAHSR are fairly limited...

....build or don't build Alternatives Public Involvement CAHSR is a tremendous project. public involvement is not simply an option; it is necessary alignments in San Francisco to Central Valley corridor could adversely affect the habitat of more than 19 special-status plant species and numerous animal species

both alignment alternatives would have minimal impact on wildlife movement corridors along the western shore of the San Francisco Bay
sensitive Vegetation Communities:
seasonal wetlands
permanent freshwater wetlands
permanent freshwater marsh
riparian, oak woodlands

alignment alternatives would bisect the major San Joaquin kit fox movement corridor between the southern portion of its range and the northern portion of its range along the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

HST will be located along existing right of way, thereby minimizing impacts

portions of the alignment will be on elevated structures or in tunnels, which can further minimize impacts
to facilitate animal movements, culverts will be placed at regular intervals along the ROW

along sensitive areas, the system will be placed on new bridges or in tunnels
mitigation strategies ROW can be narrowed in sensitive locations to lessen impact on adjacent areas
floodplains implement BMP's Surface water, groundwater,
floodplains, erosion, run-off
Project level analysis
ground water town meetings internet resources municipalities directly affected by HSR participated in frequent town meetings

value of project was determined by polls conducted during planning phase websites
blogs: http://www.cahsrblog.com/
independent: http://www.calhsr.com/
full EIA available online
public event calendar
online surveys no build entails increasing capacity and expansion of exisiting heavy rail routes

addition of non-electric and conventional rail services

significant travel delays & congestion currently, existing road, public transit, airline infrastructure operate at congested levels

the no-build option will not improve or stabilize existing travel conditions
not possible to tell what future environmental impacts will arise from the no build option
noise becomes a factor as trains attain certain speeds

potential impacts on schools, hospitals, residential areas

noise also becomes a factor during the early construction phases
visual impacts

•potential impacts on visual resources (particularly scenic resources, areas of historic interest, and natural open space areas and significant ecological areas

•require the full grade-separation of the railway. This means that all street and pedestrian crossings would go over or under the tracks

•photo simulations •community land use plans and policies increasingly are emphasizing more compact development patterns as a preferred alternative to dispersed, low-density development •more compact and focused development in station areas, and support the preservation of undeveloped land elsewhere in the study area, this could represent a positive aesthetic and visual benefit the high speed rail project was conceived out of the need to alleviate current and future traffic congestion levels on highways and city streets designed to compete with air and auto traffic, the HSR project will slash travel times between San Francisco and Los Angeles to roughly two and a half hours. the project is estimated to be cheaper than constructing new runways, airport gates, and highways combined, while cutting significant greenhouse gas emissions ultimately, the HSR project aims to make California greener, more accessible, and more travel friendly once complete, the HSR system is expected to place an increased load on California's energy grid

in-state generation
Cost & Operations
estimated capital and operations and maintenance (O&M)
operating and maintenance costs on a per-train-mile basis
Proposition 1A Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century authorizing US$9.95 billion in general obligation bonds for the project
Total Cost: $42.6-45 billion
San Francisco to San Jose
Total: 3,546,173,115 Other Location Options: 1,742,311,412
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act $2.25 Billion
Economic Growth:
Manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, services, and government each account for more than 10% of total employment, and together have consistently made up more than three-quarters of total employment over the past 30 years.
Three service-sector industries—business, social, and legal—are among the 10 fastest-growing industries in California
2005: 36.1 million people and 20.9 million jobs •1.35% more people and 1.5% more jobs (4.1. million people, 2.3 million jobs) and land consumption would be the same by 2030

Direct Economic Impacts
Business cost savings: Reductions in travel time and/or cost for long-distance business travelers and commuters benefiting from the transportation improvements.
Amenity (quality of life) changes: Non-business travel time and/or cost benefits and other societal benefits improve the attractiveness of a region.
Forecast Land Consumption: infill potential
The California Urbanization and Biodiversity Analysis (CURBA) model
40% growth of urbanized areas
revenue sources include general obligation bonds,6 federal grants or loans, existing airport user fees and passenger facility charges, private sector participation, local funds (from existing sources), and existing state transportation revenue sources (e.g., gas tax, sales tax on gas).
HST station areas would offer a more attractive market for commercial and office development than the No Project Alternative
provide further concentration of employment in central areas that tend to be more readily accessible to minority and low-income populations; research found that industries needing many highly skilled and specialized employees are the most attracted to rail-station area development
Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF)

the nature of the electrified system can expose those living near the right of way to EMF emissions

no research indicates any kind of effect on humans at the limits reached by the HST system

catenary already has shielding built in
further mitigation:
shielding substations
relocating antennas Summary The California High Speed Rail Project has enormous potential to improve the lives of Californians, boost the economy, and increase accessibility to the major commercial and industrial centers of the state trains are expected to reach speeds of 200-220 miles per hour environmental hazards exist, but through careful design and trusted mitigation techniques, these drawbacks can be minimized
Highway VMT, # of trips avoided, power requirements, traffic studies
Construction methods
Areas of concern
Special design & construction standards
<----I----> (50 total feet), station footprint
Use of existing ROW
cultural Cultural resources include prehistoric archaeological sites, historic archaeological sites, traditional cultural properties, and historic structures

Urban areas in the Bay Area, such as San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, have a high density of cultural resources that includes prehistoric, historic, and architectural resources.
Historical Resources

Towns like Stockton and Merced were important local trade centers in the late nineteenth century. Rural historic properties include farm and ranch complexes and infrastructure such as bridges, industrial complexes, and rail stations.

no traditional cultural properties were identified Sacred Lands

Paleontological Resources

Rich Geologic record and multiple major fossil-bearing units

Much of the Central Valley has not been subjected to formal archaeological survey
Bibliography Bay Area to Central Valley Final Program EIR/EIS Volume 1: Report
Chapter 1: Purpose, need, and objectives
Chapter 2: Alternatives
Chapter 3:
Chapter 3.1: Traffic Transit, Circulation and Parking
Capter 3.2: Travel Conditions
Chapter 3.3: Air Quality and Global Climate Change
Chapter 3.4: Noise and Vibration
Chapter 3.5: Energy
Chapter 3.6: Electromagnetic Fields & Electromagnetic Interference
Chapter 3.7 Land Use & Planning, Communities & Neighborhoods, Property, &
Environmental Justice
Chapter 3.8: Agricultural Lands
Chapter 3.9: Aesthetics and Visual Resources
Chapter 3.10 Public Utilities
Chapter 3.11 Hazardous Materials & Wastes
Chapter 3.12 Cultural Resources & Paleontological Resources
Chapter 3.13 Geology and Soils
Chapter 3.14 Hydrology & Water Resources
Chapter 3.15 Biological Resources and Wetlands
Chapter 3.16 Section 4(f) & 6(f) Resources (Public Parks & Rec)
Chapter 3.17 Cumulative Analysis
Chapter 3.18 Construction Methods & Impacts
Chapter 4: Costs and Operations
Chapter 5: Economic Growth & Related Impacts
Chapter 6: HST Station Area Development
Chapter 7: HST network and alignment alternatives Comparisons
Chapter 8: Preferred Alignments & Station Options
Chapter 9: Unavoidable Adverse Environmental Impacts
Chapter 10: Public & Agency Involvement
Chapter 11: Organization, agency and business outreach prior to draft program http://cahsr.blogspot.com/
Full transcript