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High-Speed Rail Should Be Tunneled Under Parks, Says Environmental Group

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If you've been following plans for California's high-speed rail, you know that various routes are being considered for downtown. The bullet train has to go through downtown---so it can stop at Union Station--but where it is going to head when it leaves is still being debated. One proposal sees it leave Union Station and go along the river, while another option tunnels the train under Cornfield Park and Dodger Stadium. Now, the Natural Resources Defense Council, a national environmental advocacy group, has sent a letter to the High-speed Rail Authority, asking that a (likely more costly) tunneling option be picked. You can download the letter here.
From the letter, sent on Monday, and signed by both the NRDC, and seven other leading environmental and community organizations, "The rail line must not be allowed to adversely impact the two important urban state parks north of Union Station – Los Angeles State Historic Park and Rio de Los Angeles State Park – or the communities surrounding them and the Los Angeles River, or interfere with restoration and revitalization of the River...we support the “long tunnel option,” in which a bored tunnel would run beneath the Los Angeles State Historic Park, Rio de Los Angeles State Park, and the River, avoid adverse impacts to each of those places and the surrounding communities, and emerge near the 2 Freeway. This alternative is described generally in the July 8, 2010, letter from Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes to HSRA, which is attached for your reference.

Los Angeles State Historic Park and Rio de Los Angeles State Park are innovative urban parks that serve low-income, park-poor communities that fought for equal access to parks and green space compared to other neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles."

Additionally, the NRDC blog has more about the letter and why it was sent.

· We Need High-Speed Rail in California, But Not At The Expense Of L.A.'s Urban Parks [Switchboard]
· Under Dodger Stadium and More: Latest High-Speed Railway Routes Through LA [Curbed LA]