Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) issued the following letter in response to the High-Speed Rail (HSR) Authority’s announcement of yet another last-minute change to the bullet train’s route with only a week’s notice of a public hearing:
November 1, 2013
The Honorable Dan Richard, Chairman
California High-Speed Rail Authority
770 L Street, Suite 800
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Chairman Richard,
I write today regarding the recently released alternative alignment for the Fresno to Bakersfield section of high speed rail. I am concerned about the short notice of this new alignment and the lack of outreach to people who live in the area. This will only reinforce the arrogant reputation that the Authority already has.
I was alerted to the recent alignment change yesterday afternoon and was advised that this issue would be presented at the Authority’s November 7th hearing in Sacramento. This short timeline is not enough time for any of my constituents to learn about the new alignment and to schedule travel to Sacramento to comment on this new route. Given this short notice, I suggest that the Authority move this item to their December meeting to allow for a real analysis of the new alignment and provide for local citizen input.
Additionally, I am concerned that consideration on this new alignment is being made at a meeting in Sacramento, which is too far away for many of my constituents, especially those who cannot take a whole day off work to travel to Sacramento. I request that the Authority hold an evening meeting in both Hanford and Bakersfield before the final adoption of any alignment on the Fresno to Bakersfield section. This will provide a chance for the Authority to present the new alignment to local residents and to hear from them about the new path.
This new alignment will affect the livelihoods of many people in my district. I would appreciate your consideration of my request.
Senator, 16th District
CC: Doug Drozd, Special Assistant to Board of Directors.