School board member wants Los Angeles schools to fight the California bullet train

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In Los Angeles County, the high-speed rail authority, the agency that’s overseeing the construction of a bullet train that will swiftly ferry riders from Los Angeles to San Francisco, is struggling to find a route to link stations in Burbank and Palmdale that doesn’t ruffle the feathers of residents. Plans to either route the train along the 14 Freeway or tunnel underground through one of three routes under the San Gabriel Mountains have all been met with fiery opposition.

In the last two years, residents have voiced their concerns over the environmental impacts, noise, and community displacement. Among those in opposition to the project: county supervisors Michael Antonovich and Sheila Kuehl, the Save Angeles Forest for Everyone coalition, and, now, perhaps the Los Angeles Unified School District.

According to Los Angeles Daily News, a school board member will try to convince the district to oppose digging through the San Gabriel Mountains. Board member Monica Ratliff represents the Northeast Valley, and she will introduce a motion to the Board of Education to oppose a rail route that crosses over Big Tujunga Wash. Ratliff claims the project will result in the displacement of 100 residents, 288 businesses, and ultimately a drop in school enrollment.

The revised underground high-speed rail routes through the San Gabriel Mountains
California High Speed Rail Authority

Over 3,000 horses live in rural foothill communities near the proposed route, and residents the train will destroy their “equestrian way of life.” They claim the project is “holding [their] community hostage.”

Earlier this week, residents protested outside a high-speed rail community meeting at the Lake View Terrace Branch Library. They, along with “two dozen horses, a lamb and at least one goat,” spent an hour outside the meeting holding signs that said, “Don’t destroy my horse arena,” and “Don’t railroad us,” according to the Daily News.

The high-speed rail authority is working on environmental reviews of all three potential routes. A spokesperson told the Daily News, “At this point, there’s not one single reason to remove an entire alternative route from consideration.”

It has scheduled three community open houses this month to further discuss the project. A flyer for the open houses does not specify whether horses are welcome to attend.

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