We’ve all seen that it’s possible for a freight train to block two if not three crossing points at the same time. That would effectively cut a majority of our neighborhood off from emergency services.
It seems to me that this is what an EIR is supposed to address. We can all foresee the possibility of such an occurrence – an earthquake, rail spill, yet there is no proposed mitigation specifically addressing this very real, very foreseeable impact to public health and safety.
Grade separations are a major public infrastructure investment throughout Riverside. Magnolia Avenue is about to begin construction in a few short weeks.
There is no reason not to consider a grade separation as way to mitigate the impact.Â It moves the City closer to safer, more efficient traffic flows and puts us one step closer to building out the necessary grade separations already called for by the City.
Since this project involves federal money, we all have a vested interest in forcing a serious look at the reasons for not considering the Highgrove station. This option gives every potential rail rider new options for travel by combining the site with an already operational Metrolink to San Bernardino and LA.
The reason given for not considering this option was the added exhaust pollution generated from having to back up. That’s supposed to be dangerous enough to nix the option? Aren’t they going to back up at the end of the line in Perris? This flimsy reason doesn’t meet the test that an EIR is designed for.
The money to pay for this option is never going to be cheaper. We can all foresee a much more robust, convenient, popular, rider friendly network of rail travel options.Â The time to take small steps is right now before gas supplies or prices become overly erratic. This is something we can add at little extra cost and it gives us so much in future options.
If you want to make this work, to improve safety and access throughout the neighborhood, get educated and get involved.
Don’t forget to make your comments for the record. There’s a public meeting Wed., April 14th.