UNA Supports High Grove Metrolink Station

On behalf of the neighborhood, the following letter was submitted.

November 17, 2009

John Standiford
Riverside County Transportation Commission
4080 Lemon St. 3rd Floor
Riverside CA 92502-2208

RE: Perris Valley Line (PVL)

Dear Mr. Standiford;

Over 4 years ago on October 13, 2005, the University Neighborhood Association submitted a letter to RCTC supporting the concept of routing the PVL through Highgrove and of establishing a Metrolink station in Highgrove.

Our community continues to support this concept because that location seems to offer greater overall flexibility. In addition to servicing Metrolink traffic from the PVL, the Highgrove station establishes services to existing Riverside and San Bernardino traffic, and opens opportunities to increase the number of potential riders through the expanded capacity and the flexibility to serve them.

Further, Highgrove has adequate land for a station and parking. Plus, the people of Highgrove want the station and support the PVL.

Most importantly: Expanded passenger rail options maximize taxpayer dollars. The development of rail corridors must be looked at in a context that is bigger than a single project. The PVL provides an opportunity to do that with the Highgrove option. Watch the video.

Please take under advisement that while the UNA supports the Highgrove station concept, our own concerns remain. The PVL impact on our neighborhood continues to attract the attention of a growing number of our neighbors.

As you know we have several sensitive receptor uses immediately adjacent to the PVL right of way.

•    Within 500 feet of this project, we have
1.    two elementary schools,
2.    two city parks, a county park, and
3.    several day care facilities.

•    We have a number of public safety concerns
1.    the impact of noise, vibration, and air pollution on health.
2.    the safety of our school children due to the increased rail traffic.
3.    public safety due to hazardous materials now being carried by BNSF.
4.     public safety in crossing the rail right of way to access the county park.
In point 4, we refer to the PVL project bisecting our community, including  the City and County trails network. Access to the park and trails requires a safe, environmentally sound solution to connect with and enjoy the historic trails into the Box Springs Mountain Park.

Lastly, we are concerned with the PVL impact upon our quality of life.

To be clear, we wish to reiterate our support for the Highgrove solution. However,  do not construe that support as an endorsement for the PVL, especially in light of the fact that the EIR is not yet complete.

We remain committed to the healthiest result with the least impact for the biggest taxpayer payoff.

As our last work on the matter of the Highgrove station, if the PVL is really about regional transportation, then it makes sense to locate stations in locations that offer the greatest utility. The Highgrove solution is uniquely located to accomplish just that.

Sincerely,

Gurumantra Khalsa
Co Chair University Neighborhood Assn.

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