In a Jan. 3 Community Voices commentary, Terry Maxwell asks, “Why is the Ward 2 councilman pushing the LGA/F Street location?” The answer is simple. The Locally Generated Alternative (LGA) is a collaborative effort by local agencies, the High-Speed Rail Authority and stakeholders. The effort resulted from the agreement that settled the city’s California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) lawsuit against the Authority when it certified the Bakersfield Hybrid Alignment in May 2014.
The Hybrid Alignment, now called the “May 2014 Project,” was unacceptable. It came into town on BNSF right-of-way along Truxtun Avenue from 90 feet over the Westside Parkway. It impacted 384 residences, 398 businesses, churches, schools, Mercy Hospital, the Corporation Yard, police garage and communications center, RaboBank Arena parking and Mill Creek housing with a station near the existing Amtrak station.
Comparison of the LGA and the “May 2014 Project” clearly shows the LGA to be superior. The LGA follows Union Pacific right-of-way with much less impact to residences and businesses, and spares the Corporation Yard, Mercy Hospital and other facilities along Truxtun. The LGA station would be located at F Street and SR 204 (Golden State Avenue), a relatively uncongested area of the city that could use the possible economic boost from a rail station.
For many reasons enumerated in a resolution in December 2017, the Bakersfield City Council adopted, on a 7-0 vote, the resolution supporting the LGA. So, not only does the Ward 2 councilman support the LGA, the other six council members also support it as the best HSR alignment for the city.
— Bill Descary, Bakersfield