The California High Speed Rail Authority proposed the construction of a high-speed train system as a logical step in the development of California’s transportation infrastructure. The plan included a rail system connecting Northern and Southern California, beginning in Sacramento and ending in San Diego with stations along both inland and coastal corridors. The objective of the project was to help alleviate freeway and air transportation congestion in California. San Diego’s freeways and airport are overcrowded, and, as the population in the state continues to grow, a high-speed rail system can ease current and anticipated congestion.
To pave the way for High Speed Rail, the Authority was responsible for preparing a Project Level Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement to comply with state and federal environmental requirements. To support the EIR/EIS and to receive comments on the Los Angeles-San Diego section of the project, the Authority held a series of public meetings up and down the section. K&A was tasked with providing public outreach in San Diego County, both to plan and coordinate three San Diego County scoping meetings, and to educate key elected officials and local leaders about the benefits of the proposed train system.
K&A identified public concerns, gained input on a high-speed rail system and proposed station locations in the San Diego region. The K&A team worked with transportation agencies, environmental organizations, the local military, business organizations, chambers of commerce and media. Work included gathering scoping comments from both the public and regional agencies to help guide the alternatives analysis and environmental review process. An overview of K&A’s work is listed below.
- Planned and supported the Authority’s scoping meetings in San Diego.
- Held agency and public scoping meetings in support of the Project Level EIR/EIS.
- Maintained stakeholder database.
- Developed copy for regional informational materials.
- Distributed project informational materials, including fact sheets and meeting notices.
- Worked as part of a consultant team to share information and strategies.
- Set up one-on-one stakeholder interviews with the Authority and its program consultant.
- Scheduled and attended briefing with elected officials and leaders in the region.
- Handled significant media relations requirements.
The project scoping meetings generated larger than expected turnout and the scoping report was successfully completed, putting the project on track for completion of the EIR/EIS process. The Alternatives Analysis report was approved by the High Speed Rail Authority.