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Rail Safety - Tues., May 5, 2015

From: domainremoved <R>
Date: Tue, 5 May 2015 01:04:13 +0000

Dear Council,
In our recent Felton Gables Home Owner's Association meeting we discussed your planned review of MP rail policy and the proposed options for the Ravenswood/Caltrain crossing. I urge you to focus on the primary issue we can and should solve immediately- safety. If you "fall in love with the problem", how do we get 8?, you will keep all your options open and not predefine, and then end up defending, a problem statement that includes a solution, thus; 4+4, 2+6, 3+5 all solve the problem but you can pick the one that is most beneficial.

To improve safety quickly, I feel you must separate this issue from City "policy", Caltrain electrification, HSR plans, and the discussion of grade separations. This suggests that Tuesday night you avoid approving further study of grade separations - assumes a predefined answer to the problem. Halting Caltrain service makes the tracks infinitely safer than grade separations - Caltrain will never derail in an earthquake nor crash if it does not exist - but we don't help ourselves suggesting this solution. Instead, looking solely at safety suggests options that don't require any policy changes nor embroilment with other agencies. (Plan a tunnel without Palo Alto, Atherton, Caltrain/JPB on board and your solution could take until 2029.)
My personal input on a solution would be a cement barrier on the East side of the RR tracks (similar to that on the West side). It could be a complete barrier, all the way up to the Library crosswalk, or a partial barrier that allowed West-bound Ravenswood traffic to make a "left" towards the library. The point would be to make Alma traffic, from Lib/Gym, right turn only (another cement barrier). In addition, move the crosswalk from the train station to Menlo Plaza from the street intersection down 1/2 block or so to keep traffic flowing around the corner and not suddenly blocking the right most lane heading to ECR. This may also require additional steps to prevent West bound Ravenswood traffic from switching lanes so easily once they clear the tracks. Regards,

Russ Peterson
Resident Felton Gables
Received on Mon May 04 2015 - 18:04:06 PDT

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